Running for a race

In April almost 37,000 people with a mixture of abilities took part in the Virgin London Marathon. In the UK every week across the country, someone will be searching for safety pins and energy drinks and packing their gear to push themselves out the door and onto the start line of a race – ready to achieve a goal they set for themselves. Whether it’s getting involved with the latest craze, ParkRun, with 390 free timed 5k events every Saturday at 9am worldwide, or the latest 10k or half marathon. Make sure you’re well prepared and ready for the event.

Plan it

If you’re an absolute beginner, choose 5k it’s just the right distance to get you started. The 10k is popular because you can push yourself aerobically for on average about an hour, and for those wanting to push the endurance boundaries further try a half Marathon before plunging into a full marathon. For UK races check out,

4 weeks to a 5k

The table below highlights the 3 types of sessions you should try to fit into every week, with an example session for each week. Make sure you spread out these sessions throughout the week giving your body enough time to recover between sessions. In the final week make sure you have a rest day the day before your race.

4 weeks

6 weeks to 10k

Once you are at a level where you’ve done a 5km or two you may start to think about increasing the distance to 10k. This plan is for those who are already running a few times a week.

6 weeks

Going further

Find various races to participate in whether it be 5 or 10k, half marathon or marathon. There are also Ultra and multi marathons which are becoming increasingly popular with the likes of Eddie Izzard showing us how to do it.

Go for a muddy or obstacle race. From Tough Mudder to Zombie races, the new craze for getting dirty, running through rivers and climbing over obstacles is a great fun way to get all over fit and have a great day out with your mates.

Similarly, it’s never too late to try your hand at track running. Contact your local athletics club to get involved in Senior and Masters’ leagues, it’s great for anyone who prefers a sprint to the long run.

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