How to run half marathon

How to run half marathon

Running a half marathon takes half marathon training, but when you’re ready for race day, how should you go about the entire race, let alone the first few miles?

Let’s say its your first half marathon. You’ve followed your training plan rigorously, and you’re ready to go. You wake up on race day, but suddenly you don’t feel so confident. You’ve practised, ran, and followed what you know you needed to… but the thought of the finish line is a little farther off than you thought it would be. Well, if that feels familiar, or that thought resonates no matter your experience, then here are some first half marathon tips to help you on your way…

Key’s in the prep

It’s so important to prepare. Sure, you can blast through your schedule and keep up the good work, doing everything you think you need to in order to brace yourself. But if you don’t have the right gear then you won’t have the right chances.

To be basic, you’ll need to do the following –

  • Wearing the right running shoes
  • Wearing the right gear
  • Fueling your body properly
  • Taking rest and recovery seriously

Fuel in the right way

We all need to fuel ourselves in the right way, there’s no two ways about it. Whether you want to sprint or go at race pace, we need to make sure we’ve eaten the right things. Half marathon training plans are no different. Even cross-training requires the right fuel, so, if you want to go the extra mile then you’ll need more than just a few sports drinks.

Runwithcaroline suggests the following for carb loading, which helps to maximize your muscle glycogen stores and delay fatigue –

  • Breakfast: 3 cups of low-fibre breakfast cereal with milk of your choice and 1 medium banana
  • Mid-morning snack: 1 piece of toast with nut butter and 500ml sports drink
  • Lunch: 2 sandwiches (4 pieces of bread) with a filling of your choice, 1 low-fat fruit yoghurt
  • Mid-afternoon snack: 1 banana smoothie made with a milk of your choice, 1 cereal bar
  • Dinner: 1 cup of pasta sauce with 2 cups of cooked pasta, 3 slices of garlic bread, 2 glasses of water or cordial
  • Evening snack: 1 piece of toast with jam, 500ml sports drink


Pacing is important, from training programs to training runs, pacing will be the difference between your growth and prep. If you want to run the same distance of a marathon before but slower, that’s fine, but when it comes to race day, then you might want to switch it up and push yourself. If so, then you’ll have to prep for a better pace too. If you to calculate this yourself, then using a pace calculator is great. Check it out here.

Half marathons, even when run by more experienced runners, are most often not approached with pace in mind. Do what feels right for you, make sure to factor into your half marathon training plan, and realise how important it is to race day.


There you have it. Be careful in preparing and acknowledging which path is going to give you the best chances on your day.


Can I improve my game in eight weeks?

Absolutely. A strict training program for eight weeks will undoubtedly improve your running efficiency by a considerable amount.

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