Thursday, July 01, 2010

trying to decide

Should I run a half-marathon in October, or a full marathon?

Right now I'm running 5 miles three times a week (this sounds kind of pitiful when I think about what I SHOULD be running, but the marathon training guide says base condition should be between 15-25 miles per week). My pace (on the treadmill) is about 8:15 per mile; it's slower than that outside but I haven't exactly clocked it. I'm in pretty good "base" condition. I haven't been doing weekend long runs but I'm going to start those as soon as my running buddy is home from vacation.

If I run a half-marathon, I really want to work on my pacing and go a lot faster than the one I ran in April (my finishing time was 2:06, and I'd like to knock about ten minutes off of that).

I'm really tempted to run a full marathon, just because I'm halfway there, you know? I wouldn't have to start from scratch after the next pregnancy.

I don't know if Neil would run either with me; he hasn't really been running since the half we ran in April (honey, are you reading this?)

What do you think? Have you run a full marathon? Is it way worse than a half? Should I go for it now, or should I spend my time in other ways than running for a bazillion hours?


Jolena said...

I've run both a half and several full marathons and my thought is if you have enough time to do the long runs on the weekends, then Fall is the best season of the year to run a marathon. I've run 1 in September, 1 in October and 2 in the Spring and training through the summer is far better than the winter. The biggest difference in training for a race, as you well know, is just adding that long run in. If you can do it, then I don't think it's that much harder or terribly longer to go for the full. That being said, half marathons are my favorite distance now because the training is shorter and you still get an amazing feeling of success out of them. I love marathons, but they take something out of you by the time they are done.

One random piece of advice for either distance, if you want to run faster, you HAVE to do it in your training. It is so easy to get to the race and run it too fast. It's essentially been proven that running the first half of your marathon at a higher pace than you trained will add minutes at the end because you will hit the wall sooner and your pace will drop. Trust me, I'm pretty sure I've done it every race save one and it's been stupid every time. Hold back the first half and you will have something left to give at the end. It will feel amazing to be passing people on the way to the finish instead of getting passed. Good luck with either race you do!

Chad said...

Go for the full. Since you're only running 3 days a week you could bump your weekly miles up quickly by running 2 or 3 more times. The major factor is how much time do you have to train. A full does take a lot of time. The more miles you put in the easier the race will be and the more it will take out of your week. Check out It's helped a lot with my marathon training. I've found motivation, training tips, inspiration, and friends from this blog. It's great. Mine is

Erica said...

you crazy girl ;)

it would be perfect to train during the summer - gotta love being able to be outside.

however, i know the time commitment is a lot. so that's definitely something to consider.

but - it would be so cool and such an accomplishment! at least to have done it once!

BUT--- it was right after you posted about running your 1/2 that i decided to up my running and commit to a 1/2. i put in at least 15 miles per week and i officially start training at the end of july to run my first 1/2 in september. SO -- if you run a full you just might motivate me to want to run a full too - and i'm not sure if i want that temptation! ;)

Anonymous said...

I remember your blog about how hard your body crashed after the 1/2 marathon race. I think the very last line of your current blog is the answer. Running a zillion training hours takes up a lot of valuable time and energy. Plus you don't want to push the limits of your vascular system after that tough surgery you endured. Anyway, good luck with your running. Love, Aunt Pam

Neil said...

I would love to run a full marathon with you. But it would be a lot of time commitment. There is still a lot to think about.

Meghan said...

Considering the opportunity costs of the time commitment, I'd say go with the 1/2. You'll have the benefits of training for a race without having to give up other important things in your life.

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