Training for Shine

Shine isn’t about being first across the finish line; it’s about all of us coming together and raising money to beat cancer sooner.

But to make sure you are comfortable and can enjoy your walk, it’s important to put in some training time.

Download your training pack

Walking a marathon or half marathon overnight is a challenge and requires training, no matter how fit you are. But training doesn’t have to be hard work; get some friends involved, have fun and get fit at the same time.

Remember to practice walking at night and spend plenty of time on your feet as well as putting in the miles, as your body won’t be used to this even if you exercise regularly.

We’ve put together a training plan, along with our partners Running with Us, to help you on your way:

Full marathon - 8 week training plan

Half marathon - 8 week training plan

Full marathon - 12 week training plan

Half marathon - 12 week training plan

Full marathon - 16 week training plan

Half marathon - 16 week training plan

How far is a marathon?

A full marathon is 26.2 miles or about 42 kilometres. That’s roughly the same as walking around a football pitch 121 times. It’s a challenge, but we know you can do it if you prepare in advance.

So how long will it take you?

Power walker -  Less than 9 hours

9 hours

Strider -  Less than 11 hours

11 hours

Stroller -  Less than 14 hours

14 hours

How far is a half marathon?

A half marathon is 13.1 miles or about 21 kilometres. That’s like walking almost 50 times around the circumference of the London Eye. 

So how long will it take you?

Power walker -  Less than 4.5 hours

4.5 hours

Strider -  Less than 5.5 hours

5.5 hours

Stroller -  Less than 7 hours

7 hours

Training tips

1. Get the right footwear

Buy and wear-in a pair of walking shoes which offer the support you need. Don’t wear new ones on the night! If you need help finding the right pair of shoes head to a specialist shop for advice.

2. Train with friends

Training with friends means you’ll have lots of support and you can chat while you walk to keep it fun. Make sure your friends sign up with you too so you’re all walking together on the night.

3. Wear layers

Wear layers of comfortable clothing for long walks. You can buy official Cancer Research UK clothing from our shop. 

4. Warm up and cool down

Reduce your risk of injury by warming up and cooling down before and after any exercise. Also practice walking at night, when conditions and your tiredness may affect you more.

5. Vary your routes

Walk at a pace that feels comfortable and vary your route, gradually increasing the distance you walk. Don’t rely on mobile phones or GPS to track your distance, they can be inaccurate and leave you under-prepared. 

6. Drink water

It’s important to drink water before, during and after exercise. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.

Other ways to improve your lifestyle and fitness

Woman running

More than 4 in 10 cancers in the UK could be prevented by lifestyle changes. Signing up and training to walk Shine Night Walk is a great opportunity to kick-start a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Questions about cancer?

Cancer Research UK provides clear and easy to understand information if you are affected by cancer:

• Visit CancerHelp UK for reliable, up-to-date information on cancer, treatments and the latest research.
Call our specialist cancer nurses freephone on 0808 800 4040 Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm.
Visit Cancer Chat and share your information and experiences with others affected by cancer.