Training for the Disneyland Paris half marathon

I’m writing about the Disneyland Paris half marathon (the first ever such event) for Closer. Here’s my first post, but you can also see it with all its glorious GIFs here.

There are two things you need to know about me. Firstly, I love running. And by love I mean hate-with-occasional-moments-of-endorphins, and by running I mean jogging very s-l-o-w-l-y. So slowly that I’m frequently overtaken by toddlers, three-legged dogs and plastic bags blowing in a mild breeze.

Secondly, I love Disney. Like, really love it. Some might say too much for a woman approaching 30 (but they would be wrong).

So naturally when I first heard that Disneyland Paris would be hosting a half marathon event this September I signed up straight away, no questions asked. It didn’t matter that I could only run 10k at a time, and the thought of 13.1 miles made me feel dizzy – Minnie would be there! I could dress as Ariel! I could spend the afternoon recovering on rides and eating fries!

But now that I’ve told everyone and it’s officially happening, I actually have to do some serious running…

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A half marathon is no mean feat, even when you have Donald Duck as a cheerleader. It’s 13.1 miles of sweat, blisters and (potentially) tears. So to give me a boost and help me create a training plan, Run Disney put me in touch with living legend Paula Radcliffe – current women’s record holder for the London Marathon and general babe.

After messing around with Minnie Mouse ears and huge white gloves (mental note: don’t choose these as part of your costume, they are too sweaty) we talked about the finer points of race preparation. Namely, what to eat beforehand (surely it’s not just me who runs to eat more?)

Paula advised me to have a solid breakfast of porridge or similar, a good few hours before running, even if that meant getting up at the crack of dawn. That way I wouldn’t need to worry about carting gels and other fancy running snacks around with me, and could just concentrate on enjoying the race.

She also advised me to try some hill training on the treadmill (living in the pancake flat Fens, there aren’t many other options for getting my glutes in gear) as well as stepping up my distance slowly. She made it sound like a piece of (protein-based) cake, and I suddenly found myself looking forward not just to the race, but to the training too.

Paula will be running the Disney race herself, so obviously I’ll be giving her a run for her money (!) I’ve now made my plan and started the first week of training. Bring. It. On.