Hi guys got my 1st half marathon on Sunday and now I'm feeling really nervous. Training has gone really well all I have left to go now is a 6 mile run tommorow and 3 mile on Thursday then will rest up to Sunday. I've trained hard over the weekend hense my legs feel bit right and feel like jelly but think its nerves. Can anyone give me an insight and what you do with days before the race ie food preparations, water intake and just generally how to relax which for some reason I can't image


  • For food and water intake, do whatever you did for your long training runs. Don't try anything new at this late stage.

    If you haven't already done a run in the kit you'll be wearing on the day, then do that. You don't want any surprises.

    Not sure about relaxing, that's an individual thing. Reading, watching films, playing video games or listening to music might help. Just remember that the biggest part of running a half marathon is the training, you've done that so it's just the last 13.1 miles to go.

  • Grendel3Grendel3 ✭✭✭

    What Tom said - good luck you'll be fine - if you don't feel like 6 tomorrow shorten it, the additional rest may do you good - it's warmer now (well it is in the east of england) keep your water intake up over the next few days and most importantly enjoy it.

  • Carbo-load for 2-3 days before your run.

    If you can register and collect race number and chip before Sunday, do it so you don't have anything to think about on the morning of the race.

    Don't eat a heavy breakfast (no fried food).  Sip water from when you get up.  Stop drinking when your pee is clear/light straw colour.

    Check the weather and make sure you have appropriate kit ready for the day.

    If you've trained well, then you are laughing. 

  • Your first half marathon - special event and the nerves you are feeling should build through the week to perfectly fuel the race day adrenaline that will take you to a great time to back up your training.

    What could ruin this? - using that adrenaline when the gun goes off to surge off at a ridiculous speed that you simply can not sustain.

    If you have a garmin look at it regularly (every 0.25 mile) for the first mile and if it shows a speed above your target time slow down - once you've got a mile under your belt you will settle into a speed and you can then build from there if you are able to go faster.

    In the unlikely event it is hot (there is frost forecast for where I live on Saturday morning!!) keep the pace beneath target pace for first three miles and again build from there. This will just give you that extra energy for final few miles.

    If you finish your first half and you wish you had gone a little bit faster then I think you will have had a great day and the next half will be just round the corner!image

    Good luck and enjoy the experience!

  • Hi guys been busy last couple of days thanks for your comments they are very helpful. I done my last run today doing 3 miles so its just rest now and build up my carbs and water intake. Only thing that worrys me id if i set off to fast or if i will be dissapionted at the end with my time. I still dont really know my average min mile as im between 7.20 upto 8.50 from my past 5 months training !. Any idea how i can roughly work out a time to run at if poss or even a target finish time, thanks

  • I agree with Skinny Fetish Man, err on the side of caution.  Even if you don't go as fast as you could, it will give you a marker to beat next time.  And you'll feel much better if you come away from the race thinking, I can go even faster.  Rather than, maybe I'm not as fit as I thought I was.

  • Stephen - we could totally blow your whole race by trying to predict the wrong target time for you. I would have thought you would have some feel for what you are capable of but if not have you done any other recent races of any length?

    If so go on the training part of this website and go into Calculators and use the Race Time Predictor to give you a rough idea then set off slightly slower and see how it goes.

    The Race Time Predictor presumes you have done sufficient training for the distance you are going to tackle - we don't know that from what you have written above but I am taking 'training has gone really well' to mean that you have trained properly for the distance.

    If you read this today it will be fun if you post what your target calculates as and then you can tell us how you got on on Monday!

    Good luck.

    Cheers, Skinny

  • Usual advice for your first Half Marathon is to make sure you finish "upright and with a smile on your face". So run it fairly conservative, start off something like 30s per mile slower than you think you'd be capable of. See how you feel at the half-way point, you can always speed up a bit at that point if it's going well.

  • Hi Skinny i dont really know what times to put in i will post my last 10 runs and see what you or anyone else thinks 


    3 mile - 23.21 - 7.43 min mile

    6 mile 48.45 - 8.05 min mile

    8 mile 58.45 - 7.20 min mile ( 8 miles of marathon route )

    6 mile - 47.10 - 7.51 min mile

    10 mile 1.22.57 - 8.17 min mile

    8 mile 1.03.17 - 7.53 min mile ( same as above but that was quicker )

    4 mile - 31.52 - 7.54 min mile

    10 mile - 1.25.54 - 8.33 min mile

    6 mile - 50.30 - 8.25 min mile

    13 mile - 1.51.41 - 8.35 min mile



    it shows over the weeks ive got quicker but if anyone can help much appreciated !



  • Hi Stephen - there are better experts than me kicking about on here but okay I'm going to have a go for you but with the caveat that I would not let you do this for me unless I had given you a lot more information like total average training mileage a week, how tired I was after the 8 miles in 59 mins, how many other runs 10 miles I had done, were your runs measured on a GPS or just roughly etc

    If we take your time of 58:45 for 8 miles and presume that was you racing then that would give a Calculated time based on proper half marathon training of 1:39:30. This is about 7:36/mile.

    So as its your first I would suggest setting off at 7:45m/mile (8 mins even for first mile) and see how you feel at half way.

    As a PS I know that any pace I can run for 8 miles in training on my own I can run for 13.1 on race day surrounded by people but its going to hurt particularly last couple of miles - this would suggest you can run at 7:20m/mile which would give you a 1:36 time.

    So that's your range - somewhere between 7:45 and 7:20m/mile depending on how much pain you want to experience and how safe you want to play it.

    Good luck and please post the result on Monday.image

  • Sub-1:45 should be no problem, sub-1:40 is probably do-able.

    If your 13 miles in 1:51 felt fairly easy then go for sub-140, if it felt quite tough then play it safe and go for sub-1:45. Best of luck in either case!

  • BTW, which 1/2 marathon is it? 

  • ok will go for 1.45 image hope I feel good on the day. I'm doing Plymouth half marathon mate 

  • Just an update guys just finished my 1st half marathon i feel absolutly fantastic, I finished it in 1 hour 40 32 seconds which was 7.40 minute mile. Felt fine all the way through did feel it in my legs last mile and a half but i wanted it so much. Thanks for all the advice i have recieved on this forum, roll on the next race !

  • Hi Stephen - congratulations - I'm sure all us race nerds would love to know your mile splits if you've got them!

    Well done, Skinny.

  • Hi Mate yeh no worries ive used it from map my run though ok

    1 mi 07:07 min/mi 2 mi 07:03 min/mi 3 mi 07:06 min/mi 4 mi 07:37 min/mi 5 mi 07:43 min/mi 6 mi 07:50 min/mi 7 mi 07:42 min/mi 8 mi 07:30 min/mi 9 mi 07:44 min/mi 10 mi 08:21 min/mi 11 mi 08:53 min/mi 12 mi 09:02 min/mi 13 mi 11:24 min/mi


    As you can see i slowed down last 2 miles my legs were cramping up i think but before that i felt fantastic. I am deffo going to carry on training and even considering joining a running club as would like to run many more race if i can !

  • Considering it was my 1st time and no running experience got to be happy with it image

  • Yeah great time - got to laugh at your splits though - looks like you just ignored all our advice and just went for it (and suffered for it in last couple of miles!)

    Anyway painful racing is the way to go every time but still think a slower start would have got you a faster time so there is definitely better HMs to come - enjoy!image


  • yeh probably did think i was folowing others probably as not used to it but yeh i suffered at the end. I feel i can beat that time next year but i will continue training, just not sure what to do going forward from this, Any idea what i could do to improve !, thanks image

Sign In or Register to comment.