10k to marathon a step too far ?

Hi all,

I've done a few 10ks in the past at a steady/slow speed (55mins) and have recently got the fitness bug again.,  Do you think 4 months will be long enough to step up to a marathon?  Want something to challenge me and keeop me going in the early part of next year

I'm looking at the Manchester one at the end of April which sounds like it's the flattest one in the UK.  longest distsnce I've done on a training run is 14k although that was very hilly.

Interested in anyone's thoughts or anyone who has done similar in the past.



  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    There's people who go from couch to completing a marathon in less than four months.  However they don't tend to be fast, and a good proportion of them get injured in the process.

    So you are in a better starting position than them.  A more rational approach would be to aim for Manchester 2014 and do a spring Half-Mara and autumn Half-Mara in the build up. 

    I guess it depends on whats motivating you to do the marathon.  If its a challenge, then a HM or a faster 10k could be the challenge for you.  If its to "do" a marathon, then you should be able to complete the distance with the correct training and the realisation that you need to go slow and steady.

  • Agree with stutyr.

    I think you will probably enjoy it more if you target spring 2013 for your first half, and then your first marathon in autumn 2013 or spring 2014, which gives you plenty of time to up your distance and to enjoy training for the half, and just help your body to adapt to running more as well. It's a different experience for training for shorter races, and requires much more commitment and structure - particularly for a spring marathon, which means you have to get out and run the miles all through the winter, whatever the weather and not make excuses.

  • Agree with both of the above. 

    If you want a challenge then a half marathon will give you that. It will also put you in a much better position to understand what running a distance twice as long might feel like. 


  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    There is another advantage of going for an autumn marathon:  with a spring mara, you train through the cold weather, then can get caught out by a warm race day.

    If your race is in Autumn, you do your training through the summer, then your race day is likely to be cooler.

    Don't worry too much about finding a flat marathon - a few ups and downs makes it more interesting.

  • Hi Amjid. How long ago did you run the 10ks and how recently have you started running again? As Stutyr pointed out, people do go from couch to completing a marathon in 4 months, but far more end up injured I would imagine. Instead, I would recommend you build up very slowly. If you want a challenge then try and beat your 10k PB. That way you can build up your mileage very slowly and hopefully keep enjoying the running without ending up injured. There should be plenty of time to step up to a longer distance at a later date. Then again, I am just ultra-cautious after learning my lesson the hard way! Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • I'd be perhaps a bit more positive.   If you think you've got good natural fitness (e.g. you tend to get fit  faster than average, for any given amount of exercise) then you've got time to get fit enough to really enjoy it, and do yourself justice.

    But be realistic. On average, I'd expect the Manchester marathon experience (including the winter training) would be quite challenging.   For most people, waiting until next Autumn for a first full marathon would be sensible. But like I say... if you tend to get fitter faster than most people, and you've got the commitment... then I'd say go for it.  But I say again.. be realistic!

  • Amjid, I am one of the idiots (self-proclaimed image) who rushed into my first marathon. I achieved a great time and as a bonus seem to be injured about 50% of the time since that first race. So, yes it can be done, and what you have been warned of above makes perfect sense

    I went from couch to marathon in 21 weeks after no running for 25 years, however, mentally I was prepared for endurance sports having just done some very long trekking, including 16 hour days. So to say I went from couch to marathon is not the full story.

    PB 10k's and Half marathons seem like the next logical step if taking things the sensible route. Some people just get the idea that they must do a marathon, and no advice can sway them. Are you like me, or are you going to listen to these good peopleimage

    By the way, I have far preferred my hilly marathon to the flat ones. Don't assume because it is flat, it is easier.


  • Thanks all for the advice.

    Think I'm going to be sensible and do the Leeds half marathon in May to give me a taste of longer distances and continue with my training throughout 2013. Hopefully work my way up to a marathon in Autumn 2013 or even 2014.

    Thanks again all. Looks like a great community here image
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