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



  • By March you could be looking at 1h45m if your training goes well. That's not too shabby at all.

    On the day, I'd have breakfast (toast & cereal) at about 11am, then have some drinks on hand. Don't take on too much fluid close to the start because you'll have to carry it!

    Wear your favourite running gear, regardless of what it is. Make sure it's comfortable, though. Get to the start by about 11.45, assuming you've already got your number and chip tag sorted out.

    I run in a range of stuff, from proper technical running gear to base-layers that I got from Mountain Warehouse. Most of my shorts are el cheapo Umbro-branded from Sport Soccer. Eww. Socks are important, though, so I use Thorlos or bamboo trainer socks. The bamboo socks are really comfortable, and I've never had any blister problems with them.

    As for training up to the event, get a proper programme. There are some on this site.

    I expect many people raise money for charity, but don't feel that you should.
  • Thinking of entering this myself. Done a couple of 10k races recently and want to step upto Half Marathon now. I have been doing more km recently upto 18k with atime of about 1h 30m so would be hoping for a time of about 1h 45-50m.

    Just increase your mileage and have a days rest after longer runs over 10 miles etc. and i wouldn't run about 2-3 days before the event.

    As for gear it all depends on the weather basically. If warm and sunny then short sleeve top and shorts maybe a cap if sunny. Don't forget the sun cream also.

    I usually eat about a hour before the event something like a banana or a peanut butter bagel and drink often. I also take a couple of energy gels with me on the run.

    I have Nike+ trainers and have the Sports watch that you can link to see your splits etc.

     Anyway i'm not really that experienced enough to give proper advice but this is what i usually do and it's done me good so far.

    Good Luck

  • I ran the race in 2010. If family members are coming to support you then I wouldn't recomend they sit in the stands. They can get a much better view trackside near the finish. Get there early as it will get really busy in the car parks. I only just made the race start and i got there with over an hour to spare.

     The race is good. 10,000 runners when i did it and it's more hilly than you'd expect too.

     1hr 45min is realistic for you i think.

     Good luck.

  • This will be my first race even though I have been running for the last two years. I am a massive formula one fan so this seemed the perfect race to do and have been to GPs here a few times. I am very excited about it and very nervous at the same time. I have entered with three friends but we are all slightly different on timings so will all have to do our own thing, but hopefully I can do it in around 2 hours. At the moment Im up to 11 miles and doing on average 9.04 min mile, but I am not going to put too much pressure on myself as this is my first one. Lets just see what happens on the day!!!

    I have decided on this occasion not to raise money for charity as I did not want to put extra pressure on myself, but definitely next year if I do it!!!

    Good luck

  • Everyone else seems to have covered the main points image I ran the Silverstone Half last year and my top tip for race day is stay in the car as long as possible!

    The track was very cold and very windy and the start of the race was delayed (rumour has it because they were waiting for Jordan to turn up image ). It will also take an age to get out of the carparks at the end, so make sure you've got some snacks and good CDs in the car!

    Good luck and enjoy it!

  • I went to support at this event last year ( Jordan passed me in all her orange brightness with her entourage with her!! - i needed sunglasses!! )

    but this year I am running it also woop woop, i'm quite excited

    I shall definitely be taking warm layers ( which maybe i can peel off ) as i remember it being EXTREMELY cold last year

    this is going to be my second HM, i've only been running 9mths myself but before i did my first HM i ran 11miles 2 weeks before the HM and then tapered down with some shorter runs and didnt run at all a couple of days before

    I also took some gels with me and took them at mile 6 and at mile 10 and kept a pocket full of jelly babies which i took when i knew there was a hill coming up lol

    Carparking is a nightmare, getting to Silverstone is a nightmare actually the queues were horrendous off the motorway to get in and horrendous to get out, make sure you have some recovery snacks with you and warm clothes!!!!

    good luck
  • 2 weeks to go image

    my race pack is here now. cant wait.
  • yes my race pack came through on weds i've only looked at my number so far tho lol, not looked at anything else, its very exciting

    are you driving there the morning of the race Marc?
  • not driving myself, i have a lift sorted for this one, leaving about an hour earlier than last year though, stuck in traffic getting into the circuit and had to run to the start line from the car park, and still missed the start by 2 mins,
  • I'm running this year but staying in London the night before after travelling down from Glasgow.    Looking into the shuttlebuses they put on and the big disadvantage is that they don't leave for a good 2 hours after i'd anticipate finishing.  Is there a possibility anyone car sharing may have space available?


  • i'll be there - at the back. I started running this time last year when my brother entered me for a 10k, i came in at the back.
    Then october I did the great south run and did it in 1 hour 41 (good for me)....
    I expect to come in around 2hour 15/ 2 hour 20 on this race but i'll just be made up to have finished it.
    Less focus on time and more focus on actually achieveing a half marathon is where i'm at. I'll never win a race so i won't pressure myself more than i have to!

    see you all there! i'll be wearing my marmite vest (8135) image
  • 2:15/20 is far from the back, last year after i finished i stayed around to watch (and wait for the traffic to clear) and people were still coming in at 3hours + (jordan finished at around that time) and right down to 3:30.
  • I am doing this one this year as a Training run before the London Marathon........... im aming for about 2.20 hopefully but I'm not too bothered just want to enjoy the day image

  • I Havent seen anything about designated start areas based on your expected finish time,

    Is it a free for all and is there a possibility that someone hoping to run 1h25 could be stuck behind 1000's of

    slower runners at the start?

  • I ran this as my first half marathon last year

    You line up in predicted time bands. I was towards the back 2.5 - 3 hours, just ahead of 3 hours +

    It worked pretty well last year, and a lot of the route is pretty wide, so over taking isn't too tricky.

    See you Sunday! lol
  • Overtaking might not be an issue for me, more been overtaken!!

    But seriously this is my first HM looking forward to it in equal measures of excitement and fear. I'm hoping for finishing around 1.45-1.50 but anything under 2 hours will be great and just finishing will be enough to make me a happy man.

    I was planning on getting there about an hour before the start time (as advised in the magazine that can with my number etc.) those that have been before do you reckon this is plenty of time to get stuck in traffic and get to the start line in plenty of time?

  • there is starting groups but they let you decide, there is a sub 2h and over 2h group,
  • Tracey GTracey G ✭✭✭
    It was a bit tricky pacing one of the slower pacing groups as they took up the whole width of the track, but you can run on the grass to get pass.

    I will be there before some of you have left home as I will be going on my clubs baggage/runner coach. Should be there at 8:30am on Sunday morning. Will be talking my folding chair.
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