IT'S long been hailed as a fun event, a great day out and a brilliant way to fundraise for your chosen charity, but the Flora's Women Mini Marathon is increasingly a motivator for women who want to boost their fitness.
As in previous years, the majority of people taking part in this year's Flora Women's Mini Marathon are planning to walk or jog the route, but these days, women are taking it more seriously.
Nutritional therapist and trainer with Elite Fitness, Joanne Price has a number of clients who are doing the Flora Women's Mini Marathon this year.
Joanne says: "I suppose I have seen an increase in women training and taking the Flora Women's Mini Marathon more seriously." She adds, "In general I think people have increased their awareness of fitness and what it means to be healthy."
Women of all ages and fitness levels take part in the Flora Women's Mini Marathon every year; it's one of the great draws of the event.
"People with a good base level of fitness would probably be fine to just head out and walk it with no major training," Joanne explains, "but if you are wishing to jog or run it I would recommend a suitable training regime.
"I provide my clients with balanced programmes with a variety of endurance, interval and speed training, which incorporates alternative rest or resistance training days."
With only weeks now left before the big day, there's still plenty of time to adopt a training regime, even if you're just planning to walk the route.
"You need to get out and make sure you are getting the miles in your legs," Joanne advises. "For walkers and joggers you should be getting out walking or jogging at least two or three times per week and building up the duration and speed week by week."
She suggests incorporating different walks or jogs within the week to challenge you, so aim for a faster pace one day and maybe try walking or jogging up hills the next.
It's also a good idea to alternate your training days to include light resistance training such as swimming, aerobics or Pilates to boost overal fitness, maintain correct posture and strengthen other assisting muscles.
Make sure you also have some rest days too and don't forget to warm up and cool down with stretches after your training to help reduce muscle soreness and the risk of injury.
For many women, the Flora Women's Mini Marathon has been the inspiration to adopt an overall healthier lifestyle. "I believe this event is a great motivational tool for women," Joanne says, "it's encouraging women to get out there and have a good time while getting fit. It's fantastic to see so many women taking part on the day."
Joanne Price Elite Personal/Group Trainer & Nutritional Therapist call 087 648 2666 firstname.lastname@example.org