Last-minute marathon training

If you’re one of the 48,000 people who has a much sought-after place in this year’s Virgin London Marathon on April 25, your training should now be well under way. But if you haven’t put quite as many miles in the bank as you’d hoped – or worse still, haven’t even started yet, what are the options? Sam Murphy investigates...

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Marathon training starts here

Got a place in a spring marathon? Then let the training begin! If you start laying the foundations now, you give yourself the greatest chance of making it to the finish line in one piece, in a time that you’re proud of and with a big smile on your face. Read on to find out how...

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How to enhance your running technique

Running. It's as easy as putting one foot in front of the other, isn't it? Not according to a growing number of coaches and experts who believe that, like a tennis serve or the butterfly stroke, running is a skill that we need to acquire and fine-tune. Sam Murphy meets one of them, Malcolm Balk, a Canadian running coach and purveyor of the 'art of running.'

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Testing times

Sam Murphy is put through her paces with a new free online fitness test. But how accurate is it, and how does it compare to other methods of assessing aerobic performance? Read the full article to find out and put your own fitness to the test...

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The truth about sports drinks

Sports drinks: vital for hydration or a waste of money? Sam Murphy reveals how much fluid you need to drink before, during and after a workout, and whether water does the job just as well as sports drinks.

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How to devise a tailor-made training routine

How’s your training programme looking this week? If it’s the same as it was last week, last month or even last year, it’s probably high time for a revamp. There are three main problems with doing the same old thing day in, day out. Firstly, it’s dull, which means you’re less likely to get out there. Secondly, the very nature of training means that once your body has got used to a particular regime, you need to change it, in order to continue reaping new benefits. But most importantly, training should have a specific focus, a purpose behind it. Read the full article to find out how to create your own perfect training programme...

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How to boost your exercise motivation

If you like the idea of exercise but lack the motivation to do it, there are plenty of tricks to fire up your enthusiasm, says Sam Murphy

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Are you cycling right?

Despite the old adage that "it's just like riding a bike", there is more to cycling than plonking yourself in the saddle and turning the pedals. Sam Murphy reveals how to increase your comfort, efficiency and performance on two wheels.

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Get fit, not fat, this Christmas

The festive season is upon us, and that can only mean diet debauchery, abandoned fitness regimes and six-hour TV marathons. But it doesn't have to be this way. With a little forward planning and a smidgeon of self-discipline, it is perfectly possible to enjoy a happy Christmas and enter the New Year feeling fit, not fat, says Sam Murphy. Read the full article to find out more...

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How not to be a quitter

If you’ve made a new year’s resolution to get fit this year, you’ve probably managed to stick to it so far (you have, haven’t you?). But fast-forward a month and there’s a one in four chance you’ll have given up, according to research on resolutions from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Within six months, the study found, 54 to 60 per cent of people had missed their targets. “We set out with the best of intentions,” says Midgie Thompson, mental performance coach at Bright Futures Coaching. “But a lack of planning and a failure to set clear, achievable goals often sideline us before we’ve had the benefit of seeing or feeling results, which can be highly dispiriting.” Read on to find out how to give your new year fitness regime staying power.

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