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Environmentally Friendly Runner




Five Ways To Make Your Next Run More Environmentally Friendly

Have you ever wondered how to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into your running? We've got you covered.

They might seem like small changes to your training and Event Day, but they can create a big difference.

You can read more about what London Marathon Events is doing as an event organiser to manage our own environmental impact here.

Here's what you can consider while training.

1) Carry what you can

Whatever conditions you’re training in, you’ll need to stay hydrated. If you want to carry water with you when you run, why not use a refillable water bottle, hydration pack or bottle belt to cut down on single-use plastic? You can buy a specially designed bottle belt (made from 90% recycled plastic) from London Marathon Events at the LME shop here.

Many hydration packs and bottle belts even have space to carry your keys, phone and snacks, which means you can run without having to hold anything in your hands! 

2) Eat the right food

What you choose to eat and drink affects both your running performance and the environment. More than one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity can be attributed to the way we produce, process and package food, according to a 2021 UN-backed study.

Your diet can make a big difference to your personal environmental footprint, from saving water to reducing pollution and the loss of forests. You can help by trying to eat seasonal, locally produced food as much as possible, increasing the number of plant-based options on the menu and planning meals to reduce food waste.

3) Head outdoors

It’s a simple one but training outdoors means you don’t need electricity for lights, air-con and cardio machines. Head to your local park or quieter roads so you reduce exposure to exhaust fumes and get that extra dose of vitamin D. Your training will be more interesting if you plan a variety of routes. It’s a win-win! You can also do some plogging as you go. For the uninitiated, plogging is litter-picking. Trail runner Erik Ahlström coined the portmanteau of the Swedish term plocka ‘to pick’ and jogging. You can also give back to your community by combining running with volunteering through GoodGym.

4) Make your kit last longer

Every year, an estimated 300,000 tonnes of used clothing ends up in landfill in the UK. Try to repair kit where you can or donate items that still have miles left in them to your local charity shop or organisations, such as Pre-loved Sports CIC or JogOn, who aim to give your unwanted gear a new lease of life.

If you need to buy new kit, try to prioritise items that are made from recycled materials.

5) Stay local

One of the biggest environmental impacts from major running events is the emissions caused by participant travel. If you want to enter other events as part of your training for the TCS London Marathon, try to go for ones that are local to you, and could you get to them without using a vehicle? Cycling, walking or jogging to and from an event adds training benefit and is a great way to warm up and cool down!

There are a handful of things you can do on Event Day too!

Low-carbon travel: if you can, try and travel to the event using public transport. It emits far fewer carbon emissions than a diesel or petrol vehicle and you avoid parking charges and, possibly, air quality charges too

Hydrate your way: by wearing a hydration vest, using a bottle belt or carrying a hand-held water bottle, you can hydrate when you want to and won’t waste precious water.

Drink, drain, drop: the Buxton Natural Mineral Water bottles that we provide at many of our events can only be recycled if they are empty. Please help us by squeezing the water you don’t want to drink out of the bottles before you throw it in one of our clearly marked drop zones after the water stations. Using the drop zones helps us to collect the bottles and reduces the danger to other runners from bottles strewn across the road.

Donate clothing at the Start Line with our clothing collection partner, the Salvation Army. Look for designated drop areas and our friendly Salvation Army volunteers who will collect unwanted clothing for resale in their shops or for textile recycling. 

Use our volunteer-run recycling stations: if you have waste you want to dispose of, please go to a recycling station and hand your waste to our team of volunteers who will put it in the right bin to make sure we recycle as much as we can.