Half Marathon Rehearsal Run

This weekend I did a rehearsal run for my half marathon coming up in less than 3 weeks.
Is there such a thing as a rehearsal run?
This is what I did that is the same/similar to my upcoming race:

1) Early start & running at race time:

Most of my runs are early in the morning, so this is an easy one for me. Although this time, instead of running at 6:00 AM or so like I usually do, I waited to start my run until 8:00, the time the race will start, to get a feeling of what the sun feels like while running at that time, temperature, etc.


2) Distance:

I didn’t get to 21.1KM/13.1M, just because. I did 20K/12.4M, to me that’s close enough, that’s what I had scheduled in when I did my training plan, so I stick to it.

Good Enough

Next weekend I’m doing 23KM/14.3M, although I’ll be doing them all at a slow pace, so it’s not the same (read on).

3) Pace / Fast Finish:

My race plan is to run all negative splits. Should I say my race dream instead of my race plan?

This is what I did on this run as well, average pace for first 10K was 05:10 Min/KM (08:19 Min/Mile), average pace for last 10K was 04:37 Min/KM (07:26 Min/Mile).

Garmin 20K

4) Fuel – Before and During:

Race nutrition always scare me. Don’t drink too much, don’t drink too little, don’t be hungry, don’t be full..

Breakfast was 2 cups of coffee, a granola bar, and 2 large glasses of water. Same will be on race morning. That’s a lot of liquid but it will be needed during the race. I’m bad at drinking while running, that’s a problem.

Then I had a GU gel (strawberry banana, not bad) before I started running, and another GU gel (jet blackberry) a bit before half way (9th KM). I wish I could eat more right before the race, like a Clif bar or similar instead of the gel, but I’m afraid it’ll make my stomach feel heavy, cramp, or worse (!!).


 Like me and my GU

Like me and my GU

5) Gear:

I didn’t do a full gear rehearsal just because I’m not going to be wearing anything new anyway. I wore a relatively new pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 16, same I will wear to the race, high knee compression socks, sunglasses and my Garmin FR220. But I wore capris and a light long sleeve top, and to the race it will be short tights and a sleeveless top.


It was a good run but it was obviously not race effort.

The thing is I can’t say this run gave me confidence for the upcoming race, so I’m bummed. The last half of the run was tough, sure my paces were pretty good, but I’m hoping to run faster on the race, and now I’m doubting I’ll be able to.

So I guess I’ll find out in 3 weeks.. at the race.. I’m not doing another long hard effort run until then.

And the usual after a long run: food, nap, and a lot of rolling.

I even have a fast learner around, I guess her hips were tight like mine.

Rolling Baby


Do you do a rehearsal run before a race? In terms of distance, pace, gear, fuel, etc.?




33 thoughts on “Half Marathon Rehearsal Run”

  1. This is brilliant. While I recognize that everyone is different, I really wish all runners who race would do dress rehearsals! I’ve seen too many blood soaked T-shirts on runners who forgot the cardinal rule of racing: don’t do or wear anything new on race day. It’s possible to get a boost from nervous energy, the crowd, or adrenaline at the start line that can affect performance, but by and large runners will race only as well as they’ve trained to race. Even with the supposed magic bullet of new shoes or a new shirt (Wear the event shirt you got the day before at packet pickup? Don’t event think about it.), training will ultimately dictate performance. Training specifically for race conditions and practicing your nutrition/hydration plans is ideal. Good luck in your race!

    1. Thanks, and yes I’m always amazed at people wearing the race shirt they just got… I would never race in a top I hadn’t worn at least twice. Who knows if I’ll chafe, if it’ll ride up, etc. etc.!

  2. My first half-marathon, I ran in some new shorts and they chafed my leg. Horrible to be running and thinking about that. Another race I did in gray tights and I sweated so much it looked like I peed my pants. It was so UN-awesome. I learned my lesson about those tights but I wish I would have had that info before the race.
    Dress rehearsals are so important. Kudos to you for preparing for that too. Sounds like you’re ready to run. #RUNWRIGHT

    1. Too funny! I also have 2 grey short tights that I bought together with 2 black ones.. they are all awesome in terms of comfort, fabric, pockets… except the grey ones totally show my sweat spots… not pretty. I still wear them though, but not to races or long runs.

  3. I have never done a dress rehearsal run but it’s a great idea. I’m running my first half the middle of March. I never use GU gels or anything like that in my training runs. Do you recommend them for race day? I’m interested to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks!

    1. I think gels are definitely worth trying, for me they are the best option because they give me quick energy without being heavy on my stomach, they are easy to carry too. I don’t think I could eat real food while trying to keep a good pace.
      Try them on advance and see how you feel.

  4. P.S. I can’t believe you can drink two cups of coffee before your run, I’d for sure be heading to the bathroom. Guess I need to read your ‘about me’ ~ I assume this is a tradition, hence the name of the blog 🙂

  5. Don’t doubt yourself, you’ll do great! My previous run coach always told us to have 3 goals for each race…
    1. PR or your fast time you’d like to have
    2. Your ‘average’ time or a time you’d be okay with
    3. FINISH 🙂

    That way you’ll for sure hit one of your goals and not be let down!

    I usually do a rehearsal if its new gear, but I’ve never done one otherwise. I have gone to 12 miles for a half training run, but not at race pace (LSD). I typically just go up to 10 miles for my longest, then taper from there to go the 13.1 on race day. Marathons I have a similar strategy for.

    Thanks for the good read!

  6. I usually have a dress rehearsal day, but I leave that up to my coach to write (when it will be, what I should do, etc.). Then I just execute what she has written to the best of my abilities on that day. Excellent job on the negative split run and the speedy pace 😉

  7. You’re fast!! Good job. I train how I plan to run on race day, gear, nutrition, fluids, etc. I even test out my playlist to make sure there’s nothing in there that slows me down or I want to skip past. Regardless, practice runs are never like race day no matter how much I train. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, and you are right, it’s never the same (for good or for bad). Oh I definitely make a special playlist too, it’s like I don’t have the mental energy to deal with a bad song during a race (you know, hitting the forward/next button..) 🙂

  8. Great idea! Fueling before a race is hard for me. Still trying to get it down. I can’t drink more than 4 oz of anything beforehand…and I will still go to the bathroom at least 3 times before it starts! I’ll take a swig or two of water or gatorade throughout the race, tho. Good luck!

  9. That’s a very good rehearsal run.
    I never eat on races and as a general rule I have to eat at least 4 hours before a race or I’d toss my cookies.

      1. When I was younger I got really sick on a race, because of I had eaten like 30 minutes before.
        After that, never wanted to repeat that episode again, so if a race is at 7am, I wake up at 3 to eat something and then go back to sleep.
        During the race water is enough for me, I can’t stand the after taste of gatorade or drinks like that.
        When I’m running indoors, I get a piece of hard candy otherwise my mouth gets too dry.
        Weird habits that one develops along the way lol

  10. A rehearsal sounds like a great idea, just to get a feel for what it will be like. Of course, you will be much speedier once you’ve finished your whole training plan.
    Best of luck! 🙂

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