Hi I'm new to running and wanted to give myself a challenge...so I have entered the Chester Half Marathon. Does anyone have any tips on training and gear? As i'm pretty clueless at the mo! I have started doing short distances, walking and running, gradually increasing the amount of running. What is the average time per mile, not sure what pace I need to be at to complete half marathon in ok time
OK time totally depends on you (age, weight, height) and how fit you are. In general I'd say an ok time was around the 2 hour mark - but for some 90 min or 3 hours is "ok".
You've a good while to train for Chester (just over 17 weeks) which is long enough if you follow a decent training plan. Once you're capable go and run a Parkrun somewhere to get a 5K time, then you can work out your HM time from it (at least a reasonable baseline to aim at and train around).
Only speaking from experience - 3 GNR's in 4 years, 2h06, 2h09 and 1h46 - they were, in order, very hard, damn hard and pretty easy. Guess what? I followed a structured training plan for the last one this year - runners world 16 week garmin schedule for sub 4:30 marathon (I had the Chester marathon to do 3 weeks after the GNR). I'm not suggesting you follow a marathon plan for a half, but get a good aerobic base developed and then start a training programme and stick to it. I thought I knew best early on but all I did was make it hard for myself by training poorly.
Gear wise - it doesn't matter too much, get some comfortable running shoes rather than generic trainers - preferably get advice from a running shop than a "sports" shop, the rest make up as you go along. I found a GPS watch/HRM made a huge difference for me as I could keep track easily and compete with myself - but its just luxury.
Thank you for all of the advise!
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