The Great North Run: Training Tips and the Power of Community

The Great North Run: Training Tips and the Power of Community

The Great North Run stands as a symbol of endurance and achievement in the world of distance running. With its rich history and challenging course, this iconic half marathon attracts runners from all walks of life. In this guide we'll explore the origins of the Great North Run, offer valuable tips for preparing for your first or second half marathon, discuss the benefits of wearing a running vest for training and race day, and emphasise the importance of community support in achieving your running goals.

History of the Great North Run:


Fun fact; Kevin Keegan ran the first ever Great North Run on June 28, 1981—FIZ in the bag. A year later he signed for Newcastle United Football Club.

Founded in 1981 by former Olympic medalist Brendan Foster, the Great North Run has grown into the largest half marathon in the world. What began as a local event with around 12,000 participants has evolved into a global phenomenon, drawing over 60,000 runners annually. The 13.1-mile route takes participants on a scenic journey through Newcastle, across the iconic Tyne Bridge, and along the stunning coastline of South Shields, culminating in a triumphant finish like no other as the world watches 

A stepping stone on your road to greatness;

The Great North Run has a storied history of attracting a diverse array of runners and athletes from around the world. From elite athletes vying for podium positions to recreational runners tackling their first half marathon, the event embodies the spirit of inclusivity and camaraderie. Over the years, the Great North Run has welcomed runners of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, creating a vibrant tapestry of human achievement and perseverance.


Beyond the realm of half marathons, training for events like the Great North Run can also serve as a stepping stone to other athletic pursuits. Whether it's conquering the gruelling challenges of Hyrox, navigating the obstacles of Athx, or setting sights on further running distances with a full marathon, the training discipline and endurance built during Great North Run preparations can translate into success across a variety of athletic endeavours. By embracing the challenges of training, setting your goals and targets far and wide, and competing in events like the Great North Run, athletes unlock their full potential and discover new heights of physical and mental resilience that ultimately aid us in living happier, healthier and more rewarding lifestyles.

Tips for Training:

Preparing for the Great North Run, or any half marathon, requires dedication and careful planning. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned runner, these tips can help you make the most of your training:

Start Slowly: Gradually increase your mileage each week to avoid overtraining and injury. Begin with shorter runs and build up your distance over time. Listen to your body and don’t feel the need to push harder than you can, remember that your race should above all be a fun and memorable Experience.

Incorporate Strength Training: Include strength training exercises to build muscle strength, endurance and to prevent injuries. Focus on exercises that target the legs, core, and upper body, a little of something is better than a lot of nothing in this area, don’t stress about finding the perfect routine for your gym workouts, instead just focus on all round movement with weight to begin with, start to focus on specific movements and programming once you’re confident with the basics; squats, sit-ups, pull-ups and press-ups.   

Hybrid-Athlete: Mix up your running routine with activities like cycling, swimming, or, rowing or yoga to prevent boredom and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

Practice Proper Nutrition: Fuel your body with a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes during longer runs. How you fuel one week will determine how you perform during the next week, and so on.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any signs of fatigue or discomfort and adjust your training accordingly. Rest and recovery are essential for preventing burnout and injury. But don’t use DOMS or muscle soreness as an excuse to take it easy. Push through certain barriers and find new ground each and every week.

running vest, marathon, best running vest

Benefits of Wearing a FIZRIG Running Vest:

Our running vest can be a game-changer for your training, your state of mind and your race day experience. Here's why:

Convenient Storage: The FIZRIG Running Vest is ideal for half marathon training and beyond. It offers ample storage space for essentials like your glasses, your phone, snacks, nutrition gels, car keys and AirPods. Keeping you ready for anything with your essential items secure and easily accessible during long, outdoor runs.

Lightweight and Breathable: Constructed from lightweight and breathable micro-neoprene, the FIZRIG running vest ensures maximum comfort even during intense training sessions. After a lot of sweat and dirt build up, simply chuck the rig in your washing machine on a low heat (30º) and rinse it clean before bashing it on the radiator or hanging it up to dry.

Safety and Visibility: Reflective elements on the FIZRIG running vest enhance visibility during low-light conditions, keeping you safe and visible to motorists and other route users. Our running vest has a highly reflective rear panel making you super visible at a distance to other runners or oncoming vehicles.

Ergonomic Design: The vest's ergonomic design and adjustable waist straps ensure a comfy and customised fit for runners of all body types, minimising chafing and discomfort during longer or quicker runs. 

Versatility: The FIZRIG Running Vest is versatile enough to use for training runs, race days, and even daily circuit training workouts. Its durable construction can withstand the rigours of any FIZ session. We’ve even tested the Rig during the Hyrox circuit, keeping us fuelled and loaded with energy support throughout.

The Power of Community:

Running community, best running vest

Finally, don't underestimate the power of running communities in helping you achieve your goals. Joining a running club such as the FIZRIG running club, or a similar training environment can provide motivation, support, and camaraderie throughout your journey. Whether you're seeking encouragement, training tips, or simply a sense of belonging, a supportive community can make all the difference in your running journey and general well-being. 

Great North Run

Preparing for the Great North Run or any half marathon requires dedication, perseverance, and the right running gear/community. By following our basic training tips, incorporating a reliable running vest like the FIZRIG Running Vest, and embracing the support of a running community, you'll be well-equipped to conquer the challenges of race day and achieve your desired goals. Remember, the journey to the finish line is as rewarding as the destination itself. Lace up your shoes, embrace the challenges, and let the road ahead inspire you to greatness. 


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.