How To Prepare For a Half Marathon with Coach Duane Scotti

Do you have a half marathon coming up? Are you wondering how you should be prepared for a race? Are you feeling confident to perform at your best? 


This episode is for you!!! This week we are talking all things Half Marathon Race prep. It is spring and it is 100% Half Marathon Season! It’s exciting to know that live races are coming back and we need to get our bodies and minds ready to get out there!




Click below to see the live video from our Healthy Runner Facebook Group…


Listen to the Podcast Episode during your next run!


In this episode, Coach Scotti discusses : 

  • How should I prepare for a half marathon the week before? 
  • What should I do the night before a half marathon? 
  • What should I do the morning of a half marathon?


Let’s talk about what you should do to prepare for your half marathon!!


How Should I Prepare For a Half Marathon the WEEK before?


You’re one week away from your half marathon and you’re thinking, “Am I doing everything right to be ready for next week?”


Let’s talk about what your runs will look like with one week until your race. You want to be consistent, but you want to be smart. Your longest run with one week to go should be about 6 to 8 miles. Remember, your body needs time to recovery, so banging out 12 or 13 miles the week before your half, won’t be setting you up for success for the actual race!


After your 6 to 8 mile long run, you can continue training throughout the week leading up to your half with smaller runs – around 30 to 60 minutes every other day.

For the last couple days leading up to the race, try to get off of your feet as much as possible. Don’t do anything too intensive or exhausting. You want your body to feel well rested and prepared to take on the course.


Filling your body with good nutrients starts the week before your race too! You want to make sure that you’re hydrating every day the week before the race! Be sure that you’re drink water and electrolyte beverages and avoiding anything too salty or too high in fiber.


You should be eating small meals every 2-3 hours, but after lunch, cut out red meat, fried foods, dairy products, fats, nuts, and roughage. You should only be consuming light, digestible foods like energy bars, bread, and small sandwiches!


How Should I Prepare For a Half Marathon the NIGHT before?


First and Foremost… Don’t do anything different!!!! You’ve been planning for this for a long time and training a certain way, with certain foods, and certain exercises and liquids. Don’t go changing anything up the night before! Keep consistent!


The meal for the night before the race should be something that works for you! In the podcast you’ll hear me talk about my experience with different foods and how some things that work for other runners, doesn’t necessarily work for me! For example, some people can eat pizza the night before their race and feel great the next day! Not so much for me! A filling, nutrient filled meal is important but make sure it’s something you can digest and not feel bloated from the next day! Continue drinking water and staying hydrated.


You should lay out your clothes the night before! Why be running around the next morning stressed about which socks you’re going to wear, and which shorts match best with the top you’ve decided on wearing? Lay everything out the night before and make sure you have everything you need ready to go! Headphones? Check. Hydration Belt? Check. Gels or chews? Check. Make sure you have everything you need so you’re not running around panicked the morning of!


Make sure you get a good nights sleep too!


How Should I Prepare For a Half Marathon the MORNING OF?


Be chill. Be calm. You’ve been training for this and you’re READY!


After you wake up, you want to make sure you’re drinking 4 to 6 ounces of water every half hour. Be done drinking your water at least half and hour before race time (for me I stop the hour before).


Make sure you get a good breakfast in at least 1.5 to 2 hours before the race. Nothing too heavy or that will cause you any GI issues.


You want to leave your home with enough time to get to the race that you’re calm and you have time to do a GOOD warm up! Your body needs to be primed and ready to go so that you aren’t jumping in cold. Sometimes you run late and have to race to starting line (listen to the podcast for that story of mine 😉

You want to start your warm up with 45 minutes until race time. Do a dynamic, full body warm up like our favorite SPARK 5 minute warm up which you can check out below…. Once you’re all warmed up and ready to go, relax, socialize with your running friends, get into your running mindset, line up to start and you’re off!



Our Team Healthy Runner Half Marathon Training Program will be the exclusive training partner for the Cheshire Half Marathon here in CT!

Run Plan

Training and run coaching simplified with a digital calendar on the FINAL SURGE platform. Take the guesswork out of how far and how often you need to run to hit YOUR half marathon goal.

Strength Plan

Get the workout plan, exercises, and structure to improve YOUR confidence and strength for running.

