Half marathon to full marathon

Hi, I've been training from scratch for 6 weeks now and am getting toward being ready for a half marathon. Im up to 10 miles and running about 25 per week with my race pace at around 8:45 per mile. I'm going to run my first half marathon in October and hope by then to get to 8:30 a mile though this may be a big ask I'm currently planning a year of travelling and would like to run a marathon before I go... I'm looking to travel in march, do you think ill be ready to run a marathon by march if I train from Octobers half until march? I'd like to do it sub 4 hours, so keeping roughly to my 8:45 pace. My diet is very good as I've been a gym goer for a fair while. Thanks


  • Your pace for a half will be much quicker than your pace for a full marathon. It's not just a case of doubling the time it takes for a half to work out how long it will take for a full.

    Easy method is to take your hm time, double it and add 20 mins. This assuming similar terrain - ie flat off road for both or undulating trail for both. If you run a flat road hm and want to run a hilly off road marathon then you will need to add at least another 20 mins, possibly more for your marathon time.

    That said, from Oct - March you will have more than enough time to train for a marathon.

    My only caution being that ramping up your training quickly is the easiest way to come by an injury. esp if you are trying to do all your runs at race pace.

    Your long run, or long slow run as it is often known should be slow, that is, at least 1 - 3 mins slower than your marathon pace. (which of course you don't know at the moment). it should be an easy paced run, one which you can happily chat at. This run should be about 1/4 - 1/3 your total weekly mileage, so a 10 mile run your weekly mileage should be between 30 - 40 miles. It doesn't really matter at this stage, just something to think about for the future.

    The thing about running slower is that it lets you run further, thus building your endurance without unnecessary fatigue so you will have the energy for the rest of the weeks training. Your faster paced run is what is going to help you improve your race pace.

    I would like to ask, without you having yet run a hm, on what are you basing you 'race pace'? Is this the pace that you are doing your long runs at, have you run anyraces yet? I would advise running at least one 10k before you run your hm, just to get used to the race environment if nothing else.

    Race pace should be faster than training pace.

  • First of all, thank you for taking the time to give me such a well thought out and comprehensive reply.  I figured that a marathon time would be longer than double; at the moment I am running 10 miles at a pace which will get me around a half marathon in 1 hr 55-59 minutes, and so figure that to extend the distance by 3 miles and maintain that pace in 2 months is doable.  I then realise that I will be slower over the marathon distance, and so I guess I'd be looking, like you say, to shave around 20 minutes off of my theoretical marathon time, but would have 5 months to do so which seems like a fair amount of time to me.

    I've been following the BUPA training programme for a beginner's half marathon which takes 12 weeks, it incorporates an easy / recovery run, a tempo run, a speed run and a long run each week.  It seems to be that my easy run is around 1/4 or so of my mileage each week so that's a good thing to know, thank you.  

    I'm basing my "race pace" on two 10km "races" (local running club organised weekly events) in which I ran at around 8:30-8:40 per mile.  I've not taken part in any large scale events though, but am hoping to squeeze a 10km in before the HM.  How do you know your race pace?  Surely it is somewhere slightly above your long distance run but also below your tempo run pace?  Are you a regular HM / marathon runner yourself?  Whats your programme like?  I'm relatively new and am enjoying learning about the fundamentals of the sport.

  • I have been running for 41/2 years now. Started running as I was working a split shift and needed something to fill the hrs between shifts without going home all the time - 30 mile round trip and I cycle commute.

    I have run a number of races from 5k to marathon, was going to concentrate on  track races this year but illness put paid to that, (as well as falling over while running oops.) so I'm hoping to run a hm in october when I've regained my fitness. I'm still building up my weekly mileage, was running 45 miles a week, this week I hope to be up to 40 miles, next week will be an easy week, lots of sea swimming in Southern France. image Once I'm back up to there I'll start thinking about speed sessions again.

    I have read rather a lot on running, a good use of all those spare hrs. Runners World - the US site is a good place to start.


    The thing is, this early in the game for you, you will still be improving in leaps and bounds so what you ran a few weeks ago will not be what you could run in a few weeks time.

    My first half marathon I really didn't know how to pace it, it was fairly hilly and I wanted to complete it in 1:45. I finished in 1:47 which was good enough for me as I know I made errors in that I kept thinking that I should not be passing all these 'more experienced runners' so I just sat behind them until I realised that the pace had dropped off too much and I really did need to pass people. That's really why you need to get some races under your belt, so that you know how to tackle the race.

    There was somewhere a chart that added 15 secs onto your pace for each distance eg: based on

    10k pace 8:30m/m -

    5k - 8:15
    hm - 8:45
    m - 9m/m

    I thought that what you were saying is that you intend to run at your current 10k pace for the marathon, which may be doable if you put in the training. You'd need to follow a fairly tough training programme to make that kind of improvement over that short a time.

  • http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/beginners/training-for-the-right-distance/166481.html

    The above thread may give you some food for thought.

    You don't really want to make things to complicated though. There are so many views on what's the best way to train. Unfortunately marathon training can start to take over your life when your on the slow side. 3hr training runs then running a further 3 or 4 times a week to get the miles in, which if your like me and your running at 3:30 + m/m that's about another 6hrs running a week which doesn't sound much but you still have to work and do the shopping etc.

    You also need to remain injury free which isn't that easy. I think we all feel a little immortal when we go out running but often it doesn't take much, just misplace your foot once and you kind wind up having to take a few weeks out of your training. I know, I fell over in the woods a couple of months back, wasn't the best thing I've done of late.

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