Help! I've just entered my 1st 1/2 marathon!

ChloboChlobo ✭✭✭
OK so somehow in all the royal wedding excitement at our local street party I agreed to run Windsor 1/2 marathon in Sept (I think the sugar high off a huge piece of pavlova, and the home brew might have been the reason for my actions!)

So....argh Help! what have I got myself into?...

My running history is fastest 5k last year 28mins, have done a 12k race and that's the furthest I've ever run in comp', am I gonna die in Windsor?...

How do I train for this?... I've had a look on the official site and there is a training schedule, but I'm not that keen on it. Yesterday I did a 4.55mile run and really got into my stride by the end, but only really when I got to the 3mile mark did i feel settled and comfy, is that normal?...

My rough plan is to train longer and longer routes, until I'm managing 10-11miles runs (seeing as a 1/2M is 13miles I thought I would train slightly under, good plan?... or faulty logic?...

People have also been mentioning things like.....vaseline! gel sachets! running comando to prevent rubbing! and other strange and unusual running! it all sounds so alien atm

All and any advice welcome, especially when it comes to what to listen to on your ipod, it turns out the adam and joe podcast isn't very motivating! image image

Thank you image


  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭

    The first three miles can be hard.

    Start slow.

    You can already do 7 miles (12km) so start from there. Add 1/2 a mile a week to that until you are up to 10 then add a mile a week. During the week do your usual short runs and once a week a long SLOW one. You'll soon get to 13miles. Then you can either drop back down to 10miles and work up to 13 again ready for race or something similar.

    Good luck.

  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭
    Watch out for iPods. Some races ban them and there's a bit of controversy here on the forums. It's a personal thing I suppose.
  • ChloboChlobo ✭✭✭
    Thanks Tim - I find the first 3 miles are tough mentally as my brain just says 'ouch stop, ouch stop, ouch stop' no matter how loud I have my ipod! image

    I did 12k last summer atm I did 4.55m yesterday and have planned a 5miler for this wkend so good to know I am sort of on the right training track with adding .5 each week, the wkend after that I have agreed to go on a 7mile with a buddy, bit of a jump in distance but will go back to 6 after that.

    This race says it is personal preference if you wear one or not, but they prefer you not to. I think I will start without mine but I may well need to turn on some tunes at the half way point to keep me motivated...who knows...

    Can't yet find out what I like to run to best, music, podcasts, or my own thoughts....
  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭

    Going from 5 to 7 isn't really a problem just carry on to 7.5 after that. You could even do a 5.5 next weekend. Just be aware not to suddenly go out and run 13 miles just because you have the cardio fitness, that's when you'll injure yourself.

    The guide is add 10-20% but it's a guide and you have plenty of time so no point pushing by adding a mile a week if you don't need to.

  • ChloboChlobo ✭✭✭
    Ahhh ok thanks for the tip, now I've got a plan I'm getting quite excited about it! image
  • Chlobo


    No, it's not going to kill you.  By the sounds of it you're quite advanced with your training (not exactly a couch potatoe) so going up to a half should not be a massive problem.  Get yourself a training programme- there are a few on this website.  Start adding mileage and keep your long runs slow, as others said.  Try to get up to the whole distance or just slightly above, it really does help psychologically to know you've done the distance in training.  Don't worry too much about gels/ vaseline/ running commando... it's all slightly more relevant to a full marathon.

    And be careful cause it does get very addictive.  I'm also doing Windsor so see you thereimage

  • ChloboChlobo ✭✭✭
    do you keep your long training runs slow because in the heat of the race you tend to go a bit quicker?....

    I was thinking about adding a mile each sunday, to get to about 10-13 miles, then a 30min run during the week. Can't really do much more than that with work and 2 horses to ride every day too

    i can sense it getting addictive already on sat when i went for 4.55 i was thinking towards the end 'well i could just keep going' but didn't want to be crippled the next day (1st run in new trainers)
  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭

    As I say the problem is as you have the cardio fitness you run the risk of going off too fast and injuring yourself running on muscles and tendons that aren't used to running long distances. Build up strength slowly and work on speed later.

    Adding a mile a week is fine.

  • Good luck!  You can do it!

    I ran my first half marathon in March (Bath), less than 9 months after completing very icky cancer treatment.  I ran pushing my baby in her baby jogger.  We didn't set any land-speed records, but we did it.

    Just keep in mind that if this fat old lady can do it, so can you!

    IMO, gels rock!

  • Chlobo, the best way to train for running a race is by running. one way or another you should try and work out how you can run more than twice a week. 3x 30 min runs rather than only 1 will make it so much easier on the day...

    It's summer... Days are long so you should find time if you really really want to...
  • ChloboChlobo ✭✭✭
    @Yank thank you for the inspiration image

    @AmGettingFitter do you mean 3x 30min runs midweek then my longer (every week getting .5 or 1 mile longer) big run on sunday?... that's 4 runs a week, is that what you mean?...
  • Hiya, yes that's what I mean. Good luck..
  • Hi

     Sorry don't mean to jump on this thread by i to am running a half marathon in september and i just wondered what you more experienced runners did as far as fuelling?

     I think i'm going to follow the 3x30 minute runs a week and 1 long run increasing my mileage by .5


  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭

    I eat a small bowl of porridge and a banana an hour before the race.

    Make sure that you are properly hydrated in the days before.

    I don't use anything other than the water they give out at the water stations, although following Sunday's race I may take my own on hot days in future.

    Drinking during the run is very individual thing and depends on how much you sweat. You will get an idea of that during your training.

  • I Do something very similar to Tim, seems to work for me too..
  • Great thanks for that image

     Not sure about the water thing may have to suss that out as i up my miles. Did a very scary 10k race at Glastonbury...i live in a very flat area no hills so when i got to Glastonbury i nearly cried as the start was up hill!  I over hydrated through nerves i toliet, no bush, and 1 k to can kinda guess the state i crossed the line in lol. my time of 1 hour dead i was proper chuffed even with everyone pointing at me....woops image

  • alib1975alib1975 ✭✭✭

    I usually take a Gel in my back pocket for the halfway point and take water at the stops.  I dont know if the one Gel really makes a difference but  I dont think that I would not take it now.  If I ran a HM on a hot day I think I would have to carry a drink.

  • imageI normally take one gel and water from the water stations.  I don't think you really need anything other than water (and even this mainly when it's hot) for a half but if it gives you a boost (even just a phychological one)- why not!  A lot also depends on how long it takes you to run one... if it's 90min taking anything will only slow you down... but if it takes 2h+ it's worth refuelling.

    I prefer to be slightly dehydrated then have to stop for a toilet... I ran a marathon in Madrid a few weeks ago, it was very hot, I drank a lot more then I normally do and still only needed a toilet a few hours after the race...It didn't seem to do me any harm.

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