Community Support

Get the motivation, accountability, and trainings within our private community supported by our team of Healthy Runner coaches.

For those that are local an extra perk is we do group long runs together in Cheshire on the Farmington canal line.  However, half of our runners are in other states and have successfully been crushing their training and running their own virtual or in person races in their states! Click the image below to learn about the program and join!! 



If you are frustrated with your nagging aches and pains and have been told to stop running, we can help you!


Are you are ready to invest in becoming a lifelong injury free runner?  If so, let’s chat to see if you are a good fit for our SPARK Back high touch point coaching program!  Book your 30 min strategy call with me!  Click here to book your call today!


You can listen to all the information in this episode on the Healthy Runner Podcast…available wherever you get your podcasts!



Here is what other runners are saying about the podcast



Thank you (running friends) for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoy the podcast episode!


Warmest regards,


– Duane


Duane Scotti, PT, PhD, DPT

Physical Therapist For Runners

Board Certified, OCS

(203) 376-6514


Struggling with Stubborn Running Injuries That Are Forcing You To Stop Running?  If so let’s chat to see if you are a good fit for our SPARK Back high touch point coaching program!

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“I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude towards Duane Scotti and the Spark Healthy Runner program. When I started working with Duane, I had been dealing with chronic shin splints/posterior tibialis tendinitis for almost a year.

I had worked with multiple other coaches and physical therapists with little success and was at the point of almost giving up on my love for running. Duane is so kind, thoughtful and knowledgeable as both a physical therapist and running coach. Our first virtual meeting lasted two hours because he was so meticulous in his assessment. His strength and running program is progressive and created so that you can continue to build strength and mileage as you heal. His strength program is unique, effective, and fun.

Additionally, his warm-up routine is awesome and includes drills that over time have made me a more efficient runner. His training platform is easy to use, and he is always readily available to chat when problems or questions arise.

Over four months of working with Duane, I have built back to five days a week of running and am almost back up to my pre-injury weekly mileage and long run distance. Whenever I have flare ups or setbacks, Duane reassures me and makes necessary adjustments so that I can continue to progress in my running journey. I have had so much success with him so far that I have signed on for four more months so that he can help me to continue getting stronger as I train for the Dopey challenge in Disney World.

If you are struggling with a running injury and are feeling hopeless, you have to reach out to Duane Scotti. Of course, you will have to put in a lot of hard work, but with Duane by your side, you will be able to achieve your goals and more. Thank you Spark Healthy Runner for bringing the spark back to my running!”

Dipti Pandya

You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I have never considered myself a runner and I knew I needed to be smart about it because I am no spring chicken. Spark preached getting strong and healthy to be injury free and they practice what they preach.  I am soooo glad I made the investment in me!  I finished my half marathon last weekend and couldn’t be any happier!  The program fed me all the steps I needed to essentially learn how to run long distance, build strength, nutrition help, a forum of other runners and probably most important was the 1:1 coaching.  I had no idea how to tackle training for a 1/2 marathon and this program broke all of it down, had it individualized for me and we tweaked as we went to make sure I was staying healthy and strong.  I had so many questions the week prior to my race and Coach Cat was always there for me and answering all the questions and issues I had-and believe me there were a lot!  The biggest benefit I think I got was the strength. I am strong and fit. But most important was what I gained emotionally.  I built confidence and strength I didn’t know I had, even at my age.  Honestly could not have done this without Spark Healthy Runners!

Gina J.

My Healthy Runner journey started after I had battled bilateral achilles pain for a few months and was frustrated how it affected my running. As soon as I talked to Duane I knew I had made the right decision. His positivity, enthusiasm and genuine care are infectious. The training plan that was tailored to me included specific exercises to rehab my injury and I was so excited that I didn’t have to stop running. It took patience to only run slow for a few weeks but I trusted the process and it got me me to where I am now: running pain free. We made adjustments to the plan throughout whenever needed having someone in your corner that is always there with guidance and support throughout the process was invaluable.

I just ran my second half marathon, both with Duane’s coaching, and PR’d by over 9 minutes! I got all choked up in the last mile when I realized that I felt strong and could still kick it up a notch.

I’m so thankful for the Healthy Runner program, community and the entire coaching team for all the support!

Katja L.

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