About us Blog BBC journalist to run London Marathon for United Response Naga Munchetty is a financial journalist for the BBC. She presents BBC Breakfast. Naga is running the 2013 Virgin London Marathon for United Response and will be writing a series of blogs over the coming months. I must say that I have never considered myself the sporty type. To be quite honest I used to hate running! I thought it was boring, repetitive and lonely. I have a fairly sedentary job - I sit on a chair or a sofa presenting the news - so having a marathon ahead of me is a good excuse to get off my butt! So why on earth did I decide to run in the London 2013 marathon? I am rather stubborn and I like to stretch myself – this is on my bucket list and I wanted to do it before I hit 40. It’s only a couple of years away so it’s now or never. It is going to be an immense challenge for me, but that has just made me more determined to prove to myself that I can do it. I admit that I am nervous about it and am taking the training fairly seriously. Why I'm running the London Marathon for United Response I decided to run for United Response because I think that there is still such stigma surrounding mental health issues and there really shouldn't be. We all have to face challenges in life, some much greater than others, but there is no doubt that having support when it all seems just too much, is invaluable. I know there are good mental health support systems in place, however, what many don’t realise is that after the initial battle life has to carry on. After suffering mental health problems, everyday challenges can be that bit more difficult than they may have been before. United Response helps people take back control of their lives after they have received medical or professional help. It’s about helping people be part of society again. Whether looking for a job, setting up home or simply having the confidence to reintegrate with society. One size doesn't fit all - we’re all different, and this charity makes sure that it helps individuals without using one strategy to ‘fix’ all. I like the idea of getting to know people as individuals - that’s part of my job after all, I interview people everyday and if I asked the same questions to everyone I spoke to I would get different answers, but I certainly wouldn't be getting the best answers. In all areas of life we need to tailor our actions to individuals to get the best results. How I'm training for the London Marathon I play golf (I’m a bit of a fanatic) and indulge in a little squash. In terms of physical exertion, these are at the opposite ends of the scale but allow me to win which indulges my competitive streak. I’m trying to get my head around the fact that running is a personal challenge and that I must not try to compete with the person running next to me! I have found out that I don’t mind running in the cold, in fact I prefer it to sunny warmer days. However this snowy spell has meant that I am back in the gym for my training which I find really dull compared to running outside. My husband James is also running the London marathon for the first time. We initially thought we would run the race together bur a combination of injuries and training schedule clashes mean we are now at different stages. I won’t underestimate him though as he is as competitive as I am! My longest run so far is 19k - I’m quite pleased about that as I’d never run more than 5k before. Now it’s time to build up more stamina - I’m not too concerned about timing yet - to finish the 26.2 miles would be the greatest achievement for me. In my next blog, I hope to be more confident about getting there - I’m sure I will be. Naga Munchetty.