First half marathon in 3 weeks and am underprepared

Help please!

12 messages
19/10/2013 at 14:15

Hello everyone, first post so go easy!

Background: I have been running on and off for about 2 years.  So far I have just completed a couple of 10km races and have run fairly consistently in between although not big distances.  I have trained harder in the build up to the races but as a whole will do a couple of shortish runs during the week (say 5-6km) and about 10km on a Sunday.  Generally I am a bit of a plodder (I find it hard to get the 10km in under an hour).  

Over the last 4 weeks I have added in another run during the week and have been upping the mileage on the Sunday run, although I am still only up to 13.5km.  I have 3 more long run Sundays until the week before the race.  Can you make a suggestion as to how I should play out the next three weeks as I don't think following my training plan is going to happen without causing myself an injury.  I am thinking of doing 14.5km tomorrow, another 5km Tuesday, 15km on Thursday (running home from work) and then don't know if I should take it easy the rest of the week.  I am fortunate enough to have half term week off work so could get a couple in there, although obviously don't want to over do things.  I seem to struggle with the last km the most the legs just all of a sudden feeling like lead, and feet 'burning' a bit.  I don't have problems with the cardio aspect so much.

Any ideas would be very welcome.  By the way, I am not after a miracle time, I think I just want a bit of reassurance that I will get round from people who've been in the same situation.


Many thanks, Jilksy.

19/10/2013 at 14:51

I think the fact you have half term week off means you can actually spend some time focusing on your recovery. So - as much as it isn't fun - get yourself in ice baths post-run. Make some time for foam rolling, stretching (dynamic too) and getting the nutrition right.

For me, running has never really been an issue in terms of being able to cross the line due to fitness (I've never really ran more than 14-15km), it's always been a case of an injury plaguing me (achilles etc). If you're not feeling any issues at the moment then as long as you don't increase your mileage dramatically over the coming weeks there's no reason why you should pick up an injury. Just focus on recovery and listen to your body, if you need a day off, it won't harm you (don't take every day off ), in fact it may even be beneficial come race day.

Good luck!

Edited: 19/10/2013 at 14:52
19/10/2013 at 21:36

Thanks for the reassurance and the advice.  I think if I can get a couple of 10 milers under my belt I'll feel much better and hopefully the adrenaline will get me through the rest. Fingers crossed!



19/10/2013 at 22:33
For my first half I'd only ever run 9 miles in training. Things started to hurt a bit about 11 miles in but once I got to 12 I knew I was going to finish. When you're upping the distance the last km or mile always seems hard. If you can do one 10 miler you should find the half fairly easy (as long as you don't go off too fast). From where you are now I'd be more worried about over training than not being prepared. Up your distance gently until the week before the half then enjoy it.
19/10/2013 at 22:35

Hi Jilksy,i can not give you an advise because i am new in running  i just want to wish you good luck and do not have any injury,because an injury goes you day i push my self very hard to finish 10k run and after that i run again after 2,5 it was a good lesson and from then until now i am listening my body and not my mind

20/10/2013 at 18:15

I think you're aim should be to hit ten miles. I've got my first half marathon this coming week and had some illness and other set backs. 

If you can get one 10 miler in before the race then you have cracked it. Also make sure you don't over do your training the week before the race as it will detract from the day. keep it light that last week after that last Sunday loong run

23/10/2013 at 21:49

Thanks guys.  I am planning on getting in 2 10 milers before the date and then I think I will be ok with the whole thing pyschologically.  I'm not planning on doing much the week before, just a couple of runs around the block.  Thanks for the reassurance and good wishes and promise I won't over do it!

12/11/2013 at 21:39

Just thought I'd give you an update: got round in 2 hrs 15 mins so dead chuffed, as 15 mins quicker than predicted.  Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the race, was lovely and flat and the weather was perfect, legs only started to tire about mile 11 but the atmosphere got me through and i found it easier by far than some training runs of a shorter distance. xxx

12/11/2013 at 21:42

Well done. It's amazing how uplifting it is having even just one person cheering you on isn't it. 

12/11/2013 at 22:30
I have burning feet I'm new to running but do t know why most I've run is 2 1/2 miles. Anyone any idea
13/11/2013 at 07:50

Shirley, have you got hard skin under your feet? I would scrub and moisturise.  If that isn't the problem, try different socks.  I have always found thinner 'technical' socks better than thick sports socks but other people disagree.

22/11/2013 at 21:24

Well done Jilksay. Sorry the congrats are a bit late. Was on holiday for 2 weeks. 

I hope you keep up the running as it sounds like you enjoy it. 

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