Half Marathon Tips From Runners At The London Landmarks Half Marathon
Take note tourists: it is possible to see a lot of London’s major landmarks in just a couple of hours without spending a penny on transport – better still, you’ll have thousands of people cheering you on as you do it. The catch is you need to run 13.1 miles (21.1km) as part of the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Last Sunday saw 13,000 runners flood the streets of the capital for the second annual event in glorious sunshine.
We grabbed a few of the finishers to ask them what advice they’d give to people thinking about running a half marathon. While some of the training advice may not exactly match that you’d get from a running coach (which you’ll find in our half marathon training plans), it does give you an idea of the work people put in to get round the course in something like two hours.
Give Yourself Enough Time To Train
It may not be a marathon but 21.2km is not a distance to sniff at, so it requires commitment. “Make sure you train well in advance. Leave about three months, at least,” says Luke, a sub-2hr finisher.
Include Long And Short Runs
Make sure you vary your sessions. “I did a few short runs – 5K max – in the morning during the week,” says Susan. “Then went for a longer run on the weekend. My longest run before this was 14.5km.”
And remember that you don’t have to slog it out alone. “Parkrun!” chorused Sarah, Af and David when we asked about their weekly runs. “A parkrun once a week and a distance run. Usually 10, 12 and 15km. Then work it back down again,” Af says.
Stretching – Do It
You’re doing a lot of training, give your muscles proper care. “Make sure to keep stretching and doing different exercises,” says Susan. It’ll make all the difference.
Pick The Right Start Wave
Think very carefully about which wave you put yourself in. “We were in a slower wave than we should have been,” says Michelle. “It was busy,” adds her friend Kirsty, “lots of people around, so we had to do a lot of weaving and moving about.” You’ll be allocated your start wave based on an estimate of your finish time, so try to answer that question as accurately and fairly as you can. Our running pace calculator should help.
“Make sure you have a plan for what you’re going to eat on the day,” says Luke. You’ll be running for around two hours, burning roughly 100 calories per mile, so make sure to fuel yourself properly.
Don’t Go Off Too Fast
It’s easy to get excited on race day and start too quickly. “Just take it easy,” says Kirsty. “Try not to get excited at the beginning and think ‘I feel awesome, I’m going to go really fast’ because you won’t hold it and you’ll die a painful death.”
Have The Right Mentality
Here’s music to our ears. “Just train and enjoy it. You’re never going to win it, so just enjoy it and don’t worry about times,” said Ross. “Go out there and do it!”
And Believe In Yourself
“Anyone can do it. Just keep working away at it and it’ll happen,” says Julie.
The next London Landmarks Half Marathon takes place 29th March 2020. Pre-register to be notified when the ballot opens