Genieve Poultney

5 achievable Half Marathon running tips from a non-pro


I am not a professional runner. Sure, I go to the gym and do a bit of military fitness every now and then, but I did the Half Marathon for the first time last year in 2:05 and beat my time this year by 15 minutes!

As a result, I wanted to share some of the things that keep me striving as a ‘normal’ person that runs.

Don’t expect any science or Olympian insights – just potential considerations for Runing Reigate in 2016:

Getting over the hump

Like with a 10k, or any long run, the first twenty minutes is the hardest. After that you should have found a pace you can settle into. That’s when I get the most joy out of running and it becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. Don’t give up before it gets good!

Helpful habits

Routine really helps my training. I like to stick to the days and times I run, for example. But essentially anything you can do to take the ‘thinking’ out of training and be psychologically prepared.

I drink water but also got into a habit of having a cup of coffee before a long run (if I was happy I was hydrated enough). It may not be the most advisable option but I felt like it gave me a smidgen more energy! It may even be a placebo! But this was just another thing that gets me feeling ready in body and mind.

Pace vs. duration

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I run at a slower pace on longer runs, there’s a natural correlation, and in turn it helps to balance out my heart rate BPM (beats per minute).

If my heart rate increased by more than ten BPM during training I would be inclined to slow down in order to ensure I was training within a healthy parameter.

It’s all common sense, but using a Fitbit or other running tracker (like the Strava app) makes you a health-aware runner who can look after yourself in good time, if the data shows you may need to.

Mix up your route

What will the route terrain be like on the day? You can’t predict the weather but you can get a feel for the land by trialling the course!

The route changed this year and there was a much steeper hill at the end (bosh hill). I would highly recommend running the course beforehand if you’ve not already to get a sense of the challenge ahead.

If it’s too far just take a more varied route once in a while so you know you can handle a change in terrain.

Comfort kit all the way!

I bought some adidas ultra-boost running shoes at this years’ Run Reigate post-race.

I wish I’d had them beforehand now, they are a dream. I’d liken it to feeling like you are running on marshmallows! They feel like they are really good for your knees too and the overall ergonomics of running.

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My Half Marathon Running Diary 2015

For each run I had a goal in mind, something to aim towards, as a result I often exceeded it!

(On August 21st I was running with a friend – so this was more of a social than anything! Luckily she is a fitty and was happy with the pace I set.)

Date Kilometres Miles Pace Time Heart BPM
17th August 19.59 12.17 5”49 1:54:12 153
19th August 13.71 8.52 5”39 1:17:35 158
21st August 7.09 4.41 6”03 42:59 156
9th September 19.13 11.88 5”26 1:44:05 161

 

I still went to the gym and did military fitness in between runs, if I hadn’t I would have run more.

Mixing it up used different muscle groups though and made me feel stronger for when I did run.

So that’s it, from one non-pro runner to another. Maybe I’ll see you there next year!

Genevieve Poultney

(Part of the Jellyfish running team)

Jellyfish Running Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any unusual running habits? We’d love to know…