Hello, just got back into running after a 7 year break, I do it mainly to keep fit and I'm not really that bothered about racing. 

After a few 3-4 mile runs and a couple of 7 milers over the last month,  I went out on Saturday morning with the intention of doing about 8 miles at a nice steady pace, when I got to the 7 mile mark I was feeling fresh so I decided to see if I could continue out to 10. On e at the 10 mile mark I still felt ok and thought I may as well go for the half marathon distance and just kept going. 

I finished in a time of 2h 08m 53 sec   My average pace was 9:50 and the route took in 730ft of climbing. I was really pleased with myself even though I know it's not a particularly fast time, I've never ran that far before and had t set out with the intention of doing so. 

My question is, can I now say I've ran a half marathon,  or do running types generally only count organised races as half marathons and would say I've just done a training run?

Also I would now like to get a sub 2 hour time, how much extra training would be needed to knock 9 min of my time. If it helps I'm 44 and just under 14 stone. And before July had never ran more than 10k. 


Thanks, Peter.  



  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭

    I guess you can say you've run a half marathon training run...  For me though it has to be an organised event to really count...  Will be interesting to see what others think...

  • "I ran" or "I've run".  Yes.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I agree with above. I did this several years ago before I ran a HM just to see if I could. If you say you've run a HM it implies an organised event.

    In terms of getting faster, what you did there is completely against normal recommendations. You should aim to increase by no more than 10% of miles at a time. You will benefit hugely just from running easy miles and time on feet. You will also probably find that if in a few months you entered a HM, race day adrenalin alone would get your time down a fair bit.

  • Yes, you can say you ran half marathon distance.

    I think saying you have run "a" half marathon implies that it was an event. A small thing but that's what makes the difference IMO.

  • Thanks for the replies, in future I will not refer to my runs as "a" half marathon to avoid any confusion. 

    DT19, I agree that it wasn't the wisest of moves to run the extra distance and in future I shall increase the distance in smaller steps, it was just on that particular day I felt good and the miles just passed by easily. I'm not a fast runner and my 10k pace is around the 9 min per mile mark which isn't going to trouble any records but gives me plenty of scope for improvement. 

    Thanks, Peter   

  • For your confidence and in your own mind you did. But, how do you know exactly how far you actually ran? That is the crucial difference. A properly organised race should have an accurately measured course (Garmins and the like don't count) and when you have completed that you can say you have run a HM. What you can say at the moment is you have done a 13 mile training run. And good on you, maybe best not to do too many just yet but well worth booking yourself in a race! Then you can set a proper PB which will give you the incentive to train well to beat it. Get a training plan and follow it - that will be the best way to improve and if you can pick a flat race I'd have thought you should get easily under 2 hours.
  • mikasamikasa ✭✭✭

    Agree with Screamy!

  • Yes +1 for Screamy definition. I ran marathon distance many times; far more times than I have run a marathon.

    " A properly organised race should have an accurately measured course (Garmins and the like don't count)"   - not quite the case. Many ARC road and trail half marathons are gps measured

  • Thinking about what Also-ran says, that's true. When you run 13 miles during marathon training you call it a "13 miler" not a half marathon.

    You make a sort of mental note that you know you could run a half marathon if you wanted to but you don't think of the training run as such.


  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    What happens if they ask which half marathon you ran?  Now you know you can do the distance why not find a half to run image

  • To be honest Cinders I'm not really that fussed about doing organised races, not sure why really it just doesn't appeal at the moment, though it may in future. 

    Im probably content enough to know that I have ran the distance and will now set my sights on improving my time to sub 2 and then maybe try for a 26.2 miler in the future. 

    I have signed up to a training plan on run keeper so that should keep me on the right track. 

    Are there many people on here who run but aren't bothered about competing in organised races? Or am I just odd. 

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I never used to be that bothered about organised races but I realised that I could perform much better around other people than on my own. I now do loads more races as it gives me a chance to run to my full potential.
  • I used to just run and not be bothered about competing in organised races, but at the time I also wasn't bothered in completing specific long distances in specific time goals either. That's more or less what racing is to me (plus beating other people, of course).

  • I would only say that if you can run half marathon or marathon distance and are putting in the time and effort to do it why wouldn't you do do a race and get the medal?

