Half Mara in two weeks - advice needed!

Hi all,

I'm running my first half marathon on 7 October and have been training 'properly' (i.e. on a training plan) since June. I feel good and healthy and three weeks ago I did my first 10 mile long run. However over the last two weekends due to things beyond my control (and not to do with the running) I've had the time to do another 10 miles, or increase it to 11 miles - which was my intention. I feel like I want to go out this weekend and do 11 but i've been advised against doing the longest run one week before. My short runs are 5 miles a few times a week. Should I just go for it and do a long run (11m) this weekend as I feel good and it will increase my confidence or just take it easy and do 6 miles this weekend (which is what my training plan says) or something in between?

Any advice would be really appreciated! I feel awful because the training was going so well and I feel like i've let myself down in the last two weeks - and so close to the race!

thanks in advance!



  • A long run one week before the event won't provide any positive training benefit, and has the potential to have negative training benefit (taking too much energy, causing injury etc).  

    I wouldn't recommend doing it, for the week before your first Half-Mara you want to be taking it easy to build up your energy reserves.  A 6 mile run sounds right, and trust your plan - its got you this far.

    Very few people follow a plan exactly, with most people missing the odd run or three.  Just relax safe in the knowledge that you will set a personal best for the distance and give yourself a target for future improvement.


  • + vote for what stutyr says, Alex.  Doing a last long run 3 weeks out is what's recommended by many.  Ideally, yes, you would have logged a couple more, but you will not gain additional benefit by doing so now - you'll just dig a deeper hole to recover from. 

    Going out and doing a half marathon, many, many people basically overperform on the day, surprise themselves with how well they've done -- and take a while to fully recover afterwards -  and that's absolutely fine.  You've done a ten and that's very close to your target distance - remember that and remind yourself whenever you have any doubts.

    Follow your taper plan, stay focussed on all that you've achieved, get the right nutriton and sleep and you'll be fine.

  • Hi Alex 

    I just ran the Great North Run last weekend for the first time I only started running in March so was reasonably new to it all. I had planned to do the same as you and increase the milage unfortunately I tore my calf 4 weeks before the run so the furthest i had ran was 11 miles, which i was concerned about the extra 2.1mile on the day. However the atmosphere and adrenaline on the day made it feel so much easier than any traing run i had done and had it not being for my calf going again at 10 mile I think it would have been a good time, so I guess what Im saying is dont worry too much about the training you have probably done enough already come the day the Atmosphere will pull you along image Good Luck!!

  • Hi all

    Thanks so much for the responses image I will take heed of the great advice!

    Stutyr - i'm a total beginner to running so the pb for the distance is all i'm going for - thanks for the good advice.

    Questforspeed I'm hoping that is the case, let's just hope I can sleep in the lead up!

    Craig - well done! I'm really hoping that the atmosphere and adrenaline pull me through.

    Thanks all


  • Hi Alexadra

    Which HM are you doing? I'm doing the Royal Parks on the 7th and scared stiff! Only had my daughter 7 months ago and been running since July, eek!

  • Hi Josi

    Sorry, I missed your post. Yes i'm doing the Royal Parks and i'm scared too! People just keep saying to start slow and enjoy the day - which is what i'm going to aim for, I just want to finish and try not to be last!!!

    How are you feeling? Well done, it's an amazing achievement, especially with a 7 month y/o!!


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