Once, many years ago when I was an events fundraiser, I was tasked with putting together a training guide for runners taking part in the Great North Run. Thankfully, Google and various running friends and magazines were available, because if I’d had to produce a guide based on my own experience, I think it would have been something like this:
So you’re thinking of doing a 5km fun run? Brilliant! But remember, planning ahead is only for those with far too much time on their hands. Getting organised months in advance will only eat into the time you need to spend relaxing in front of the TV. Besides, most charity fun runs are glad of participants, so they’ll welcome you signing up right at the last minute.
Once you’ve signed up it’s time to work out a training schedule, and stick to it. So you’ve got 17 days to go from couch potato to 5k superstar – no problem! Try a gentle jog round your local park one evening – remember to do some stretching first! If you’re not used to running, you’ll find it tough going and you may well have a few aches and pains next day. At this point, it’s important not to overdo things. Remember all your favourite TV shows, and that bar of chocolate in the fridge. Be kind to yourself, have a few days rest ‘n’ relaxation. Then when you’re feeling better, get yourself bogged down in some major deadlines at work, and spend every evening for the next week hunched over the computer dealing with emails and ignoring your family – just make sure you remember to eat that chocolate! Before you know it, it’ll be the night before the race and you won’t have done any training AT ALL!
Of course, if you’re taking part in a charity fun run, you’ll be trying to raise sponsorship too. Again, this is something best left to the last minute – 2 days before the event is ideal. Delegate the creation of your JustGiving page to your 11YO – she has better IT skills than you anyway. It doesn’t matter that she’s too young to officially register on the site and so puts in a fake date of birth which is neither hers nor yours. And don’t worry about minor details like remembering the page URL so that you can actually share it with any family or friends who might want to sponsor you – you’ll be able to track it down after the event has taken place and you’re not quite so pushed for time.
So there you have it: how to train and get sponsorship for a charity fun run in three easy steps. It’s happening tomorrow afternoon people – wish me luck!!