Great North Run 2022: When should I start training for a half-marathon?

As it gets pleasant outdoors, many Great North Run 2022 participants are thinking about starting their training

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

It’s now under six months until the Great North Run 2022 takes over Newcastle and rising temperatures have got participants thinking about getting outside to kickstart their training.

Taking on the infamous Great North Run isn’t like preparing for any other race.

Being a half-marathon, runners will be on the road for hours rather than minutes, so following a training plan is advisable.

When should entrants start training for the Great North Run?

If you haven’t even bought your trainers yet, let alone started putting the miles in, there’s no need to panic.

The Great North run may seem just around the corner, but there are still 164 days left until you’ll be lining up on the start line.

Great Run, who organise the Great North Run, have a number of training plans to download on their website and all begin 12 weeks before the day of the event.

The Great Run half marathon training plans are split into categories for beginners, improvers and those wanting to run and walk - you can find them here.

The general consensus between running outlets and coaches online is that beginner runners can be half-marathon ready in three to four months.

If you’re already comfortable running five kilometres, you’re looking at three months or less.

Former Olympic marathon runner Mark Coogan told Runner’s World: “Just about anyone can do a half marathon with the proper training

“The key is preparing your body for the distance without overdoing it and causing injury.

“But the ideal plan is three to four months long, which gives you a buffer if you get sick, injured, or slammed at work.”

What helps motivate some Great North Run hopefuls in the months preceding the event is to sign up for some other local, but not so high profile, events.

As well as the free weekly Parkrun five-kilometre courses, there are races such as the Great North 10k, The Blaydon Race and the Gateshead Half Marathon - although coaches advise beginner runners that they don’t have to hit the race distance in training before the big day.

Great North Run 2022 to be a blockbuster event

The Great North Run 2022 will be here before you know it (Image: Getty Images)The Great North Run 2022 will be here before you know it (Image: Getty Images)
The Great North Run 2022 will be here before you know it (Image: Getty Images)

This year’s Great North Run is set to be a blockbuster event with race organisers bumping up the number of runners by 3,000.

That means a total of 60,000 participants will take part in the iconic Tyneside event.

Plans had been put in place to reach that number in 2020, on what would have been the Great North Run’s 40th anniversary, but ambitions had to be put back due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event did take place last year but altered its usual format to start and finish in the city centre.

This year the finish line will return to the traditional location of South Shields, the town raring to go and ready to welcome back the thousands.

Chairman and Founder Sir Brendan Foster said: “We’re delighted to be back this year, bigger and better than ever.

“We were so proud to be able to stage the event last year under such difficult circumstances, but we’re really looking forward to welcoming runners, spectators and charities back to the event as they know and love it, with a record number of incredible individuals on the start line.

“The Great North Run is synonymous with the North East and showcases our spirit, hospitality and ingenuity across the world, we hope the event will mark an important milestone on the road to regional and national recovery after such a testing time for us all.”