Marathon Running and Race Support
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Will I get there by September?

I graduated from C25K about 5 months ago now!  Managed to inch up from 5 to 10k which is just as well I have an event in June.  And every week run 3 times (2 X 5k and a "long run" day).  I usually run on grass as much as I can to avoid injury which does make my legs tired but good to go again.  I ran a 15k about 4 weeks ago and today managed a 12 but it is still challenging to do 10k or more.  My concern is how will I do on the day, how will I maintain a steady pace as I usually speed up when people are about, what will the running surfaces be like and how best can I prepare myself firstly for my 10k in June, then build up for my Half Marathon in September?  Any tips? Julie

7 Replies

Hi Julie - so many questions!

* If you're running 15k in April, you can definitely run 21.1 in September.

* If you get a proper pair of running shoes and do some squats and stretches on your non-running days, there should be no need to tire yourself out running on grass all the time. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much faster you can go on the road.

* If you want to know what the surface will be like for any specific race - just ask the organisers, they'll be happy to help. You can also check out reviews of previous year's races on Runner's World: Remember that courses can change from year to year.

* It's not unusual to run a little faster in a race with other people than when training on your own - try and enjoy it rather than worrying and use a watch to keep an eye on your pace. Don't be afraid to start slow and speed up as you become more comfortable.

* There are tons of articles out there on running your first 10k race, have a cup of tea and a good read:

*If your first Half Marathon isn't until September, you might find it easier to prepare with a Training Plan. There are loads to choose from:

Most of all - keep enjoying it!

All the best,


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Not much else to say what ActonHighStreet hasn't already but get off the grass and train on the surface your racing on or at least do half and half or maybe have you had an injury from road running before? 

Also self belief goes along way,  all of the races you want to do are very achievable in the time scale, believe I  yourself and it will come. 

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Stop worrying! You'll drive yourself daft.  

Think positively about how much you're going to enjoy the experience.  You're training for it so you should be ready.  You're going to eat well, hydrate properly, get enough kip, look after yourself with your cross training, stretching etc etc.

If you can run on grass, which is dead hard by the way as it's so energy-sapping on the legs, then you should be able to run on a hard surface.  

Enjoy your running!

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I think that a good tip to help stop you starting off too fast is to listen to your body, and most particularly your breathing rate. If your breathing is laboured at the very start of the run you're most probably going too fast and should slow down until you're able to speak normally. After a short while start to gather speed and  make yourself a bit more uncomfortable, but stick with it and you should relax into a steady pace. Keep an eye on your progress (or the mile markers in the actual race) and note how you are feeling. Adjust your speed according to both, but also remain mindful of any changes in terrain or elevation you will meet, that you may need to save energy for. If you start to feel tired try to relax, and maybe take a bit of time to enjoy the scenery around you as you run. 

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Look at a few training plans and then draft your own.  I worked on the basis that I did one long run which I increased every week a little or every other week (depending on how many weeks you have and bearing in mind you are not starting from nothing), plus a couple of other runs aiming at speed etc or once I was doing well beyond 10k I did one as recovery (short and easy) and one for speed/stamina plus the long one.  You have the date of your summer 10k and the date of your half, so see how the distance increase fits in and aim to do the longest run about 2 weeks before the race and work back from there.  Plenty of time to build up gradually between the events and try out drinking and eating along the way :-)


Steady on there, I am an old gel and require gentle handling.  I tried a 10k programme and it nearly finished me off - tempo runs, recovery walks = dodgy knees!  Then I tried a running club, "it will be fun I told myself"!  Speed work, hills, endless laps of the running track in the dark - not for me, sorry!

I do 2 X 5k each week, not deliberately building speed but that is happening naturally (I run at just over 7 min/km which is fast enough for me really).  Then I do a long run (minimum of 10k but I have done up to 15k as I'm thinking forward to my Half Marathon in September but focused on a 10k in June) so training for distance increasing but avoiding injury.  It is working for me anyway and I still feel excited about running, loving the grass and woodland tracks best but can tolerate the pavements when I have to LOL.  Julie


You will be OK... I suggest upping your overall weekly mileage if you can and also do strengthening exercises on rest days. Are you following a plan??


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