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.
- 5K beginner schedules Whether you’re a beginner who is aiming to get round, or a runner who can comfortably run 30 minutes four times a week, you’ll find schedules for 6-12 weeks training. (This page also links to advanced schedules)
- 5Ks to enter All the 5Ks you can enter online now
- Forum: What 5K pace to aim for?
- Q&A: What speedwork should I do for my first 5K?
Try a 10K...
The country’s favourite distance, and another excellent first-race option.
- 10K schedules Two-week, four-week and eight-week schedules, with special race-day dilemma answers.
- 10Ks to enter Have we whetted your appetite? Take a look at the 10Ks you can enter online
- Q&A: I’ve never raced as far as 10K. What time should I aim for? And more...
- Your first race From pre-race preparations to recovery. How to make your first race a day to remember.
- Forum: My first race - will I be last?
- Forum: First-race nerves
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
Training foundationsWe 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
- Complete 5K schedules From sub-50 minutes to sub-15...
- Q&A: Why is the last mile of a 5K always so hard?
10K - the UK's favourite distance
- 10K schedules
- Perfect strategy The 10K strategies that are proven by research
- 10K round the table Four running legends tell you everything you need to know about running a 10K
- 10K Q&As Can you train for a marathon and a 10K at the same time; should you drink in a 10K? And more…
- 10K Problem – 10K Solution But I've never raced that far; but I hate speedwork; and more
10-Milers - the classic mix of speed and endurance
- 10-Mile schedules - A repeatable two-week build-up to a 10-mile race, and a classic eight-week schedule.
- Perfect 10 10 keys to running 10 miles better.
- 10-milers to enter Online-entry 10-milers.
Half-Marathon - a huge milestone
- Half-marathon schedules Tried and trusted...
- Our best-ever schedules for the half; 12 weeks from sub-1:20 to 2:30 run-walk
- Essential Q&As Nutrition, training, race day and more...
- The technical know-how Pacing tactics and fuelling advice to avoid a blow-up.
- Half-marathons to enter There’s an online-entry half-marathon out there just for you.
- Q&A: Is it okay to move from 10K to half-marathon?
- Forum: Half-marathon - I've only run nine miles - should I still do it?
- Forum: Half-marathon time - can I predict it from my 10K time?
- Forum: Race pace - what to aim for in a half-marathon? I've done 10 miles
Marathon - the big one
- RW's BIG Marathon Menu Your guide to everything on this site for marathoners. Including:
- Your marathon - what first? How to make sure you're ready for your build-up to the marathon.
- The 10 marathon foundations Follow these long-time marathon principles and success will be yours!
- Beginners' pluck Looking for inspiration? RW trains three beginners into athletes ready for the Flora London Marathon.
- Marathons to enter The UK's online-entry marathons at your fingertips.
Race day helpYou’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:
- Easy does it How to ease down for your race - The Magical, No-Mystery Taper
- Race-day bliss Eight keys to racing perfection
- Small changes that work 29 simple strategies for racing and training: each with a time saving!
- Avoid these mistakes! ... with our 'what went wrong' article
- Add a burst how to throw in a sneaky spurt of speed mid-race, whatever your pace
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!