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Should I run a Half-Marathon before doing a Full-Marathon?

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    Next year I was planning on running a Marathon. I'm relatively fit, I used to go running a lot but nothing near 26 miles. I was wondering whether it would be possible to train myself to that level while maintaining on top of school work (next year is a big year - Highers) in the time I have?

    Or would I be better to start off running a half-marathon? Does anyone here have any experience of going straight into a full marathon? How did you find it? How often did you train?

    I could probably train 3-4 times a week and I have around 10 - 14 months?
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    (Original post by nerd434)
    Next year I was planning on running a Marathon. I'm relatively fit, I used to go running a lot but nothing near 26 miles. I was wondering whether it would be possible to train myself to that level while maintaining on top of school work (next year is a big year - Highers) in the time I have?

    Or would I be better to start off running a half-marathon? Does anyone here have any experience of going straight into a full marathon? How did you find it? How often did you train?

    I could probably train 3-4 times a week and I have around 10 - 14 months?
    If I was in your shoes, I'd certainly do 10k and half marathon runs, whether it's just by yourself or in organised 10ks and half marathons. Even though I was a regular runner 3-4 years ago, when I did do a half marathon, my first and only to date, it really was a shock to the system and I evidently didn't do enough training for it. It was Macclesfield in the North West so very hilly, and I never really considered this before applying to run in it!!

    Make sure your diet is good, that you do gradully increase your distances, and ensure you have sufficient rest and rest days, really crucial.

    Your education should be and probably is your priority so just make sure any training isn't to the detriment of your educational goals. You could do a marathon a few years from now once you've got your education and exams out of the way?? Or training could help your education, give you another focus, a routine and nice distraction from the grind of revision...
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    Yes, it's so much easier with miles under the belt. For most reasonably fit people, the wall is somewhere beyond the half-marathon distance. With some good training and energy gels, you might avoid hitting it.
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    Obviously your education has to come first- so if your training is disrupting that, then you have to prioritise.

    However, if you are reasonably fit then I think 14 months is enough time to reach Marathon standard (i.e being able to finish and with a time goal in mind). Or, you could train for a Half and get a very good time. Either way, if you are going for a full marathon it would be a good idea to build up the distances gradually and enter a few shorter races so you get a feel for the atmosphere and how races 'work.'

    I was very unfit and started jogging in October 2010 (after having built up a tiny level of base fitness for a few months from swimming 2-3 times each week). I couldn't go half a mile without needing a walking break. I joined BMF classes and in February 2011 managed to run a mile for the first time without stopping, in about 7.5 minutes (have got that way down now!). Entered my first race (10k) in March. First half marathon in October (under 2 hours) and my first Marathon this weekend (injured, so will be happy just to finish, but my estimated pre-injury time was 3.55-4.05). I'm terrified as it is so I think diving straight in without having first tried shorter distances would be very daunting. Marathon training is a bit of a slog and you'll have to give up some of your social life and a lot of free time, but it is do-able. My personal ambition was originally just to run 10k, but in time I stretched that to a half marathon...until the day came when I thought 'sod it' and signed up for the full 26.2. So you don't have to decide on your goal now...take small steps and reassess at each stage.

    I may regret having made that decision but for now I'm totally psyched about it. Just don't underestimate the training needed and what it takes out out you physically and emotionally.

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