Five top tips ahead of training for the Great North Run

Five top tips ahead of training for the Great North Run

The Great North Run is one of the bucket list events of the British running calendar, perhaps only behind the London Marathon.

In terms of halves, there’s none more iconic than this, particularly if you’re lucky enough to be pounding across the Tyne Bridge during the Red Arrows fly-over. It’s a spine tingling feeling.

As usual, there will be thousands of people taking on the run from the city centre across to South Shields for the very first time, all seeking advice and guidance in the run-up.

So, if that’s you, here are five top tips to get your through training and fully prepped on that start line…

Create a structured training plan

Naturally, your starting point should be a structured training plan that you do commit to. A half marathon isn’t easy, particularly one like the Great North Run which does have plenty of up hill sections. 

There are plenty of training plans online that can help you, and do what you can to fit one around your week, perhaps saving the longer runs until weekend when you’ve got the time outside of work to fit it in. 

It’s all about finding your peak at the right time and a training plan will help you get through those 13+ miles on race day.

Look after your body

It goes without saying that when in training you should also be looking after your body. That means getting the rest days in to allow your legs to recover after training, as well as eating the right things.

Our diet can have such an impact on performance, so ensure you’re getting the right amount of calories, carbohydrates and proteins so that you not only have enough energy for those longer runs, but your body recovers to the best of its ability. It’s only going to make your running that little bit easier as you work your way through training. 

Runners World have a good guide for nutrition, which you can view here.

Give up the booze

While you don’t need to give up alcohol right the way through your training, although it will help, easing off it and giving it up a few weeks before race day can be extremely beneficial.

Alcohol can significantly impact training for a variety of reasons, with the substance itself being detrimental for recovery and performance, while a hangover is certainly not going to encourage you to do your long run on a Sunday morning.

You’ll certainly feel the benefit but for many going through an alcohol detox can be difficult, so time it right, get the help you need if required, but ultimately being sober in the run up to race day will make it all worthwhile. 

Get the right gear, and wear it in

When running such distances, it is vital you get a good pair of trainers. Visit a specialist sports shop and get your gait tested so you find a pair that suits your style of running.

This will significantly improve your performance, as well as reduce the chance of injury. A good pair of trainers don’t come cheap these days, but they are well worth investing in if you are taking your running seriously.

Finally, don’t wear a new pair for the first time on race day. Wear them in and get at least a few weeks training done in them beforehand.

Enjoy it! 

Lastly, enjoy every moment. Training can be tough, but embrace it and learn to enjoy every moment of the journey. 

Appreciate that you’re working hard and acknowledge that. Give yourself treats along the way and you’ll feel like you’ve made the most of the challenge, especially when you’re feeling good as you work your way through Newcastle and find yourself on that final stretch along the seafront. 

Cross the line with a smile on your face, and make sure you have a good old celebration after that. You deserve it!

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