The Sport’s Relief Mile

Runners to-be of this year’s London Marathon need little reminding that what they’ve been training hard, a bit, or not a lot for, is now only a month away. What better preparation for the big day than partaking in Sainsbury’s Sport’s Relief Mile this Sunday?

With the weather set to be peachy, it’s a great chance to get a taste of what it will be like striding down the Mall to the sound of fellow Londoners cheering you on. Being able to visualise that finish line in all its glory when putting yourself through your paces on April 22 will be a huge inspiration, I can assure you.

Yes, the Sport’s Relief Mile is an ideal opportunity for marathon men and women to put their training into race practice but it’s perhaps more so a fantastic chance for ‘I’m not a runner’ types to realise that actually, running isn’t as bad or as impossible as previously thought.

Any Londoners willing to be converted into a seasoned runner in time for the Olympics, here are a few pointers to get you on the right [running] track:

  • Drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day
  • Get in the habit of doing gentle stretches before and especially after runs. Your hamstrings will thank you later
  • Don’t run on an empty stomach; you need energy to keep you going. Porridge wasn’t just a hit TV programme; served with ripe banana slices and golden syrup, it sits best inside you having been eaten about three hours before you run
  • For any run, regardless of distance, get your name on your running vest and leave your iPod in your kit bag. If there’s support to be heard, there is no greater thing to give you a boost
  • It sounds obvious but make sure your trainers fit properly
  • Run badly and you can damage your body. So concentrate on how you run, use your arms and make sure you breathe properly. The Alexander Technique’s Malcolm Balk has some invaluable advice to offer at: www.theartofrunning.com
  • Enjoy it!

For more information about the Sport’s Relief Mile, which is on Sunday 25 March, visit the website. Start times vary.

Image by dawarwickphotography courtesy of Flickr

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