advice before first Half Marathon next week please

Hi All - new to running last year and have been following a 12 week training course for my first Half Marathon next week. In week 8 i managed to run a 54:19 hilly 10KM and I was pleased with that. I then missed 7-10 days training due to illness, week 9/beginning of 10. I managed two shorter tempo runs when i felt better and then at the beginning of week 11 i ran my final easy, long run, 18km - although i was noticeably slower after the illness break. Since the 18km I have been in taper mode. What i have found though is that i have felt exhausted since the 18km and so have altered my goal from 2:05 - 2:10 to just finishing. Getting to my question, would you advise me to force myself out on a couple of short easy runs in this final week (as per my training plan) or just to take a rest from running and go for a few long walks (and hope i feel less tired by next Sunday)? Pretty gutted as i was really looking forward to it!


  • Hi jimjam75 -  if it left you feeling exhausted after the 18k then I would probably suggest resting up and taking it easy. You're not going to gain an awful lot in terms of fitness in the next week by doing easy runs and it's possible that a couple of walks will mean you're more refreshed and have given your body that time to recover. 

    As for the half itself; remember the first goal is to finish and enjoy it. Whatever you do it's going to be a PB. You've done the hard work and fully refreshed and with no pressure of expectation you may find your target race pace comes naturally.
  • Thank you Guard dog, I was leaning towards that but as I’m new to this (although 45), I really wasn’t sure what was the best thing to do. If I finish anywhere close to 2hrs, I will be over the moon.  So lots of sleep, carbs and taking it easy this week! Thanks. 
  • Consider it one of the joys of taper, jimjam75, you can rest as much as you like and eat as much pasta as you can get your hands on. I did my first half at much the same age (a very pedestrian 2:22:22 having done no real training) so if you hit the 2hr mark that would be fantastic. But take into account you'll undoubtedly want to do another, despite what you'll say at the end, and you'll want it to be quicker than your first  :p  
  • Hi jimjam75, agree with above. At this stage, there's nothing you can do to improve fitness, but you can get injured or tired. Most plans will have you doing short runs this week to avoid getting tired and to allow the body to recover, it probably doesn't matter if you skip these, they're only to keep things ticking over. You've done the hard work, and feeling tired at this stage is normal. Relax, put your feet up, and don't go pasta-crazy just yet. Sleep is good, and take it very easy the day before the race. Better to be relaxed and under-trained than tired and over-trained.

    It's also normal to start worrying at this stage, "maranoia" is very common. Every wee twinge you feel this week will send you into panic, thinking you've probably injured yourself.

    Remember to enjoy the race - look around, high-five the kids at the side of the road, smile!
  • Best of luck! I'm a little jealous lol
  • thanks for the really helpful comments and ‘maranoia’ - love that and it’s so true. I freaked this morning that a lady I bought a coffee from had a cold, in case I was going to catch it and miss the race!! 
  • Every sniffle or twinge is magnified, jimjam75. I've got the Brighton half next month which I've never done, having missed the last 3 occasions due to injury. I'm now tentatively dealing with a calf problem and hoping it's all going to be OK.
  • Hi All, race was today and I managed 2:05. It was hilly one, Winchester and so I am very pleased for a first go. Thanks again for the advice and encouragement! Have a PB to beat now…..! 
  • Very well done, awesome.
  • Outstanding work! Bizarre reading this because my most recent 10k was hilly and 55mins and a week after that my longest run ever was 18.6km. And it was all in prep for my first half-marathon! AND you're not that far from me (I'm Godalming).

    I actually bottled the half-marathon because it was revealed seven days before that it included 1,200ft+ of climb!!  The 18.6km (largely flat) run completely did me and I was wiped for a few days. I just could not imagine a few more KMs and monster hills.  :-/

    2.05 is a really solid time! Good work! 
Sign In or Register to comment.