Training for the Big Half

GoodGym Greenwich runner Alex shares his training tips

January 22, 2018


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Alex joined the GoodGym Greenwich group in 2016. He has since well and truly caught the running bug and this March he’ll be one of 200 GoodGym members taking on The Big Half.

Alex first came across GoodGym while looking to combine his love of running with something a little more worthwhile. Each week he joins a run which involves stopping off midway to complete a physical task for local charities and community groups. Lots of friends and 75 Good Deeds later, the difference he’s making has been adding up. He looks back on his experiences fondly, particularly proud of the willow arch the group built at the Bridge Community Centre in Greenwich over three sessions, which after “a few months of nature taking its course […] looked pretty darn good”

He has now signed up for The Big Half and though a half marathon is no mean feat, he’s not at all overawed, when asked about his motivations he responded simply;

A London Marathon Events Half marathon on our doorstep? Couldn't miss out on this sort of fun. I'm predicting 20,000 (mostly) smiling people running together around and through some of this beautiful city's landmarks.”

Running regularly with GoodGym was what first inspired Alex to go the whole hog and do a marathon. He considers the GoodGym Greenwich trainer’s expert advice and having a supportive group of friends to train with as key contributors to creating “the perfect, low pressure environment to progress, as well as learning to enjoy running”


Getting mentally and physically in the zone for marathons, whole or half, requires a bit of preparing. Alex gave us some of his top tips for people approaching their first half:

Relax, you've got this.

Firstly, start early. Start the preparations now and start by building up the amount of running you're doing - if you can manage 2-3 runs per week, you're well on track.

Secondly, don't feel that you've got to end every run feeling exhausted. If you do, you'll be turning running into a chore (rather than the beautiful thing it can be) and you'll be vastly increasing your chances of injury.

Thirdly, build steadily, get the miles into the legs. Slowly build up the mileage through one longer run each week. Crack 10-11 miles 2-3 weeks before the run and you'll sail through on the day.”

Alex is looking forward to 4th March and “soaking up the atmosphere with 20,000 kindred spirits.” For anyone, looking for a bit of moral support ahead of the race, he urges them to come and say hi to GoodGym Greenwich or their local GoodGym group run and to just give it a go!

GoodGym has £10 community entry places available for The Big Half. For more information click here.

To find your local group and explore upcoming runs click here.

The Big Half has detailed training advice on their website.


Have your own GoodGym story to share with the community? Email and we'll be in touch.
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