The key to an enjoyable half marathon is solid preparation. But when exactly does this start?

Although most training plans start around 3 months before the event, the good news is that you can set yourself up for success well before this.

We’ve narrowed down 5 things to do 5 months before event day, so you can stay ahead of the game – and feel smug for being so organised!

Let’s see your 5 months to go checklist.


First up, define what you want to achieve over the next 5 months and on event day itself. Setting goals is the first step in achieving them, and it’s useful to write these down and return to them throughout your training. Examples of half marathon goals are as follows:

  • Simply complete the distance of the 13.1 challenge – whether it’s your first half marathon or not! You could also aim to achieve a certain time.
  • Raise a certain amount for a charity close to your heart. It’s never too early to start fundraising; find out how to get involved with our official charities or sponsor an associate charity partner here.
  • Express yourself! Make the event your own and create lasting memories. You can do this through documenting event journey; clothes and accessories; or organising an amazing post-event celebration in the city.

The Manchester Half 2024 will see a record number of participants take on the challenge.


Evaluate your current fitness level to identify areas of strength and weakness. Be honest with yourself; you might start by improving your basic fitness through gentle activities such as walking.

You may also consider your overall strength, building up your strength means you’re less likely to get injured during training.

Not sure how to get started? Get your very own personalised fitness plan with Runna, which includes plans for general training. Click here to get 2 weeks for free.


Now is a great time to experiment with what works – or doesn’t work – for you when you run. Build good habits especially with your nutrition and hydration:

Fuelling: Start testing out what pre run and post run snacks are right for you. As you increase your distance closer to event day you may need to fuel during your run so having your pre and post snack routine sorted before then will make it easier to introduce mid run fuelling.

Hydration: Remember that as the weather heats up, hydration is essential. Make sure you are hydrated before you head out and to top up hydration during or after your run.

Take this time to experiment with how you train best and remember that there is no ‘right or wrong’ approach.

Erdinger Alkoholfrei is a natural, isotonic sports recovery drink that provides electrolytes and hydration after exercise.


Remember that you’ll need to create time to train in the months before the event. While it’s not necessary to completely clear your calendar to fit in your sessions, start considering the days and times that will work best for you so that you have a stress-free training journey.

Also, remember that you may regret committing to big plans close to event day, as you’ll want to be prioritising rest and recovery.


With over 20,000 of you tackling the challenge accommodation can be booked up quickly over event weekend. Make sure to book your accommodation in advance with Stay22, so you can rest assured that you’ll get some quality shut-eye before the big day!

That concludes our early organisation tick list – we hope you enjoyed these tips and feel motivated to start training soon!