I have been running in minimalist shoes for about 4 months now, gradually getting to 40-80 km a month. The maximum distance I have run so far is 12 kilometers.

I want to run a half-marathon in about 5 weeks and I'm wondering if it's a good idea to run it in my minimalist shoes. When I was pushing my max distance while getting used to barefoot running I often needed to step back or give myself rest to alleviate soreness of "barefoot" muscles. Since half-marathon distance will be my max distance so far, I'm worried if I might get injured in the process.

On the other hand, I have done all my running for the last couple months in those shoes and I'm used to the feeling. I'd like the setting to resemble my training as much as possible. Please, advise.

  • While I think this question is too personally specific to be a good fit for the site, I will say the age old truism "Nothing new on race day". If you haven't run the distance in minimal shoes before, I wouldn't do it for the first time (And at double the distance) on race day.
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 22:54
  • 1
    I think the question might be answerable, as a lot of people (from what I've read) don't cover the race distance before the actual race.
    – Baarn
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 10:51
  • I hope to finish a 15 kilometer run before race day. If it's ok then I suppose I should be able to run 6 more without injury. This is my first half, so all I want is to finish it.
    – VoY
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


The 5 weeks have passed, so you probably already have completed your half marathon :-), but here goes:

There are a lot of things you're not telling, so my answer is based on what info you do provide.

As a rule of thumb, you can (within reasonable limit, of course) run twice the distance you think you can run, and since you know you can run 12 km, a half marathon should be doable.

If you apply general running wisdom (economize and don't run too fast, eat and drink something on the way, stop if it hurts in a bad way, etc), you should be good to go.

In the comments you say you plan on going on a 15 km run before the actual half marathon. I think that's an excellent idea, and if you manage to get the feeling that you could go the extra 6 km after 15, you'll be more than ready.

Remember to listen to your body, and try not to run too fast. Your achilles tendons and calf muscles take the highest strain when running minimalist, so those are the ones to focus on; if they start to ache too much as you step up your training, you should probably wait.

Personally I have been running minimalist shoes for around 18 months now, the last 8 months exclusively minimalist. I have run a number of half marathons and one single marathon in traditional running shoes. I have run 15 km in minimalist shoes as a max (since I'm focusing on the 10 km distance).

  • 1
    You're right, I managed to finish in 2:08. Decided to run in my normal shoes in the end. Thanks for the advice!
    – VoY
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 11:18

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