Specialising in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic, spinal and sports rehabilitation

HYROX Vs London Marathon – Which is more challenging?











April is about Running – London Marathon and London HYROX.

The month of April sees London host not one but TWO Running events.

Obviously, we have the London Marathon but we also have HYROX London the week after.

London Marathon is Sunday 23rd of April

London HYROX is at Olympia 30th April and 1st of May

At Marylebone Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine we have been treating Athletes doing both of these amazing events.

We also know some amazing people doing BOTH!


So, we all have a good grasp of what the Marathon en tales. It’s 26.2 miles and it’s as fast as you can but more to do with a life-time achievement goal for most people and raising money for their favorite charity.

Last Month our resident Marathon Runner Julio gave us his tips on Marathon Running (See March 2023 BLOG).

But what about HYROX?

What even is it?

HYROX is a global fitness race for Every Body.

Participants from all around the world compete in the exact same format.

The race starts with a 1 km run, followed by 1 functional movement, which repeats 8 times, taking place in large indoor venues, creating a unique stadium like atmosphere for all participants.

52% of gym members now cite fitness as their primary sport.

Fitness is the largest sport in the world and HYROX is the first mass participation event that gives everyday gym-goers their own race to train for.  

HYROX bridges the gap between traditional endurance events with functional fitness, to create a race format for Every Body.

Hyrox is truly accessible: with 4 different racing categories to choose from, HYROX is for everyone no matter the fitness level:

Open – take on the standard HYROX for a challenging but achievable race for everyone.

Pro – for the experienced racer, heavier weights make for a more challenging experience.

Doubles – find a partner and take on the challenge as a pair, running together but splitting the workload of the exercises.

Relay – come together with your friends or family and race the relay where each member of the team does 2 times 1 km and 2 workouts.

Well, HYROX is less running, only 8 km to be precise.

However, HYROX throws in events after each 1 km run.

HYROX 2023 

This year’s event in 2023 consists of:

1 km Run

The first HYROX workout is 1000 metres on the Ski Erg.

1 km Run

Workout number two is the Sled Push for 50 m

1 km Run

Workout 3 is 50 metres on The Sled Pull.

1 km Run

Workout 4 is 80m of Burpee Broad Jumps

1 km Run

Workout number 5 is the second Ergometer in the competition. 1000 metres on the Concept 2 Row Erg marks the beginning of the second half of the HYROX workouts.

1 km Run

Workout 6 is a 200m Farmer’s Carry

1 km Run

Workout 7 is 100m of Sandbag Lunges

1 km Run

The event finishes with 75 or 100 Wall Balls.


Dale is our Resident HYROX advisor and he achieved a GOLD standard at HYROX this year.

Here are Dale’s tips for HYROX:


If you view the 1 km run as actually your recovery after each event then this is a great place to start. Rather than pumping your arms as you would normally, let them relax and dangle. This may look a bit strange but your upper body will thank you for this.


The Ski Erg is a very individual event where your technique determines everything. I like to use a forward arm circling motion rather than the classic pulling down motion that is going to over work your Triceps.


The Sled Push requires you to get your whole body behind it. The muscle of the calf working most is the Soleus. This calf muscle works when the knee is bent. Try doing some bent knee calf raises to build endurance in these muscles.


The Sled Pull is a whole body movement, not just a test for the arms. Lean back into each pull and use your body weight. Try strengthening your grip by simply hanging from a bar for as long as possible.


Burpee Broad Jumps are the first event where I would pull up my knee sleeves. Make sure your technique is exact and you use the plyometric rebound from the Burpee into the jump. This is a complex movement requiring multiple planes of direction. The only way to practice this is to do the movement itself.


Rowing for 1,000 m is the next event. Rowing is quite technical and needs to be practiced before hand. This event does benefit the taller athlete and those who are technically better at Rowing. Practice Pulling slower and hard not faster is the first place to start. Remember to use your back, leaning forward to scoop the handles and leaning back to maximise your pull. Once your technique is cleaner, so can add the speed later.


The Farmer’s carry is the ultimate in grip strength and endurance. This is easy to train for as 200 m can seem along way. The better athletes will be able to do this in one or two goes because they have specifically trained their grip. It is also worth practicing fast walking with weight as this itself is also a skill to avoid constantly bashing the weights into your thighs. At Marylebone Physio we use grip dynonometry from VALD to precision measure your grip strength and training improvement.


The Sandbag Lunges are another event where I would pull up my knee pads to avoid unnecessary pain on the knee cap with a thin but very welcome neoprene pad. Try to stay as upright as possible and avoid leaning forward because of tight hip flexors.


The Wall Balls are the final event and this is a real test of endurance and co-ordination. Here the rest strategy becomes important as you don’t want to run out of energy so close to the finish.

You are not going to manage 100 Wall Balls in one go right at the end of the race so here is what I advise. 10 x 10 reps is a very simple but effective way to break this event down into manageable chunks. 

Making every rep count by hitting the target and being as accurate as possible despite the fatigue. Catching the ball on the way down as you squat will also save time and keep you in a rhythm. 


So, there you have it.

The two events are both equally epic and may require you to get some bodywork done to keep you going and stay injury free.

So whether you are doing the London Marathon or London HYROX, we at MARYLEBONE PHYSIO & SPORTS MEDICINE  have got you covered.

So which one is more challenging? 

It depends on how fast you are going and how much training you have done before hand.

Whatever you are training for, don’t train in pain, see a Physio.

Book your appointment TODAY!