10 Tips for Amateur Runners

Personal experience: how I ran my first half marathon in Sweden

Every year in Russia, especially in summer, there are many races. But when the opportunity arises to travel abroad and run some kind of competition there, do not miss the chance. At least enjoy what you love, as much as possible refute or confirm the stereotype of the decaying west.

For my first official half marathon, I chose the world's largest 21.1 km race. The most massive half marathon, gathering about 60 thousand runners annually, takes place in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. The competitions have been held here since 1980 and more than 1.4 million people have already taken part in them.

Göteborgsvarvet , or Gothenburg Half Marathon , is a series of six races, which end with a half marathon and a half marathon relay. Before them, a trail race, competitions for children of different ages, people with special needs, etc. are held during the week. In general, you can come here with a large family and everyone will find entertainment.

Personal experience: how I ran my first half marathon in Sweden

Photo: From the personal archive of Anna Burenkova


  • Participation: compared to our competitions, foreign slots are very expensive, especially if you decide to register shortly before the start. The cost of participation, for example, in the Gothenburg Half Marathon, is on average 645 kroons, which is approximately 4500 rubles.
  • Accommodation: you need to book your accommodation in advance. I registered 3.5 months before the race, and even then there were very few options for accommodation, and they cost from 5 thousand rubles per night.
  • Flight: with air tickets will be lucky if you also take care of it in advance. Life hack: direct flights are the most expensive, but you can go abroad by train and change to a low-cost airline, for example, in Vilnius - this will save you money.


The starter pack is a number and pins for attaching it, even at the exit volunteers distribute sports bottles made of thin plastic with the race and sponsor logos. All. On the other hand, many sports brands are represented at the expo, so at least one can enjoy shopping here.


For all participants of the 21.1 km race for three days, travel around the city and suburbs was free. In addition, the organizers pleased with free photos after the race and the function of instant automatic posting of a photo in the participant's Facebook profile, of course, if he previously agreed to this.

At the half marathon distance itself, 10 refreshment points with water diffusers were created , 200 m after the shower - tables with water in paper cups, and at four stations also with an energy drink. After 16.5 km, you can take wet sponges to wash your face and shower with water. But there are no food points, so if you are used to refreshing yourself during the race, it is better to take some gels or a chocolate bar with you.


Route in one circle, climb more than 180 meters. Sincethe city itself is small, and a little more than one street remains from the historical center, one should not expect beautiful views on the sides. You will have to run not only on the asphalt, but also along the crushed stone paths of the park, two high bridges, a dusty concrete road along the construction site, on tiles and paving stones. There are both steep slides and long drafts, so this race is not the best start for updating personal records.

They say that the average temperature in May in Gothenburg is +17 degrees. But on the day of the race in 2018, it was +23 and the sun mercilessly burned the skin and instantly dried the water outside and inside the body. No matter how you drank or doused yourself with water, after 500 m you became absolutely dry - the greatest torment was for untrained runners. Many athletes quickly got tired of the stuffiness and went to step.

Personal experience: how I ran my first half marathon in Sweden

Photo: From the personal archive of Anna Burenkova


I think that if it hadn't been for the support of the fans, a lot of people would have left the race. But the residents and guests of the city, shouting Hey-ya, hey-ya (Come on, come on in Swedish) did not let the fire in their chest go out, and people fled. According to the organizers, about 200 thousand people attended such a major sports festival this year. Someone backed up and handed out water on difficult stages (or even beer), others shouted out the names of the runners, which were written in large letters on the numbers of the participants. Along the entire distance, 50 stages were organized for orchestras, DJs, singers, who cheered the athletes from the start of the first group at 1 pm until the finish closed at 7 pm. Numerous spectators helped simply by their presence: they silently watched the runners, but in their eyes it was clearly seen the feeling for each athlete.

Interesting facts about the Gothenburg Half Marathon 2018:

  • The number of registered for the half marathon - 56 893 (64% men, 36% women), finished 40,036 people.
  • The average time to complete the distance for men is 1:54:52, for women - 2: 07: 38.61 athlete has participated annually since 1980.
  • Most of the competitors are Swedes, but a total of 107 nations have registered for the race.
  • 4000 volunteers helped to organize the competition.
  • The Gothenburg Half Marathon is positioned as an eco-friendly race, that is, vegetarian dishes, recyclable waste, waste sorted.
  • The oldest competitor is 86-year-old Swedish resident Holger Johansson, who finished 4:04:18.
Personal experience: how I ran my first half marathon in Sweden

Photo: From the personal archive of Anna Burenkova

  • The first places were taken by athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia: among men - Kenyan Shadrak Kimining (1:01:31), among women - Mezeret Belete Tola (1:09:16).

Preparation: some tips

Recommendations for preparing for the half marathon distance from the trainer of the Nike running club Alexei Lebedev :

Preparing for the half marathon implies a fairly largework. It is important to determine in advance your weak points, muscles or joints in order to focus on their development in training.
The work should be divided into three stages:

First stage Aerobic exercise - long runs at a comfortable pace (mileage and speed are selected based on your physical fitness). They will help to improve the mechanism of energy and oxygen transport in the body.
General physical fitness will help increase the contraction force of the main motor muscles that propel the runner's body forward and, of course, strengthen the musculoskeletal system to prevent both past injuries as well as injuries resulting from overload.
Second stage Adding:
Speed ​​workouts to increase the body's performance by getting used to high speed.
Pace workouts to learn how to maintain a high-quality and technical long run distance and raise your lactate threshold so that burning and muscle fatigue come later than usual.
Stage Three 2-3 weeks before the race, gradually reduce the volume of training, but leave the intensity of speed and tempo runs high enough. Here it is already very important to remember such words as massage, pool, massage video and mythical good sleep.

And if you don't have enough motivation, come to run with your team, for example, to the new Nike Box Msk sports center in Gorky Park. A variety of runs with professional trainers and pacers will energize, improve your fitness and cope with distances that previously seemed unattainable.

Preparing a Marathon Strategy

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