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Getting race ready for Run to the Beat

WaterAid’s Media Officer Hannah Wilkinson explains why she’s signed up for Run to the Beat – and why for her, getting race ready is all about peanut butter, running to meet your mates and never listening to your favourite music.

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31 Jul 2014 | UK

Hannah in her WaterAid running vest

Hannah in her WaterAid running vest.
Credit: WaterAid

You’ve just signed up to Run to the Beat – what made you decide to go for it?

I’ve always wanted to try Run to the Beat. Being able to listen to live DJs as you run will create such an amazing atmosphere and with all these gorgeous summer evenings, it’s been easy to start training. I was also spurred on by the fact that everything I raise will be doubled by the UK Government - it felt like an opportunity I just couldn't miss!

What are your top tips for getting race ready?

I ran the London Marathon in 2013. It was my first ever run, and it made me realise it’s all about the training. If you’re prepared, you’ll enjoy it so much more.

How do you stay motivated when you really don’t feel like going for a run?

The first five minutes of a run are always hellish. Everything in your body is saying no. Get past this and your body will dip into endorphin-fuelled euphoria. I try to remember that when I don’t want to leave the house!

What’s your favourite music to listen to while you’re training?

Do not under any circumstances listen to your favourite music! You will grow to hate it. Find the most up-tempo, double CD, 18-30s summer holiday soundtrack, the kind you see advertised during the TOWIE ad break. Basically, Swedish House Mafia and David Guetta.

What’s your favourite running route?

I love running along the River Thames. Get a train out to Barnes and you step straight into the London countryside, and you can also take in the gorgeous scenery (complete with birds) at the Wetlands Centre.

Do you have any diet tips for someone training for the first time?

The best thing about running is you can eat loads, because you’re burning it all off - and I mean loads! Before a race definitely 'carb-load', it creates amazing stored energy that you can unleash during the race. Toast and peanut butter is a breakfast must for me!

What do you wish you’d been told before your first race?

Enjoy it! I was incredibly nervous. Running is great exercise and ultimately very fun. You feel amazing afterwards and there's nothing like the shared experience of a race.

Have you had any embarrassing running experiences?

Falling over, getting lost, struggling to find somewhere to go to the loo – these are all standard running misadventures. Embarrassment is par for the course!

Who would be your ideal running partner?

When you're running you shouldn't be gasping for breath, you should be able to chat, so my ideal running partner would be my best friend Corinne. We’ve known each other since we were five and she’s the only person I can go on holiday with for two weeks and still spend two hours chatting to on the phone as soon as we get back. She’s also an inspiring example of how being fit and healthy makes you look and feel great.

What’s the best thing about being part of the WaterAid team?

Deciding whether to wear the giant toilet or the giant tap costume while you run! And supporting a really incredible charity that is transforming people's lives around the world. Drinking water is a fundamental part of exercise, you couldn't do it without it, yet we take its existence entirely for granted. I can’t think of a better reason to get out there and raise money (and, if you’re wondering, I'm going to be the tap!).

Think you could do it too? Sign up to Run to the Beat and every penny you raise before 9 September will be doubled by the UK Government, helping us reach twice as many girls with clean water and safe toilets as part of our To be a girl campaign. Sign up now >