A half or full marathon is an amazing achievement, a feat of human endurance. The earliest marathon is said to have been run by a Greek named Pheidippides. Who, after the battle of Marathon in 490BC, ran 26 miles (42 km) non-stop to Athens, to deliver news of victory. The modern marathon race is over the same distance as his epic run from Marathon to Athens.
Thankfully the modern marathon is not an after battle necessity, but an opportunity to challenge yourself, get fit and accomplish something truly remarkable. It is also a great opportunity to raise some funds for charity!
This year the Earlsdon Running Club trained for the Coventry Half Marathon, and pledged to run for Valley House. Although the Beast from the East, caused the cancellation of the event, undeterred this fabulous group of people have signed up to other marathons and running events and are continuing to raise funds for us.
So why run for Valley House?
It might be you are looking to enter a sporting event with an idea of raising funds, but you’re just not sure who to support. Here are some reasons why Valley House could be the charity for you:
- When you run for us you’re helping an individual or family escape domestic abuse
- When you pass the finish line you’re helping us to ensure a young parent doesn’t have to ‘go it alone’
- When you’re aching the next day, you’ve helped to give a young person a brighter future.
- It’s easier than ever to donate to us through Just Giving, and by adding gift aid to your donation, you’ll raise more than you think.
Tips for runners from an expert.
As a personal trainer and owner of a running club, I’ve had the great privilege of training lots of people through races. Here are my top tips on getting half marathon ready:
BOOK YOUR RACE
Sounds obvious but it’s super important to get you focused. If you say you’ll sort it nearer the time then a birthday party or hen do comes up and before you know it, you’re out the running (pun intended!) so commit, get it booked and get it in the diary!
FOLLOW A TRAINING PLAN
Willy nilly running gets willy nilly results. Get a proper plan. We include gradual building of distance runs but also hill sprints and run fit exercises to build strength and reduce risk of injury as well as recovery time. These are all crucial to not just getting through it but feeling strong and building confidence in your own body.
CHOOSE YOUR CHEER SQUAD
Now this is not just for race day. Seeing your friends and family cheer you on is golden on race day, but in order to get there you need support on the way. My first ever half my best friend and boyfriend cycled next to me for two distance runs each so I wasn’t lonely or bored. Join a club, run with a friend or just use social media. Get people behind you encouraging you and making sure you’re still alive and well!
GET YOUR KIT AND NUTRITION RIGHT
Both often overlooked but fuelling your body right gets good results and better recovery and wearing bad kit gets chafing, blisters and sores. Get proper running trainers fitted at a running shop and good socks. Don’t buy new kit the week of race day and get your race day (tried and tested in other runs) pants ready for the big day. You don’t need to spend loads but you do need to invest to look after your body, reduce injury risk and also to feel comfortable whatever weather you’re racing in.
CHOOSE YOUR WHY
Are you running for charity? Are you running for fitness? Why are you doing this? This is crucial on days you can’t be bothered to train (trust me there will be some!) or days when you have a bad run (unfortunately there is likely to be one of those too). Choosing a charity like Valley House gives you purpose and determination to keep going, to raise money and to build the profile of your challenge so commit, buckle up and remember why you’re so awesome!”
Hannah Johnson, Earlsdon Running Club.
Do I have to run a marathon to raise money for Valley House?
Absolutely not! If you’re getting involved in anything that people could sponsor you for, you could do it for us! From a sky dive to a sponsored silence, we’d love to hear your fundraising ideas. Get in touch and let us know what they are, so we can support you through our social media and, where possible, come along to support you on the day!
If you like the idea of raising money for a charity, but the idea of running brings you out in hives, simply log on to: www.justgiving.com/valleyhouse, and you can make a donation to us or set up monthly donations! Same good deed and you’ve not broken a sweat!