Column: Dan Donohue: Preparing for a run

Dan Donohue from Fitness Formation discusses running ahead of the Great North Run this Sunday.

Around a year or so ago, I was chatting to one of our members during a personal training session and she mentioned that she wanted to take part in a 28-mile adventure marathon this summer in the Lake District.We love to support our clients in their endeavours to attain their goals so we decided to take on the challenge side by side with her.As long term supporters of one of our local hospices, on whose behalf she was running, this heightened our reason to run with her even more.Training began on a personal level around eight months ago and this week’s column is going to be a reflection of my findings over the last several months of preparation for race day.One of the things I’ve become so passionate about in the last couple of years is goal setting.You might read this and look at it as an obvious point but so very few people still don’t have a strong enough reason to train, even us trainers, when they don’t want to train, to push a little harder when they feel they’ve given it everything and more often than not, finish what they started.Committing to an event has really allowed me to focus on training and preparing adequately for it. Find something you like doing, find something you know you’ll enjoy and don’t stop until you get there. Speaking of training, have a plan. You’ll have probably heard the saying of fail to plan, plan to fail.Following a plan gave me a clear outlook on the work I needed to put in to get me up to the standard to be able to complete the distance and it gave me an easy-to-follow path to event day.Seeking the advice of those who can help will be invaluable to you. Leave the experiments to training. I’m writing this in the past and I’m hoping nothing I’ve not tried will be my undoing on race day!It’s highly likely that what you are training for will need you to be adequately fuelled up for it prior to it or during it, so play around with your nutrition during your training cycles and find what works for you.Don’t attempt to follow the same thing your team mates or friends may be doing as what works for them, may not work for you. Research, experiment and again, get advice from those in the know. Invest in the right kit or equipment that will help you to prepare as best as possible.It’s been an expensive event to train for and take part in but every penny has been absolutely worth it.Invest early, use what you have bought and train in it. If your end goal means enough to you, investing both your time and money into it, will not be an issue.