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I just finished my first half marathon, and am looking at increasing my milage. Not saying I want to do a marathon yet, but I definitely want to keep pushing and see where I end up.
I felt great at the end of my 1/2 (2:16) and it was a great confidence builder, made me feel like I have it in me to keep extending my distance.
First question, can someone describe what it's like when you start getting longer than that...is 16 miles appreciably different? And I would expect that 20 is a different world, but how different? And how IS it different?
There is a 20 mile trail run that I'm eyeing in July...there's also a 10 the same day, so I can do that one if I want. I wonder if I can work up the extra milage in that time?
Congrats on your first half marathon!
Right now I'm one month away from my first full. From my experience, a long 16 mile run is pretty much the same as racing a half since you do your long training runs at a slower pace (ex. My last half marathon pace was 8:47 but my long training runs have been about 10:00 minute miles)
Your body def. gets used to the increases and you'll find that you may laugh at yourself that within a month or so you go from "I can't believe I have to run 15 miles!!" to.."ahhh it's a cut back week I ONLY have to run 15 miles".
My only advice (remember I'm a rookie at this) is to GO SLOW during your long runs. My training was going great until last weekend I got sick of running slow and did 19.35 miles at a 9:35 pace...faster than the rest of my long runs.I thought I was fine until this weeks training. Now I'm holding my breath hoping the slight injuries I created will go away without me sacrificing too much training.
Check out Hal Higdons novice 1 or 2 training plans..count out how many weeks until the 20 miler or marathon your thinking about...and see if those plans seem doable compared to your current weekly mileage.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do!!
"If you don't run you rust" - Tom Petty
Good for you JMurray and best in moving on to the next level. At some point, you will most likely hit a wall, and it may be at mile 21, for example, when your body is prone to run out of glycogen. The best answer for future training is simply to increase your LR schedule and intake of complex carbs. Everyone is different, so add the miles slowly over time to see how your body is responding.
If you are progressing at an even pace to mile 16, then you may want to pick things up beyond that (using fast twitch muscle fibers that have not yet been exhausted). Again, future projections for continued improvement, but yes a few miles beyond the half may be auto-pilot that quickly turns different when pulling near the 20.
P.S....consider some additional half events as part of your full marathon training.
I stepped up to a first marathon in 2009 after having run two halves (and lots of shorter races). Scaling up from the half to the full, here's some key things I noticed in training:
(1) I had to much more carefully budget energy at the longer distances. Runs longer than half marathon distance felt VERY slow for the first 7 or 8 mi. For runs of about 16 mi, I had to really resist the tendency to push the pace in the early miles. Even more so at 20 mi distance.
(2) I had to eat at the longer distances. I'd done up to 14 mi on just water. However, after about 15 mi, I started craving sugar and had to start carrying stuff to nibble on.
(3) The longer runs were also much more mentally demanding. I found them to be real tests of patience and determination, as in "are we there yet?". In that respect, 16 mi was significantly harder than 13 mi, and 20 mi was significantly harder than 16 mi, even with an iPod and reasonable scenery.
P. S. over about 20 mi, all bets were off. At marathon distance, even though I'd trained conscientiously, I wasn't quite able to achieve my time goal. Oh well. Based on my best half marathon time (2:00:50), I should have been able to finish the full in about 4:15 per the MacMillan tables. So I'd set what I thought was a conservative goal of 4:23 (10 min miles). Yeah, right. I finished in 4:43. (But at least I was smiling).
@ 5K: Ontario Mills 5K, Ontario, CA, 25:17
New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32
@ 10K: (coming in March)