We’ve gathered 13 great tips for your next half-marathon race. Here’s one for every mile (the final 0.1 mile will be a breeze!)
1) Eat enough to fuel your training. Now is not a time to cut calories and be hungry. Fuel up with whole foods, protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Get carbs from rice, quinoa and other grains, potatoes, oats, root vegetables, and occasional breads, wraps, and pasta. Protein from meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and meat replacements like tofu, soya, and tempeh. Healthy fats include those from oily fish, avocado, nuts, and seeds. Don’t forget important micronutrients from veggies, berries, and fruit!
2) Stay well hydrated by drinking enough water spaced out throughout the day. 2 litres is a good goal. Make sure you drink enough water even on busy days, or when the weather isn’t particularly warm.
3) Get into the training mindset. Have a plan, and stick to it, even if it’s raining or you’ve had a bad day. Try to find a routine which makes it easy for you to fit your training runs around other commitments. And remember, once you’re out the door the difficult bit is done!
4) Make training social. Join a club, find a local running group, or get a few friends together. It’s best if they are roughly the same fitness level as you so pace isn’t compromised. It’s even better if they’re training for the same half-marathon as you!
5) Enjoy your alone-time. If you have to train alone, think of it as good practice for the race. You have the chance to work out how to pace yourself, and get to grips with inner self-talk. Training alone gives you the chance to soak in the sights, sounds, and thoughts of every run.
6) Make your slow runs slow, and inject some intensity into your shorter training runs. Make sure every run in your training programme has an objective.
7) Do a 10K. As part of your half-marathon training, enter a 10K 4-6 weeks before the main race. If you’ve never done a race before, this is your chance to trial race-day kit, shoes, socks and nutrition. If you’re a veteran race runner, treat it as a race-pace training run.
8) Use an app to track your training progress. Not only will it log your routes and times, but it’ll help you pour over data like pace, speed, and progression. There are plenty of free training apps out there – if you’ve got a smartphone, you’re good to go!
9) Become a time-management ninja. Plan training runs into your day. Give them as much attention as social events, meetings, and family time. Lay out running kit the night before, or make sure your bag is packed. Plan healthy meals, and have a water bottle with you at all times.
10) Get to know the race route. If it’s local, drive it. If it’s far away, take a look on Google maps. Find out where there are hills, sharp turns, busy sections, or narrow bits. Work out how to get there (whether you’re driving or going by public transport). Plan the bits between parking, baggage tent, registration, and the start line too.
11) Tell people that you’re running the half marathon. This will keep you excited, motivated, and accountable. If you’re raising money for charity, it’ll help you become a fund raising superstar too.
12) Talk to people who have run the same race. If the half marathon has a Facebook page or a Twitter account, it’ll be easy to find runners who ran it last year. If you are a member of a running forum or chat group, start a thread with the race name. Ask others for their feedback and experiences.
13) Find fun things to inspire you: a great running book, a classic running-themed film, or motivational quotes. Change the screensaver on your phone or laptop to a quote or photo that keeps your mind on your goal. Post positive and inspiring quotes on your bathroom mirror. Whatever it takes to keep you focused on the race and in a happy mindset!
Enter the Windsor Half Marathon Sunday 29th September now. Click here