Philly Half Marathon Checklist

The Best Philly Half Marathon Checklist

The Philly Full and Half Marathon are this weekend. I’ve spectated at this race when both races were on the same day and it made for quite an event! So many runners giving it their all through the streets of Philadelphia! Now, for better or worse, they are separated (the half is on Saturday and the full is on Sunday). As I’ve written about it in the past, I’ll be racing the half marathon on Saturday.

There are a lot of variables that need to be accounted for in order to have a really good Philly Marathon experience. Remember, whether you’re running 13.1, 26.2 or just the 8k, you’ll need to have a sound plan!

Philly Half Marathon Weekend Checklist
Philly Half Marathon Weekend Checklist

Here’s my plan for the rest of the week, leading up to finishing my 5th half marathon.

Training The Week of Philly

I’ve honestly had some of the worst training that I’ve had in quite a while. My calf is just starting to round the corner, but I’m still wary of it. I did 9 miles 2 weekends ago and it was bad the last 4 miles.

Since that run, I’ve done shorter runs and some cross training and I haven’t had any pain. Fingers crossed.

My goal is to finish the race as little pain as possible and not really worry about how long it takes me although my pride says I want to run as fast as possible


Packing for the Race

I’m going to make sure that everything I want to wear on race day is clean.

  • Compression socks
  • Hat(s) and gloves
  • TrainwithMarc shirts and singlet
  • Racing shorts (probably going with half tights)
  • Running pants and jacket

I’ll make sure I have hats, gloves, hand warmers, extra socks, and multiple layers to put on in case I need it.

I’ll make sure my watch is charged, my sunglasses are packed, and everything fits into the clear, plastic race bag provided by Philly Marathon.


Expo Day (Friday)

Since I’m running the half marathon my only option to go to the expo is on Friday. My goal will be to leave right after school and get there by 3:30 so that I can beat all the traffic heading in and out of the city.

Philadelphia Half Marathon Checklist
Week of Philly Half Marathon Checklist

One of the things I tell all of the runners I coach is to not spend a lot of time at the expo walking around for hours and hours. What’s best for them on the eve of a race is relaxing and spending as little energy as possible. Obviously, you need to check it out and pick up your bib, but don’t spend hours and lots of money at the expo.

As a “small business” I have to mix being a runner with attempting to make some connections. I’ll obviously want to get back home to relax, but it’ll also be important that other runners know about TrainwithMarc.


Day-of-Race Traveling

As of Wednesday, I plan on taking the train into the city. I was torn as to whether I should drive or take the train.

The pros of taking the train are obvious: I don’t have to worry about parking.

The pros of driving are that I get to leave more of my clothes closer to the race and I would be able to have a change of clothes right there with me.

Ultimately, since it’s more than likely that I’ll be going to the race solo, I’ll take the train and bring only what is absolutely necessary for me to run well.

Find Trainwithmarc on Instagram
Find Trainwithmarc on Instagram

On-Course Nutrition

According to the Philadelphia Marathon website, they’ll have lemon-lime Gatorade Endurance Formula on the course. This is good to know for other runners who’ve been practicing with their fluid intake during training. Because I haven’t done any preparation with Gatorade Endurance I won’t be taking any – or if I do, it’ll be very small amounts.

Philadelphia Half Marathon Checklist
Preparing for the Philly Half Marathon

There will also be Gatorade Endurance gels in a variety of flavors: Apple Pear, BlackBerry, Vanilla and Mango. Again since I haven’t done any practice with those flavors, I’ll be bringing my own.


Tracking Me

I’ll use the race’s tracking system and send that out to the people who would like to track me. I’ll rely on my GPS watch for my race splits. I won’t carry my phone on me while I race.

My race number is 21037 so if you wanted to follow along go here.


Start Time

The half marathon starts at 7:30 am from Eakins Oval so I’ll have a plan on what I’m eating when I’m eating it, how I’ll dress and when I leave my house.

I’ll want at least 30 minutes to warm up and use the restroom, so that will also be factored in.


The Best Philly Half Marathon Checklist
The Best Philly Half Marathon Checklist

Race Plan

Goal Plan A:

Run in the low to mid-7-minute pace – I’d be happy with sub 7:25s – which would put me at 1:36 and change for the half marathon. This is quite slower than my personal best time of 1:10:19, but that was a lifetime ago.

Goal Plan B:

Finish the race with as little pain as possible. Don’t worry about pace or time. Just run.

Goal Plan C:

Calf gets injured; find a way to do as little extra to get back to NJ. Take 2 weeks off from running. Do rehab and get treatment while I rest and then find a marathon to run in March.

How to Prepare for the Philly Marathon Weekend
How to Prepare for the Philly Marathon Weekend

Post-Race

Regardless of the outcome of the race, I’m going to be looking for a spot to eat. There are so many restaurants to choose from in the city and even more on the Jersey side. Either way, I’ll be ready to get my grub on!

OK – that’s my Philly Half Marathon Race Plan. Have you ever done a preview like this before? What am I missing? Where would you go to eat in Philly after a half marathon?


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Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT & USATF Certified Running Coach

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6 thoughts on “Philly Half Marathon Checklist

  1. I am also doing the Philly half. This is also a race that I am not trained for bc of some calf issues a while back. I am just going to run and have fun and not worry about time. Good luck to you!

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  2. You and me both! I’m banged up and only got up to 9 miles once. Good luck to you too! What corral are you in?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a comprehensive checklist. Sounds like you are ready for Philly. Good luck this weekend!

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  4. Good luck and have fun! Philly is a great city 😉

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  5. I got up to 10 but still doing intervals. It will be slow going. Good luck to you!

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