Silverstone Half Marathon/General Running Advice


I'm fairly new to running and am looking for some advice please

I'm a 34 year old male and have been running for around 8 months

I've entered the Silverstone Half Marathon this March (2012) as something to focus on. I've never entered an event before and don't know any other runners to get help from, so any hints, tips or advice anyone can offer would be much appreciated

I guess I would be classed as a beginner. I currently run 3 or 4 times a week at varying distances: 3.5 miles, 6 miles and have just started doing a longer 9 mile run. Times are around 3.5 miles = 28 minutes, 6 miles = 48 minutes and 9 miles = 75 minutes

Things in particular:

What overall time should I be aiming for?

What times should I be looking to hit different mile marks at?

Any advice for the day itself, ie when and what to eat (race is at 12 noon)? What to do to prepare? stretches? What to wear? What time to arrive? etc etc

Any equipment/clothing (at the moment I run in regular canvas running shoes, a long sleeve top, thermal top, regular sports shorts and a beanie type hat and gloves) recommendations? Is it advisable to use a pedometer type device, to measure times/distances/pace etc?

Any training advice? How many days before the event should my last run be? How many miles should I be aiming for in training?

Do the majority of people raise money for a charity at these events?

Any general running advice?

Or anything that anyone thinks may help my first half marathon and running in general to be a good experience

Many thanks in advance



  • Hi Jamie

     I am doing the Silverstone HM its my first image been running around 6 months.  I have been gradually creeping my mileage up and did my first 10 miles a couple of weeks ago image

    Not sure I can offer any advice as I am as new as you image I have already done a few shorter races and doing a 10K this sunday  Its a good way to get you use to running with others etc so i would recommend maybe entering something before the HM

    The most important item is your trainers, you say you have canvas trainers???? what exactly are they?  I had my gait analysis done by Sweatshop and bought a pair of Asics, they have been great since day one image

    Also I have joined 2 running clubs and they have helped me loads with distance/speed and just generally gaining confidence

    Don't worry to much about time, just go and enjoy it image

  • Lots of HM training schedules and advice here:

    What time to aim for? Personally, I would just set out to get around the course and have fun. It's your first ever race, your first ever half. I would enter it with no pressure. Just run comfortably, enjoy the event and get around the course. Why ruin your first Half by setting yourself a goal that you might not hit. It will put a downer on the day. Once you've one half under your belt, and a finish time, you can then look at beating it next time and perhaps working on pace. You may however feel you DO need a time to aim for for personal motivation, in which case i'll leave that to others to advise.

    Clothing, wear what you wear now. No need to wear any special clothing just for race day. Always test any clothing out on a long run prior to the race to make sure it fits and to make sure it doesn't rub you in places you'd rather not be rubbed. The worst is wearing a new item of clothing in a race and finding out at mile 7 it doesn't fit! Also keep in mind most events frown upon the use of headphones due to safety issues.

    Do you need a pedometer? Personal preference. Some people run with them, some run without them. They are obviously handy for tracking distance and pace in training and in a proper event itself. But you don't NEED one to run, it's just an extra.

    Raising money is again your choice. If you think you can raise a couple of hundred quid, why not throw up a page and ask your friends to sponsor you. It's all in a good cause. If not, that's fine too. Many many people don't raise money when they run.

    I think if you're already doing 9 mile long runs then you're pretty much already there in terms of running and fitness. Half marathon schedules don't go much further than that. I would just keep up what you're doing now and enjoy your first event.

    Eating, again, stick to what works now. Test out eating strategies prior to your long weekly run. Routine works best. Don't feel you need to stuff heaps of food down your throat for a race when you wouldn't do that for your long 9 mile run. Same applies to hydration.

    Stick to what works for you in training and you'll do fine. Good luck. Hope that was of help.
  • Jamie,


    In the training tab at the top of the page there are a number of training plans for the half marathon.

    these will include details of winding your training down before the race (tapering).

    If you are finishing your 9 mile training run with 'something left in the tank', its reasonable to presume you should be able (with some more training) to cover the half marathon distance at at least that pace.  In practice most peoples race pace is quicker than their training pace.  At the moment your 9 mile run (assuming that the distance is roughly accurate), is covered in 75 minutes, which is just over 8.5 minute miling. 

    You should aim for an even pace on race day. 

    Ensure you eat well (but don't pig out) the night before, again no special requriements for breakfast but if you can practice beforehand with breakfast and then a run at midday you can find what works for you (or what doesn't in terms of needing the toilet).  If you're planning on taking the Lucozade they hand out on course try this out in your training runs before the event- some people can't get on with it at all (although you should be OK on just taking water).

    Aim to arrive early (10:30), getting in to the course is not too difficult, but the car parks are a long way from the baggage storage and start.  You might want some old clothing or a bin bag to wear while you wait for the start to keep you warm, but which you can then ditch (off the running track) just before the start.

    I'd echo Booey on the footwear, get yourself to a running specialist.

    Some raise money for charity, but most won't. 

    Edit: image x-post with NR

  • Hi guys,

    Some great info there. I'm in a similar position as Jamie in that I've never raced before but have been running recreationally for a couple of years. However, today I have taken the plunge and signed up for the Liverpool half marathon in March (8 weeks).
    Just a few questions though. I have looked at the training plans and they are pretty time consuming, due to other responsibilities I can only really get 3/4 runs in per week.
    What would you suggest would help me in my training? I generally do a couple of morning runs (4m) then either a best effort 10k or a long run (both if I can) my longest run so far is 9m (63mins). Does this sound suitable? What else would you suggest might help?
  • I'm doing my first half end of march and also struggle to run 3/4 times a week due to being a full time mum and only really having weekends to run. I do run twice over weekend when I can or a mid week run if not and gym and double spin each week so hoping that will suffice. Good luck to us all!
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