Top half marathon running tips

If you’ve recently graduated from the 5K or 10K club, you might now be thinking of taking the next step up to a half marathon. It’s completely understandable to feel daunted by running your first longer distance run, but the 13.1 event is still achievable for runners of all experience levels.

Runners racing in a half marathon

To help you get to grips with a half marathon, and run your best race yet, we’ve put together our top 10 tips for training and running a half.

Pace yourself

It might seem like a good idea to sprint ahead at the start of your race when you are full of energy, but in doing so your body will release lactic acid and become fatigued quickly. It’s better to pace yourself over the course and reserve some energy for the last few miles.

Use a training plan

Whatever running experience you already have, a training plan will only help to enhance your performance on race day. For a half marathon you’ll want to include a mixture of running, cross training and strength training, building up to longer distances as you get closer to your event.

Warm up

Never underestimate the importance of the humble warm up routine! Not only will warming up effectively prevent injuries, but it can also help to prepare your muscles and help you to perform to the best of your abilities during your run.

Interval training

If you are trying to improve your average speed, add interval training into your training plan. You should aim to run hard for intervals of 30 seconds to one minute to get your body used to running at a higher intensity.

Find your soundtrack

For many, running and training for a longer distance like a half marathon can start to become a bit dull. A good running playlist can help keep your runs interesting and motivated, and higher tempo tracks can help spur you on to run that little bit faster too!

There’s an app for that!

The best way to track your training and progress is to use fitness apps or trackers. These clever technologies can monitor your pace, heart rate and more allowing you to see in real time where you can improve your technique.

Research your course

The more you know about your course, the better you can prepare. Knowing about a steep hill 6km into the course will help you to better manage how you pace yourself, and to incorporate hills into your training.

Run with friends

Running with friends, or even joining a local running club, can add an element of fun to your training and help keep you motivated on reaching your 10K goals. What better way to celebrate crossing the finish line that regrouping post-race for a victory meal?

Don’t over-train

In the last couple of weeks before your race it might be tempting to switch your training into overdrive, but do resist this urge! If you train too hard before your race you’ll find yourself exhausted and risk injury. Start to taper off your training before your race to perform at your best.

Have fun!

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself! Completing a half marathon is a great accomplishment and something to be truly proud of whether you walk the whole course or get around in record time!

 


If you are looking for your next half marathon, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - Half Marathon Listings

Related Posts

How long is a half marathon?

Half Marathon Training Plan

Calories burnt running a Half Marathon

Best Half Marathons in the UK

What is the average half marathon time?

How to run a half marathon faster

What to eat before a half marathon

UK Half Marathons

Half Marathons are a great challenge for any runner, if you have successfully completed a 10k run then this type of event might be next on your list. The training will require a lot more effort and time due to the length but it will be even more rewarding when you cross the finish line. For runners who aspire to one day run a marathon, a half marathon is a great bridging event between shorter races like a 5K or 10K and doing a full 26.2 miles.

Why run a half marathon?

Even If you’ve never run competitively before, signing up for a half marathon can be a great way to motivate a change in fitness and lifestyle and push your abilities to run longer distances. You’ll need to stay committed to a good training plan before your race to avoid injury, but it will be totally worth it once you cross that finish line!

Not only is it a great form of cardiovascular exercise, running a half marathon has plenty of other great benefits too. Firstly, if you’re looking to start running as a way to lose some weight, signing up to a half marathon event will give you something to stay committed to, and through your training, you’ll work on getting your heart rate up, burning calories and losing weight in no time.

Another reason to sign up for a half marathon is to raise money for charity. Half marathons are popular options for runners who want to fundraise and there are hundreds happening across the UK every year. Some people even choose to run in fancy dress to keep things fun!
Finally, running your first half marathon is a great way to really challenge yourself and improve your long-distance running ability. Once you’ve finished a half you’re sure to want to take on your next challenge of a marathon.

Half marathons near me

There are lots of well-known half marathon events in the major cities across the UK, but you may not have know that there are also loads of events that take place in smaller towns and villages, including in your local area too. As half marathons are popular events and great for fundraising, you’ll find that there are new events starting in the UK all the time, meaning that there is bound to be one that is easy and convenient for you to get to. Another benefit of joining one of the smaller half marathon events nearby is that you’re less likely to miss out on a place and joining fees are generally lower.

If you’re looking for ways to get more active, or even start exercising more with a friend or partner, training for a half marathon together is a great way to introduce a little friendly competition and also support each other in reaching your fitness goals. Our website has plenty of half marathon events that you can join all over the UK, so be sure to take a look for half marathons near you using the search bar on the left. You can then find races based on location and other options using the filters to find the perfect event for you.

Half marathons near me and fundraising

Running a half marathon to raise money for charity is a fantastic thing to do. As well as the better-known events, such as the Great Run series, there are plenty of smaller local events you can sign up to as well. In fact, a lot of smaller local charities organise their own events to raise money for specific causes, and many of these will have benefits for the local community.

Setting up funding for a half marathon is easy too. Most charities will provide you with a sponsorship pack to get started you can also do online fundraising and share your goals with your friends on social media. Running in a local half marathon race is also an ideal way to raise money for charities that are based in your local community, and also a great way to get more familiar with your local area.

Charity half marathon events are growing in popularity every year, so if you want to get into running then these are a great place to start!

How can I find charity half marathons near me?

If you’ve decided to run a half marathon for a charity, you may be wondering where you can find charity races nearby. You can find them here of course! On the UK Fitness Events website, you’ll find pages of fitness events that are taking place all across the UK. Use the search bar on the left and once you’ve filtered down the type of race you’re looking to take part in, you can then further refine the results by selecting your location and then choosing from a range of charities that you are interested in supporting.

If you’d like to support a charity that isn’t listed, you’re welcome to do that too! Be sure to check the website of your chosen charity to find out more about getting started with fundraising.

Training for a half marathon

Half marathons are a big commitment, and the 13.1 mile race will certainly put your body to the test. I’ve you’re relatively new to running of have only done shorter races previously, you’ll find that half marathons require a much longer training plan, where you have to train both your body and mind to be able to stand up to the length of the race.

If your goal is to eventually do a marathon you’ll need to get lots of training done before you even look at the track! Start off similar to a 5K prep with smaller runs and sprints and then slowly build up the length of the runs you do. Nutrition will also be important as you start to complete longer runs to make sure your muscles have adequate fuel to keep you going. Take a look at our guide for Half Marathon Training.

Where are the best UK half marathons?

With so many half marathon events to choose from all over the country, it’s difficult to choose the best! Each course has its own perks and challenges, but here are a few of the most popular half marathon events on our site:

Cardiff Half Marathon  |  Royal Parks Half Marathon  |  North London Half Marathon  |  Liverpool Rock and Roll Half Marathon  | Reading Half Marathon  |  Leeds Half Marathon  |  Brighton Half Marathon  |  Birmingham Half Marathon  |  Bath Half Marathon  |  Bristol Half Marathon

 

Related posts

Are you looking for some more information on half marathons? We have some great quick-read articles covering everything from pace, training and nutrition to top tips. See some of our related posts below:

How long is a half marathon?

Half Marathon Training Plan

Top half marathon running tips

Calories burnt running a Half Marathon

Best Half Marathons in the UK

What is the average half marathon time?

How to run a half marathon faster

What to eat before a half marathon