With race season fast approaching, we’re sure that many of you are considering signing up to a half marathon, or maybe even you’ve started your training for an upcoming race.
If either of these are true, you’ve probably got a lot of questions circling around your head that range from logistical points such as “how far is a half marathon?” to wondering what to wear for a half marathon, wanting to explore certain training strategies and necessary dietary and supplementation strategies too... we recommend The Energy Booster for that one.
So, first off – if you’re considering running a half marathon this upcoming race season, congratulations! That’s great news, and something you should absolutely be proud of.
Here at Innermost, we’re all about setting challenging fitness goals for yourself to maximise your performance and improve your fitness, and love to champion our community for doing so. But one thing is for sure, you should be under no illusion that a half marathon (or any distance race) can be a pretty challenging feat, and it’s always important to be prepared.
Innermost's top half marathon tips
To help you on your way to feeling ready and raring to go for that upcoming half marathon – perhaps you’re running in the Great Manchester Run, the Great Scottish Run or even the famous Robin Hood Half Marathon, we’ve got our top things to consider before signing up.
Firstly, though, let’s get some of the basics out of the way, shall we? As they always say, fail to prepare, prepare to fail! That’s exactly what we’re here to avoid.
How far is a half marathon?
When considering signing up for a half marathon, it’s of course pretty handy to know how far that means you’ll need to run. Whilst it may seem obvious to some, no one can deny that it’s a pretty important bit of information.
In miles, we’re talking 13.1, which translates to around 21 kilometres. For some, it’s easier to think of a half marathon as two 10k races, so if that helps – definitely use this technique as a guide!
How long does it take to run a half marathon?
This question, on the other hand, isn’t as straight forward. Your half marathon time will depend on a number of factors, including the below:
- Your race experience
- Your current injuries – if any
- Race day weather
- Your age
- Any unexpected on-the-day occurrences
How to decide what to wear for a half marathon
When it comes to deciding what to wear for a half marathon, this largely depends on the weather. And if you’re running your half marathon in the United Kingdom, as we all know, it can be pretty hard to predict this… to say the least.
It’s important to remember that you’ll get warmer as the race goes on, so make sure whatever you wear is lightweight and loose. Remember to apply sunscreen before the race and reapply if you can, especially in hot weather.
For race days that are cold and rainy, a lightweight waterproof jacket is the perfect addition to your sportswear, with mid-lightweight leggings to ensure that you’re not too cold.
Our top things to consider before signing up to a half marathon
Now we’ve established the basics, let’s get into our top three things to consider before signing up to a half marathon. Preparation is key, so make sure you’ve thought about these before you commit!
What training and experience do you have?
Whilst you may be able to run a half marathon comfortably on a warm, sunny afternoon with no company and in an empty park or familiar woodland, the race becomes a different challenge on a day with potentially unpredictable weather, thousands of other competitors, and potentially the pressure of family and friends watching, too.
Before signing up to a half marathon, consider your experience and make sure you have your pre-race routine and prep down to a T. Test out a variety of race wear, distances and even playlists to ensure that when it gets to the day, you know exactly how you race best so that you feel as comfortable as possible.
Do you want to run the half marathon alone, or with a friend?
The answer to this question boils down to one thing: your pace. If you want to race with a friend, colleague or family member, make sure that you work out what their general pace is beforehand. You don’t want to run into some awkward mid-race situations where you either have to slow yourself down, or are struggling to keep up.
Another thing to consider in terms of running with company is whether you feel that you would benefit from the motivation or not. Whilst some people find company is a great way to motivate yourself to keep going during those particularly tough miles, others prefer to fully get ‘into the zone’ when running, and would find this a distraction.
Either way, think ahead and plan accordingly so that you know your game plan ahead of the day.
Do you want to run for leisure, or for charity?
Finally, running a half marathon is a great thing to do, and many people pair this physical challenge with a passion or cause of theirs that they feel particularly strongly about.
Many half marathon runners set up fundraising pages in the run up to a half marathon to raise awareness and money about a cause or organisation, and it’s a really admirable way to both challenge yourself and do some good and give back to worthy causes.
Great charities that many individuals often run for include:
But of course, the number of worthy causes and charities are endless, and would be thrilled to receive donations of any size.
We hope that these tips and tricks are useful in your preparation for your upcoming half marathon, and wish you the best of luck. Remember to train well, stay hydrated and never forget the importance of nutrition. That's the key.
We'd love to see you in action, so remember to tag us in your pictures on social media over at @liveinnermost. Good luck, Innermosters!