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From Half Marathon To Marathon, Our Full Coaching Information

For brand new runners, the notion of following a half marathon coaching plan and finally operating 13.1 miles can appear to be a really lofty purpose, however with consistency and a gradual build-up in weekly mileage, most runners can efficiently cross the half marathon end line.

Though ending a half marathon as your longest distance run or race is actually a veritable standalone purpose, many runners determine they wish to construct as much as a full marathon after ending their first half marathon.

On this “from half marathon to marathon” coaching plan information, we’ll focus on how you can construct up your endurance to complete your first full marathon by following a protected and efficient half marathon to full marathon coaching program development.

A person running.

How Do I Progress From Half Marathon To Marathon Coaching?

The perfect marathon coaching plans have lots of the similar components which might be discovered on half marathon coaching plans, although, after all, the weekly mileage and longest run distances are considerably larger for a full marathon.

Due to this fact, the build-up from a half marathon to a full marathon coaching plan will see a big enhance in complete weekly mileage, the size of tempo runs, and the gap or length of the weekly future.

For first-time marathoners, marathon tempo is mostly slower than half marathon race tempo.

Finally, after a number of rounds of marathon coaching, you might be able to run a full marathon with a ending time that’s fairly a bit quicker than your greatest half marathon race tempo earlier than you transitioned to marathon coaching.

Nevertheless, as a Licensed Working Coach, I like to recommend when following a marathon coaching plan for the primary time, or extra particularly, a half marathon to marathon coaching program development plan, it is best to fear much less about your marathon ending time and give attention to getting by the coaching and throughout the end line wholesome and glad.

A person running on the road.

Though the run-walk methodology, also called the Jeff Galloway Marathon Technique, will be an efficient marathon coaching plan strategy, most runners who’ve gone by a half marathon coaching plan would like to run the total marathon distance with out stopping.

Due to this fact, I usually suggest making that your purpose slightly than specializing in a selected marathon tempo.

This isn’t to say that your marathon coaching plan ought to embrace projected marathon tempo exercises, however slightly that it is best to plan to run a extra conservative marathon race tempo in your first marathon slightly than set a selected ending time or hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

After you have completed a full marathon and gotten a really feel for the weekly mileage, vitamin technique, and marathon pacing, you possibly can tackle a marathon coaching plan that’s geared in direction of a extra aggressive ending time.

The one caveat right here could be for first-time marathon runners who’ve been operating for years, executed fairly a little bit of half marathon coaching, and probably even completed an ultramarathon path race or have executed lengthy runs that strategy 20 miles or extra.

In these situations, the runner usually has sufficient expertise and is way more like an skilled marathoner than a brand new runner hoping to complete the marathon distance for the primary time.

Right here, setting a purpose race tempo or purpose marathon time will be affordable and really a good way to assist information your exercises, coaching run tempo, and form the build-up in your half to full marathon coaching program.

A person running on the road.

How Lengthy Does It Take To Go From a Half Marathon to a Marathon?

Typically, it takes a minimal of 8 weeks to progress from half marathon to marathon, however 12 weeks is preferable. You possibly can view the half marathon as a 13 mile future.

Then, you could construct as much as 18-20 miles. This can take a minimal of 4-6 weeks. Then, there’s often a 3-week marathon taper.

Having 12 weeks offers you time to construct up the long term as a way to do one or two 20 mile runs after which taper earlier than race day.

In the event you solely have an 8-week half marathon to marathon transition coaching plan, you’ll in all probability solely have time for one 20-mile run, and there may simply be a two-week taper earlier than the total marathon.

What Is the Finest Half Marathon to Marathon Transition Coaching Plan?

Marathon Handbook presents a complete library of free marathon coaching plans, together with plans that may provide help to transition from the half marathon to the total marathon distance.

Listed below are the important thing components that may go right into a marathon coaching program, whether or not you’re a new runner ranging from sq. one or transitioning from the half marathon to full marathon distance:

A person running on the road.

#1: Lengthy Runs

The largest distinction between a half marathon coaching plan and a full marathon coaching program is the gap of the longest run.

As a result of a full marathon distance is twice so far as the half marathon race distance, you have to to construct up the size of your longest run relative to the distances you ran in your first half marathon coaching plan.

