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Tips for Running Your Best ‘Great Birmingham Run’

There are just a few weeks to go before the Great Birmingham Run half marathon.  In the weeks leading up to the race, all sorts of doubts can start to creep in and begin to unnerve you.  But being mentally prepared can be as important as your physical preparation.

Here are a few tips to help you plan and run your very best in the Great Birmingham Run.

Enjoy your training

Rather than spending too much time running on a treadmill, get used to running outside as soon as you can.  You will also find that running outside, perhaps through Sutton Coldfield Park, is enjoyable as the distractions take your mind off your exertion.  If you enjoy your training it won’t feel like such hard work and will help you relax.  In turn feeling relaxed will stop your body from tensing up and help you to avoid injuries.

Preparation- to prevent injuries

Ensure that you build a thorough warm up and cool down into your training and race-day plan.  Being familiar with the stretches you need to do will help you to not forget this vital step on the day of the Great Birmingham Run.

Avoid over exhaustion

In the days and weeks just before the Great Birmingham Run you need to make sure that you give your body chance to recover from the tough training regime you’ve put it through.  You must rest – but not too much –  to ensure that you are at peak performance levels for your race.  This is called tapering.  You can read about how to taper your training plan on my blog here1.

Don’t do any new exercises that you’re not used to doing in the few days leading up to the event.  You won’t want feel aching muscles on the morning of the race.

Include strength training

Along with your running schedule you should include some high-rep, low-weight exercises into your training plan.  This will help to increase your endurance without bulking your weight and muscle mass (which could slow you down).

Strength training is also a great way to keep your fitness levels up whilst tapering.  Short bursts of strength training is preferable to cross-training another cardio activity (which could just lead to over exhaustion).

Eat sensibly

Ensure that you eat a healthy, balanced diet for a few weeks before the Great Birmingham Run.  Include protein and carbohydrates.  On the day before the race don’t eat food that is overly spicy or too high in fibre.  It is a good idea to eat low GI foods that will release their energy slowly to keep you going for longer.

Your body can store enough carbs to keep you going for around 90 minutes of exercise.  With this in mind you may want to be prepared with a high energy gel or snack for race day to give you a boost to keep you going.

Stay hydrated

Start hydrating your body a good few days before the race by drinking a large glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning and drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Do not, however, guzzle a large drink just before the race.

Get used to sipping water regularly as you run which will keep your whole body hydrated and make you feel more energised.

Have you ever wondered why runners pour water over their heads?  70% of your body heat is lost through the top of your head.  Pouring water over your head will cool you quickly and reduce your fluid loss.

As much as possible you should also aim to run in the shade and liberally apply a sweat-proof sunscreen to further aid your water retention.

Extra tips

Get all of your ‘stuff’ ready the night before and make sure that you know where you need to go.  On the day of the Great Birmingham Run dress comfortable and arrive early.

Keep in mind why you decided to take part in the half marathon.  Is it for charity?  Do you want to achieve a PB?  Imagining yourself crossing that line finishing line will help to keep you going during the race.

All the benefits of a personal trainer

If you would like help in preparing for the Great Birmingham Run I would be happy to share all of my tips with you.  I have over 16 years’ experience in helping people in the Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield area to achieve their goals2.

Your training plan can include:

  • Training schedule
  • Tapering schedule
  • Strength training exercises
  • Demonstration of correct technique
  • Nutrition Advice
  • All to suit your personal circumstances.

I will develop a training plan tailored to you so that you can achieve your very best result in The Great Birmingham Run.

Contact me by calling, Sutton Coldfield 07970 881051.  Or leave your details here3 so that I can get back to you.



  1. http://www.iwantapersonaltrainer.co.uk/tapering/
  2. http://www.iwantapersonaltrainer.co.uk/testimonials/
  3. http://www.iwantapersonaltrainer.co.uk/contact-me/


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