Fitting in a half during marathon training


During my training for my first full marathon next January I've scheduled in a half marathon for September (which will be my 6th).

Question is....would you guys still put in taper and recovery weeks either side of the half? I was thinking of treating it as just another training run but I fear that once I get to the event I will end up running harder due to the excitement of the day. I've only just come back from 6 weeks off due to a calf strain so I need to be careful not to overdo things. Any advice or tips??



  • Well, TBH Minnie I don't taper for a half marathon anyway!  I'd probably not run the day before or the day after but it would just be situation normal apart from that.  It's very hard for most people to just treat a race they've entered as a "training run".  You do put more effort in on the day.  Your marathon isn't until January so I suspect you are more worried about your calf?  Only you can answer that one - play it by ear and see how the calf holds up.  Most marathon schedules have a half marathon built in to them and there isn't a taper before the event or after but the half is usually in there about 8 weeks before marathon day.  I would just do the half and use it as a long run and not worry about it but thats just me!  I should add that I always do a long run of between 10 - 16 miles once a week anyway so a half wouldn't worry me. 
  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    image Ditto.
  • MM,
    Personal approach: I find it virtually impossible not to race once I get a number on. I did my first marathon this year and did a half about 5 weeks prior. I didn't taper for the half, but I did allow some recovery time afterwards. Like you, I had a bit of an injury problem, so had to take it easy once the race was over -didn't want to jeopardise the main event! I didn't go for complete rest, just reduced volume and no hard workouts the first week, and then building back up in the second week (just about in time to taper properly for the marathon!!!)

    I think I'll end up doing the same again next year. Try and treat it as a training run. Fail miserably once the race gets underway, and then allow myself recovery time in the week or two afterwards.

    You'll have plenty of time to recover properly and still get some good training weeks in before your marathon taper.

    All the best!
  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    Minnie, it looks like you've got maybe 16 weeks between the two (minimum 13-14, right?).  I don't know how much training you're doing or how your week looks, but based on that timescale I would personally treat the two as separate events.

    I couldn't sustain such a long training period of high mileage without a break, so I'd take the taper and the recovery properly before starting on the marathon campaign with that good base you've already built.

    However, absolutely each to their own.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Subject to the calf being better, I'd treat the HM as a target race in its own right and taper accordingly, although for me that would only really mean a shortened LR the week before (~10 miles coming down from a peak of 16) followed by a very easy week.  Take the next week really easy, then you've still got ample time to build up again for the marathon.  A true all-out performance in the HM can be used as an indicator for your marathon, assuming you want to run it as fast as possible.
  • Thanks for the responses. I'm pretty sure I picked up the injury by not taking any time off after doing my last half on 8th May so yes I am very worried about it going again.

    Having studied the other threads on here I've come to realise my weekly mileage has never really been high enough. I generally run 3 to 4 times a week building up to about 30 miles (with one long run on sunday of between 11 to 13 miles) a couple of weeks before the race. Then I drop it back down to around 20miles. I want to get it right this time, building up slowly and will take your advice of doing the half as sensibly as I can, with an easy week or so afterwards.

    Its really nice to have this resource- thanks again

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