As we sail to the end of February my thoughts are starting to turn to spring. I’m day dreaming of lighter mornings, warmer temperatures and bright blossom decorating the pavements. At the same time I’m finally starting to think about getting into a fitness regime so I can enjoy a healthier season than the last and be less fearful about bearing skin in the months ahead. I’m hopeless without a focus so a few weeks ago I decided to choose a goal that would be an achievement to be proud of.
I’m not a natural runner so I started with city races and within minutes on Google I’d found the British 10K London Run, put down the £20 registration fee and pledged to raise at least £200 for the Motor Neurones Disease Association.
Whilst races are in plentiful supply in the capital, this appealed to me most as it involved an iconic route through London:
View The British 10K London Run in a larger map
To me, 10K is a respectable distance that will be challenging to complete and worth getting my friends and family to dig deep into their pockets to raise money for charity.
I’ve got just under five months to train so I’m starting to get myself together and put together a training plan. Here’s how I’m planning to make the most of what London has to offer to keep me motivated:
- Running routes – Did you know London has 35,000 acres of public green spaces – equivalent to 40% of its surface area (source)? This means there’s plenty of choice for different running routes to keep it fresh. I’ll definitely be making the most of my favourite Royal Parks but I’m also hoping to discover new places, like Epping Forest and Bushy Park.
- Running clubs – As I’m not a natural to running the idea of running clubs and being the back of the pack fills me with dread. But once I’ve built up my confidence I’m planning to check out Parkrun and see if there is a local running club in the South West (recommendations welcome!).
- New kit – There are plenty of specialist running shops in London, handily Timeout have listed their favourites here. If you’re looking for a bargain I popped into Lillywhites at Piccadilly Circus a few weeks ago, it’s essentially a giant Sports Direct in the heart of the city.
- Running app – I’ve downloaded Map My Run and for a free app it’s great for monitoring your progress. It’s also interesting to find out just how far it is from city location to another.
Have you completed a long distance run in London? Will you be doing one this summer? What keeps you motivated in the city?