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Should I run a half marathon before a marathon?

Expert Panel Question???


“I’m planning on running the Ogden Marathon this May and am wondering about racing beforehand. Particularly, I’m wondering if I should do a 1/2 marathon race 6 weeks before the marathon or just use that half marathon as a training run?”

(ask your questions to the UtahRunning.com Experts here)


The amount of time it takes to recover from racing is different for everyone. Some bounce back relatively quickly, while others recover more slowly. The general rule is that it takes about one day to recover for every mile that you race. So, it will take almost two weeks for you to be fully recovered from a half marathon.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t run/workout within those two weeks after you have raced, but you will still be feeling the effects of your race up to that point. This means, the “quality” of your workouts may decrease and you may not have the energy to get in a very long run the weekend following your half marathon race. If you feel like your training has gone well thus far (you’ve gotten in some consistent running, good mileage, long runs, etc) and you won’t be pressed for time to fit all your training in then I would say go ahead and run the half marathon a little harder.

It is definitely beneficial to race a half marathon to help you prepare for the marathon. It would even be smart to race the half marathon at your goal marathon pace and practice hydrating and eating GUs or gels. If you haven’t been as consistent in your mileage and you’ve missed a few long runs then I would use it as more of a training run and allow your self the chance to continue to work hard through the couple of weeks after the half marathon.

by Janae Richardson – Runner | High School Cross Country & Track Coach

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 at 11:59 am and is filed under Expert Answers, Marathon/Half Marathon, Marathon/Half Marathon, Utah Marathon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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