A woman from St Albans is to take part in two marathons for a Mental health charity.
Amy Heap, 29, will tackle the Brighton Marathon on April 14, followed by the London Marathon on April 28.
She is a runner for St Albans Striders who is raising money for MIND. She admitted that it will be a touch challenge for her.
She said: “I love running and have run the Brighton Marathon twice – two years apart in 2016 and 2018.
“However, running two marathons two weeks’ apart is a much tougher ask and I’m going to have to dig deep to achieve this.”
Amy set herself the challenge of ‘running the double’ for two reasons. Firstly, she wanted to challenge herself to mark her 30th birthday and she knew she had to leave her comfort zone and push herself very hard to encourage people to sponsor her, with a fundraising target of £2,000.
To stay strong and injury-free, Amy is following a gym-based strength, conditioning and recovery regime under the guidance of PT Jo Hancock at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre.
Each week, as well as running increasingly long distances, Amy is working in the gym, doing Pilates classes, swimming and indoor cycling sessions.
“People think training for a marathon is all about running further and further each week,” says Amy.
“That’s true of course, but you need to also strengthen your leg muscles and core, look after your joints by doing some non-impact fitness like swimming, stretch and recover fully plus address your lifestyle routine if you want to give yourself the best chance of success.”
“Running 26.2 miles is as much in your mind as in your legs,” adds Amy.
“It takes a lot of mental strength to keep running for four hours or more and I am working hard on getting my mental stamina up to endure the distance – a marathon is as much mental as it is physical making MIND such a relevant charity for this challenge.”
Jo Hancock said: “Amy is a force of positivity. Yes, she is a runner, but it takes quite a heart to be able to line up two marathons back to back. Her dedication to training has been inspiring.
To sponsor Amy you can visit justgiving.com/fundraising/amy-heap28