A RUNNING coach has handed out some pearls of wisdom to those soon to tackle a gruelling marathon.

With only 25 days to go before the starter pistol goes off at the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, one man with the know-how has offered guidance to those gearing up for the 26.2 mile route through the city.

Graham Harrison, 40, head coach of Pickering Running Club, says runners should have by now broken through the 20 mile barrier in their training - but all is not lost if you are a short distance behind.

He said: "You need to make sure you can run 20 miles at this stage because the last six miles will take care of themselves.

"You need to make sure you can spend three of four hours on your feet even if you aren't managing the mileage, and can do that by running or walking.

"When you get nearer the time you need to mix up your training so you are doing a bit of cycling and swimming.

"Running is all well and good but cross training adds a bit of variety."

Mr Harrison, a personal trainer who is coaching runners for this year's event, suggests people do not try anything new on the day of the race.

He added: "You need to be comfortable.

"Everything has to be tried out because there's no point in thinking on the day you'll try something new to eat because you'll get an upset stomach.

"Clothing and trainers should be worn out for a distance as well.

"You want to be comfortable running 26 miles, because if you haven't done it before it's a long way to run."

Last year, 6,100 runners tackled the route around York and into the surrounding countryside, contributing an estimated £1 million to the local economy.

For more useful training tips from bloggers and in-depth coverage on the day visit www.yorkpress.co.uk/marathon

If you are taking part tell us your story at alexander.ross@thepress.co.uk