The problem for participants – in particular the more casual ones – is that January arrives and it is often a case of “oh shucks its Surfers Time” and of course the training, if any has perhaps been minimal and partying has played out to a maximum. It is a bit like a Hardy Boy Annual actually and somehow the majority get through in one piece. The chances of getting into peak condition with less than five weeks to go is nil, but with a good four week commitment and just one tapering week it can be done. What you should do as a healthy active person, anyone else should not enter, is be sure to run 4-5 times a week. Three of those sessions should be dead slow and at least one of them for a period of 60-70 minutes, walking if needed. One session should be more of a tempo run trying to garner a race pace over 40 minutes plus. If you are not enjoying the session, turn around and head back home – try again tomorrow.