Want to hear some half marathon tips from people who’ve actually done one? We talk to a few finishers of the Hackney Half Marathon to find out what it’s really like and how they managed to get to the finish line.
“Make sure you can run at least 10 miles before you do it. Do some light distance training beforehand – I don’t think I would have been ready for what came after mile 10 otherwise!”
“If you’re a smoker, quit smoking. If you’re a man, put tape over your nipples, because they seem to be pretty prone to bleeding!”
“Take your own supply of sweets – some sort of easy-to-carry sugar rush in your pocket, for the final third of the race. A pocket full of Jelly Babies, something like that.”
“It’s all about the mind. Pain is temporary, but it’s also really painful. I kept trying to remember that, that pain is temporary – but it isn’t always the easiest thing to remember!”
“Running it dressed as a mobile phone obviously made it harder, but the love and support we got from people made up for it. My best advice would be to enjoy it. There’s a great atmosphere, and you get a lot of great energy from the people you’re running past, so just soak it up and have fun.”
“Having the crowd there makes such a big difference. In those last three miles, I wouldn’t have made it without the crowd cheering. It’s important not to go out too quickly – find someone on the same pace as you and stick with them.”
“I signed up four weeks ago, and everything I’ve read suggests you should start training at least two months beforehand… so yeah, maybe do that! The first two-thirds I could do, but the last third was really hard, pushing through that pain barrier.”
Sarah (on the right)
“I’m a meditation teacher, and I think it’s important when you’re struggling to check in with what’s going on around you. Instead of focussing on your legs being tired, focus on things like sounds and sights. Create distractions or games in your head, like counting your footsteps.”
“Just relax. We talk about gold, silver, bronze targets, but both during your training and doing the race, just the fact that you’re doing it is an achievement. Don’t run like you’re being chased by something – it’s not fun. Even just being here is impressive.”
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