The HBF Run for a Reason is renowned not only for its incredible charity work but also for the fitness challenge it gives participants.

This year, the event is taking it up a notch by offering a half-marathon distance of 21.1km in addition to the previous 4km and 12km options. If you’ve done the HBF Run for a Reason before, why don’t you also take it up a notch this year?

“The HBF Run for a Reason has always been focused on encouraging people to participate no matter what their level of fitness — we think this longer option will appeal to people looking to push themselves to achieve a new goal, ” says Alex Weir, health events and sponsorship manager at HBF. “Feedback from 2014 suggested there was an interest in a longer run and we’re confident this new distance combined with the fun, supportive atmosphere will inspire people to get involved.”

Raf Baugh, director at The Running Centre, says it’s best to have done two or three 10-12km fun runs before looking at doing the new 21km distance.

“That’s just so you’ve got some experience in how the practicalities of an event work and what sort of nutrition you need, ” he says.

Seriously considering moving up a level? Dion Stewart, State development co-ordinator at the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers, says to give yourself plenty of time.

“It’s important you’ve got a program to follow — to ensure you’re increasing your ability but not pushing yourself to a point of injury or exhaustion, ” he says.

Mr Baugh says to aim for no more than a 10 per cent increase on your running workload each week — and to have a clear plan in place. “People certainly shouldn’t be increasing the distance of their longest run by more than 10 per cent from one week to the next, ” he says.

“The longer the distance, the more important it is for people to seek professional advice about how to build it up — you can’t just go about it by feel, you need to actually make a plan and you’ll be much more likely to achieve your goals.”

The barriers stopping people moving to a new distance may be physical or mental — but consistent training will ensure you alleviate most of the nerves.

“Physical challenges are the first thing that come to mind, but mental challenges may also play a factor and on event day people may struggle with belief in themselves, ” Mr Stewart says. “Remember there will be plenty of other participants on the day in the same nervous position as you — take a deep breath and push forward.”

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The half Mara-rundown

The half marathon will begin on William Street at 6.30am.

It’s 21.1km long.

The run will include St Georges Terrace, waterfront views on Mounts Bay Road and running through the Northbridge Tunnel. The course will finish with all the other 12km and 4km participants at the celebration zone at Gloucester Park.


© The West Australian

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