Take the half marathon in your stride

LAST year's Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon proved a huge success.Hundreds of runners took part, and already preparations are under way for this year's 2010 Ipswich Half Marathon, which will take place on Sunday, August 29.

LAST year's Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon proved a huge success.

Hundreds of runners took part, and already preparations are under way for this year's 2010 Ipswich Half Marathon, which will take place on Sunday, August 29.

But if you are thinking of entering, there are preparations to be made.

At 13.1 miles, the half marathon is serious running but with remarkable benefits.


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People run for many different reasons, such as cardiovascular health, achieving your ideal body weight, raising money for charity or even psychological advantages like dealing with stress.

But maybe you've not hit the gym lately, you're out of shape, or you've not run since being forced to do so in PE all those years ago!

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These aren't of course reasons not to run, but are reasons you should.

So if there's one thing you buy in the sales this month, make sure you pick up some decent running shoes and follow a bit of advice.

Here is our beginners guide to running:

1. Make sure you get yourself a pair of well-fitting trainers that suit your running style, and comfortable, well-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe.

2. Build up training steadily and add variety to your training. For example, varying your routes or altering your speed - jog/walk.

3. Give your body time to adapt to new training demands. Listen to your body. Pushing too hard too soon can lead to injury.

4. Find a natural starting point by recording your morning pulse rate. Sudden rises in your rate are signs that you are putting your body under too much stress.

5. Settle into a good stretching routine and stick to it.

6. Take a break from training if you have an infection or illness - don't be surprised if you find you can't start back at the same level on your first day back after illness.

7. Break up your training and offer yourself more than constant running - don't let your training programme become stale. You can always incorporate swimming sessions into your training. These work both your muscles and your cardiovascular system and offer a good respite from running sessions.

8. Never run through injuries - it only makes them worse and slows down the natural healing process. If you suffer from repeated minor injuries see a doctor or sports injury specialist. Your running style may be adding to your problems.

So look forward to taking part in the Ipswich Half Marathon and enjoy your training build-up. For more details on the Ipswich Half Marathon go to: www.Ipswichhalfmarathon.co.uk.

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