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Picture of runners running a half marathon

Training for a half marathon

As one of the sponsors of the Chelmsford Half Marathon, we've brought together our top experts in sports and exercise science to give you the best advice whether you're a first time half marathon runner or a seasoned pro. Signing up was the first step; with our tips on training and nutrition we'll help you through the rest.

Training Plan

The following training plan has been created by Dr James Johnstone from our School of Psychology and Sport Science.

James Johnstone


Dr James Johnstone


Planning Training 1 – If you fail to plan, you’ll plan to fail!

There are a few things to consider before you get started with your training. Before any training programme, you should check with your doctor that you are in good health and do not train if injured.

Planning Training 1

Planning Training 2 – Recreational schedule (ten weeks)

One way to plan and progress training in an organised manner is to try to work backwards from race day. If you are starting to train from 17 December, there are ten weeks to the race in March.

Planning Training 2

Diet and energy

Nutrition for new runners

A half marathon can seem like a difficult challenge for new runners but the key is preparation. Our nutrition and physiology expert Prof Justin Roberts talks us through the key points to consider when attempting your first half marathon.

Why is diet important?

Whether you are a new or experienced runner diet is hugely important to ensure you achieve the best performance to get you across the finish line. Prof Roberts continues his advice, explaining why diet is important when training for a half marathon.

Is your training leaving you without any energy?
Find out how your diet could be the problem.
Do sports drinks really help?

Are you considering sports drinks and gels as part of your Half Marathon plan? Find out whether they're really worth the hype.

Training and recovery

Are you an experienced endurance runner interested in achieving a sub 90 minute marathon time?

Paralympian Dr Dan Gordon talks us through what it takes to run a quick half marathon.

How can you recovery quickly and effectively from your training session?

Find out more about 'active recovery' and how this can help.

Should you go full throttle right to the end of your training?

Learn more about the benefits of Tapering (reducing the amount you train as you approach Race Day).

Pre-Race Advice

We understand how important preparation is for Race Day, which is why we've brought together our leading experts to give you the best training advice.

Don't underestimate the importance of nutrition while training. Here Prof Justin Roberts discusses nutrition for endurance training.

It takes a lot of motivation to get out and train, especially in the winter months. So to get you psyched up Dr Claire Rossato shares her top tips to get you out there.

Should you go full throttle right to the end of your training? Dr Dan Gordon considers the benefits of Tapering (reducing the amount you train as you approach Race Day).

Race Day

You've worked through all your preparation and now you're gearing up for Race Day, so we've rounded some top tips to help you achieve the best performance at the big event.

Before you start you need to work out what pace you intend to run to successfully cross the finish line. Dr Dan Gordon discusses the importance of pacing for Race Day.

If you're still wondering what to eat before, during and after the race Prof Justin Roberts gives his advice on race day nutrition.

A half marathon is not only a test of your endurance and stamina but also your focus and determination to finish the race. Here Dr Claire Rossato talks about the psychology of race day.