Great North Run Tips Part 2 – On the Day

Here is part two of Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic’s top Great North Run tips. You can check out part one here, in which we focus on the really important stuff: your running technique.

In this blog we look ways to manage your race, including a few ideas to bear in mind as you make your way along the 13.1 mile course.

Remember, if you are struggling to make the start line because of injury, in most cases, we can help you get through it. It’s never too late to call us for advice or to book an appointment, and we’ll be laying on extra sessions in the build-up to this year’s event.

Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic’s Great North Run Tips part 2

Keep your energy levels high

Eat energy gels or sweets to keep your energy levels high. Eat them (sparingly) even if you don’t feel like you need them – if you wait til you’ve hit the wall, it’s too late! It’s worth trying to build this in to your training, so you can learn to gauge if and when you need a burst of energy.

Don’t waste time dodging the crowds

Don’t waste too much energy bobbing and weaving round people in the first three miles – think of all the extra distance you’ll be covering! Save your effort: you’ll make the time up when the crowd thins out, and feel much better for it.

Pace yourself

Pace yourself! Don’t go off to hard at the start. You’ll regret it and are likely to hit the wall when the adrenaline wears off at about the nine-mile mark.

Make sure your trainers fit and are broken in


Make sure your trainers fit properly – and never EVER wear brand new trainers for the race.

Train in your race-day outfit

Do some long training sessions in the exact outfit you’ll be wearing for the race (including your socks and underwear!) This will help you spot/prevent rubbing and blistering.


Enjoy yourself! Smile at people, wave at spectators, high-five children! It’s all an essential part of the experience.

Speak to us asap if you’re injured

Niggles? Injuries? Speak to us asap: it’s not too late to get them sorted and we won’t tell you to stop training.

Don’t take the beer!

Don’t be tempted by the bottles of beer being offered by spectators. It’ll taste better if you wait until the end (but make sure you drink plenty of water first!). Plus, we’ve heard it’s not always beer…

The finishing straight is deceptively long


If you’ve not run the GNR before, the finishing straight is much longer than you think. Don’t turn left onto the sea front and break into a sprint – you’ve still got more than a mile to go!

Not tips, but did you know…

  • The Great North Run course record is 58m 56s for men and 1hr 05m 39s for women. The average time taken is usually around 2hrs 12m.
  • The Great North Run is recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest half marathon (by number of entrants).
  • The fastest half marathon in a two-person pantomime costume was 1hr42m47s, by Donny Barnes and Anthony Parameswaran in Alabama in 2016. They were dressed as a camel.
  • Two kinds of people do the GNR: those who go under the flyover, and those who go over it…