This year, an amazing 750,000 women will be walking, jogging or running in a women-only Race for Life 5K. They'll help to raise a whopping £46 million for Cancer Research UK across 240 events. Will you be one of them?
We're here to help you every step of the way, whatever your goal for the big day.
• We're delighted to be the official training partner of Race for Life, and if you like what you read here and you'd like to try a subscription to the magazine, we'll make a £5 donation of our own to Cancer Research UK. (There's a super offer at the end of the page.)
How should I start?
If you haven't entered a Race for Life race yet, you can find out more and enter here.
Then, whether you walk or run or plan to do a bit of both, a training programme – even a very basic one – makes a huge difference. If you don't have one, there's a tried and trusted selection for walkers and runners of every speed further down the page. Unless you have serious health issues, we're assuming that you'll want to build up to jogging at least some of the way on race day.
The easiest way to make sure you’re running at the right speed is to go with a friend and make sure you maintain ‘chatting’ pace – if you can’t talk, you’re running too hard. In the ‘brisk’ sections of the intermediate and advanced training plans you should still be able to get a few words out, even if they’re just “how much further to go?”
You won’t! Going for a run or a walk means setting aside time for yourself – you can go with a friend and chat the time away, or designate it me-time. No phone, no kids, no distractions – you can concentrate on how you’re breathing, how your body is moving, or just let your mind wander and see where it takes you. What's more, every step you take builds towards your fundraising for Cancer Research UK. You're helping to save lives! more
We’d call going from doing no regular exercise to doing a run/walk programme pretty good progress. Don’t measure yourself against other people – if you’re running or walking further, more often, more quickly or more easily, you’re making progress. Improvements come in steps, with inevitable plateaus. more
Feeling a bit achy after running isn’t uncommon. Minimise it by starting and finishing each run with a few minutes of gentle jogging or walking, and do some gentle stretching when you finish your session. If your ache turns into a pain then you may need to ease up, or take a few days off running. more about whether to run through discomfort | more about stretching
Whatever shape or size you are, the very fact that you are out there, getting fitter and raising money for Cancer Research UK means you have plenty to be proud of. More likely than not, anyone who looks at you when you’re training is envious of your get-up-and-go. Whether you’re in the gym or in the park, hold your head up high. more
Don’t panic! Hardly anyone gets through a whole six weeks without missing or trimming a single session. If you only have time to run for half the time scheduled, do that half. If you fall behind, don’t try to accelerate through the programme: instead, repeat the earlier, easier sessions and gradually increase the time on your feet. If time is really short, you could switch to the 3-week blitz schedule, below
Follow a programme!Even a very simple training schedule will work wonders. Why? Two reasons. One is that you'll never have to wonder whether you're overdoing it or underdoing it. You'll be right on target. The other is that you'll never have to think about what to do on a particular day. You get up, your session is there; you do it. Perfect.
You may have seen these Runner's World programmes on the Race for Life website already:
If you already run regularly, you might prefer a slightly more advanced plan:
Don't go it alone!
Need advice? Want to share a story? Or just fancy eavesdropping on hundreds of messages of running chat every day? Why not drop into our friendly forums? They're easy to get the hang of.
A bit about Runner's World...
Runner's World is the UK's biggest, friendliest running magazine, well-known for its monthly mixture of fitness, nutrition and motivation, and tips on running for all levels.
We have a special subscription offer for Race for Life runners, which includes a free sports watch, a 10% saving off the cover price, and a £5 donation from us to Cancer Research UK – along with 12 issues of Runner's World delivered to your door, and free access to the very best articles on Runnersworld.co.uk.
|How to stick to your plan|