i know this is a niaive question, but here goes...
I am a 38 yr old male who is moderately fit, plays 5 aside, goes to the gym couple of times a week. But over the past month I have began to become a bit more serious about my running and fitness. Spent a few weeks doing 5k 3 times a week and then in the past 2 weeks i have started to up the distances a bit.
Last week i joined a running club and have also been running with a friend. To my surprise my first outing with the club was on a slow 9 mile run !! This was 5 miles further than I had run in about the past 16 years so i was proud to have completed it and awoke the next day. That was Sunday. Monday I ran 4.5 miles, Tuesday 6 miles and tonight 3 miles. I know I need to rest also, but this was just due to commitments, so I will rest tomorrow.
So, particularly over the past week to two I have felt I am making quick progress and feel really comfortable running the 5 miles, the 9 was demanding particularly as 3-4 miles of that was on a continous hill.
My ultimate goal is to train for a marathon next spring and I have a 24 week programme to work on which looks perfect. However I have the bug and would like a challenge imminenetly. I looked to see if there were any 1/2 marathons before the end of the year and the last i can find in this area is dublin on 17th september. So is this too soon for where I am now.
I should say I ran two half marathons in a previous life 18/19 years ago so I know the distance but I was much younger then (i should say I ran both very slowly about 2hrs 10 mins with absolutely no training) so even 5 weeks training would be progress 18 years later.
So what do you think? is it a non starter or worth a trip.
Personally I would say it would be too soon and you have to ask yourself why you would be entering it. Most people entering a half marathon do a 12 week training regieme (or even more). You only have to look at the training guides on this site to see some of the schedules. I'm not saying you couldn't do it, but what are you going to get out of it? A lot of people use a half marathon as as guide to fittnes within a maraton training programme, so I would wopuld look for a half somehwere around late February/early March next year. I would use the next few months building up your endurance moderately so that if the marathon next spring is your goal you are at least prepared to start the training - maybe there are some shorter distance near by in the next month or so you could aim for? Running with the Club is a great start and you'll get better just going out with them and getting motivated by the other runners.
dprovan - I'd say you could do a half marathon in Autumn, if your goal is just to get round. But as KR suggests, your biggest risk is wanting to progress too quickly and end up running yourself into an injury. It's not fun and puts a lot of people off from running altogether ("it wasn't right for me").
Just ask some of the coaches at the running club who know you a bit better if it is the right goal at the right time - you never know, it might be UNDER ambitious!!
Either way, a 24 week program for marathon prep is going to require you to start building mileage soon. So I think that as long as you don't try chasing down an impressive time goal in the HM, you should be just fibe to get in that longer run. But don't think you can go straight on to running 50 mile weeks without a visit to the physio or hospital.
Good luck, TD
thank you everyone for the responses. I know what you are all saying makes sense and I am going to knock the half marathon idea in the autumn on the head.....
Instead, I will focus on continuing to build my fitness and will do some 5ks/10k races and work my way up. Thanks for taking the time to share wisdom
I would say that the key risk you face. Kind of one-off surges in distance aren't likely to cause huge problems - a bit of stiffness perhaps, but trying to run fast early on places a big strain on muscles and tendons in particular - which are not yet ready for the stress.
5k and 10k races can require some hard running and my feeling is these are much more likely to bring you to your knees than long, slow(er) running.
If you want to make a decent go of a half then wait longer and see how your training with the club goes and then pick one.
Like the others have said....if you just want to get round then you're probably able to now.
I did a half 2 weeks ago, longest run of 8 miles and missed a lot of training due to illness. I ambled round, finished ok and it didn't hurt at all. However, I now want to better that so have picked out a half for next Feb
I am still hedging on the side of leaving it for now, but who knows. I went out and ran 4.2 miles yesterday and went a bit quicker than normal ( did it in 37 mins) so since sunday I have closked 26 miles this week which represents a huge increase in my total miles.... I feel a bit tired now, mainly stiff....
I am out with the club tomorrow again for a long slow run so I will see how that goes... maybe sounds strange but now i know the distance we will run tomorrow (last week i just turned up and done it) i am not sure how it will go.. I will keep you posted
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