Did you sign up for the Dubai Marathon in a fit of eagerness and are now looking at your dormant trainers with shame and fear? Don’t worry. October is the month to start training for the January 21 race, and we’ve enlisted personal trainer, endurance expert and veteran of seven marathons, Lee Ryan, for his beginner’s guide to running your first 26-miler.

He took us for a jog…



  • If you’re new to running, go slow. Get your body used to it
  • Treadmills aren’t ideal. You need to get used to the impact of running on the road
  • If you get a blister, don’t pop it. The fluid will heal the friction burn. It will go down in two days
  • Try to glide when you run. You don’t want to hear your feet slapping on the floor
  • Don’t be disheartened if someone runs faster than you in the park. Do your own thing
  • Running can be a lonely sport. Try to get a training partner to help keep you motivated
  • It’s amazing what a new t-shirt or a new pair of socks can do to your confidence
  • Buy running shoes half a size bigger than you usually wear – your feet swell when they’re hot
  • Sleep well and eat well. If you’re running on a Friday, start fuelling on the Wednesday
  • Don’t read too much. There are a lot of opinions about running. Research is good but not everything will work for you
  • Look after your feet. Scrub them, keep them clean and dry and keep your toenails short
  • Listening to music you love gives you a little endorphin buzz
  • Marathons are hard and you will hurt. But you are not alone. Millions of others around the world have done it