Should I run 13 miles??!!

I started running about six months ago in order to try and lose some weight. Well, I have been bitten by the bug and now try to run four times a week. My mileage is about 20 - 25 miles per week. I have always been a plodder, runnig at about 9 min miles. I have entered the Bristol Half Marathon, due in ten days and am having a crisis of confidence. I lost four weks training eralier in the year due to injury and so far my longest run has been 9 miles in 1 hour 25 mins. I feel I should try one more long run (11 miles) before being confident for the Bristol half. What should I do!!!


  • Peter,

    If you've done so much training already it would be a shame not to run it. Injury happens to all of us and you've obviously recovered so go for it. Take your time, don't go off too fast (with the rush of adrenalin at the start like I always do) and just enjoy the experience.

    If you feel the need to do one more long run then do it.
  • Peter,
    I have completed 3 halfs since i started running 9 months ago.The longest training run i have done for each is ten miles.I would say go for it.Take it easy, for your first half all you want to be concerned about is finishing,also watch that first mile it is very easy to get dragged along in that first mile.
    See you there.
    I will be wearing a Mister Men vest as i am running for charity.
  • YEs Yes Yes Yes - go for it !!
    I had a similar dilema last week about whether to do a long training run or enter a half marathon on Saturday. I ended up being convinced to run the half and it was fab - great sense of achievement. If you can run 9 miles the extra will be easy what with the other runners and supporters there to egg you on.
    Go for it and all the best
  • Hi,

    I am sure you could manage the half without the 11 mile training run, as it sounds like you have been doing lots of training. However I do understand your anxiety. I did my first half recently and I did a 13 mile training run before. It did help mentally mainly I think, as I neared the end of the race and I got tired I kept going as I knew I could do it - there was no excuse!

    Good luck.
  • To avoid getting carried away at the start and going off too fast, start towards the back the the pack. It is a big race so this should ensure you take it easy at first.
    You CAN do it.
  • Sure you'll be fine. My tip is make sure that you start as near to the back of the field as possible. When the gun goes and people around you start moving, stand still for 10 seconds, then start running slooooowly.

  • Argh Fat Face, you got in before me - that was meant to be MY tip. I haven't got any other ones!

  • Peter,
    Firstly 9 min miles isnt slow.
    Secondly agree with top tipsters that starting further back means you won't start with the speed kings
    Thirdly doing 11 miles at this late stage will do more harm than good
    Fourth start slow, and aim to stick to 9+min miling at least for the first half of the race , if you find yourself at 6 miles in 50 minutes (quick-based off your 9 mile time) you will find the run in painful.Better to get there in nearer 56-60 , so check your watch at mile intervals and slow yourself if necessary.
    If you get to 10 in around 90-95 and feel good then you can enjoy the run in and the race.
    Fifth, the event,the crowds, the runners and adrenalin will be worth a mile or three anyhow.

    Go fot it and we expect a report on the 'events' thread in due course.

    Remember above all enjoy the run.You'll do fine.
  • Yeah go for it and enjoy yourself. You'll only think "what if ? " if you don't
  • There will be plenty of people from the forum there by the sound of it.. quite a few starting at the 2.10 pace (see the thread on bristol under events) - I managed 10 before my first half... and so what if I had to walk a bit in the last few miles?

  • Go for it Peter, I am doing the GNR next month & thats my first 1/2M & I can only run 9m in 1:40 so I would be really happy to be in your shoes now

    Good Luck
  • Go for it. I ran my first half-marathon after 'only' running a 9-miler in training and I was fine. There's nothing that you can do now that will make much difference on the day and an 11-miler might cause more harm than good.

    You honestly get carried along by the atmosphere on the day.
  • Go for it, enjoy the experience you have done enough training so there will be no problem. I did my first half after 4 months training and giving up a 20 a day habit. Loved every minute of and have been enjoying halves ever since. The Great North is next, bring it on I can't wait.

    Good luck
  • Sounds like your concerns are quite normal. Do Bristol, tell us all how brilliant it was and then put your name down for Bath next year. It's going to be my first and two weeks before that I anticipate posting a thread much like this one!
  • Peter
    I started running last year at the grand old age of 47 and did the GNR. The furthest i ever got it training beforehand was a couple of 10 mile sessions and I managed the GNR in 2.05 despite having problems with my hamstrings around the 10 mile mark. Its worth doing just to experience the feeling of completing the race at the end. Its the best feeling in the world - nearly !!! Good luck
  • Hi, I have entered the Great North Run as my first half marathon and am aiming for under 2hrs. The training has gone to plan but I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks for a fortnight. Am I better to do a couple of long runs or to try and still run 5 days a week but they'll be short?
  • Peter
    Don't think you will have a problem if you can manage 9 miles. I'm in the Great North Run next month and the training is not going to plan. Only running 4 miles max at the momment!. Ran the Great South Run (10m) in 1h 32mins last year with max training session of 8 miles. Treat the first 2-3 miles as a very slow warm up.

    Anyone else not trained enough for the GNR.
  • Firstly Peter, I think you're mistaken about it being in 10 days the Bristol 1/2 is on 7th Sept that's 3 weeks away.

    Second, you'll be fine on the training you've done, but if you are concerned you now have the time to do a longer run.

    Good luck!
  • hilly ... if you look at the dates I think you'll find Peter actually finished the race about a year ago :-)
  • I have my first half marathan this weekend, I beleive I am metally prepared having trained hard for the last few months, but don't know what to do about drinks. There will be drinks available, but how often or how much should I drink whilst running?
  • LOL!! Why was it brought back a year later? I never look at the dates!
  • and my bit of advice: acknowledge the crowd! If some lonely spectator is clapping for you, look 'm in the eye and smile. Makes it a nicer experience for everyone!
  • Jezza - you're not the only one who's not done enough training for the GNR - Past fortnight have only run twice as dodgy stomach and now am panic-stricken at the mere mention of Sunday. I was doing 8-9 miles fairly happily but illness has obviously made me weaker.

    Feeling fine now and back to running 6 but is it too little, too late? Should I just pull out?
  • Don't pull out! Just do it for the experience. My total miles over the past 5 weeks has ranged from 0 to 10 (injury followed by illness). I'm just doing some gentle runs this week and have lowered my target from 2hrs to 2.25hrs and even with that said i'll just see what happens on the day.
    Good Luck with your GNR
  • Should you run 13 miles...
    No I'd go for 13.1
    Ha Ha

    Seriously though, go for it
  • Thanks for the encouragement - I think it's just first time nerves making me feel worse!!
  • trying the new forest 1/2 on 19th sept. just had a really awful 8 miles (less than usual) so now i'm worrying i'll not make it.
    p.s i run really'really slowly
  • if I have a really good run before a race then I seem to have a bad race, so you've had your bad run and the race should be good. If your bad run was this weekend the heat will played a significant part in it.
    You will be fine to do the New Forerst, just take it steady and if you are feeling good pick it up towards the end.
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