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Hi there,

Just wondering if anyone can offer any 'pearls' for my training for the Great North Run. I have been jogging on and off for a few years now and have completed 2 x 10k runs so I'm looking forward to the challenge of the half marathon. I'm on week 7 of a 12 week 'novice' training plan I got off some webiste or other. The plan incorpoarates 3 runs a week (one long one) and 2 cross-training sessions. My cross training is kick-boxing (a little unusual I know but its an existing hobby) and I do a bit of yoga here and there too. At the moment my two shorter runs are 4.5 miles and my next long run will be 8 miles. Do you think I will be ready in time or should I swap one of my cross training sessions for another run? I just had to take a week off because of a back spasm/muscle weakness so I am also weary of further injury/time off too; do you think 2 rest days is enough?

Any help from Great North veterans, or anyone really, would be great. Also, any other miscellaneous tips specific to a first time Great North Runner would be welcome!

Thanks!
 

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I'm not an expert but my personal opinion would be.......





Good news - you are doing enough! And I think 2 rest days (plus 2 cross training days) sounds like a good mix!

Just make sure you get the long runs up nearer the race distance before the day - just keep following the plan for how long they should be.

Out of interest, what are you doing on your shorter runs? Are they faster than your long run? Are you doing something technical like hills or intervals? Or are they similar to your long run, only shorter in length?

It'll be my first GNR too (but not my first half marathon) - my only tips are to expect to be in a crowd for most of the distance, to go at your own pace (don't let the crowd speed you up although you may have not choice about it slowing you down - it's not worth fighting this - there'll be another crowd in front of the crowd you are in...), and to make sure you smile for the cameras!
 

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Thanks Hollywood, I'll make sure I get my teeth clean and white for a that Kodak moment!

For my shorter runs, I am doing more or less the same kind of thing as for my longer runs. I have read a lot about fartlek and stuff like that but at this point I am not that keen on doing it; I kind of want to concentrate on my stamina and slowly increasing my distances although I would definitely think about incorporating that kind of training as I progress and get more runs under my belt. I am quite lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it) that the areas around where I live are very up and down, so I do have hills and gradients in most of my runs anyway. I tend to judge how I'm feeling as I go along and if I can break out of a jog and into a run or sprint then I will do but on the whole I try to keep it steady and just 'listen to my body' etc.

Good to hear that I am on the right track anyway - thanks for the encouragement and have fun yourself at GNR!
 

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I now try to use my shorter runs for other things - I have one run a week as a fast "tempo" run (normally I use the Bushy Park Time Trial for this) and one as an intervals or hills session.

However, I'm at a different stage in my running career to you - this will be something like my 10th half - and I think it sounds like you know exactly what you are doing at the moment!

You're gonna have a ball :) Enjoy it!
 

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Trust you (Clarice and Hollywood) are both just about ready for the off!
I've done a few 1/2M but GNR doesn't appeal....too many people.
Let me know how easy it was, or otherwise, to get into your own running pattern.
Cheers.
 
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