Silverstone half marathon: The mental challenge


I was really looking forward to the Silverstone half marathon, not least because I knew it would be well organised (being sponsored by Adidas) and it was a mere 15 minutes drive from my house – boom!

BUT, what I had mistakenly forgotten about was that it is still only March, we’re in the UK and Silverstone used to be an airfield – cue bitingly cold wind. I haven’t been that cold since I turned up to watch Brighton play on a July day in shorts when a freak weather front came over and the heaven’s opened! What was a real shame was that I knew a few people would be there, but both Rich and I were so cold we just wanted to ‘get it done’ and get home.

Silverstone is a extremely flat half marathon course and although you are not literally running around multiple laps of the track, it can feel like that. However, if you are looking to get a PB it is a good one, just be mindful of the fact that although it’s flat it is a very exposed and can be quite windy. I was going great guns to start with, despite major bra chafing that appeared at mile 1 (not ideal) and  a very strong head wind. I hit the first 10k at 54 minutes, but by mile 8 I became a bit bored and hit a mental wall. After downing a few jelly babies I had a burst of energy and managed to hit 10 miles at 1:29 (think this may actually be a 10-mile PB). Sadly, I wasn’t able to maintain this pace though and finished in a marginal PB of 1:58:31 – 26 seconds faster than Oxford half back in October last year. What it does prove is that I am actually a lot fitter this season than I thought and it also shows me that Oxford wasn’t a total fluke!

What surprised me the most is what a race can teach you and that is I’m not quite as much of a PB hunter as I thought I was because the PB didn’t make me wild with excitement. What I realised as I ran multiple flat and windy rings around the course was that I am knocking on the door of 35 and I started running properly at 32, I’m also not built to be a runner so I’m unlikely to ever be a fast runner now, but the best I can hope for is maintaining a level of fitness, knocking maybe a handful of minutes off my times, and enjoying myself. Perhaps with my build and strength, and my boredom with road running maybe I should reinvestigate trail running?

What I also realised during the race is that my Adidas Boost trainers are superb and super comfortable!


DIVA rating: 3/5 – not my thing, but may well be yours!

rating 3 of 5

The good

– Superbly organised – timers on every mile marker, lots of drinks stations

– Loved the Adidas shop

– Lots of eateries and things to entertain the spectators

– Prestige associated with being at the Silverstone track – great if you’re into F1

– Ideal for a PB

– Best bling ever!!

The bad

– Lack of atmosphere – probably due to poor weather conditions in fairness

– Slightly monotonous course

Big thanks to Adidas for giving me a place on the race!


4 thoughts on “Silverstone half marathon: The mental challenge

  1. Most of us are never going to win the gold medal at the next Olympics. Maintaining your fitness is a worthy goal. You are 30-something so you are starting before all the mid-life weight collects.
    Something I often tell people is that not gaining is winning. Most people gain a few pounds each year. That means that in 10 years you could weigh 20-50 lbs more than you do today. Imagine just maintaining your current weight over the next 10 years! You will be so far ahead of your peers healthwise.
    In addition to not carrying that weight, your blood pressure and blood sugar will be normal. All good indicators that you will live a long life.
    Keep having fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s