Training for both half mararthon and full marathon

This is a slightly tricky one for me, since i am a veteran of about fourteen half marathons, and i am doing my first marathon in April. I am averaging 15 miles very comfortably in my long slow runs at the moment, but i am also doing Brighton half for the third time in Feb, which means i have to keep the speed on. I do Interval, plus some pretty quick 8-9 milers, but then i have to slow it down for the full.

Interesting one. I am focussing on endurance, which means i go slower, but then i do speed work, since i am aiming to do Brighton in about 91 minutes, But then i go slower since when i do Sussex, i need to pace myself out.

Anyone else been in this boat?


  • Yes. Last year I did the Gothenburg half marathon in may and Stockholm marathon three weeks after. In the fall I did Stockholm half marathon in september and Amsterdam marathon in october. Both times I focused on the marathons and just included the half marathons as sessions in my marathon training schedules. The result? New PB on both half marathons! 

    According to those who are in the know, long and slow runs also makes you faster on shorter distances so my recommendation, based on this and my experience above, is to focus on the marathon training. You will probably do fine at the half marathon anyway.

  • I have a pace for each distance im no star runner but can 7 min mile for 5k & now about 7.30 for 10k then about 8 min for 10 miles & 8.30 for 1/2 marathon, i have only done one marathon and that was last year and set myself 10 min miling which i came just inside, im really hoping & training towards 9min miling for edinburgh in may. Re training for your marathon i found long distance multi-terrain races between 16-20 miles & they worked brilliantly for building my stamina & giving me the confidence to believe i could finish my first marathon at age 43 after only being back running 9 months after 3 years out with a serious knee injury. Don't forget to taper though so your fresh n fit come marathon day. Richie.

  • Most will treat the marathon as the 'A' target, and gear training around this, and do the half with minimal/no taper. I did it this way last year, doing nothing specific for the half, and pb'd in both the half and full marathon. Otherwise, you could put more priority on the half but this could affect your training and outcome of the full.

    The other consideration is the pace you run your half at. You could try smashing it, or use it as a training session and run at your planned marathon pace.
  • I agree with Also-ran. You'll get a good half marathon time off marathon training but not the other way around.

  • If you orient your training round a marathon plan you'll quite likely find it calls for a half-marathon at pretty much race speed one weekend anyway. If your lucky it'll fall on the right weekend, or it'll be close enough to juggle around. (e.g. RW 3:30 plan at week 6). The result will be a good calibration point for how fast you can run the marathon and let you set your speed sessions more accurately for the remainder of the programme.

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