Never thought I'd every post a "can I do it?" question, but here we are.
I've been running regularly for about two years and do a couple organized races per year. Last fall I took about 6 months off due to the birth of my son and decided to start fresh with C25K this year, which went very well and I'm running my fasted times (~8 min miles) of my life. My ultimate goal this year was to do a 10K in October, so I've kind of been middling and doing a couple runs for about 7-8 miles per week. (4+ is my longest run to date.) Nothing consistent, betting to hop on a 10K program in a month or so.
So today I was invited to participate in a half in mid-September. I'd have generous sponsors to get me a spot, and the cause is very near and dear to me. However, it is MUCH longer than any long run I've done, is in 9 weeks, and is quite a hilly course (damn thing's in the Adirondacks).
When I used to read and post here more often I remember (I think???) hearing that tapers are pretty necessary for halfs, too, so here's what I'm thinking:
-Best case scenario, I Galloway the half with a 3:1 or (worst worst case) a 2:1 or (worst worst worst case) I walk a lot of it.
-I'll do two weekly training runs at about 30 mins starting this week.
-Weekend long run using run/walk ratio of 3:1, starting at 5 miles this weekend. Goal is to get up to 10 miles at 3:1 or 2:1. Allow for a one or two week taper, if possible.
-Bone up on mid-run nutrition to make sure I don't crap out on long training runs or the race.
This all looks sensible to me but I'm still thinking - is this suicidal? The longest run of my life, even run-walking, was 6 miles. I at least look "in-shape" (BMI of a little over 24) although I don't necessarily feel it.
Any thoughts from the collective wisdom would be very much appreciated.
It is kind of short notice (9 weeks) But if you increase mileage carefully, using run/walk, and run for fun (no racing), you should be able to complete the half. You can do a taper with a shorter long run the last weekend before and a couple of easy runs during the week. Take the last two days off - maybe some walking if you feel antsy. Nutrition during the run is not crucial as long as you eat a good diet. Hydration will be much more important.Something like drinking sports drink instead of water may be a good option since it kills two birds (calories plus fluids) with one stone. But if you want to use something like gels (Gu, etc.), make sure you practice during your training runs. Walk the uphill sections during the race if possible.
Yeah you will know what you canrealistically expect from the race the week before as you will have seen howyour training has progressed. I think the important thing here is to make surethat you stick to your race plan. I feel a bit of a hypocrite here as I tend tovirtually sprint the first 5k of my half marathons but I always pay for thislater in the race. If you think that you can just about cover the distanceusing 2:1 by the time you start the race then don’t be tempted to try and pushthings as hard as you can for the first half of the race as you might have towalk for a lot more than you should.
At the end of the day being able to do a half marathon with only a few weeks oftraining is a fantastic achievement and its all for a good cause so enjoyyourself!
Best of luck
1.25 Bristol Half Marathon
Sun 3.10 London/Brighton Marathon