From half to full!!

Hi folks

I wondered if anyone can help me out there in running world???

My plan having run 2 half marathons this year was to now start training for a spring marathon. I am by no means running my best half times and I'm almost certain that I can improve on them next year.

My question is ... would it be wiser for me to continue with training for half marathons and to move on to full marathons when im happy with my times, or if I start my marathon training plan for next year now will it aid my half marathon times???

I enjoy running half marathons but I would eventually like to at least try the full 26.2 to see if it is for me.


Many thanks.


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    As you've probably guessed, there's no definitive answer to this and you're likely to get conflicting views from different people.  Here's my random thoughts that you need to consider:

    My PB for the half was set during training for the full marathon, and this isn't unusual, so the full marathon training schedule is likely to help you improve our half time.

    The full marathon training will require more commitment and more energy, so you have to judge if you have enough spare time to complete it.

    If you're struggling in the last few miles of the half, then this suggests you are still building your endurance base.  Trying to double the distance is going to hurt.

    Why do you want to do a marathon next year?  If there's no significant reason, is there any harm delaying for a year (or more) whilst you improve you half times etc? 


  • +1 with stutyr - spot on with my experience

  • Thanks guys.

    My rationale behind the marathon next year was just part of a plan I had put together to work to, there isn't a specific need to run a marathon next year.

    I dont seem to stuggle in the half although ive only ran 2, maybe that is because im not running fast enough???

    At 41 I do feel myself running slower as the years roll by but my endurance seems to be improving???

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Hi Big_Foot, you've probably prepared better than at least 50% of the people who enter a marathon, as its surprising how many people sign up without running anything further than 5k.

    My personal experience is similar to yours, as I had a vague 2.5 year plan to work towards a marathon for my 40th birthday, and I progressed through 10ks and halfs before committing to a marathon.  I really enjoyed the increase in distance for training etc, and went into the marathon fitter than I've ever been.  

    The race itself didn't go so well, mainly due to going way too fast for the first 10 miles -  rule 1: respect the distance! I'm really glad I did it, and I'm now gearing up for a Spring Marathon next year.  I know its going to be hard work, but some of my best running memories are from the long runs in preparation for my first attempt (its an amazing feeling of self-satisfaction going beyond 20miles for the first time). 

    Based on your post, you seem to have doubts that you are ready to move up to the full distance?  If you try it, by following a marathon training plan, the worst case scenario is that you don't complete it, or don't enjoy the increased time/distance on your feet.  However the training will still benefit you in shorter distances.        


  • Well after 12 half marathons, which is a result of me, just being lazy i guess, or just the fact, i found half marathon a comfortable pace, and i have achieved some good PB's, i just decided to do my first full marathon next spring also, my urge to get it in before i turn 40 in August.

    There is no right nor wrong. To do or not to do. If not now, then when. If you find the right race, and you really want to do it, then start adding up the miles, and get going.

    My first full marathon is the Sussex Marathon. Next April. A challenging but rewarding race, which i actually did the half for this year.

  • Thanks Stutyr. I think I'll see how the training goes before I register for the full monty. I have to say that although the mileage isn't an issue on my legs or stamina, an old kickboxing injury does niggle me on longer runs ( I managed to tear both groins!!!) so I think I'll see how three hours running feels!!?!?!

    Many thanks for the advice image
  • Hi Ghostrider. Like you say, I guess it will just be a case of when I feel the time is right. I think that it's a highly respectable endeavour to just run half marathons, it's a nice distance to actually race over. A lot of people that made the change recently from half to full have told me that they enjoy the half because they feel they can race at this distance as opposed to just surviving the full. When you tell people that you run, specifically in races, the first question they ask is "marathons?" as if that's the level we should all aspire to. In truth, at this stage, I just want to know what it feels like to push your body that far , and ultimately of I can achieve it.

    Cheers ????
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