Ten top tips to get you raring and ready for the Vitality Reading Half Marathon

Reading Half

Sweatshop, race organisers of the Vitality Reading Half Marathon, suggests some useful advice ahead of this year’s races:

  1. Get to know the course. Familiarise yourself with the route so that you know when to push yourself and when you need to ease off the gas. This will help ensure you run the race well from start to finish. http://www.readinghalfmarathon.com/downloads/VRHM2017-RaceRoute.pdf


  1. Get ready the night before. Lay out your gear and get as much sleep as possible – aim for the recommended eight hours.


  1. Get there early. It is vital that you give yourself time to warm up thoroughly and get yourself comfortable with your surroundings


  1. Hydrate!! It is very important to hydrate before and during the race – water is ideal but drinking energy drinks that contain electrolytes throughout the race will help keep your body balanced when you sweat.


  1. A nutrition strategy is key to maintain your energy levels so your meals should be planned from here on in based on what you know has worked for you in training and to ensure your glycogen levels are topped up before you get on the start line. Carbohydrates are essential for this so check that you are including them. Energy gels and chews will help keep your glycogen levels high during the race but only use them if you’ve practiced with them prior to the race.


  1. Practice running in the kit and the shoes that you are going to use on the day but keep it short. A ‘leg loosener’ is all that is required for today. It is important that you have already worn-in new shoes to avoid rubbing and blisters, and if you have a blister to tape it up properly before the race. You can also prevent problems by covering areas you think might blister.


  1. In terms of gadgets, a sports watch is a must! They can help to check your pace and give you a heart rate monitor to work out how hard the effort level is.


  1. Bring support. Knowing that someone is cheering you on will give you a real boost and keep you motivated. It is also nice to have someone there to share the moment you cross the finish line!


  1. Having your name on your bib is valuable. Your names are printed on your bibs so make sure these are worn clearly on the front of your T-shirt so that people other than family and friends can shout from the sidelines and spur you on!


  1. Enjoy it! Whether or not you reach your target time or beat your personal best, running is to be enjoyed. Be happy and proud that you finished the race.