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Counting down to the London Marathon

Posted in England team blog

The big day is almost upon us. I can't believe how quickly that has happened...how exciting!

I have mixed emotions when I think ahead to Sunday's London Marathon. While I am really looking forward to it there is also some trepidation about whether I can get round.

I haven't done 26 miles before so will my body hold up? I don't want to let anyone down as lots of people have been very generous with their contributions. I'd like to thank everyone who has donated money to the three charities I am running for - The Lord's Taverners, Hope for Children and Factor 50.

Earlier this week I popped down to Worcestershire CCC to see the England physio, Ben Langley. He gave me a final MOT which I definitely needed. I'm not sure I would have passed but he did loosen me up a little. People have been telling me to do that all my life!

I've got niggles in both my Achilles and hip on my left leg and wanted Ben to give me a stretch just to make sure I am not starting the race in a poor condition.

My Achilles gives me a bit of gip all the time, especially in the mornings, and it takes a bit of time to loosen up. My hip started really hurting the other day when I went for a walk with the family. It started seizing up and I was only walking!

While I was on tour in Sri Lanka I ran 15 miles in Galle and managed to do a couple of hour-long sessions down on the waterfront in Colombo. They were quite testing. A couple of guys joined me - Nick Peirce, our doctor, and Phil Neale, who despite being 57 managed the whole hour which was a great effort in that humidity.

I haven't done any long runs since I've been back in England. I have been taking it easy and trying to take the load off my feet.

Andy Flower

Mark Bawden and I will be starting the marathon together but I doubt we'll manage to stay together for 26 miles

I am going down to London to register for the marathon on Friday with Gordon Lord who is also running. He has done three or four marathons before so he can show me the ropes.

I have spoken to Goochie and Lordy about it. Obviously there is the nutrition and hydration side leading up to the race which is important. You can't go out with the boys for a few drinks on the Friday night!

The strongest piece of advice I have had is don't start off too quick. Apparently you can easily get caught up in the excitement and with the adrenaline pumping blow yourself out by halfway.

I'm going to start the race with Mark Bawden, our sports psychologist - he and I signed up to do the marathon together. Unfortunately he's been in hospital for the last couple of weeks with flu so he's going to be struggling to get up to speed by Sunday. He's going to give it a go though. Mark is running for Kidney Research UK as his son Harry has had some serious problems in the past, with Mark donating a kidney to his son less than 12 months ago.

We are going to start together and make sure we are slow enough to begin with. We might drift apart at some point as I don't think it's possible to run the whole way together as we will be going at different paces.

I'm not sure whether to take an iPod with me in case I need some extra inspiration but I think there will be enough going on with the crowds to keep me entertained.

I want to soak up the atmosphere on the day as it's a unique event where everyone wants you to do well. In cricket, there is always someone who wants you to fail, like the opposition or their fans. On this occasion everyone is willing you to do well which will make it all the more special.

Once again, thank you for your amazing support. I sincerely appreciate it. Here's to strong hearts, stout legs, intact Achilles, completion and champagne!

Andy is running the London Marathon on April 22 in support of The Lord's Taverners, Hope for Children and Factor 50. Click here to make a donation to his JustGiving page.

Andy Flower explains why he is running in this year's London Marathon

Watch our exclusive video of Andy Flower training for the London Marathon