You and race day: it's a date...
Racing is terrific fun - and we're here to help you get you to race day in perfect form - whether it's your first race or your 50th! This index rounds up many of our best archived articles.
The ones marked are our very best articles, for RW (UK) magazine subscribers only (get 30% off and instant access here!) Enjoy!
"I started to panic, but it all worked out fine. It was so exciting....can't wait to run again this year. There were so many people of different shapes and sizes and ability..."- RW forum member Michelle Crick
Find a race...
There are 2500 races a year in the UK. Some are flat, some tough, some on trails, some with amazing scenery - and almost all welcome beginners.
- Find a race Search the UK's biggest race database by date, distance, even closeness to your home... Don't forget that you can discuss any race using the forum link at the bottom of any listing.
- Races of the year Our readers rate the UK's top 200+ events
- Choose a race type From 5Ks to fell races - here's what's involved
- The racing year If you're getting serious, here's how to plan a perfect year of competition.
Beginners: just want a taste of racing? Start here...
Try a 5K...
5K (3.1 miles) is a smashing race distance to start with. Running it non-stop is an achievement for many; for others it's a first introduction to the excitement of sustained brisk running; still others use 5Ks as regular time trials. Even the gentlest-paced runner can finish comfortably, with walk breaks.
Try a 10K...
The country’s favourite distance, and another excellent first-race option.
Predict your pace
- Calculate your pace Use one race time to predict another - or see how fast you'd need to run to hit a target time
We have a ton of day-by-day training schedules for every race distance (see below), but if you want to guide yourself, here's a round-up of the key components:
- First, if you're a complete beginner to running, you'd be best off with our BIG Beginners' Index - full of advice and basic get-started programmes
- Otherwise, start with the three key sessions of any runner's week.
- Then, a basic guide to speedwork (once you're running regularly, this will make the single greatest difference to your race).
- If you've wisely invested in a heart rate monitor to control your training effort, our introduction to heart rate training will come in handy.
- On top of that, 39 great speed sessions, from the simple to the murderous, and...
- ... race-specific speedwork (not for beginners!)
- And a guide to doing your weekly long run right.
- Finally, if you want to see how ordinary runners can move their training to its next level, Hard Training, with Mike Gratton, is a fascinating read.
Runner's World schedules in full
Mile Races - short and sweet - great for summer
- Rare beasts: The what, where and how of mile races.
- Mile schedules Our complete schedule programme for all standards of runner.
5K - for first-timers and fast-timers alike
10K - the UK's favourite distance
10-Milers - the classic mix of speed and endurance
Half-Marathon - a huge milestone
Marathon - the big one
Race day help
You’re nearly there and all the hard work is about to be paid off. Here's how to make sure the big day goes like clockwork:
Ask other runners...
RW readers are some of the most supportive people in the world when it comes to training and racing. Whether you have a question about a specific race, a 'can I do it' question, or a tough training problem, some of our 130,000 members will be delighted to help. See the forums here
- Heaven forbid that you should need motivating on those grim winter days when your whole body is calling out for a mug of cocoa and Coronation Street, but we have just the ticket here.
- We also have over 130 Q&As from the archive of Runner's World, neatly organised by subject. So whether it's a black toenail or a question about *just* how many training runs you can really miss before you've blown your 10K goal, spare a moment to pop into the Q&A index.
- Relax! Train well, but don't overdo it. You're going to be great!