HELP! Half M in two weeks....

Oh dear! 

Somehow the months slipped away and there are now 2 weeks (or 1 week and 6 days to be precise) left until the half marathon.  I have done FAR too little to prepare. 

I ran a half marathon last year, I was in the early stages of pregnancy and finished just over 2 hours.  I remember feeling terrified and posting similar messages back then, especially when I discovered I was pregnant.  I kept on running until about half way through the pregnancy, then it became too uncomfortable.  I only picked my trainers up again in January, but a run every 10 days does little to improve fitness....

Yesterday I managed 5km in about half an hour, with a walking break after about 20 minutes. That is the longest distance I have covered since having my last baby (although I have done this a few times).  I want to do the half M, even if I walk/run and walk some more, but what is the best way to use these last two weeks?  I know I am supposed to taper now, but having only ran 5km there is little to taper from. Could I try to get a longer run in tomorrow, perhaps 10km with some walking and then a few more 5-6 km runs until about 3-4 days before? I am not aiming for a PB or anything, just getting around without putting me off running for life would do! 

Any advice gratefully received! 


  • You really have done too little too late, it will undoubtedly hurt ....

    That said, I would embark on a Run 4 mins and Walk for 1 minute, try the strategy out for say 10k this week if you think that is manageable and see how you go

    There really are hundreds of other half marathons out there that you could be better trained for and that you will enjoy and want to return to ...
  • Sorry Runningmum, but I agree with M...eldy. I would train for another, as you could do some real damage, both mentally and physically!

    I'm just returning from long term injury (fingers crossed) and I would even turn up to my running club without at least 3 to 4 weeks training under my belt, let alone race!

  • @D2D - that's harsh. We've all entered an event and then found that priorities change between signing up and the start date.
  • Maybe I am just in a completely different frame of mind than you lot on here.  I do not enter races to obtain PBs or win, I do it to encourage me to train and to keep me motivated.  It has worked before and even if I do not run the race it has this time too, as at least I have picked my trainers up and started running again. And sometimes life is unpredictable, like husbands having to go abroad with work (leaving no childcare for runs), dear friends desperately needing help (60+hours gone in one week, not so much now but still ongoing), baby becoming ill and waking every hour for 5 nights making pure survial seem like hard work, let alone running, and being called to my grandmother's deathbed....all unforeseen.   I could go on.  To me, there are many things in life that are more important than running. But why do I have to justify myself, I just wanted some advice...

    I dug out my training diary from last time (each entry is a run, either in time/distance):

    7 weeks before: 45 min / 45 min / 1 hr

    6 weeks before: 1 short run

    5 weeks before: 1hr / 30 min

    4 weeks before: Nothing

    3weeks before: 10km

    2 weeks before: 12.4M / 6.2 M

    1 week before: 1hr / 10.5 M

    Race week:  5km + walking / 30 min /

    And then I ran the race in just over 2 hours (pregnant) and felt happy and well afterwards.

    I am not really far behind this now, if I get a long run in today and see how I feel with that I can reassess.  I am normally ok once I am warmed up, going slow but steady.  Boredom is usually the main problem with long runs! 

    I can run/walk a half marathon in 3 hours easy. I walk for miles every day (normally 5-7M), often pushing two kids in the pushchair and not having to do that will be easy by comparison.  Even if I run the first 5km and then walk the rest of the couse it will be ok in terms of finishing within the 3 hour limit:  3.1 M in first 30 min, then 8M walking at 4mph.  I can do that easily, and better than that too.  

  • Hi Runningmum - Go for it ! - you say you're not going for a PB so just warm up properly beforehand then just take it easy, treat this like a slow training run and you'll be fine. Make sure you stop at each water stop take in some fluids and carry on. I have a H/M in 3 weeks and have not really been out since the end of December but as I'm not aiming to come first (as if) i'm just going to take it as it comes. You may be a little sore the following morning but isn't that always the way ? Looking at some of the responses on here these guys may have other reasons to be entering races and having read some of D2D's comments on others posts i'm not sure if he/she (sorry can't tell by the picture) only posts comments to wind people up (just an observation - maybe i'm well of the mark ??)
    Good luck - let us know how you get on if you decide to do it.
  • Hi. If this half is a big corporate event then there is likely to be lots of people who are participating rather than racing and if you set off with a run /walk strategy from the start you should be ok. If it's a smaller club type race you may find everyones gone home by the time you finish and I wouldn't bother, just remember there's valid reasons you didn't train and when your lifes on an even keel you can really get stuck in.image
  • I would do it by adopting a run/walk strategy. You have done a HM before so you already know it will be tough going.

