Frequently Asked Questions
Should I apply through the ballot as well as applying for a Golden Bond place?
YES - if you are successful in the ballot Phab would also like you to run as an own place runner with no minimum pledge
When do I get my runners pack?
Runners packs are sent out in February.
If I sustain an injury prior to the race am I committed to still send the minimum amount pledged?
No - the pledge comes into effect on race day.
If I sustain an injury and have to withdraw will I automatically be allocated a Golden Bond place for the following year?
No - please reapply by completing the on-line application via www.phabkids.co.uk
Do Phab have a post race meeting point on race day?
Yes - The Storeyard in St James's Park, an exclusive venue where we offer refreshments, showers and post race massage.
“What a wonderful day, even if a little painful at times! I can’t tell you how great it was to see you and the PHAB supporters at the Mall!! It was a pleasure to run for PHAB and thanks for all your support.” Leanne Waymark
Can Phab help with accommodation?
We suggest that Phab runners looking for accommodation in London go to the official Virgin Money London Marathon website, then click on the realbuzz.com then click on book a London Hotel.
When do Phab require sponsorship money in by?
Sponsorship should be sent in the envelope provided by the first Friday in June. Please send cheques, made payable to PHAB MARATHON, 4 Peters Way, Bisbrooke, Leics. LE15 9EQ by recorded or special delivery.
Do Phab supply running vests?
Yes - you will be sent a Phabkids running vest in your runners pack in February.
When, where and how do I register?
You will be sent your final instructions for registration in mid-March directly from the organisers of the Virgin Money London Marathon. Registration takes place the four days prior to the event and is held at Excel, Docklands, London.
Can Phab supply collection boxes?
Yes - collection boxes are available on request but they must be returned to Madeleine at Phab Marathon 4 Peters Way, Bisbrooke, Leics. LE15 9EQ after the event.
How do I fundraise?
Each individual has access to different fundraising sources and should fundraise in ways they feel comfortable with. Further tips are listed here on our website.
Can my sponsors pay by credit card or debit card?
Can Phab supply me with a letter of authority?
Yes - If any of your sponsors need a letter to prove to them that you are indeed running and raising money for Phab please get in touch with Madeleine.
If I raise some or all my sponsorship via Justgiving is the 25% Gift Aid considered to be part of the pledge?
No absolutely not - the tax bonus cannot be included as part of the minimum pledge.
Is it OK to put sponsors logos on my own vest/T-shirt?
Yes definitely - it would also be good to have visible some reference to Phab, so the Phab supporters can spot you as you go past.
Should I put my name on my running vest.
Most definitely - you can have your name printed on your vest at Excel by T-Printing (a charge is made) when you come to register - don't forget to bring it with you.
To whom do I make my sponsorship cheques payable?
PHAB MARATHON, please!!!!
Is there a time limit to complete the course?
Yes. You have to be able to complete the 100 mile course safely in 8.5 hours.
Do I need a professional training plan?
If you want to train for a race, yes you do. Here are the reasons why:
- You are less likely to get injured
Professional training plans have been written by someone with years of experience, who can work out the optimum sessions for you depending on your goals. They stop any over-training which can cause injury.
If you have a plan of what you are meant to do, you are more likely to do it.
If you get a professional plan, you will know what is achievable in a certain number of weeks, and have a plan to match your specific goals. For example, to run a 10k race in four months.
How long would it take to train to run a marathon?
This depends on your current level of fitness. If you are a total beginner, you could do a 24-week beginner training plan and probably get around a marathon course in about 4-5 hours. You would have to stick to the professionally structured training plan to be able to achieve that. It would be best to start with a few local races; a 5k, then a 10k race, gradually building-up to achieve your goal of the full marathon. Few would disagree that the longer you train for (in terms of months), and the more gradually you build-up your stamina, the more you will get out of your running.
Why do I need to warm-up before I run?
There are two main reasons for a warm-up:
- To gradually prepare muscles and tendons for the specific stress you are about to apply.
- To gradually lift the heart rate to the level required.
Warming-up is to avoid injury. Easy jogging followed by stretching floods the working muscles with oxygen-rich blood and raises the body temperature. This makes the body more flexible and allows blood vessels to open up, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to flow into the working muscles. If on top of this you apply some mild stretching, you increase the range of movement, which will help avoid injury. Light exercise like this also releases synovial fluid from small sacs in your joints, allowing lubrication and even wider range of movement.
