Half marathon for marathon training

Hi I have a quick question and would like some opinions. I am running a marathon in May and have entered a half marathon which I'm running in tomorrow. My HM PB is 2:01 and I'd love to break this tomorrow but by doing so I know I'll be really tired at the finish line. The thought of running it all again, as in a marathon, would bum me out some what. I would equally like to cross the finish line tomorrow feeling fairly fresh with the thought of doing it all again being achievable rather than a near impossibility. This would obviously mean running slower and no chance of a PB. Problem is I can't decide which is best! What would you guys do? Go for it and get the PB or play the long game and get the mental boost that I might just be able to complete the marathon in May? Thanks!


  • I would run the half. You don't need to run a marathon to prove you can run a marathon. You might as well do that in your marathon. Plod round and enjoy it. 

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    You can't run a marathon in 2x your half time, look at the world records.

    So go for it in the half, because you will be running a lot slower per mile in your marathon. If you don't throttle back in the marathon, you'll be blowing up just after halfway, so whatever you do in your half marathon  will be irrelevant anyway.

  • If you have no idea what your current level of fitness is, race it and use the time to shape your planned marathon pace and training paces over the coming weeks, in the knowledge that you will be knackered for a few days

    if you have a good grip on what you are going to do in May in terms of planned marathon pace, you can use this pace tomorrow as a good training workout. You should feel tired - with more training the pace becomes easier

    Don't fancy either of those then go easier. Just try and get something meaningful out of it that contributes to the marathon goal.

  • Thanks, yeah i know there's no way I can run a marathon in 4 hours, my aim was 4:30-45 at best. I have to options for tomo, go for it and better my previous times, I've done this over the last 3 HM's I've completed. Or take it easy and gauge how tired I am at the end.

    If I can finish tomo in say 2:20-2:30 I reckon I'd feel like i would have a good shot at continuing for another 13 miles at a similar pace. My main stumbling block has always been how dead I feel at the finish line, I've often laughed at the thought of it being only 1/2 way to marathon distance. This is because I always go 100% and use all my energy, I finish with nothing in reserve.

    It would be interesting to see how a slower time effects energy use.

    I think tomo I'm going to take it easy for the 1st few miles and see how I feel. I'll prob end up going for it though.
  • I'm also running a half tomorrow with a marathon in May. My plan is to treat it as a training run but with an alternative route to my usual. Not aiming for a personal best HM but do want to do at marathon pace just to see how it feels. That will be about 9min miles so just under 2 hours (PB is 1.50).

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I'd race it tomorrow-

    1. To gauge current level.

    2. To plan the rest of my marathon training paces.

    3. A marathon is a lot of training for just one race. 

    You have a good 6-8 weeks to recover. I bet you could go out in training and run 13 miles at 90 seconds per mile below mp to get the other boost. 

  • My mile pace is about 9-9:30 so I've set the virtual partner on my Garmin for 9:15 but I'll prob run the 1st mile much slower, everyone always goes running off too fast, I've made that mistake before!

    DT19 good point I hadn't thought of it from that angle, I'm still undecided, I'll see how I'm going by mile 7 then decide. I'd love to smash my PB tomo as my aim for the past 3 has been to get under 2hrs. But I'd also like the "oh I could do that again" feeling as well! Maybe that's a tad optimistic though lol!

    MemsahibR good luck tomo!

    Thanks again everyone for your take on it!
  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    I'm the same M.K. marathon on 5th May and a half tomorrow. 

    I'm thinking 'go for it' (if a dodgy knee allows), then just back on track but no speed  sessions for the next couple of weeks. 

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    Dan DT has summed it up.  you can attempt the "I could do that again" feeling anytime in your training, next week if you want, tomorrow is a race and a chance to get a PB. It's obviously not your first so you will recover easily,  and you are still several weeks away from your A race, every reason to go for it. If you hold back you'll never know!


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Yep, go for it. If you don't do it now you may not get another chance until the autumn. It's also worth putting the training to use as you never know what might happen before the marathon. It's also good to put your time into a running pace calculator to give you an idea of what you may be capable of over 26.2
  • Finished very 'undulating' (read some very cheeky hills) course in 2hours. Pleased with run overall as felt good even with the hills. Makes 4.30 marathon feel achievable and 1.45 Leicester half a good target for October.

  • well done! excellent result. good luck for the marathon

  • Thanks again guys, I took the advise and went for it, took 2 minutes off last years time. I found the 1st 10 miles to be fine, a bit tiring along the promenade to mile 11 then it suddenly hit me and I was running on mind power alone by then. Finished strong with a last sprint over the line to get a 2:03.03 time.

    My legs ached a bit but felt a lot better than last year and I even managed an hours cross training last night which is a 1st the day after an HM.

    Having said that I think the only realistic way I can finish a marathon is to slow my pace right down to 10:30's maybe even 11's. I just cant sustain a 9:30 pace over that distance. 

    My plan for the next 6 weeks is to increase my mileage very gradually to 20 miles.

    Well done to everyone else who ran over the weekend! 

Sign In or Register to comment.