     I think by doing it will give you a much stronger memory of failing to prepare properly for a HM than simply just dropping out. The next time you start training for a HM you'll remember this one and would get out there doing the miles long before the HM day. 

    Good luck if you decide to run it.

  • I agree with runner 888 when he says a lot of people on these forums are competitive athletes. Whilst I wouldn't consider myself a serious athlete I train hard to improve my times but I know people who just use races as motivation to get out the door and there will be lots and lots of them at big events so you wont be on your own.

    Just as a thought is there a parkrun near you? They're free and there is a range of abilities from sub 16 min 5k to people who walk most of the way. A lot of people get addicted to going back every couple of weeks to try and better their times. Great for motivation.

  • Go for it! As you say, you do a fair amount of walking anyway, so you're not a couch-potato. Might be sensible to go for the run-walk from the start rather than running until you can't do that any more then walking?

    For the future, do sign up for parkrun if there's one near you - assuming you have any chance of getting an hour and a half or so (allowing for getting there/back etc.) on a Saturday morning (runs start 9 am) - which you might not, of course.

  • Hi running mum
    Just a quickie to say we're not all elitist! And I totally understand the pressures of juggling work / childcare / running etc....

    Go for it! If you do run / walk, so what, as long as you enjoy it. From your dates, you must have a very young baby, and I have found with both of mine that long walks are the best way of getting back to fitness, not to mention keeping sane whilst baby screams and you push the buggy...
    It sounds like you're in a really good place already fitness wise with the amount of walking you do.
    Good luck xxx
  • Devoted2Distance wrote (see)

    Why would you enter a race and then not train for it?

    Surely you have a rough idea about how you schedule your time and whether it's practical or realistic to pencil in a race when you have other stuff going on...


    Just when I've nearly convinced myself that you're not as mentally distanced from the real world as you used to be on here you write something like this.  Just plain dumb.

  • Running mum

    howde - lovley

    like some say at this late point

    run & walk it - switch off and enjoy it

    physcially you cannot change anything now

    BUT, you can work on that old box of pyscology,

    prepare correctly, stil ltime for that

    sleep, nutrician, fluids - go hydrated

    food and drink wise, stick with what u know

    family , work life and training is hard yes

    just do what suits u - 

    there'l be plenty of support

    take care always  

  • Good to see some sense being applied here, it depends on why you want to do it - if you just want to run a fun run and have a good chat with folk along the way, then there's no reason why you couldn't.

    Personally, I wouldn't do a race without having adequately prepared for it cause I have little self control and tend to race flat out until I'm flagging, which isn't much fun when it's only the 3rd mile in. But you're a mum, and if life has ever taught me anything, it's that mums know better! image

  • Hi all, and thanks for lots of constructive advice!

    I do indeed have a very small baby, who still wakes up a lot in the night.  The reason why I want to do this race is that it is the local one, my hectic life does not really make it easy to travel any distance for racing so basically I either run this year or wait until next year.  I have roped by husband in to coach me along the way, for support and making sure I pace myself - that was my condition for signing up in the first place.  He is good like that!  image  

    I ran/walked 12 km today in 1.5 hr.   Not a great time, but good for the old psychology to have covered the extra distance! That's over half of the race done.  I could have done more, but I had to get home as my husband had a meeting so I had to look after the kids. 

    The race course is the same lap twice, so I think I will go to the start line, run around it once and see how I feel.  If I break half way through I will be right by my car and can go home having had a good training run.  If I will have some energy left, I can go for that second lap. image

  • Reading back; did you do it? How was it?
  • enrvukenrvuk ✭✭✭
    Not sure if I am reading the dates right, but this was nearly 8 years ago, she may not even remember.
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