In Events

The Simplyhealth Great North Run is one of the North East’s biggest annual sporting events, and whether you’re a pro athlete, seasoned veteran or a total novice, everyone knows that this 13-mile trek is certainly no walk in the park. If you’ve entered the Great North Run this year, or are thinking about taking part in future, here are a few handy tips to think about before you get to the starting line!

Great North Run What To Eat When Training For The Great North Run

Throughout your training for the Great North Run, it’s helpful to maintain a balanced diet to maximise fitness and promote energy before the half-marathon. Nutritious meals with plenty of protein to help build muscles, while vegetables and carbohydrates are effective for helping to manage your blood sugar and energy levels when training. This might include breakfasts consisting of porridge with a banana and chopped nuts, or hearty salads with lean meats such as turkey, or fish. Vegetarians may seek to replace this with beans and pulses, quinoa or cous cous.

As you approach the event itself, you may need to make a few more changes to ensure you reach peak performance on the day. In the few days leading up to the race, experts advise that you should fuel your body with slow-energy releasing carbohydrates such as brown rice and pasta, sweet potatoes and grains while cutting down your protein intake. In the three days prior to racing, at least 60% of your diet should be carbohydrates to help maximise your muscle’s energy stores.

The day of the Great North Run will also require some extra thought. Starting your day with a low protein low fibre breakfast such as brown toast with honey will help top up your energy levels. Once you’ve crossed the finish line, be sure to eat and drink something as soon as possible help your body, including those tired muscles, to recover. Carb-heavy foods and eating salty snacks can help to re-hydrate your body quicker so it’s a great excuse to grab some fish and chips at the South Shields finish line!

Staying Hydrated When Preparing For The Great North Run

Leading up to the race, you should keep well hydrated, particularly the day before as this will ensure your body is in its best shape to tackle those miles!

Avoiding alcoholic drinks is highly recommended and it is advised that you stick with your drink choice throughout training, whether that’s water, Powerade, Lucozade or any other sports drink; this will reduce the risk of any issues that might occur if your body has to readjust to another liquid. When running a half-marathon you can lose up to two litres of water per hour through sweat so it’s massively important to replace the fluid and salts lost when exercising.

As a general rule of thumb – try to sip 150ml of water every 10-15 minutes, which averages out as about 600ml – 1litre per hour. There are a number of water and bathroom stops along the route to accommodate, and once you’ve rehydrated after the race, you’re free to order in the pints!

Preparing The Day Before The Great North Run

The night before the Great North Run can be a little daunting, and you may find yourself feeling nervous or anxious. Being prepared the night before, including prepping your breakfast, kit and racing number can help ease the stress so you won’t have to fuss on the morning of the run.

Be sure to get as much rest as possible and call it an early night so you get all the sleep you need, and be sure to have warm up routine in place before you pound the pavements!

Great North Run in Newcastle

Great North Run Prep Checklist

1. Check the weather forecast so you can pack appropriate clothing in your bag. Be sure to have items which might cover every eventuality, such as a hat and gloves if the weather looks chilly, waterproof clothing if it’s forecast for rain and sunscreen or a baseball cap for dealing with the heat.

2. Make sure you have worn in your trainers. Wearing new running shoes on the day of your run is asking for trouble, so ensure you’ve wore these in fully to ensure they are properly fitted, comfortable and adapt to your running style.

3. Don't forget to pack your number and any forms needed at the start of the race. Your racing number will allow you to be identified more easily; particularly if you’re working towards a personal best. If you’re running for a charity, ensure that any kit you’ve been provided with such as armbands or T-shirts are also packed as part of your kit

4. Pack snacks and water for before and after your run. While they do provide goodie bags at the end of the finish line, it’s always helpful you have your own at hand in case you need an extra energy boost

5. Agree a meeting place with family and/or friends for after the race has finished. This will ensure that they can be at the finish line as you approach to see your grand finale, and also that you can meet up more easily!

If you’re running the Great North Run this year, you find many more training tips and answers to any frequently asked questions about the event at NewcastleGateshead. Discover our training guide today and ensure you perform to the best of your ability on the day! We wish all of the runners in this years’ Great North Run the best of luck!




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