From 13.1K to 13.1 Miles -the dreaded Half Marathon

Hi All  -

I know there have been previous threads written on this, but there are 1000's responses as they are quite old so want to start a new one...

So I've only gone and done it...yup signed up for my first half marathon - eeek and OH SH*T!

I started running 4 months ago on the back on my boyfriend being a keen runner. I had base fitness as i walk my dogs 5-6 miles a day without fail, and i've done quite well - I've run 3 x 10km races (PB is 48.46 mins) and 2 x 8.26 races, (PB is 1.06mins) so actually I'm not bad at the running malarky!!

BUT..8.5 miles is my furthest run to date, and that was by accident (god dam you half Kilomathon for cocking up your distances on race day!), so how do i get to the Half Mara distance? I have signed up to do one in March so i have 5 months to get my distance up.

Is it just a case of training and slowly increase my runs during the week (i run 3 times a week varying from 5 miles to 8 mile runs). I also do Boot Camp once a week to x-train.

Anyone else in the same situation please join in - a little support network would be ideal!







  • Gemma, you've got a good base with those PB's, for me I just built it up gradually, adding a mile to the long run once a week.

    You've got 20 weeks to get ready for this so plenty of time. Take a look at the schedules on this site and stretch them out so take the first week and repeat a couple of time, before moving to week 2 and so on?

    Good luck, what race you doing? 

  • 5 months is plenty. Lots of marathon plans are just 4 months.

    You have a base so just look up the training plans. Find one that suits and stick to it. Simple !
  • If u can do 10k/8.5 miles etc, 13.1 is nothing image My longest run before HM was 9 miles.

    Loads of time, don't dread it, you will adore it and be so well prepared when race day comes.

    If you want structure- I used Hal Higdon training progs. U can google n find free online and then pick which one suits your level best (I was novice image) u could pick one and make it stretch out longer than the 12 weeks he prescribes.

    Enjoy image
  • Hi Gemma,

    I too have signed up for my first HM, its Brighton in Feb. By the sounds of it (by your pb's) you are quite a natural runner, and you won't have any difficulties in upping your mileage.

    As others have suggested find a plan, trust it and stick to it. This is exactly what I have done. I have progressed from C25K, to a beginners 10k, and then an intermediate 10k (focusing on reducing my times). I have a 10k in a couple of weeks then after that I will start another plan for my half (bit of a theme going on here image).

    At the moment my Sunday long run is about 10 miles, I have no doubt I can run a HM distance wise, I just want to run it sub 2 hours hence following a plan.

    Good luck!

  • Hi Gemma - I'm in a very similar situation (well apart from times - mine are significantly slower than yours!) I've also signed up for my first half marathon in March, and did my longest run so far last weekend, which was 8 miles. So I'm going to have a similar schedule to you! I'm running 3-4 times a week, and trying to do it properly with a long slow Sunday run, and then a mix of shorter runs in the week. I make a vague attempt to do an interval session once a week, but I find that soooo hard! Look forward to keeping each other motivated through the winter months, and sharing some tips. Which half marathon are you doing?
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