A huge good luck to everyone running the Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon! I was hoping to join you all, but I have been slowly building back my running since my stress fracture in the summer and so I can progress towards my next goal, running a half marathon isn’t the best idea right now.

As a running coach too, I’ve got to practice what I preach and not get carried away! Hopefully next year I’ll be able to join! I have put together some race day tips for you that I would have planned into my prep. 

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 9: A portrait of Stephanie Davis, a member of the Great Britain Olympic Athletics team.

  1. It is December – it is very likely to be cold! Keep as warm as you can right up until you cross the start line. Take with you an old jumper or even a bin bag that you can pop in the bin or give to charity just before you are about to start. 
  1. Stick to your pacing plan – don’t make any last-minute changes to your race plan. We can often get carried away at the start of a race by other runners around us. When your watch beeps for that first 1k or 1mile, check your pace, and if you have gone out too fast or too slow then adjust to the effort that suits you. Don’t worry if this means letting other runners pass you, you want to be feeling strong at the end and you might even catch them later! Remember, a half marathon is a long way and pacing it right is key. 
  1. Be organised – leave yourself plenty of time to get to the starting area, drop your bag, warm up and pop to the loo! You want to head to the start line feeling relaxed and energised. 
  1. Fuel well – don’t skip breakfast! I am not an advocate of fasted running in general but especially before a race. Eat 2-3 hours beforehand and keep hydrated. Stick to foods that you know sit well in your stomach. Don’t try anything new!
  1. Encourage other runners – run with a smile and make friends along the way! This will make the race a lot more fun and the more fun you are having, the more relaxed you are likely to be. Ask people what time they are going for, you might just find yourself a pacer! 

Have a great race and I can’t wait to watch the results fly in.

Steph Davis