Increasing your heart rate is an important part of the warm-up. It promotes heat, which warms-up muscles, and it prepares your aerobic system for delivering large amounts of oxygen to the working muscles. “Ever sprint down the road to catch a bus, then sit down gasping for breath or dizzy and wonder, “what is going on, I’m meant to be a super-fit runner?” The gasping breath is because your heart had to instantly try to release oxygen for the demands placed on it. So it sends blood at super-speed to the legs, which leaves you gasping for breath because you can’t get enough oxygen to meet that short term demand and dizzy because the heart has suddenly redirected all the blood flow to your legs.
A warm-up gradually moves the blood to the right places without adversely affecting blood flow anywhere else. This is important at the start of a race, where you suddenly dash off at race pace (often faster than is ideal).
So how do I warm-up?
Generally, the faster you run, the more you need to warm-up. This is because, the faster you run the more your muscles and tendons are stretched to their maximum, and the more stress is put on your aerobic system. Sprinters can spend an hour warming-up with jogging, stretching, more stretching and more warming-up, all for a ten second race! Marathoners on the other hand often don’t do any more than a five-minute jog and a few quick stretches.
For normal runs a warm-up might be five minutes of jogging and then some quick stretches.
But for a hard session or a 5k race, try jogging for five minutes, then stopping for a minute to go through some basic stretches. Calf muscles, hamstrings, back, achilles tendons etc, (see stretching articles). Then do another five minutes jogging and a few more quick stretches.
Why do I need to do a cool-down and stretch after my run?
Scientifically, we know it’s important, but nobody can agree on how much we need. What we do know is that by gradually reducing the heart rate and finishing with a few stretches we assist the clearance of the accumulated bi-products of exercise (lactic acid, hydrogen ions, carbon dioxide) while controlling the dissipation of heat. We also know that stretching while the muscles are warm also helps the clearance of the bi-products, while giving muscles and tendons a bigger range of motion. The harder you have been running, the longer the “cool-down” needs to be. The best way to cool-down is to ease down to a walk and keep walking until you have your breath back. Then jog lightly for five to ten minutes, followed by a couple of minutes of walking and lastly some light stretching
Is there benefit in using a heart rate monitor?
Yes there is! If you are fairly serious about your training that is.
Distance running is a strange beast; ‘the harder you work the more you’ll gain’ isn’t always true. You can never run too ‘easy’ to get a benefit, but there are times when you can run too ‘hard’. A heart rate monitor is great for controlling when to run hard and when not to.
In the hard training days, a heart rate monitor can be useful to make sure you recover sufficiently and make sure your normal runs are done at the optimum effort without turning them into high intensity workouts.
Aerobic training is generally defined as around 75% of maximum heart rate. So your general steady runs should be whatever your heart rate would be for say 70 to 75% of its maximum. Similarly, long runs (longer than 90 minutes) and high-intensity runs need to be followed by easier recovery days. Generally, easy running is measured as lower than 70% of maximum heart rate.
By using a heart rate monitor to control your general running you can make sure you are achieving the right effort in your aerobic running, which is important, and even more importantly, make sure you’re recovering between those harder long runs and high-intensity sessions.
This is crucial. The biggest mistake people make is doing their aerobic and recovery running too hard and over time they are unable to do their high-intensity running hard enough. Using a heart rate monitor will help you avoid that trap.
What exactly is cross-training?
Cross-training is basically activities in addition to running to complement your training. It’s about learning new skills and training in a way that will prepare you best for your running too. Cross-training can also help to reduce the risk of injury.
Finding alternative ways to work your system reduces the continual high impact work on your joints, and it can help avoid monotony and boredom by adding a bit of variety. It will also help your body become or remain toned, strong and flexible.
Whatever your training level, cross-training can help you get the results you want.
When you set up your cross-training programme, it’s important that you know what you’re training for and that your goal is to include a varied mix of aerobic and anaerobic activity. Combining cardiovascular training, strength training and flexibility training helps to achieve a proper balance, as these three points are the foundations of any effective fitness programme.