Pace for Half Marathon tune up race

i'm doing my first marathon in April, targeting to scrape under 4 hours. Trainng going ok with a mix of long slow runs ( so far up to 19 miles) , many shorter at easy pace and occasional tempo pace. 

Planning a HM tune up race 3 weeks before the marathon.  Should I just be targeting the HM close to 2 hours as a marathon pace session or push closer to my usual sub 1:50 HM time? 

any advice appreciated
Thanks Dave. 


  • Personally I'd think that racing a half flat out MIGHT be a bit too much with 3 weeks to go.  If it were me I'd use it as a marathon pace session.

    It depends how quickly you recover - but the usual pre LM halves are usually further away in order to let you race it and then recover and train again for London.  
  • Thanks cougie. I'm aged 48 so your comment about recovery time might well be the decisive point to consider. Sounds very sensible for me to go with an M pace run. 
  • I'm with Cougie here... recovery speed is a big component... as I approach 50, mine, like yours by the sound of it, is a bit slower than it used to be... I'm running a half 6 weeks before VLM and plan on running about 30secs off normal half pace... if it were 3 weeks, i'd be tempted to run it at your 9min mara pace
    lets be honest.... its all prep for an Ironman on my 100th birthday
  • Thank you Magna Carter. Feedback from you and Cougie has helped clarify my thought process here. I'm going to head off @ 4hr marathon pace and consider a tiny uplift just to ( plan A) 3:50 pace the last handful of miles to to see if it's a realistic target. 
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