Those of us who have signed up for marathons later this year might wish to head to London's Niketown (Oxford Street) on 20 January. Sebastian Coe, Olympic gold medallist, will be giving a seminar on how to prepare for and run marathons. Following a question-and-answer session he will lead a five-mile run from Niketown around Regent's Park. The good news is, it is all free, and Nike are also offering a 15 per cent discount on their Bowerman range of shoes. If you would like to attend, email email@example.com or call Niketown customer services on 020 7612 0800.
The famous Iditasport races of Alaska are not the only option for adventure racers this winter. The Mount Taylor Winter Quadrathlon ( www.mttaylorquad.org) on 16 February and the Son of Inferno Pentathlon (20 April, www.friendsoftuckerman.org) are two further US options. The most demanding European race is the five-day Arctic Circle Traverse, including sea kayaking, ice-climbing and mountain biking, across the north of Norway and Sweden. It takes place from 1 to 5 July (in constant day-light); entries have to be in by 1 February. Visit www.actsport.nu for details.
Put those teabags and coffee jars back in the cupboard, because the best brew for active types seems to be green tea. The Japanese – hard drinkers and heavy smokers – have one of the world's highest life expectancies, according to the World Health Organisation. The Japanese diet, which includes green tea as well as raw fish and low fat, is believed to be responsible for the anomaly. Additional research published in the International Journal of Sports Journalism suggests that green tea also helps post-workout muscle recovery. And it delivers a caffeine hit.
The gymball – part Space Hopper, part prop from The Prisoner – seems to belong to a different era of gym equipment. But, although the idea has been around for years, they are more popular than ever. Gymballs help in maintaining the correct posture during exercises and are especially useful for people with lower-back problems. York Fitness have produced a new starter gymball kit, with a ball (in various sizes), footpump, video and wall chart. Crucially, the York balls are 'Anti-Burst'. The packs are priced from £21.95 to £26.95; call 01327 701 824 for stockists.
Knee sprains, particularly to the anterior cruciate ligament, are among the most common injuries risked by skiers, representing one sixth of all injuries suffered. The RRS range of ski boots from Lange (the V8 and V9 models) has been developed to reduce knee injuries, with a mechanism at the rear of the boot that releases the boot's upper cuff at the back of the leg when the skier loses balance and falls. The innovation has won plaudits from institutions such as the Footwear Symposium in Switzerland. Visit www.bigbear.co.uk for stockists. Prices start from £215.
The periodical of choice (£3.25) for the discerning multi-discipline athlete. And its January issue promises much to the triathletes of 2002: the best high-mileage running shoes, time-saving training tips for busy competitors and a wall planner to schedule the racing year. Elsewhere there are features on the Airborne titanium race bike and Brit Spencer Smith's triumph in Ironman Florida.