The wait is over and, if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re in! The world’s biggest and best half marathon is back on 10 September 2023, and you’re going to be part of it. Huge congratulations, we’re thrilled you’re joining us!
However you’re feeling – elated, shocked or even mildly terrified – we’re here for you with help and advice, from the early stages of your training to race day itself. And that support starts right here, right now.
Step 1 – Get Social
So, what to do first? Well, before you even lace up your trainers, why not tell the world what you’re doing? Announce your ballot result on social media (if you haven’t already) using the hashtag #GreatNorthRun and be part of the buzz as thousands of others do the same, sharing their goals and their first sweaty post-training run selfies.
This is your community – the #GreatNorthRun class of 2023 – and they’ll help motivate you when the miles are long, and the hills feel tough. Look at our Strava group, where thousands of Great North Runners already hang out, or tag us in your training posts on Twitter or Instagram. And make sure you’re following us on all platforms, including the Facebook page, so we can keep you up to date!
Step 2 – Get Training
A training plan is an essential part of your AJ Bell Great North Run journey, helping you build miles, improve your pace and stamina and avoid injuries. And the good news is that our official training plans cover all abilities, whether you’re planning to run-walk the route or you’re aiming for a new PB. Have a think about a realistic target and take a look – you’ll also find lots of information and advice on everything from food and drink to our top race day tips over on our Training Advice page.
Sticking your training plan up somewhere where you’ll see it every day – above the kettle, for example, or on the fridge – sounds like a simple trick, but it’s been proven to help runners stick to their schedule, so why not give it a go? And if you have any health worries or physical niggles at all, book an appointment to see a sports physio or your GP.
Step 3 – Practice Makes Perfect
Booking in one or two events in the build-up can also be a great way to keep you on track. After all, September can feel like a long way off, and having a date for a 10k in the diary can give you something to aim for in the shorter term.
If you’ve never taken part in a mass running event before, the sights and sounds of tens or thousands of people running together can come as a bit of a shock, so a warm up race can help you get in the groove.
There are plenty of races to choose from, but may we recommend taking a look at our very own AJ Bell Great North 10k – it’s perfectly positioned in the calendar (2 July 2023) and we’ve got an exciting new route for this year! If you’re travelling to Newcastle from further afield then perhaps another Great Run event might tick the box. And remember there’s a fun and fast AJ Bell Great North 5k on Friday 8 September – come and kick off your Great North Run weekend in style on the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside!
Step 4 – Get The Gear
Decent trainers are essential, and make sure you’ve trained in the gear you plan to wear on race day.
If you want some stash to show you’ll be on that iconic start line or perhaps it’ll help keep those legs moving through the training, then you *could* treat yourself to some official training gear. Our stylish tops, shorts, hoodies, and more (there’s even a bobble hat!) will kickstart your motivation and have you looking the part no matter where your training takes
Step 5 – Running For A Cause
Now that you’ve won your ballot place, have you thought about raising money for a cause close to your heart? With a ballot entry, the pressure is off – you can raise money for any charity without having to hit a minimum target, meaning that – well, you might as well! Every little counts, right?
Every year, thousands of runners commit to raising cash for worthy organisations, regularly raising over £25 million for charities big and small. Need some inspiration? Take a look at our charities here.
Your journey to the start line has officially begun. Visit the event webpage to see more event details.