Training for Shine Night Walk

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

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, half marathon or 10k overnight is a challenge. It 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 spend plenty of time on your feet as well as putting in the miles. Your body won’t be used to this even if you exercise regularly.

To help get you on your way, explore these training plans, put together by Sam and Ash at SMASH London. 

16 week full marathon training plan               8 week full marathon training plan

16 week half marathon training plan              8 week half marathon training plan

12 week full marathon training plan               8 week 10k training plan

12 week half marathon training plan              6 week 10k 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

How far is 10K?

A 10k is just over 6 miles. That's roughly the same as walking around a football pitch nearly 29 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 1.5 hours

1.5 hours

Strider -  Less than 2 hours

2 hours

Stroller -  Less than 3 hours

3 hours

Training tips


1. Get the right footwear

Buy and wear-in a pair of walking shoes or trainers which offer the support you need. Try to avoid wearing a new pair on the day of your walk.


2. Get support from your loved ones

It's important to have support when you take on a new challenge. We recommend calling a friend or family member to chat with when on your daily walk.


3. Take time to strengthen your mind

Make the experience a positive one by walking to a great playlist or looking at your Giving page. Remember the positive difference you're making by doing this challenge.


4. Wear layers 

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


5. Warm-up and cool down

Reduce your risk of injury by warming up and cooling down before and after any exercise. Shake those muscles and do some gentle stretches.


6. Know your route and distance 

Walk at a pace that feels comfortable and vary your route. Set achievable daily and weekly distance goals to help motivate you.


7. Get a good night’s sleep

You want to feel refreshed and energised when you set out on your walk so make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you take on the Shine Walk.


8. Take care of yourself

  • Eat well! You’ll likely to be burning more calories than usual so ensure you’ve got enough fuel on the day of your walk and during training.
  • Keep hydrated! Make sure you pack plenty of water.
  • Be sun safe! Pack sun cream (at least SPF15 with 4 or more stars), cover up with appropriate clothing, hat, and sunglasses, and try to spend time in the shade between 11 am and 3 pm.


Thumbs up

9. Have fun!

Training should be fun and will help you feel prepared when you set out for Shine Night Walk, so enjoy yourself!

Other ways to improve your lifestyle and fitness

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.

When to check with your doctor before training

Although moderate physical activity such as brisk walking is safe for most people, health experts suggest that you talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program if any of the following apply:
You have heart disease.
You have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
You have kidney disease.
You have arthritis.
You're being treated for cancer, or you've recently completed cancer treatment.
You have high blood pressure.

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.