Every September the dress code on Tyneside changes to running clothes and training shoes, as the Great North Run half-marathon takes over the streets in a blaze of colour and goodwill. As it is ‘only’ thirteen miles it makes an achievable goal for your first big event.
Often imitated but never equalled, the largest half-marathon event in the world is the Great North Run, which has been streaming across the Tyne since 1981. As well as being an iconic fitness goal and a wonderful fund-raiser, it is also a big tourism boost for the city of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and the surrounding area.
If you fancy putting your running clothes to good use and kick-starting your charity career, here are some pointers to make it happen.
Entries for the famous events are always popular, and the Great North Run is no exception. Places are allocated by ballot months in advance, but if you are a bit late for this year, look on their website www.greatrun.org for charity vacancies.
Not sure where to begin with a training plan? You’ll find lots of advice on www.taketothestreets.org, including basic training plans, nutrition information and motivation ideas for when it all seems a bit much. Get some awesome tracks on your mp3 player for some added motivation!
Get the right Running Clothes
The choice of running clothes and footwear can be completely bewildering. The most important thing is the right shoes; ‘street’ trainers will not do, for this kind of mileage you really do need some proper running shoes. Ranges to look at include K-Swiss who have a wide selection of running shoes for both men and women, designed for some proper distances. Remember that running shoes don’t last for ever and should be replaced before they wear too thin and lose their support.
While you may not want specialist running clothes to start with, you’ll find that you will be much more comfortable with clothing built for the purpose. Clothing that wicks away sweat will keep you drier and more comfortable, and you won’t get chilled after your run. Take a look at the ranges from Ronhill or 2XU for items such as lightweight windproof tops, running shorts or leggings. Ladies will definitely need a sports bra – try the UnderArmour range for these.
Remember the details
As well as training, you also need to sort the logistics of the run – travel, accommodation, food on the day and so on. The information that you will be sent covers the details of the start – being part of a mass run can be quite an experience, but everyone needs to follow the organiser’s instructions to avoid chaos!
There’s nothing to beat the feeling of achievement from your first long run – the only question afterwards will be ‘when is the next event?’