The Yorkshire Marathon has established itself as one of the UK’s most popular endurance events since its debut in 2013.
Whether you’re taking in the fantastic views of York and the countryside while navigating the 26.2 miles, running the shorter ten mile event, or working as a team in the corporate relay, the event draws thousands to the city every year as competitors vying for the finisher’s medal and a chance to break their personal best.
But have you got what it takes? Well here’s your ultimate guide to getting registered, training and preparation, and some key information for the Yorkshire Marathon.
How do I register?
You can visit their website - www.runforall.com/events/marathon/yorkshire-marathon. From there, all you have to do is choose which option you’re taking, whether that be for charity, for yourself, or as part of an athletics organisation.
READ MORE: Thousands brave the rain for the 2018 Yorkshire Marathon
Does it cost to enter?
If you aren’t sponsored by a charity, the general entry costs £50 plus a processing fee. If you’re a UK Athletics member the cost is £48 plus a processing fee, if you’re an ASDA worker, you don’t have to pay a processing fee and get staff discount on the £50, and if you have a season ticket from Run For All, you get a discounted £45 entry.
How do I enter as a runner for a charity?
The easiest way to enter is contact the charity of your choice and request a fundraising pack, from there they will sort out the rest. The Yorkshire Marathon (and Run For All in general) also have a list of Partner Charities who you can represent, who are also the best people to contact if the event is sold out and you still want to run.
How old do I have to be?
To enter in the Yorkshire Marathon, you have to 18 years old.
Can I run in fancy dress?
Of course! It wouldn’t be a marathon without fancy dress! The Yorkshire Marathon are fine with any costumes as long as they’re clean, not deemed offensive, or dangerous to other runners or spectators.
How do I prepare for a marathon?
There’s no single way to get ready for a marathon, with most runners having their own methods which work for them. However, you should consider a few of these things:
* Don’t overtrain, keep your body healthy.
One of the main priorities you should have while training is to stay healthy. Overtraining can make you ill or injured, and can completely disrupt your marathon training plan. It’s better to be slightly undertrained than overtraining and resulting in you missing the marathon altogether.
Build your training slowlyIt’s recommended to increase your running distance no more than 10% every week. Individual runs should rise a mile at a time, but feel free to put it up to two miles at a time once you reach ten mile runs. You should also take recovery weeks, not just recovery days, dropping your overall miles every four weeks or so.
* Train smart
Speaking of recovery days, it’s better to train three to four days a week, giving your body enough time to recover. This was proven true in a study by the University of Northern Iowa, where they found people who trained four days a week performed just as well as those who trained for six. It also plays a part in not overtraining, the more you allow your body to rest, the less likely you’ll succumb to illness or injury.
* Longer runs are best
When you’re new to marathon running, the longer runs are your most important. Being a beginner, you’re probably not used to being on your feet for three or four hours, so longer runs are vital to make sure you’re accustomed to it. Most experts say between two-and-a-half to three hours is the right time to stop, but some argue that you can do it for longer, as long as you take walking breaks. Just make sure you’re healthy and strong by the time you reach the starting line.
* Stay loyal to your footwear
Sticking to the same brand and style of trainers is key. Once you have found some that are comfortable, it’s really important to use them for the whole time, otherwise you run the risk of blisters, knee pain, and conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Lots of places offer feet and gait analysis to find out if you’re running correctly and if your trainers are doing their job. It’s also important to make sure your trainers are broken-in, too. Dr Ralph Rogers, a leading sports medicine specialist, recommends to “run at least 10k in a pair of trainers before the big event. Under no circumstances should you ever wear new trainers for an actual marathon.”
* Sleep well and hydrate
While it seems obvious, but sleep is vital for the body to repair itself after a long day of training, especially if you opt for pre-work morning runs. You may find it to take its toll if you don’t leave enough time for sleep. Staying hydrated while running is key for you to avoid muscle injuries. Dr Rogers backs this too, saying: “Muscles use fluids and electrolytes to function properly during exercise.”
* Training injuries
If you’re injured during your training, it’s important to address it as soon as possible with a qualified physiotherapist or specialist sports doctor. They will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and will be able to treat your injury and help you get back into training. Don’t put yourself at risk of further injury by avoiding diagnosis or continuing with your training.
* Stretching and sports massages
Regardless of any sporting activity, you should always stretch before and after. Not only does this help avoid injuries and prepares your muscles for exercise, it can also increase the blood flow to your muscles and help improve the tendons in your joints to avoid problems such as runner’s knee. Sports massages are recommended while you are preparing, as well as after finishing the marathon. Katie Thompson, from York, ran the Yorkshire marathon last year and speaks highly of sports massages and stretching, saying: “Sports massages are incredible. I had one or two every fortnight depending on the length of my run. Add yoga and general stretching to your training. Calves suffer terribly and they really benefit from stretching!”
If you can’t make the Yorkshire Marathon, don’t worry! There’s plenty of half-marathons, 10ks, and kids/junior runs across Yorkshire, including Sheffield, York, Hull, and Leeds. You can find out more HERE