    When you're 92, with arthritis and your running days are long behind you, they would be a nice thing to have don't you think? 

    In a race there's no obligation to "compete" against anyone but yourself.

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    What is it about organised races you think you wouldn't/don't like?  

  • Hi Screamapillar, way back in 2006 I did the Blaydon Race (10k I think?) I did it last minute as a mate of mine tore his Achilles' tendon just before the run and asked me to take his number, I have to admit I did enjoy the day and whilst I'd never trouble any serious runners I came in mid table and was happy with that. 

    I think that I may have the wrong impression of races in that I immediately think that  you race to win ( not much hope of that!) rather than competing against yourself in a more crowded arena.  

    Maybe I'll look at some HM that are less high profile than the GNR. From not interested in racing to I'll look at it in  a handful of posts, how did that happen?!

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    image  If I ever raced to win then I'd never do a race image

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I go with what millsy says. A race gives a focus to train towards and a goal time. Very few people in races are actually in any contention for anything other than beating their own times.

  • Long distance running is more a mental battle with yourself than against other people. You can only push yourself so far in training. 

    There is nothing that can compare to getting to the home straight seeing the clock and realising your under your goal time. 

    I don't think I'll ever be able to stimulate myself enough in training to actually run as fast as I would in a race. 

    I am also trying for a sub 2 hour half marathon. just reached 12.6 miles in 2hrs 8 mins 23 secs so not as quick as your run but I have been doing the 10% rule each week.

    Funny thing is as soon as I finish the half marathon I'm then going to start my marathon training. It never ends

  • Having a race goal is a great motivator. Your training will be focused on peaking at certain times of the year, whereas running for general fitness is more of a continuous improvement. For example I have used indoor rowing for general fitness which has always consisted of a 3 week cycle repeated.

    With running races I'm looking to peak come race day . If you run using a training plan it will leave you peaking at the end of the plan - use that training and check out how you did in a race. You can do a time trial on your own, but it's not half as much fun as a race, and sticking a number on your vest can have some surprising effects.

  • 2:08/9 in training with hills probably equals a sub 2 on a flattish course in a real race surely?!

  • Cinders wrote (see)

    image  If I ever raced to win then I'd never do a race image

    Ha ha, me neither image

  • You could be really unlucky like me and pick a half marathon that isn't measured correctly - mine was Cardiff HM 2010 so technically it didn't count. I've done several since though so doesn't really matter now.

    As others have said, you can say you've ran half marathon distance, just not I've ran a half marathon which implies entering an organised race. I've done training runs of half marathon or more distance 40 odd times but I'd still only say I've done 8 half marathons (controversially counting Cardiff 2010!)

  • Ok, looks like I'm going to give it a go. I've looked online for a local HM and the Redcar and Cleveland has popped up. My worry is it is in 46 days, will this be enough time to prepare for it and if anyone has ran it would they say it is newbie friendly for a first HM. 

    If people don't think it's suitable do they have any reccomendations for other races. 

    Thanks, Peter. 




  • For the full marathon it is a bit more specific again. When talking to non runners, you can only say you have run a marathon if you ran London (VLM). Any other marathon just doesn't cut it. It is not worth explaining that you ran xxxx marathon, and then explaining that yes it was 26.2 miles, and no you didn't do it for charity, and  no one wore a Rhino outfit.  Hope that helps for the future.image

  • If you can already do the 13 miles I'd say you are already prepared - you can put the icing on the cake for the last 46 days and I'd bet on you going sub 2 too! I've been known to run halves off a long run of 10 miles nevermind more!

    Hope you do it - if it helps take the "race" tag away for you - I often look at events as days out where someone has kindly organised a run route for me so I don't have to worry about where to go or how far I'm doing.  My own times are not always in danger regardless of anyone else and I often rate a "race" by how much I've enjoyed myself whatever time I do!

    Have a brilliant time - will hopefully see your posting about how you got on image



  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Both times I've run London I didn't do it for charity or run in a costume so I take it that doesn't count.
  • Is it a bit selfish to run just for me? Do I have to bug my friends and family for sponsorship if I do a marathon?

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    Of course you don't.  It's your choice whether you wish to raise money or not!

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