HM to full marathon

Contemplating moving up to the full marathon distance (in fact I've put my name in the hat for VLM next year....might as well start) and think my first will be next year just wondered on what peoples experience was in terms of shift in training from HM to Full Marathon was.

To date I've done 3 HM this year with another 3 planned. My time is 1:43 mark with a bit more room for improvement (I feel like I've got something left in the legs at the end anyway). Typically I only train up to the 11 mile mark max at the moment and guess the challenge will be extending this as it's the time thats needed for these runs thats the killer. Any views or people experience would be appreciated.


  • They don't say 20 miles is half way for no reason image

  • No problem moving up in distance as long as you are realistic in your goal, take it slowly and maybe use a training plan to set your short term objectives, best of luck!

  • No obvious reason why not. You're right about the time required, but also need to be aware that you should build up the mileage gradually. The best thing to do at this stage is to look at some different plans and find one that you can understand (You'll see what I mean when you start looking!) and that suits your lifestyle in the 4 months prior to whichever marathon you enter. And then enjoy the journey and don't worry about time on the first marathon. The 20miles+ makes them very unpredictable, so best to just enjoy the experience first time around!

    FYI, most 16 week plans seem to assume / require a minimum regular mileage of 25 miles per week prior to commencing the marathon specific plan. Not absolutely necessary, but advisable.

  • yer majyer maj ✭✭✭

    I used the Hal Higdon Novice 2 plan for my first marathon 6 weeks ago and really liked it, although I did fiddle with it a bit so I did more than one 20 miler.

    It's a big jump up - but with enough time it's perfectly doable.  Building your base mileage is the best advice I can give - I didn't do enough of that and the first few weeks of training were a bit of a shock, because I went up to running 4 times a week from 3 without warning my legs that it was going to happen!

  • At least you're at least thinking about it in plenty of time. Start finding a plan out now, decided if it will be 3/4/5 runs a week and start getting used to the level of running before you launch into the plan. Find one that is written in a way you're comfortable with, and fits into your life. No point picking one wanting 6 runs a week when you struggle to get out 3 times.

    Also, don't be too optomistic - the calculators seem to underestimate quite considerably. There was a good thread on the Marathon section where the typical conversion was 2.25 x half time. Think along those lines and you can always go out and do it again, faster, next time. 

    I also went to training runs of up to 15 miles before I started the plan, such that it wasn't a massive shock to the system, and I'd have some idea of how I might feel after longer runs. They not only take longer to do but take more out of you. I found the 20 milers took 4 hours (Yes, I'm slow) but they also wiped me out for the rest of the day. Whereas 10/12 ish and I'm OK to plan to do other things in the afternoon. 

    In some ways it is a massive step up. It felt 4 times as long as any half I've run, the training took over my life and I have never ached as much as I did the monday morning. But I don't regret doing it one bit. Going to do it again, but not in a hurry! 

  • I ran my first marathon at london after 2 half marathons. I ran 1;49 in mallorca and 1:44 in Bath. I followed a plan for 3;45 from this site hoping to break 3;50 and ran 3;51

    You learn a lot on the way to your first marathon, all i can say is being part of a running club really helps.  If I run another I would put in more hill work as I felt my thighs bore the brunt of my pain in those final 6 miles.

    Good luck

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