Training to hold 1st half marathon pace in 1st full marathon

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon. My average pace was 8:36 min/mile. I was wondering how realistic it is to set myself the goal of holding this pace in my first full marathon in 5 months from now.

Based on my experience yesterday I would say 8:45 min/mile is a far more comfortable pace for me. The average 8:36 min/mile was achieved by running at 8:45 min/mile for the first 8 miles and then running faster in the last 5 miles. I did give it full effort. 

I am very happy with my training plan. The plan is for 4 days a week. If I would like to run a fifth day to improve my speed is it better to focus on hill repeats, interval sessions or fartleks?




  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    If you want to hold that sort of speed in your first marathon then I would concentrate on your long runs to build endurance. It seems like you have the speed you need. More long slow runs will help with endurance and it should help if you can get in 5 or 6 20 milers in your build up.
  • Millsy perfect, thanks. I plan to have done four 20 mile runs by the end of this year (with the last one on Dec 31st) so doing 6 or more by April should be a no brainer.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    If your marathon us in April then you should be doing your 20 mile+ runs in late feb and march next year as you build up to the event. Doing them this year won't help as much and could lead to you being burn out before you start your plan.

    Have you got a marathon plan? If so when does it start?
  • I am using the Shades marathon plan which I am really enjoying and not finding over taxing as Shades has made sure I don't run too fast. I started it way too early to account for missed weeks due to illness and work commitments. I have not missed any weeks to date though and the plan thinks my marathon is going to be on 27th Jan.

    I am planning on executing the plan until the taper and then simply repeating the last 12 weeks of the plan again. However this second time round I was thinking about introducing things to make me go faster e.g. hill repeats and intervals on a 5th day of running (I am only running 4 days per week currently), hence this thread.

    Since the plan only has me running 30-40 miles per week I thought that this would be fine. I see many people are running 50+ miles per week. Do you think there is a danger of me burning out at 30-40 miles per week?

  • Its a bit optimistic to be able to run your full marathon in exactly double your half time - that said - I'm guessing that as you improve - you won't be running it in double your future half time ?

    If youve trained lots to do your first half though - then you probably wont be able to pull this off. If you've improved on the training - then yes its a possibility. 

    I'd be looking to race a half next year and get a goal time from there though. You may even be ahead of your time ?

  • Cougie - your post makes perfect sense. Thanks for that. 

    i have a 1/2 marathon booked for mid-feb which should show me a better indication of whether I have made progress. I hope I can improve between now and then. We shall see. 

    I guess my real question should have been whether I should add more volume with easy pace running or should I add interval/hill training on the extra day of running that I want to add to my plan.

  • I think its best to get some good base miles in first before you start doing speedwork. 

  • Hi Khanivore, i too ran Gosport yesterday in a similar time / pace to you and will be running the VLM in April 2013, so maybe we can share plans here?

    I'm looking to find a decent 16 week training plan for the Marathon and am using a few Halfs to measure my fitness. I've done 3 halfs this year and I've got halfs in Portsmouth in Feb and Reading in March.

    I'll look at the Shades plan too along with the FIRST program.

    I'd like to do London in sub 4 hours, and I'm unsure if this is possible, I want to primarily enjoy it, but I know I'll enjoy it more if I can do sub 4 hours and not really struggle.


  • Hi Tim, if you have run 3 half marathons already than you are ahead of me image I am using the Shades training plan from this thread:

    Personally, I have found the support on the thread and the plan itself to be fantastic. I think it is an 18 week plan (I don't have it in front of me right now) and Shades has 2 levels of it based on your experience. I am sure you are level 2 since you are already running half marathons. Check out the thread and ask Shades for a copy of the plan and then see what you think.

    I think I can still improve quite a bit before the VLM. I have at least 1/2 a stone in weight to lose if not more. This should help tremendously in itself if i can achieve it.

    I think 4 hours is a realistic goal for us! One problem is that there are a large number of people at the VLM, many of whome are dressed up as chickens, clowns and whatever else they can think of. Apparently you spend a lot of time running around people and walk the beginning part of it too. I definitely won't be killing myself to get the sub-4 time. I am there to enjoy myself. If I don't make sub-4 that's fine - I will just find another marathon to achieve that at some point in the future. The VLM is going to be like a carnival. Much too unique and fun an experience to trade in for a fast time.

  • To answer the first question, how new are you to running? If you are new, and train well, then you will be benefit from those early gains new runners have. I had this experience this year - 2 months training for a half marathon, and then a further 3 months training to 1st marathon. The marathon was run at a faster pace than the half. Certainly not possible anymore as my HM time has been reset in subsequent races.

    Certainly possible in 5 months. Needs plenty of endurance training.
Sign In or Register to comment.