AS THOUSANDS prepare to get out on to the streets of the city and take on the ABP Southampton Marathon, organisers have released a guide of their top training tips.

When the runners line up on April 22, they will be hoping that all their training has paid off before they run in either the full marathon, half marathon or 10k.

Taking them through the warm-up before the big run is Gareth Allen, from personal training firm Studio Twenty3.

And with less than five weeks to go, Gareth has given seven of his top tips to prepare participants for the event.

He said: “We’re excited to have a huge number of ‘first timers’ joining us this year and we know many are already well into their training.

“Key things for them to remember are to make sure they stretch both before and after their run – it can be very tempting not to but it’s so important to avoid injury.

“I’d also encourage those taking part to mix up their training with strength and speed work, rather than every run being a long, steady slog.

“Things like sprint intervals can really help you up your speed.”

Already more than 8,500 people have signed up to take part across the three races.

Registration for the event is due to close on March 15.

Organisers are expecting around 10,000 people to take to the streets on race day.

Just over half of those will be taking part in the full 26.2 mile course, which incorporates city landmarks such as the Bargate, Itchen Bridge and Riverside Park.

Both the full and half-marathon courses also go through St Mary’s Stadium.

Race director Nikki Rees said: “No matter what distance you choose, getting the right training is so important in helping you avoid injury and achieve your best time on race day.

“We hope everyone finds the free training guides useful and we can’t wait to see them fly through the finish line on April 22.”

She added: “I think what people love about Southampton is it’s started to get a reputation as one of the cheeriest races.

“Runners are really supportive of one another and that makes it popular with first-timers in particular.

“The spectators along the route are amazing too.

“We get around 30,000 people coming to the city to cheer people on and the whole community come to support runners, including 850 to 1,000 volunteers.”

Last year was the first time that Southampton had hosted a full marathon for three decades.

It drew around a crowd of thousands who cheered on the brave racers running throughout the city.