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I am running my first marathon on 17 March in Rome and have my 18 week schedule all sorted and ready to start a week on Monday (eek). Did my first ever half marathon last weekend and managed 1hr 56m so am now stoked and excited to get started. It's been recommended that I book in a couple of races throughout the training schedule as motivation and as markers to check my progress (which sounds good to me) but am struggling to find races that aren't more than a four hour drive away and aren't already full. I've managed to find two suitable races - a half and a 10miler - but they would be quite concentrated at the end of the schedule - would fall as follows:
20 mile long slow run on 9 Feb; Plymouth Hoe 10mile run the next weekend (17 Feb); 20 mile long slow run next weekend (23 Feb); Bath Half the following weekend (on 3 March) at end of first week of taper; then two more weeks of taper before marathon on 17th March
Does this sound ok or would you recommend just doing one of the races - and if so, which one? As it's my first marathon, I am venturing into the unknown. I've reached the half marathon distance within a couple of months of training and with relative ease however I am aware that it is the second half that is the difficult bit!