What’s On is training for the Dubai Marathon and documenting our progress in a blog packed with marathon training tips. Here’s the warm-up events in Dubai.

– Dubai Marathon 2014
– Ultra-Marathon runner
– Dubai’s wacky sports
– Fun runs in Dubai
– Dubai Olympic bid
– Top marathon tips

Thousands of nervous feet will pitter-patter up to the start line of the Dubai Marathon on January 23, 2015. Among them will be two members of the What’s On team, a pair of willing if not entirely able, runners who will be documenting their progress for you.

As part of our Uncool Runnings series, we reveal the importance of an early rise, as well as some of the races you should be using as warm-ups ahead of the big day.

I woke up ‘late’ on Friday. I say ‘late’ because it was still only 7am – but as those of you who have braved the Dubai heat for a gentle jog know, 7am is a whole lot different than 5am. The sun was up and that’s where things started going down hill. By mile four, my suncream had filled the back of my throat. By mile five, I started changing my route to find shade. As far as runs go, the entire seven miles were a bit of a brutal slog.

So I guess you could say I learned my lesson this week: it’s worth setting that alarm clock. There’s a reason the Dubai Creek Striders start at 6am.

Sunrise running - Dubai Marathon training blog


ABCD Zayed Sports City 5 and 10k run: While the name doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, this Abu Dhabi race on October 10 features approachable distances for a good cause. Part of every entrance fee goes towards the Al Jalila Foundation to support breast cancer research.  More info at premieronline.com.

ABCD Zayed Sports City 5 and 10k run

Newton Running 10 Mile Race: The first-ever Netwon Running 10 Mile Race answers the age-old question of ‘what do I do between a 10k and a marathon?’ It takes place on Friday October 31, starting and finishing at the Emirates Golf Club. All participants receive medals, breakfast and a Newton Running gift. More info at premieronline.com. 

Newton 10-mile race

Ice Warrior Charity Challenge: Happening November 1, this mixed-course race stretches across Ski Dubai. Expect a diversity of unique challenges, like hurdles, tangled rope climbs, truck tire navigation, and more. It looks like a great chance for a bit of unique cross training, all while giving money to the Dubai Centre for Special Needs. More information at premiermarathons.com or skidxb.com.

Ice Warrior Challenge

**More WACKY RACES, including The Colour Run and Desert Warrior Challenge**

Uncool Runnings
Starter kit

Check out Hal Higdon’s free training programmes. This guy has got me through every race I’ve done since I first started in 2006. Free, approachable, and easy enough to print out, I can’t praise Hal’s programmes enough. halhigdon.com

Then after visiting Hal’s site chgeck out Yoga Practice for Runners. In my efforts to not destroy my achilles again, I’ve been trying to keep up the stretching. This free video is the perfect 20-minute length for a post-run cool down.

So there we go. That’s what I’m thinking about this week. Any thoughts? Races on your horizon? People you want me to talk to? Let me know, and good luck with the training.