ONLY 24 HOURS to your first half marathon

This article was originally penned 24 hours before the record-breaking 2010 Plymouth Half Marathon... so what if you are running a half marathon for the first time?

SWSN asked experienced Tamar Trotters runner Pete Waumsley - who, at the time, had run something in the region of 35 half marathons - his advice.

The affable, then 37, said "For first timers, take it easy and do not be on your feet to much in the 24 hours leading up to the race.

"For example, no long walks or decorating etc! Make sure you eat well and keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids."

Plymouth-based Waumsley - who has always run but became more serious when he joined Saltash club Trotters in 2001 - added "The night before a race I tend to eat lots of fruit and squash with pasta, a favourite of mine, making sure to use a tomato-based sauce not dairy.

"Get at least seven hours sleep the night before and try not to worry about the race, which is easier said than done."

On race day?

"Breakfast at least two to three hours before race: toast, cereal, cup of tea, banana, whatever you prefer, but nothing too heavy and no fry ups!

"Before the race, a warm-up for your muscles can be anything from five to 20 minutes. This can be anything from a short, slow run to aerobics style warm up. Again it is up to the individual, some people prefer not to do anything."

Waumsley - who started with a 1:40 half time in 1995 but has subsequently run as fast as 1:11:28 (Taunton Half 2006) - advocates a common sense approach "First timers should line up at the start according to their predicted finish time, don't be too ambitious as the faster runners could push past in early miles.

"Do not start too fast, especially in the first mile which is fast and could upset your whole race. 

"If you are looking for either around 1:30, 1:45 or 2:00 then follow the pace makers who will be wearing bright running vests and carrying signs indicating a finish time."

Tamar Trotters Running Club

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