Airport marathon: start training now

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 09:42 11/03/2014
Christchurch airport marathon

RACE TIME: Thousands entered the 2013 Christchurch airport marathon.

Bevan James Eyles
Bevan James Eyles

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Start training now.

The Christchurch Airport Marathon is 12 weeks away and there's no time like the present to start a training programme.

The Airport Marathon is the biggest running event in the South Island. Last year more than 4000 runners and walkers participated.

Alongside the marathon distance itself, the event includes a 10km race and a half-marathon - something for everyone.

Fitness guru and runner Bevan James Eyles says now is a great time to start training for the 10km. While it wouldn't be a good choice for someone with no running experience, the distance is a great goal for someone running three times a week, about four kilometres per run.

However, those starting with less fitness could aim to run/walk the 10km.

Whatever distance you're going for, a training plan is essential.

"A lot of people make the mistake of being too keen, which leads to injury," he says. "Getting a coach, or at least a programme, is a good place to start."

For a professional training programme, companies like Christchurch's Extra Mile Runners specialise in goal distances and group training.

Its Club 10k programme ($269 per person) will get you up to 10km in eight weeks with group runs three times a week.

For those who can't afford to join a professional programme, the internet is a wealth of information. Eyles says most online training programmes from reputable sources will do the trick.

The key is to pace training carefully to avoid injury and have a regular plan in place to ensure every training run is completed.

"It's about consistency of training rather than volume," Eyles says. "It's making sure every week those training runs are done."

Make sure the training programme fits around your life. Look at your commitments and ensure there's no clash to give you an excuse not to run.

ZenLabs, a couch-to-5km app creator, also have a free 10km trainer app available which includes a GPS tracker.

Getting a regular social group together can help you stick to your goals and Eyles says a track and reward system can be helpful.

Put your training schedule on the fridge like a star chart and tick off every run you complete. At regular intervals, give yourself a reward like a new pair of running socks or a steak dinner - whatever keeps you motivated.

"On race day, the fact you've done every run will pay off," Eyles says.

"This is such an iconic race. It's all types of people from superstars through to walkers."

The Christchurch Airport Marathon, 10k and half-marathon is on June 1. Entries are open now for all events at christchurchmarathon.co.nz

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