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Training for a marathon?

On 26th April, several thousand people will be running the London marathon - are you one of them? Maybe you are booked in for a half marathon or 10k race later in the summer. Either way, this short blog is for you!

This year marks the 40th ever London Marathon and with an estimated 450,000 people applying for a place - it's still clearly as popular as ever. Marathon running has become much more common since the first London marathon in 1981, and there are now lots to choose from including some really popular half marathons and hundreds of 10k races throughout the year. Whatever your chosen distance is, it's important that you train and prepare properly.

Here are our “Get Fit Today” top tips for your training:

1. Have an incentive! Consider running for a charity or a local cause that means something to you. This will help you through the tough times when you know you should be out running but your brain is suggesting you stay in instead!

2. Follow a plan. There are several running plans available on line, and BUPA has some excellent ones. Our instructors are all running coaches and can help you with this as well.

3. Mix things up. If you’re not following a running plan, make sure you are adding some long slow runs, interval training and shorter faster runs every week. Add in some fitness sessions too, these are important and can really help your running training. Don’t focus purely on running as you will lose some of your core strength, which is an important part of your running technique.

4. If you plan to use running gels or something similar, start using them now. Try a few of the most popular brands and see how it works for you. Don’t leave it until race day to find out that the running gels you have chosen taste horrible or make your stomach churn!

5. Trainers. Whichever pair of trainers you plan to run in for the event, make sure you have put some miles on them first. This will help to ‘bed them in’ and prevent blisters at mile 10!

6. Consider carb-loading in the week up to the event. However, it’s important you understand what this is about so read up on it first and try out the food types you plan to eat. Don’t fill up on carbs the night before your run as this can leave you feeling bloated and not in the right condition to run well.

7. Wear something old and warm to the start of the race so you can chuck it when you warm up and don’t have to worry about finding it again. Put a spare jumper in your car for after the race together with a bottle of water and some snacks in case the run event goody bag is no good!

8. Get your name on your running top or race number. There’s nothing more encouraging than having the spectators call your name and encouraging you along

Whatever your race distance, the most important thing to do is to enjoy it! Train well, plan for the day so you don't have to stress or panic.

Remember, whether you run a mile in 5 minutes or 50 minutes, it's still a mile! What counts, is that you're doing it!

Enjoy your race!

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