Spring is in the air, so it’s a great time to set challenges and goals. We are biased here at The Run Company but we think the best kind of challenges involve a pair of comfy trainers and the great outdoors. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the iconic and much-loved Chichester Half Marathon Event to help both first timers and experienced runners alike with some top tips to get you through the stunning 13.1-mile challenge.
Know the route
On race day, it’s really helpful to know your route, so make sure you check out the Chi half map and course profile beforehand. The course is mixed terrain, and of course it wouldn’t be the Chichester Half without the famous climb up the Trundle.
We suggest: Running the course or sections of the course before the event. The Chichester Half website has all the routes for the Half Marathon, Ten Miler and the Team Relay. You should ideally aim to train on similar terrain, so get some hills into your schedule once a week if possible to prepare your legs. It’s not just the extra effort of the hills that make them a struggle, but the different muscles used the angles of your feet. Practice will make you feel more confident to tackle the trundle on the day.
Shoes and kit
Are you training and racing in a properly fitted pair of running shoes? The right pair of shoes will give you a decent level of cushioning and support. They will give your feet enough room, without them floating around, especially on the hilly section. Don’t leave it too close to race day to get new shoes – you want to be sure they are right for you.
Additionally, the longer you run, the more you will sweat – a normal cotton shirt and socks will just hold the sweat in, which will get hot and uncomfortable. Instead get yourself kitted out with some technical running gear. These will keep the sweat away from the skin, allowing it to evaporate and cool your body effectively, letting you get on with a more comfortable run.
We suggest: Popping into our Chichester store to take advantage of our ‘gait analysis’ and expert advice on getting the best running footwear for you.
For many of you, running the Chichester Half Marathon is a much bigger and longer running challenge than you’re used to. This means you’ll need to be well fuelled, and many people find that gels keep them going effectively on long runs. They ensure you keep your sugar levels high, and provide lots of energy. They will also help minimise the amount of time it takes to recover.
We suggest: Trying out different gels in your training leading up to the event. There are a whole range of flavours and products, so try a few different ones in advance, to avoid surprises on race day.
Extra note: It is very important to stay well hydrated from the day before the race, so you only need a few sips every now and then whilst running.
Join a club
There are so many great advantages to running with a club. You’ll share advice with other runners, they will push you harder to complete the training, and seeing friendly faces on the day is a big boost. The Chichester Half Marathon Event is great for running clubs because there are races for every ability and even a relay for runners who want to share the race with others.
We suggest: If you are already part of a running club, get them involved in the day. There is no experience like turning up to a running event like the Chichester Half Marathon event with a team of runners and feeling proud to represent the club.
On the day
Use your head and stick to your planned pace, especially if it’s your first time doing the Chichester Half Marathon Event. It’s easy to get carried away with the crowds and run too fast in the first few miles, causing you burn early or risk an injury. Even experienced participants will tell you that they take it fairly easy at the start, letting their heart rate rise gradually. Finishing the race strong will be much more enjoyable than struggling for the last few miles due to a flying start.
We suggest: Taking a few moments while you’re running to look around, because the Chichester Half Marathon Event routes are really beautiful. After taking in the city centre, you’ll get to experience some stunning countryside. When you reach the top of the Trundle, look to your right back down to the Chichester to see a breath-taking view along the coast and out to sea. After you get your breath back, you will circle around the top to the Trundle, which has a glorious view over the other side towards Goodwood.
The run will go surprisingly quickly, so remember to prepare well with our tips above and enjoy the day!
For full training tips from our Marathon expert Graham Jessop, just go to the Training page on our website.