Next month Naga Munchetty will run the Virgin London Marathon and raise important funds for United Response. In a series of blogs, Naga keeps us up to date on her progress.  

Well I’d like to say that it’s good to be home from my holiday - I suppose that I can, but I do wish the weather would improve - it’s playing havoc with my training routine! I must admit that I have been a little spoilt with sunshine and amazing vistas while training on holiday in New Zealand - it really was a fantastic experience.

I've been drumming up sponsorship which has been really inspiring and helped me to push myself in training. It’s also made me realise people are putting faith in me and are supporting my desire to complete the London Marathon.

Unexpected connections and support through marathon training

Unsurprisingly to me, I came back from New Zealand to hundreds of emails. However what I hadn’t expected is that many of them were from family, friends, colleagues and neighbours - all wishing me luck for April 21st. It made me realise there are many more people out there willing to support me than I thought.

It was particularly interesting to see the comments from my neighbours - ones who I usually just pass on the street with a smile and a hello - not often much more. It made me think that there are potential friendships that I haven’t tapped into. That’s something that fundraising for this 26.2 mile challenge has given me - a reason to speak to more people and realise that most of the time, people are happy and willing to help - often they just need an opportunity to do so.

Having the courage to ask for help

I've been fortunate enough in years gone by to have neighbours that I could trust and rely upon - more than just the family next door who would lend a cup of sugar. I suppose though, that half the battle in finding people to lean on in times of need, is having the courage to ask for help in the first place - even for the smallest thing. After that, often the foundations are laid for strong friendships that last a lifetime.

On Saturday 6th July, United Response is celebrating turning 40 by holding 4Tea parties across the country (a play on words - you may have guessed). It’s a way of getting communities talking and working together. It can be a coffee morning for four people or a street party for the whole neighbourhood. Most of all, it’s a way to make sure that we don’t forget that we should be communicating with each other - especially those near to us - as much as we can.

Lately I've been forcing myself to go out in the cold to get running. This weekend I’m taking part in a 20 mile race. The most I've run up until now is 14 miles so I am VERY nervous.

Advice for London Marathon runners

I've had lots of advice from former runners and experienced runners. The message I’m going to try to keep in mind is “Don’t set off too quickly and take lots of liquids and energy on board”. The result I’m hoping for? It’s pretty much the same as my London Marathon goal - to finish it! Wish me luck!

Naga Munchetty

Follow Naga’s progress on Twitter @BBCNaga. If you would like to sponsor Naga then visit her Virgin Money Giving page.