Tree-Athlon 2008: Cartoon of a runner winning the Tree-Athlon.
Tree-Athlon: 5 km run, Tree Wish, Plant a Tree

"I have been fortunate enough to meet some pretty special people with the same vision and hope as myself. I think what the Tree-Athlon run did for me will always stay with me. Thank you."

– Denise, Leeds

Training tips

  1. Get a decent pair of running shoes. These should fit snugly but not too tight. Wear the shoes you have been training with on race day to avoid blisters.
  2. Drink more water. We should all drink about eight glasses a day. The body loses more water when exercising so remember to increase your water intake. Keep a bottle with you while training and take sips regularly. Don't wait until you are thirsty.
  3. Stretch those muscles! Do gentle warm-up exercises before running: walking or jogging on the spot followed by a range of stretches. Remember - DON'T BOUNCE. After your run do a further 10 minutes of stretching when the muscles are nice and warm.
  4. Take it easy. Don't push yourself too hard to avoid injury or disappointment. When training, try a mix of running and walking. Set yourself realistic goals. Check out the training schedule, start slowly and build up to sustained running. This will improve both your stamina and strength.
  5. Recipes for disaster: Running on an empty stomach or overeating before a run or training run will make you feelsluggish or stuffed. Nutrition is vital. Get your five (or more) portions a day of fruit and vegetables and don't forget the carbs (potatoes, rice and pasta) - these will provide essential energy for any race and for re-fuelling afterwards.
  6. Enjoy yourself! Running is a great way to keep fit, but don't forget the fun. If you're not enjoying it you may be pushing yourself too hard. Keep motivated by keeping your achievements in mind.
  7. Ladies – get a good sports bra! A good bra is as essential as a good pair of running shoes. Whether you're an A or an FF cup you need to keep your boobs supported!
  8. Listen to your body. Don't ignore any signs that your body may not be entirely happy with your training regime. Running with an injury is a surefire way of making it worse so don't take any risks: get it checked out.
  9. Run with a buddy. Self-motivation is often a huge barrier when starting off a new training regime, so grab a pal and go together. Not only is it more fun, a lot safer and a good chance to catch up with a friend, you'll also be regulating each other's pace and breathing by chatting away as you run!
  10. Get the right kit: Cotton clothing can make you cold when you sweat. Invest in some proper fitness clothing that is lightweight and won't absorb moisture.
  11. Get outside: Run around your local park if you can. It will get you used to running in the open, give you some fresh air, let you get to know your local area AND you'll burn more calories than in the gym!
  12. Get active: Try to fit other healthy activities into your daily life. Jump off the bus or tube a few stops earlier and walk the rest of your journey, go swimming with the kids, get planting in a garden or burn some calories by dancing the night away! All activity is good for you and will increase your fitness and energy levels.