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I signed up for a half marathon (there were half + full marathon races for the same event), taking place in April '16, and started training last week (Around 13 December). I'm not a regular runner (or exerciser in general), but I think I'm naturally physically inclined towards cardio activities. [Early 20s, male, 60-70kg, 170-180cm.]

As part of some 'beginner to half marathon' schedule I'm following, I went for few 3milers throughout the week, and then yesterday went for a 5 miler.

But I ended up running a full 13.2mi because I was feeling pretty comfortable. Running a fairly easy, steady pace, I finished in 1hr 55mins. I was tired but happy, and not completely exhausted.

Bearing in mind I was training to simply finish a half marathon, I'm now slightly concerned that I set my goalposts too far apart. I want a target that is hard to achieve but feasible with enough training, and a bit of mental fairy dust.

So: Could I feasibly switch to running a full marathon in a respectable time (which would be more of an impressive achievement in my eyes), with 15 weeks of training? If so, would I be looking to simply finish, or could I probably try a good time?

  • If you signed up for half-marathon, shouldn't you focus your attention on reducing your half-marathon time as opposed to a marathon? – Kneel-Before-ZOD Dec 22 '15 at 1:36
  • Well it's a marathon event, with an option to only do a half-marathon within it. I have no idea how that works; I just know there are still several thousand places left for both races. I only signed up for the half marathon because I assumed it'd be friggin hard. But... well... it's turned out to not be so bad? – yellow-saint Dec 22 '15 at 3:02
  • Okay, you might wanna put that info in your question; there's nothing in it to indicate why you're going for a marathon when you signed up for a half-marathon...... unless that's just common knowledge to most runners. – Kneel-Before-ZOD Dec 22 '15 at 14:20
  • @Kneel-Before-ZOD Fair enough, updated the question post. As I'm not a regular runner, I have no clue what the common knowledge is :) – yellow-saint Dec 22 '15 at 17:13
  • What marathon are you doing in April? – brentwpeterson Dec 29 '15 at 21:58
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First you should make sure you are not over doing in in your training, but having said that if your long run is at 13 miles then yes you can do a Marathon in 15 weeks. Ideally you want 16-18 weeks for training, but if you are already running 13 miles in sub 2 hours you are in decent shape.

You should look at a Marathon training plan with a goal of around 4 hours. Look at you 1/2 marathon time and punching in the numbers https://www.mcmillanrunning.com/ you should finish in 4:02 which is a respectable number.

You only need to remember that 13 miles is much easier than 26 miles and you really learn how you feel after 20 miles. (The real half way point!)

If you look at this plan, http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51142/Marathon-Advanced-2-Training-Program then you are already a quarter of the way there. Just be careful not to ramp up you milage to quickly or you could get injured.

Remember to practice you fueling and hydration during your weekend long runs.

  • I suppose I'm biased towards this answer because it's the one I was secretly hoping to hear - i.e. "it's possible." I... I think I might go for it just to challenge myself... Thanks for the input, that training plan is really informative. – yellow-saint Jan 4 '16 at 18:01
  • Anyone can run a marathon, it's how you feel when you finish is the key. And please accept my answer if you like it :) – brentwpeterson Jan 4 '16 at 18:20
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By the looks of it you are doing pretty good for yourself and yes age is on your side. If you have mental strength and strong will power that go for it. Remember you are young only once so try it as hard as possible.

Train with proper plan and vision, focus is the key. Put on some kickass motivational music of your preference and practice hard, also get involved in some kind of strength exercises as 15 weeks is long enough to take your fitness and stamina to a new level.

Also lot of people don't know much about proper nutrition and recovery so start gaining some knowledge about it. Whether you run this one or run till you are 80 these insights and knowledge will help in the longer run (pun :P). If you want to master it think like an athlete and eat like an athlete.

  • So, are you suggesting that I should try for a marathon? – yellow-saint Dec 22 '15 at 14:37
  • Yes you should and good luck with your marathon. – Prashant Brall Dec 22 '15 at 23:01
  • Ok. What kind of strength exercises would you recommend? – yellow-saint Dec 23 '15 at 17:11
  • Go for compound exercises with explosive movements such as Squats, Deadlift, Romanian lunges, farmers walk exercise, Bench Press, Jump lunges, Dumbbell Squats with shoulders press etc. Just do a google "images search" of these exercise for illustration. Also include some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) 1-2 times a week and develop a good nutrition plan. – Prashant Brall Dec 23 '15 at 22:26

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