When is The 2020 London Marathon? The London Marathon Guide

February 25, 2021

When is the 2020 London Marathon? Discover everything you need to know about what the London Marathon is, when the ballot opens, and when to start your training routine with running lessons!

When is The 2020 London Marathon?

If you are running in the 2020 London Marathon that was scheduled to take place on the 28th of April this has now been postponed to October 4th 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Visit this page for more details on the 2020 London Marathon.

When Does The Ballot Open For The 2021 London Marathon?

The ballot for the 2021 London Marathon is expected to open by October 2020. We'll update you as soon as the official date is released!

When is The 2021 London Marathon?

The 2021 London Marathon is scheduled to take place on April 25th 2021.

What is The London Marathon?

The London Marathon is a highly anticipated race featuring thousands of local and international participants. First held on the 29th of March 1981, the event has taken place yearly. 2021 will be the 41st edition of the race!

The marathon also holds the Guinness World Record as the largest annual fundraising event on the planet raising over £1 billion for various charities.

One of the 6 World Marathon Majors, the globally-renowned London Marathon attracts diverse participants from regular runners and athletes to celebrities as well as Members of the Parliament. In 2019, the race had over 42,000 participants.  

How Long is The London Marathon?

The course for the London marathon is approximately 26.2 miles long.

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Where Will The 2021 London Marathon Start?

Usually starting at 10:10 am, the London marathon course starts in Blackheath at three different locations – the red start; the blue start; and the green start. The different routes merge into one route after roughly 2.8 miles and then passes Greenwich and crosses the River Thames at Tower Bridge which is the half-way point. 

The route then makes its way around east London and then heads towards the Parliament Square and the finish line is on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. You can find printable maps of the London Marathon here.


What Are The Qualifying Times For The London Marathon?

This information has not been published yet but based on the schedule for the 2020 London Marathon, here are some of the approximate times to qualify - men ages 18-39 years, 2:57:20 and women 18-39 years, 3:40:45. For ages 40 and up, there are several categories of qualifying times for men and women. You can see the full list of qualifying times in the Good For Age Entry here.

How Can You Register to Enter The 2021 London Marathon?

There are several ways in which you can enter the 2021 London Marathon. Here are some of the top ways to enter the race. 

Ballot Entry – With ballot entry, you can apply through a random ballot, Approximately 17,000 participants are successful. Another way to enter is through charity, the charities which will be sponsoring the 2021 London Marathon are detailed in the next section. 

Good for Age Entry – You can also apply for the Good For Age entry if you are a UK resident and have achieved a qualifying time. The running time for your age category does not guarantee entry but simply the opportunity to submit an application. For more information, click here.

Championship Entry – This involves being a member of an athletics club associated with British Athletics and having a championship-qualifying performance for a marathon or half marathon.

To view the complete list of additional ways to enter the marathon such as through International Entry, click here.

Which Charities Will be Sponsoring The 2021 London Marathon?

If you are keen to support a charity, you will need to contact them and apply directly. Many prominent charities have a set number of guaranteed places that are allocated based on the agreed amount of funds you expect to raise for your chosen charity. As each charity accepts different amounts, it is best to contact the charity directly to find out specific fundraising information.

In 2021 some of the charity organisations attending the London Marathon include Amnesty International, Alzheimer’s Society, MS Society, WaterAid, British Heart Foundation, Unicef UK, Sparks, Cancer Research UK, and many more. View the complete list of charities for the 2021 London Marathon here.

When Should You Start Training to Race in The 2021 London Marathon?

You’ll need to start training roughly 4 months in advance to build up your stamina though this can vary based on your running experience. To create a tailored plan for your training, hire a running instructor.


If you’re running a marathon for the first time, 26.2 miles can seem like quite a distance. In this case, it's best to start a little earlier and manage your ambitions so your body can build up endurance gradually. You can make a first step by running in a 5k marathon to build up a baseline level of speed and endurance before tackling a 10K. 

Next, you can move up to a half marathon before advancing to a full marathon. Use a combination of long runs, speed work, tempo runs, and don’t skimp on rest days.

Advanced Runners

Start training 3 to 4 months in advance using a combination of long runs, cross-training, strength training, and tempo runs to strategically build up your mileage. Don’t forget to pencil in enough rest days and stay hydrated!

How do You Taper Your Training in The Weeks Leading up to The Marathon?

Well before the marathon, you should ease up on the intensity of your training to optimise your performance on the day of the race. this doesn't mean your training comes to a complete halt but rather that you need to lower the intensity and volume so your body gets adequate rest. 

The key is to maintain fitness while promoting recovery so you reach peak performance. For a 26.2 mile race, start tapering 3 weeks before the race. 

You can start this by reducing weekly mileage to 85-90% of your maximum 3 weeks before and 70-75% 2 weeks before the race then 50-60% on the last week. 

Vary the intensity to avoid draining your muscles too much in the lead up to the race. Tapering also applies to your nutrition so make changes accordingly. A day before the race, go for a short run to calm pre-race nerves.

As muscles recover, tapering also helps to offset any mental fatigue so you’re fresh on the day of the race.


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What Are Some of The Top Types of Running Gear For The London Marathon? 

While a reliable pair of running shoes is a given, the rest of your kit should be comfortable and you’ll also need to factor in the weather. April weather usually brings a mix of sunny days and rainy days so you should be prepared for the likelihood of showers. Consider lightweight jackets that can be quickly unzipped and discarded if the weather is too warm and don’t forget a cap and sunscreen.  


Which Healthy Eating Tips Should You Follow to Prepare for The London Marathon?

As you train in the weeks ahead of the race, it’s important to ensure that your body is nourished with the right amount and type of calories for sustained energy.

 You need to fuel up with a combination of proteins, fats, and carbs to ensure peak performance and to avoid feeling fatigued.

  • Consume food that boosts cardiovascular function and improves blood circulation like steak, apple, avocado, or tofu. 
  • To power your muscles and convert carbs into energy, opt for pork fillet, sweet potato, almonds, spinach, eggs, or pomegranate juice.
  • To increase calcium levels and improve bone strength and joint mobility, tuck into blueberries, honey, edamame, red pepper, pumpkin seeds, and smoked mackerel. 
  • To speed up your metabolism, turn to green tea, grapefruit, cayenne pepper, pine nuts, and lamb.

It's easier than you might think to get the right nutrition too. You can easily hire a local or online nutritionist on Bidvine and create a custom meal plan to support your training.

On The Day of The Marathon 

Plan well to get to the start on time. Make sure you have your marathon number, the right gear, and enough to eat. Mentally prepare yourself for running along with others in a crowd – a bit daunting but also incredible! 

Stay relaxed and make your way to the finish line with persistence – that amazing sense of accomplishment is well within reach!

Ready to start your running journey and get ready for the 2021 London Marathon? Click here to submit a free request for running and jogging lessons to create a custom training plan!


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