For people wanting to run a marathon especially one of the more popular ones e.g. London and with quite often so few places actually available the temptation to run for a charity has never been stronger. Running for charity can be extremely rewarding but can also add a number of additional pressures onto what is already, for some people, a real challenge – Finishing a Marathon.

Over the past few years I have met, treated and spoken to a number of people who were struggling due to these pressures. Some of the people who were struggling, quite often due to the these additional pressures.

Some of the people I have seen have been in floods of tears due to stress, injury and also the pressure they’ve put on themselves by having a charity place at a marathon.

Personally I am a great believer that stress and anxiety can manifest itself as physical pain. I have seen a few people whose physical symptoms have been caused by stress and anxiety and I have seen others who have struggled to recover from injury due to stress.

Let’s be clear and go back to the point made at the top of the blog that running and raising money for charity can be an amazing experience and the sense of achievement it brings can be second to none. I have experienced thes highs with some cycling events where I’ve raised money for the MS Society.

To help provide the advise I have had a chat with Sue Bennett. Sue is well known in the Newbury area and has run a number of marathons as well as raising a massive amount of money for MS-UK. Sue is also heavly involved in Run Together in West Berkshire by Coaching Running Fitness. I can not think of anybody better to provide some key points.

Sue came up with the following points although I have embellished them.

  • If you are struggling to raise the money – Don’t panic. Did you know that quite often you have another 6-8 weeks after the event to get the money in.
  • Don’t underestimate the effort and commitment required to train AND raise the money.
  • It is quite often a lot money to raise with some charity runners at the London Marathon expected to raise £2,000 or more. Ask around and see if anybody can help you out with matched funding through their firm.
  • If you’re planning an event – Do something different. Be original – you’re more likely to get more people in.
  • Run for a charity for the right reason. Don’t just run for a charity because you want to run a marathon. Choose a charity that you are passionate about and maybe have a personal reason to raise for that charity.
  • Your training is just as important as raising the money so if you get a niggle, get it sorted.
  • Life does sometimes get in the way. Training plans are there to guide but if you are unable to follow it to the letter then don’t panic. Remember that you are an individual and plans are general. Adapt the plan for you.
  • Train for what you want to do not what others expect you to do.
  • If it is your first marathon don’t worry about the time (Unless that is a target you’ve set yourself).
    • Enjoy the event
    • Enjoy the experience
    • Enjoy the views (London – You may see things that you haven’t seen before).
    • Enjoy the achievement

I hope this has been of use – we have a Facebook video here with more information from Andrew Spaak. Of course if you want to raise any questions then please get in contact with the clinic.