The Great North Run takes place this Sunday in our home city of Newcastle upon Tyne, and we are gearing up to take part! Multiple B Sunglasses team members are completing their training this week before embarking on the fitness test of their lives, and we’ll all be there to cheer them on! Running for Macmillan, they took the somewhat last minute decision to take part, and to date have raised over £500.
The race itself is the most famous half marathon in the world, and covers a dramatic, scenic route from Newcastle city centre to the coast. For those of you who have ever completed the race, you’ll know it to be a truly unique and endlessly challenging experience, so we thought we’d compile a few tips to give to runners of all ages. Whether you’re a first timer or a half marathon veteran, this advice will keep you going strong.
Don’t try to compete with Mo Farah
You might be impressed with your own running performance, but let’s not kid ourselves that we’re going to keep up with Mo Farah. When he’s not eating Quorn, he’s spending pretty much all of his time training, so don’t feel bad if you finish a few hours after him! It’s important to try not to compare yourself to other people when you’re running long distance, just stick to a pace that suits your fitness level and remember that you’re amazing for competing in the first place.
Do the group warm up
You might feel a bit silly doing a cheesy warm up with thousands of other people, but trust us, it’s totally worth it. Even if you’ve done your own special warm-up beforehand, it’s a really good idea to keep moving while you’re waiting to set off. It’ll take you a good 15 minutes just to get to the start line, so swallow your pride – or what’s left of it, if you’re in fancy dress – and get moving along with everyone else.
Save your energy – don’t high five
As you start running there will be hundreds of kids waiting to high five you, and while that is certainly cute it’s probably smart to show a bit of restraint. You need to save your energy, so sprinting past loads of people to high five them right at the start might be counting your chickens a little bit too soon. Keep it cool, jog and remember to not to try and keep up with the Olympic athletes as you cross the Tyne bridge.
Make a playlist
If you train with a playlist, why not bring it along for the ride? Wearing headphones or earphones while you’re running can be really helpful for a lot of people, keeping their spirits up, getting a rhythm going and helping you to stay focused. Of course, if you’re going to boogie you’ll need the right equipment, so make sure you invest in a decent arm band to strap your phone to while you run – and make sure you’ve got enough tunes to last for the whole race!
Don’t get distracted by the Honey Monster
Some incredibly brave people will attempt to run the race in full fancy dress, and maybe you’re one of them, but try not to get distracted by all of the hilarious costumes. You’ll definitely have a giggle to yourself about the sunflower you just overtook, or the Honey Monster who ran the whole thing backwards, but try to keep your focus or else your mind will be wandering all over the place before you know it.
Resist the urge to drink the beer
The lovely, well-meaning folk in the crowds will, at some point, attempt to hand you a cold beer while you’re running. This will probably be the most attractive thing to you at that moment in time, but do yourself a favour and stick to water. There’s a reason that athletes don’t down a pint before an important race, and if you wan’t to cross the finish line with your stomach in one piece you’ll follow their example and wait until after you recover.
The Great North Run is a milestone event in many people’s running careers and finishing it is an incredible achievement, so try your best to enjoy it! It isn’t every day you get to run along an underpass or finish 6,000 places after Mo Farah, so be proud of yourself and take in every moment. This is likely to be a day you’ll remember for years to come, so have a bit of fun and don’t forget to take a selfie!