How big a jump from HM to Marathon?


I'm all signed up for doing the Great North Run in September, training is going well, but I'm now wondering how big a jump it would be to look at doing a full Marathon.

Please no 13.1 miles as an answer image

My current training has got me doing around 20 miles per week with my longest run so far at 10 miles, taking around 1hr45.  I'm totally loving it and know I could go further.  Doing my long runs I have to force myself to stop and it always get my head wondering about how big a training jump etc it would be to get to Marathon level.

Any advice would be greatly received???



  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    About three times as much effort as a half.
  • kaffeegkaffeeg ✭✭✭

    about 50 times as much effort as a half.

    But, not a jump that is impossible in any way, shape or form.

    Go for it. 

    It's hideous and pointless. But addictive. image

  • Have a look at some marathon schedules - I use Hal Higdon, which I've always found to be really flexible but I'm sure others will tell you their reccommendations.  These will give you an idea of what sort of mileage and time you'll have to put in to your training over the course of (usually) around 20 weeks - which would place you nicely for a spring marathon!

    As above - the distance is way more effort than you'd expect - but thats why you train right and prepare yourself properly.  And yes, its definitely worth the blood, sweat & tears. 

  • Hoping it's not that big a jump, doing my first half in June, then the Kielder Marathon in September...

  • i think most people who can run a 4/5 miles easily could go out and do a half any week.......may not be the best time but its doable...........don't make the mistake that as a fit person you can suddenly jump up to the full .its a differrent beast...........

    but if you put the training in it is achievable.....and a great feeling

  • Yeah, to me the difference is that you need to train for a marathon using a training plan.

    (Not saying that to be funny -- most runners could do a half just based on doing some running every week as they felt like it)

  • The full is easily 4 times as far as a half. Training takes over your life (or, it did mine) and completely does your head in. Don't underestimate how tough it will be.

    Having said that, I'm already planning the next one...

  • I read somewhere (prob on this forum somewhere!) that halfway in a marathon isnt 13.1 miles, the real halfway is 20 miles!

    Having staggered round the VLM this year in a very long time (just over 6 hours!) i can believe it.
    My 10 miles time was 1:55 in October last year, I did 2 half marathons as part of my marathon training and my longest run was 17 miles in 3:25. in hindsight I should have gone further but i was following a get you round schedule.

    As helen says above - don't underestimate how tough it will be, and the training will take over your life.
    Having said that, don't let that put you off!  it's a hell of an achievement - go for it.

  • Maamalade wrote (see)

    My current training has got me doing around 20 miles per week with my longest run so far at 10 miles, taking around 1hr45.  I'm totally loving it and know I could go further.  Doing my long runs I have to force myself to stop and it always get my head wondering about how big a training jump etc it would be to get to Marathon level.

    It's not a massive jump up with the training levels you are already doing. A marathon hurts but it's a good pain normally. image
  • image Sorry tried to cut down your quote to the relivant bits and it kept putting my comments into the quote. Chuffing useless new layout. image

  • I have run HM distance once. It was only meant to be a 10mile run but I felt so good at 10 miles I thought I'll keep going. While I wasn't in doubt that I would make it to 13 miles my form went from fine to grinding to a halt.

    Based on that alone i reckon the jump to a marathon would be huge and I'd want to be at least comfortable with 20miles.

    Also, do you know what your heart-rate doing over your 10mile run?

  • Hi all

    Thank you so much for all of the advice, it is very much appreciated.

    I must admit, the more I think about it the more the call of a marathon is to me.

    My plan was to continue with my current training plan for the GNR in Sept which will get me to 15 miles.  I know I don't need to cover that far for a HM, however with my personality and health, unless I've covered the distance plus a little I won't feel ready.  Once I've done that, and recovered, I was thinking of building up gradually to doing the marathon next year, when I feel ready.

    I'm at the point where 10k feels like a speed workout for me (being asthmatic I struggle with speed work outs in the true sense of the word).

    I have looked at various training plans and other than struggling with speed intervals etc they look ok, but don't cover the full distance so I find I kind of create my own to suit my needs and ability.

    Typically I run 3 times per week and was looking to stick to that even building to marathon. Using one day at around 60-70% of my LSR, the other at 40% ish, mixing just running with new routes, building in some hilly runs and fartlek as best I can.  With my weekend LSR I aim to add 1-2k per week until have added 5k then stick with that for 2-3 weeks before pushing on again.  Would this work training for a marathon?

    In addition to running I do sit ups, push ups, gym ball work, some light weight sessions and planks to strengthen my core.  Oh, and I teach scuba diving and do technical diving (my kit for technical weighs around 50kg so does give me weight training) When I'm in the water it does give my legs some resistance work plus is good for building the core.

    I'm edging more to the lets give it a go, but now need to make sure that I do it right and use what I'm already doing to build on. 

    As for when I'm thinking of doing the marathon, I'm thinking April or September next year image

  • maamalade - pop onto Shades' thread in training. She has a marathon plan for 3 runs a week (with optional extra thrown in). no speed work, as such, just a mixture of runs at different paces (long, easy & tempo - ~ 10k pace)

  • Sounds good.  I've just done a pace calculator too and found that by my recent 10 mile run I'm running most of my runs at either tempo or speed pace image 

    My problem is that I can't go any slower, it just feels uncomfortable image Do you think this will be a problem?

  • hmm. Was the time you entered a race time? The calculators work on a recent race time to give rise to training times. You are unlikely (unless you're training very oddly) to be able to run the same time in training that you achieve in a race. 

    If you run long runs too fast, all you'll do is burn out. 

  • Think I'll have another look at it image

  • Ok, after todays race, 10k, I have looked at my pace's again. I am currently training around 30 sec/km quicker than the calculator says I should be.  I can't slow down as it hurts and is uncomfortable. But even at the faster pace I seem to be able to keep it up even when increasing distance.

    Do you think this is a problem?

  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭

    Hi Maamalade,

    It took me a while before I realised running slower, though it hurts, is better for me in the long run (Excuse the pun).

    As for Mara, yes as people have said above it isn't just twice the effort, it is a whole new ball game. But boy is it worth the effort (From someone who only intended to do one so they had done it, and is shortly doing their tenth....) image

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • Thanks for that, I will try a slower run when I next do a long run.  My problem is that I run how I feel.

    As for me, I never planned on going beyond 10k so today was a big landmark in doing my first ever race, a 10k in 58:31.  I'm signed up for a HM in Sept and contemplating a Mara, so much for 10k limit image

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