doing Great North Run to celebrate birthday

Hello - A few months ago I put my name down for  the Great North Run (which will be held next September) to celebrate my 60th birthday.

My regular sport is weight training which includes running on a treadmill but nothing like a half marathon so I would like some advice on training.

Last December when I was visiting my mother I ran 10 miles within 2 hours but the route was comaparatively flat.

Many of the training routines suggest having three three-mile runs on weekdays with a longer run on Saturday or Sunday and each week the weekend run increases a mile so within 10 weeks the trainee is running 13 miles.But then I can already run 10 miles so restricting myself to 3 or 4 mile runs (at the beginning of the training routine) might be a waste of time

A friend has suggested doing training for a marathon so a half marathon would come easy.

Anyway I have six months (at least) to train and I hope only to complete the race within 3 hours. My training schedule at the moment is to run 2 3-mile runs in the weekdays and a 5-mile run (increasing a mile each week) on Sundays. Next Sunday I hope to complete 6 miles.

At the moment I set the treadmill to 5 mph with an incline of 2 - I think I will have to find an elevation map of the great north run route to use a more realistic incline.

Please advise me on th best way to train - thank you.


I believe I am quite fit - these runs (which I should call "jogs") dont leave me out-of-breath or anything like that - I just get sore thighs.

Thank you again,

Gareth (jakarta, indonesia)














  • You have a good running base - no point in going backwards. My regular runs tend to be similar to yourself in length.  I don't tend to follow a plan when training for a half marathon, but I do start paying more attention to the quality of the runs, and make sure that I get a good interval session in every week, and include some tempo runs.  On my long runs, I start trying to start slower, then up the intensity in the second half of the run rather than run a steady pace throughout.  And I throw in some regular hill training.  But I've just made that up myself, not based on any particular theory or expertise.  I don't know if there is a more evidence based approach.... 

  • Thanks for the reply - I dont think my running will bw so good once I use the right angle of incline. Looking at the elevation map of the GNR I would say I need to run on an incline of 45 degrees - which will be murderous and will be very hard on my back.

    For some reason running on a sharp incline hurts my back - unless I hold on to the sides.


  • The GNR is nowhere near a 45 degree incline, I assure you!  It's flat - elevation profiles generally exaggerate incline because of the X and Y axes use such vastly different scales.

    The only "hill" I remember (2003, I think), was the long-drag at about 11 miles up to the coast, but that's difficult because it's long, not because it's steep.

  • Lol 45 degrees ! I think a 1 degree incline is best.

    It's either flat or slightly uphill for 12 miles - but you wouldn't say any of it was a hill.

    Then the road drops steeply to the coast.

    Sounds like your training is already better than most runners.
  • I ran it last year, really enjoyed it the support is fantastic, it is a flat course and mile 11-12 is nothing to worry about. Hope you enjoy it
  • Well I have been very meticulous this afternoon, printing out an elevation map of the GNR which has both the distance as the x axis and the elevation of the terrain as the y axis.

    It seems the longest steepest part is about 2 km long with a rise of about 30 metres which works out to be a gradient of 1.5 %. Actually I consulted a few maps and they all a little different so I will settle for 2%. (maybe pictures are worth a 1000 words- but not always the right words).

    If my treadmill at incline level 15 is a gradient of 45% then I suppose I should set it at level 3.

    So thats all right. Thank you







  • I think you're sweating the details too much.  You've obviously now worked out that the inclines involved in the GNR (I've not done it, BTW) are pretty tame.  What will get you up gentle slopes quicker is basically being a fitter runner, which you can work towards on any treadmill or outdoor run.  It's only when you get genuinely hilly courses, more typically associated with off-road marathons, where slopes of 10%+ require a mechanically different running action and need to be trained for.

  • Well David (Falconer) I ran 10 miles in the UK - between the very small village of West Dean and Romsey.

    I have never been on a run in Jakarta but I am thinking about it. The problem is 1) I might fall into a hole or trip over a stone or some other object 2) get hit by a motorcycle which go in all directions 3) of course the best time to go running is early in the morning (around 5 am) but then I might get mugged

    so I am looking for a 10 km route in my neighbourhood - I dont think the heat will be an obstacle..

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