Lancashire TelegraphRunning On Empty blog: 3 days to go (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Running On Empty blog: 3 days to go

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I give athletics legend Ron Hill a call. It's my version of playing the Joker in It's A Knockout.

Ron Hill MBE has won European and Commonwealth gold medals in the marathon. He has run in three Olympics(1964-72) and has held world records for 10 miles, 15 miles and 25km.

He has also run every day since December 1964, and completed a marathon in 100 different countries.

For Ron, 10K around the streets of Blackburn will be like a warm-up exercise.

If you are one of the 2000 runners tackling the Jane Tomlinson Pennine Lancashire 10K on Sunday, here's the advice the legend himself passed on.

Ron said: "For inexperienced runners (that's me) the key on Sunday is not to go off too fast.

"Start off in the middle of the field and take a steady pace for the first half of the race.

"The cardinal sin is to get near the front of the field and go off too fast. After 3K you will blow up, and all you'll see are runners passing you. It will be demoralising.

"Your body then goes into survival mode, and all you want to do is stop.

"If you go off steady, you may find you'll have enough energy to step it up in the second half of the race, and you will be passing other runners, becoming more confident along the way."

But what about food and drink in the build-up to the race? I decided last week not to have a drop of alcohol in the seven days leading up to the race.

Will this pay off?

"Well, there's no harm in having a few pints the night before the race," said Ron. Not the answer I wanted to hear after a week's abstinence.

"Just eat normally the night before. All this pasta stuff is rubbish. You only need that for a marathon.

"Get up at 6.30am on the day of the race and have a bowl of porridge with sugar. It releases energy slowly.

"Have a drink of water 20 minutes before the race. Only take water on board during the race if you need it. Stopping to drink can put you out of your rhythm.

"And most of all, just enjoy the run."

So there you have it, an expert's guide to the perfect 10K.

Not that I'll be running a perfect 10K - but every piece of advice helps.

As for Ron, he'll be the official starter of the race alongside Tony Parkes - and then running it!

He recently ran the 10K in 50 minutes - incredible for a man aged 71.

It looks like the only thing I'll be seeing of Ron in the race is the back of his head.

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