The Reading Half Marathon is happening on 5 April 2020, so it's only a mere 25 days away, making it the ideal candidate for the first running race to attend this year – in case you missed the Vitality Big Half a week ago. First held in 1983, the Reading Half has seen thousands of racers in the last 30+ years and not surprisingly, people keep coming back for more.
• Sign up for the Reading Half Marathon TODAY! (opens in new tab)
What's in it for you? We'll give you three reasons to attend the Reading Half and also recommend some gear, too. You'll definitely need some running shoes (maybe even the best running shoes (opens in new tab)), a running watch (opens in new tab) and, possibly, running headphones (opens in new tab) as well.
- Best running gloves (opens in new tab): top gloves and mitts for running from Nike, Gore Wear, Ronhill and more
- Best running shorts (opens in new tab): hit the road in these lightweight and breathable running shorts for men and women
- Best compression socks (opens in new tab) for running: these knee high socks for sport will help you stay injury-free for longer
Reason #1: You can actually attend the race
After major running events, such as the Tokyo and Barcelona marathons, have been postponed/cancelled, it's nice to see that some races are still happening this spring. The Reading Half is one of these races and even better, although it's only 25 days away, you can still sign up for it (opens in new tab). If you signed up for a different race that has been cancelled and you don't want all the effort you put in your training go to waste, the Reading Half is the race you want to attend.
Garmin Forerunner 245 GPS Running Watch | Buy it at Garmin for £249.90 (opens in new tab)
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is the ultimate smartphone-free GPS running watch for the price conscious runner. The GPS + GLONASS + GALILEO positioning system is quick and accurate, tracking your movement outdoors with high precision. The battery can last up to seven days in smartwatch mode and six hours in GPS mode with music, meaning that you won't have to charge it more than three times in two weeks.
- Asics takes on Nike and Adidas and rolls out new carbon-enhanced road and track running shoes (opens in new tab)
Reason #2: stadium finish
The Reading Half Marathon not only takes in the highlights of the centre of Reading where you will experience huge crowd support but it also passes through the beautiful grounds of the University campus – as well as other landmarks. To top things off, the race culminates in the Madejski Stadium where 15,000 people will cheer you on as you cross the finish line. Probably not that much if the weather is not great, but even if it's 'just' a few thousand, how often will you be enjoy this kind of finish outside Olympic races?
AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones | Buy it for £149.95 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Probably the best type of audio listening device for runners, bone conducting headphones go around your ears, enabling you to be more spacially aware. The AfterShokz Aeropex's sound quality is amazing, weighs only 26 grams, is IP67 water rated and has a battery life up to eight hours. Perfect for runners, cyclists and even for work when you can't isolate yourself from your surroundings but still want to listen to some sweet tunes.
Reason #3: good location
One of the main advantages of the Reading Half is its accessibility. Reading is close to London and well connected to national transport networks. The city can be accessed by train, car or bus, although given the attendance rate and the road closures, we recommend choosing either train or bus to get there. You don't want to get stuck either before or after the race, your car parked in an inaccessible area somewhere in Reading.
• Sign up for the Reading Half Marathon TODAY! (opens in new tab)
Theragun Liv | Buy it for £229 at theragun.com (opens in new tab)
Use the Theragun Liv for your post-run stretching sessions. It is the most affordable advanced deep muscle treatment machine from Theragun and comes with two attachments and a high-spec motor to rid the pain that bothers you. Say goodbye to all those nasty muscle knots and sore calves.
Reading Half Marathon: recommended gear
Running shoes: On Cloudflow (2019)
• Buy the On Cloudflow directly from On Running (opens in new tab)
The On Cloudflow tones down the stiffness of the Helion foam and marries it with the best design we have seen from On Running yet. The shoe bends where it needs to bend and provides support in all the right areas – both above and below your feet. The lightweight, flexible and comfortable On Cloudflow is the true winner of the 2020 summer/spring season.
Running socks: Rockay Flare Quarter Socks
• Buy the Rockay Flare Quarter Socks directly from Rockay (opens in new tab)
These performance socks are made of recycled – upcycled, even – ocean plastic, so by buying them, you are essentially cleaning the ocean from all the rubbish. The Rockay Flare Quarter Socks are also enabled with Stay Fresh Technology which prevents the growth of odour-causing bacteria, meaning you will have to wash them less often. All the water savings! the perfect combo with the low-profile On Cloudflow.
Running shorts: Saucony Interval 9-inch 2-1 Shorts
• Buy the Saucony Interval 9-inch 2-1 Shorts directly from Saucony (opens in new tab)
The Saucony Interval 9-inch 2-1 Shorts are very comfortable to wear and don't restrict your movement during running. The integrated compression lining will not keep your thighs warm and oxygenated, but it has a large slip-in pocket for phones as well. And having the phone close to your thighs is 100% better then having them in your side pocket, where they just bang against your legs as you run. The longer profile will help keeping your thighs warm in the early April weather.
Base layer: Runderwear Long Sleeve Baselayer Top
• Buy the Runderwear Long Sleeve Baselayer Top directly from Runderwear (opens in new tab)
The Runderwear Long Sleeve Baselayer Top encompasses all the good qualities Runderwear has to offer, as well as adding some really cool features, like the removable mitts, so you don't have to carry running gloves (opens in new tab) around. Warm and comfortable, the perfect top for the Reading Half.
Running jacket: GORE R7 Partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM Hooded Jacket
The GORE R7 Partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM Hooded Jacket is water-resistant and partially windproof, yet it only weighs 155 grams. It is just enough to keep you warm as you wait in the starting pen for the race to commence, and once warmed up, you can just wrap it around the hips. Once the race is done, you can put it back on you so won't freeze to death. Perfect!