Signing up for a half marathon (week 4)

Now, hear me out before you cry 'Noooo!'. The half marathon is in June. There's a 10K on the same day, and I am going to sign up for one of them, as a means of motivating myself to get off my ass and finish week 4 properly - the 20 minute run soon approaching is putting me off quite a lot, I'll be honest. I work a lot better with a genuine set deadline (fake deadlines don't worry, believe me), so this could help me a lot. According to a quick Google search, it takes ten weeks of solid training to hit 10K, and twelve-fifteen for a half marathon. I have no idea if they're accurate or what they consider someone's average 'beginning' is, but I'd have about 25 weeks (from January onwards, as it'll be logistically difficult for me to train much over Christmas).

I want to push myself, but also be physically capable of doing whatever I sign up for. Assuming I did 5K and started working on 10K straight after, doing the three runs a week every week from January onwards, then moved onto half-marathon training if/when applicable which would be the better target for me to apply for?

Also general advice (including 'Noooo!') is appreciated! :-)


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

13 Replies

  • Firstly I would find a way to train over Christmas, just for the sake of continuity and avoiding the sloth of the festive occasion, although I admit that a rest does no harm in the scheme of things. Just turning out for a run though when you might not feel like it, is good discipline, which you’re going to need. Hence regular training.

    I’d do Couch to 5k + Stepping Stones podcasts before Bridge to 10k podcasts Endless hours of free training there, and quality! St Stones is flipping tough The first one has some slow leg building running which some peeps can’t take. Frankly I can’t get enough slow running ☺️

    Cross training can be walking or whatever you like except running. Do it though! 💪🙂👍🏃‍♀️✔️

  • Yeah. I'll definitely try and do a bit, but I know I'll be too busy (and full of turkey and stuffing tbh) to do 3/7 weekly like I'm supposed to.

  • Nooooo

    Edited- Seems ok on paper! Allow for christmas and maybe possible injury along the way?

    This is a general reaction as a newbie runner. You will get advice no doubt from people that have done half/ marathons.

  • Yeah. Injury's a good point that I didn't think of actually, so thanks! :)

  • I think you keep that date in mind, but see how you make it through this program first! I'm just about to graduate... and the thought of training for a half marathon is daunting to say the least! I do have my sights set on a 10k in the future... but I will do that before a half marathon for sure!!

    But hey.. the sky's the limit... I would definitely try to stick to some type of consistent training over Christmas holiday, even if its running twice a week instead of three times... just for that discipline sake that you will DEFINITELY need when training for longer distances!!

    Keep us all updated for sure!!

  • My concern is that if I don't apply now I won't be able to do the run, because all the places will be gone, or I'll miss a deadline or something.

  • Oh yeah.. that does make sense

  • Are they at the same place. sometimes you can book on the HM and then just do the 10k on the day. Not really sure what your starting point/fitness was and how much you would need just to consolidate after finishing the programme but a HM is along way.

  • They start and end st the same places, just different routes.

  • Might be an option then, would give you a goal but if it gets too much go for the shorter one. Good luck.

  • Okay the answer is it all depends... on age, fitness, other exercise, etc etc etc. We are all different but if it helps I started C25K in June, graduated August and yesterday ran 11k. But I am only doing 10k+ once a week, but I think if you stick at the plan, consolidate and focus then 6 months should be enough to get to half marathon. But I am no expert, so there are others far more expert than I to comment. As I understand it the main issues to overcome are

    Lack of fitness - but if you follow a plan and aren’t injured then that should be okay

    Insufficient time to devote to training - this can be the killer, if you don’t do the time, then you can’t do the time (in the race)

    Insufficient race experience - the race environment can be utterly different to running on your own, so getting in some racing/running with lots of people before the event will help you manage the adrenaline rush.

    Why not find out if you can sign up for the longer distance, but see if it gets you a guaranteed place in the 10k? Some events hold them separately, but not all.

    Only you know your fitness and commitment, but as someone who couldn’t run 10 yards at the beginning of summer, it seems doable, if you’re fit and healthy, and don’t suffer an injury then why not?

  • That’s a good idea! I’m not very familiar with rules for these, but I might email the organiser and ask about signing up for one and switching if needed.

  • I admire your motivation and determination. Good to set yourself a goal. But the ‘won’t get much running done over Christmas’ approach is not quite the discipline that you’ll need to train for the HM. You’ll get a HM training plan from Runners World, or MyASICS and then need to follow it rigidly. Rain, frost, snow, wind, birthdays, family events...

    You’re a beginner at running. Can you imagine running constantly for 150 minutes? Can you spare 3 hours at the weekend to train for a HM? Are you prone to injuries? You might consider training for the 10km to see how your body behaves when you subject it to rigorous discipline. And sign up for the next HM if the 10km goes well.

You may also like...