You may have spotted that earlier this year I took part in the Dryathlon to fundraise for Cancer Research UK. Yes, I gave up all alcohol (even the chocolate liqueurs and red-wine Bolognese!) for the month of January and by the end f the month I’d smashed my fundraising target and raised 20% more than I’d hoped for. It was a really rewarding experience and even though I couldn’t wait to have that first drink on 1st February (a bottle of Station 119’s Miss Behavin’ IPA, if you’re asking!) it felt really great to raise the money for Cancer Research and send off my sponsorship money to the charity.Well now, I’m looking for the next challenge, and why not make it an even healthier one? I felt fantastic after cutting out alcohol and my body has thanked me for it ever since (I don’t drink much at all now) so I think it’s time to go one step further and take up the challenge of the Race for Life.As someone who always came last in cross-country races at school, and who has avoided running ever since (no, I won’t even run to catch the bus) I never thought I’d be considering running a 5k race on purpose. But when this women-only event is for such a great cause and the money raised will be helping research into all 200 types of cancer, it suddenly seems worth it. And if you do decide to take part Race for Life ensures that you’re not alone…Cancer Research UK offer tips on how to train and run a race for life – including a downloadable training plans for each of the race events up to a 16 week marathon plan! The plans are designed to be inclusive so there’s something for everyone, whether you intend to walk, jog or run the distance and will help you achieve your goal without injury. There’s even a free motivational app that you can download on Android or IOS when you sign up for Race for Life to help you track your fundraising and inspire you to tackle the challenge, so there’s support at every stage of preparing for the race. Here are some of tips that I found out about while reading through the race information:
- Make sure your feet are well supported and wear comfortable trainers.
- Wear a sports bra!
- Train with friends to motivate each other.
- Always warm up and cool down before and after exercise.
- If you’re a beginner, gradually increase the time you exercise.
- Whether walking, running or dancing the race, go at a conversational pace.
- Stay hydrated before, during and after exercise.
- Be SunSmart and keep covered up when training.
There’s a Race for Life 5k and 10k event coming up in Cambridge on Sunday 19th July which is ideal; signing up now will give everyone enough time to fundraise and start their training to complete the challenge successfully so what are you waiting for? There are nearly 300 Race for Life events, sponsored by Scottish Power, taking place this year all around the country so take a moment to search on the Cancer Research UK website and find a race near to you. If you’re a more advanced runner perhaps you’d prefer to run a half or full marathon? Even beginners can train to marathon standard using the training plans on the website, and the improvement in your fitness and stamina will be amazing. I definitely want to improve my health this year and I really like the idea of the ‘Pretty Muddy’ race event, which is a 5k obstacle course in the mud – sounds great fun, doesn’t it?!
So why not get a group of your pals, colleagues or family together to sign up for Race for Life and start training for your challenge now? Here’s the link to the Cancer Research UK website so you can check out the different types fundraising events, races and locations around the country. Let me know if you do sign up and keep me updated with your training progress by tweeting me @Cassiefairy.