24 Apr 2017

Mini Marathon Training Countdown – 6 weeks to go!

It’s officially six weeks til the gun is fired at the start line of the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin. It’s a great day out for people of all abilities and the energy in the crowd is electric!

If you’d like to take part you can log onto the VHI Mini Marathon site and register but be warned, they are being snapped up quickly!

Entries close on 28th April – that’s on FRIDAY!

We want to say a huge thank you to all the ladies walking and jogging for Mental Health Ireland and we hope this blog series helps you in your preparation.

We have a six week count-down to prepare you for race day which will include tips on training, running gear, hydration and nutritional tips. The aim of the game is to get across the finish line and if that means running, jogging or walking we will get you there!

Don’t forget to register with Mental Health Ireland to get your race t-shirt and sponsorship card. You can email fundraising@mentalhealthireland.ie and we will send everything your way!


  • You don’t need to look like an Olympic marathon runner to take part but there are some essential pieces of ‘gear’ you will need to invest in to make your training and participation more enjoyable and you less injury prone!
  • The most important piece of ‘gear’ you will wear are your runners. If you are training for the VHI Mini Marathon over the next six weeks you need to ensure you are wearing proper runners that will support your feet and in turn your joints in your ankles, knees and hips.
  • We strongly advise against walking/jogging in converse or casual runners as they will not provide you with the support and comfort you require. Most sports shops will custom fit you with runners based on your gait and what type of exercise you do. Alternatively the likes of Lidl and Aldi have runners that provide good support if this is going to be a one off activity for you.
  • Don’t wear new runners on race day – It’s best to wear them in slowly to avoid blisters and sore feet.


Staying hydrated before, during and after training is essential. Before you plan to go out training you should try to drink 3-4 glasses of water during the day but not during the hour before you head out. This will pre-hydrate your body ahead of training and by not drinking in the hour pre training it means you are less likely to need a toilet stop!

Regardless of whether you are walking or jogging you should carry a small water bottle with you while training. The rule of thumb is to take a few sips of water every seven minutes of activity which will hydrate your organs sufficiently to keep dehydration at bay.

After training you should drink a further 3-4 glasses of water to replace any fluids lost whilst training. Some find it difficult to drink water and to them I say, “Drink water like it’s your job!”. You need to make it a priority as it will most definitely make your training easier as race day approaches. Add sugar free cordial into your water if it makes it more palatable for you!


There are many ways to track your distance and time. There’s the old fashioned way of using a watch for time and your car for measuring distance or if you have a smart phone you can download a number of apps to help track your training including steps taken, distance, speed, time and a GPS of your route. Here is a list of a few of these apps and if using your phone to track your session you can also listen to some motivational music to keep you going!

Walkers Training week 1 of 6

In order to be race ready you need to practice a number of walks over 45-90min in length to ensure you get over the line!

This week you will be training four times and we will be starting easy as today is a REST DAY! This gives you lots of time to read what’s ahead for the week and make your plan!

Rest days are just as important as your training days. This is when your muscles rest so you can train even harder on our ON days. Depending on your own schedule you can juggle workouts substituting one day for another but be sure to REST at least two days a week.

  1. Monday                     REST DAY
  2. Tuesday                    Walk 30mins at a comfortable pace
  3. Wednesday               REST DAY or a light walk
  4. Thursday                   Walk 30mins at a comfortable pace
  5. Friday                        REST DAY
  6. Saturday                    4.8km walk at a comfortable pace. You will need to measure this out and it will be a great indicator of the distance you are covering and the time. You can track the distance on your smart phone or by driving the distance whilst tracking it.
  7. Sunday                       Long walk. This walk is not measured or timed. It is simply a walk of 45mins or longer with stops if you need. Try a walking trail in a local forest, park or beach with friends and family or music to encourage you along!

Congrats Walkers … week one is over! Five more to go!


Joggers Training Week 1 of 6

If you plan to jog/run the 10km you should not have any major health problems, be in reasonable shape and should have done at least some jogging or walking previously. If in doubt please get clearance from your doctor to jog the distance and if this doesn’t work out there is always the walking option.

Here’s some additional information on the below sections:

  • Stretching & Strengthening: Do some light stretching on these days. Here are two handy links for some stretching and strengthening exercises for all levels.
  • Cross Training: This includes walking, cycling or swimming – basically anything that gets your heart racing but is easier on your joints than jogging.
  • Walking: The aim of the game is to finish and if that means taking a walking break occasionally then so be it. Listen to your body and you’ll get over that finish line.
  1. Monday                     Stretch and Strengthening  20-30mins
  2. Tuesday                     4km jog
  3. Wednesday               30mins cross training
  4. Thursday                   3.2km jog and strengthening
  5. Friday                        REST DAY
  6. Saturday                    40min cross training
  7. Sunday                      3.8km jog

 Congrats… week one is over! Five more to go!


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