More than 386,000 people applied to run in the 2018 London Marathon

More than 386,000 people applied to run in the 2018 London Marathon1, even though many had never completed such a long race before.

But while the runners will know it is vital to be physically honed, toned and fit to take on such a challenge, how many appreciate that it is just as important to be mentally prepared?

This year, the muscle and joint experts at The Mentholatum Company, have a message for runners – make sure you warm up your mind as well as your muscles before the start!

Mentholatum is the name behind the Deep Heat and Deep Freeze brands so familiar to generations of runners and other sportsmen and women.

Jillian Watt, director of new product development at the company, is a former keen runner and now a qualified Pilates teacher. She says: “A good training regime can get people physically fit to tackle a marathon, but no one should ignore the power of the mind and the boost which your mental attitude can give your performance.

“Studies have shown that in high-pressure situations such as surgery, mental practice, or mentally rehearsing a procedure, can help improve outcomes2 and these techniques can also be used when someone is tackling a gruelling sporting event.

“When we feel stressed or anxious, we can feel our muscles become tense and tight. And the experts at Mentholatum know tense muscles are more vulnerable to injury, which is why it is so important to warm up physically before a run or a sports match.

“Research has also shown that when phsychological stress shifts the mental focus from the task in hand, it can affect performance and so controlling excessive stress and negative emotions can help produce a better sporting performance3.”

Before the big race, runners will go through their warm up routines. These will include dynamic stretching to make their muscles more flexible and cardio to raise body temperature, increase blood flow and bring nutrients to the muscles. Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll-on Lotion can be used as part of the warm-up routine to help loosen and soften tight, tense muscles.

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