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Posted in England team blog

There are two main reasons why I am running the London Marathon.

This first is that whenever I talk to guys who have run them, like Goochie and Gordon Lord, they say the London Marathon is a great event to be involved in. I can't wait to experience the atmosphere myself on April 22.

The second reason is the three charities I am raising money for - Lord's Taverners, Hope for Children and Factor 50.

I have been a member of Lord's Taverners for a number of years and they do some superb work. They are a great organisation.

Hope for Children support disadvantaged kids, mainly in Sri Lanka, but they've worked in Zimbabwe as well, hence my affiliation with them.

Factor 50 is a skin cancer charity. I've had my issues with melanoma and I'm an ambassador for them.

I will be splitting the money three ways. I'm hoping people will support me by donating to my JustGiving page. When you get the chance to help out then you should.

I've never run seriously at any stage of my life. I have only ever run to keep fit. I haven't done any long distance running so this will be a serious challenge.

Running a marathon is not something I've always wanted to do. I just feel if I don't do it now I never will. I still think I am fit enough, just, to complete 26 miles. I'd like to make my contribution while I can still do so.

I did a bit of training near my home in Stratford-upon-Avon and have been fitting it around the cricket tours we've been on.

Running in the UAE was difficult because of the cricket and I had shin splints.

In Sri Lanka I'll be busy with the tour so it's tricky balancing work and training. Then there's the heat and humidity to contend with. It's in the 30s out here but the humidity is in the high 80s. That's what knocks you.

It's a good thing in a way because if I can run reasonably well in these conditions then I should find it easier back in England. I need to get out into the humidity and see what I can do.

Andy Flower

The heat and humidity in Sri Lanka make training really tough but it's a positive sign if I can run reasonably well in these conditions

The furthest I have run so far is 13 and a half miles so I still have a long way to go. My hips, calves and Achilles were stiffening up a bit towards the end. I'm still in the conditioning phase - hardening up my body to spend such a long time on my feet.

I've been running with Mark Bawden, who is also running the marathon for the first time. He's our sports psychologist. I'm not saying I need him for that reason but it's been nice to chivvy each other along. We intend to start the marathon together.

It's nice to chat to the England medical staff as many of them have knowledge of running marathons.

Goochie has run it four times. He said it's a great event. Sax (Mark Saxby, England Team Soft Tissue Therapist) is a proper runner and he's run a couple. Ben Langley, our physio, has run the Melbourne marathon while Mark Wotherspoon and Nick Pierce, our doctors, have also run marathons so all these guys know what they are talking about.

Click here to make a donation to Andy's JustGiving page.

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