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Running isn't your only option in mini marathon preparations

WE wrote last week about setting our goals for the Mini Marathon and, hopefully, your training is well under way.

However, I understand that for many of us, dropping everything and going for a run or a jog is sometimes easier said than done.

We have busy lives: work and family life come first and, although the weather will be getting better as we near June, conditions can still be pretty miserable outside.

But there are many ways you can keep your fitness levels up without pounding the pavement. If you are lucky enough to be in a gym , use the cardio machines to gradually increase fitness.

If you opt for a treadmill rather than just plodding along at the same speed, challenge yourself by increasing the incline and running/walking as fast as you can for 20 to 30 second bursts.

This type of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the best and quickest way to increase fitness. You can do this on other machines, such as the stationary bicycle or cross trainer, by going at a normal pace for 45 seconds and speeding up for 15 to 20. Repeat this for about 10 minutes.

If you are not a member of a gym home workouts are great.

Sometimes, if I can't make the gym or a run, I do a 30-minute session with kettlebells and weights in my sitting room.

Get a fitness DVD or a kettlebells workout DVD and off you go.


I have tried and tested many of these and have found Davina McCall's workouts most effective.

A word of warning, though: make sure you choose a workout that suits your level of fitness or you could face injury (stay away from Insanity unless you are in fairly good shape).

Keep up the good work and remember to get your 30 minutes of exercise per day whether you are indoors or out. > Louise Heraghty