Marathon running is a big commitment and be’s addictive

Sportlink owner Neil Featherby. Picture: Archant

Sportlink owner Neil Featherby. Picture: Archant

So another London Marathon over with and there are undoubtedly lots of people wanting to be part of it next year having sat glued to their television screens watching what is, arguably, the world's best 'people's marathon'.

However, whilst the thoughts of glory and being one of those magnificent 40,000 runners, who will be pounding the capital's streets in 2018, remain fixed in the mindset, running a marathon is not just about running 26.2 miles.

It is about running hundreds if not thousands of miles with weeks and months of dedicated preparation through all weather conditions and, of course, a few aches and pains along the way to get yourself in the shape required to be a marathoner.

I have always said the medal which dangles around your neck after crossing the finish line is for far more than the run which is the marathon itself. So where is the best place to start?

Well, first and foremost and for those who are complete beginners, check out the local running clubs to see if they have a beginners section where you can get coaching and advice which can be applied to your current level of fitness and of course ensure that you follow a structured programme.

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If you don't want to join a club then there are apps such as the Couch to 5k programme or one of the many Parkruns which are scattered around the county.

Running is no longer considered a sport for the younger, lean, mean athletic machines of yesteryear and it is undoubtedly the Parkruns which have encouraged so many people of all ages, abilities and shapes and sizes to take it up whilst giving them the confidence to go on and take part in other races and events over a variety of distances.

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Gone are the days when people went out when it was dark in the hope of not being seen or indeed worrying about what the neighbours may think or say. However, and be warned, for those who may still be thinking about it, once hooked it can become compulsive and so very addictive!

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