Edinburgh Marathon

Why should you run the Edinburgh marathon?  There are several reasons – for starters, readers of Runner's World magazine gave it a 97% satisfaction rating in a recent poll.  Secondly, if you aren't up for the full 26.2 miles, you can get a team of friends together and run it as a relay, with each of you covering 6.5 miles.

Finally there's the course.  Edinburgh has a reputation as a beautiful city, and the course is designed to take advantage of that.  It starts on the famous Princes Street, before heading down Waterloo Place and Regent Road into Abbeymount and Abbeyhill.

Next up is historical Holyrood Park, then the route heads towards the coast, through Musselburgh and the fishing areas of Cockenzie and Port Seton. From there runners will enter the grounds of Gosford House before finally coming back along the coast to Port Seaton promenade, ready for the big finish at Musselburgh Racecourse.

With 16,500 runners per year, it is second in numbers only to London among the UK's leading marathons, and changes to the course in recent years mean that the flat course is now considered a great place to run a personal best.

If you are looking for somewhere pleasant to take a break for a few days while running a marathon, this would certainly be a good choice, with Edinburgh regularly rated as one of the UK's most popular cities to visit.

Of course, you still have to run the race, and in order to enjoy race day as much as possible you will have to train effectively.  Each year thousands of people have miserable race day experiences at races up and down the country because they didn't train sufficiently – or properly.

Depending on your running history, it takes up to six months to train properly for a marathon.  The distance demands respect, and without establishing a proper running base, building your mileage up over the course of several months, you are risking injury.

However, you don't have to figure this out all by yourself.  If you are interested in running a marathon, check online for a training program.  You'll find loads of different programs designed for runners of all different ability levels.  When looking at training programs, it's important to be honest in estimating your current running level, so if in doubt err on the side of caution.

If you want more feedback, you will also find plenty of coaching programs that will give you a more personalized program, or you could join a local running club and work with a coach to get ready for the race.  Whichever option you take, getting your training right will ensure that come race day you are able to complete the distance in reasonable comfort, and actually enjoy your day.