Most newbie half marathon coaching plans max out the long term at 10-12 miles, whereas newbie marathon coaching plans max out round 20 miles for the longest run distance.

The considering right here is that you can be operating slower in your lengthy runs than you’ll in your marathon race tempo, so the whole time in your toes will probably be comparable.

Moreover, with the joy of race day and the assistance of the gang, it is best to have the ability to keep your purpose marathon tempo for the extra 10k distance on race day, even when you’ve got not run that far in your longer runs in coaching.

One of many key variations between half marathon vs marathon coaching plans is within the want and significance of fueling throughout lengthy runs and on race day.

Whereas quicker runners might not even want to absorb carbs for half marathon coaching and racing, operating coaches advise all runners—even elite marathoners—to gasoline with carbs throughout marathon lengthy runs and the race to assist forestall glycogen depletion.

Based on the American Faculty of Sports activities Drugs (ACSM) place stand, the advice for carb consumption is to purpose to ingest 30–60 grams of carbohydrate per hour throughout endurance train lasting 1-3 hours or extra.

‌You need to use your longer coaching runs to follow the timing of vitamin technique and to experiment with totally different power gels and high-carb meals for runners to see what settles properly and retains your power ranges perfect on longer runs.

People running.

#2: Greater Mileage Balanced With Restoration

One other key distinction between coaching in your first half marathon and coaching in your first marathon is that weekly mileage will probably be increased for marathon coaching.

You should have longer simple runs, longer tempo runs, longer marathon tempo intervals, and general longer coaching runs.

A better weekly mileage signifies that restoration and relaxation days grow to be all of the extra vital together with your first marathon coaching plan.

Try to be taking no less than 1 to 2 relaxation days per week and one cross-training exercise per week.

Doing cross-training exercises will assist enhance your health stage and nonetheless get your coronary heart fee up whereas supplying you with a relative break from operating daily.

This may forestall overuse operating accidents with increased mileage half to full marathon coaching and generally is a nice technique to construct endurance whereas decreasing the danger of damage

‌Power coaching can be important to assist forestall overuse accidents, enhance operating financial system, right muscle imbalances, and customarily scale back the danger of damage.

‌Different restoration modalities corresponding to sleep, correct hydration, consuming sufficient carbs and energy typically, getting sufficient protein spaced all through the day, and fueling properly throughout and after your coaching runs are crucial if you find yourself following a marathon coaching program.

Your physique will probably be devoting numerous bodily sources in direction of your exercises, so you could maintain your physique by vitamin, sleep, and hydration, and, after all, steadiness relaxation days with the depth and quantity of coaching days.

People running on a track.

#3: Tempo Runs

Even when the purpose is simply to complete the marathon race distance slightly than worrying a few particular marathon time or marathon tempo, together with pace exercises corresponding to tempo runs and intervals remains to be vital.

Tempo runs assist enhance your lactate threshold so you possibly can maintain a quicker run tempo earlier than fatiguing.

Longer tempo runs will assist your physique preserve glycogen shops as a way to burn fewer carbs and rely a bit extra on oxidizing fat for gasoline throughout lengthy runs.

#4: Straightforward Runs 

One of many key coaching ideas for first time marathon runners is to actually take your simple days simple.

Try to be operating at a conversational tempo in order that your physique can absolutely get better from more durable exercises. Straightforward runs construct your cardio base and offer you time in your toes, however they need to not tax your physique or trigger soreness.

Coaching by coronary heart fee or fee of perceived exertion on simple days is commonly a greater technique than making an attempt to make use of a GPS operating watch to hit a sure run tempo.

A person swimming.

#5: Cross-Coaching

Cross coaching exercises scale back the influence stresses in your physique whereas nonetheless permitting you to construct up stamina and enhance your health stage for the total marathon distance.

Until you might be particularly making an attempt to do pace work throughout your cross coaching exercises since you are injured your cross-training exercise in your coaching schedule needs to be on simple days that facilitate restoration from pace exercises, tempo runs, and marathon lengthy runs. 

This doesn’t imply it is best to skip cross coaching in your coaching schedule, however slightly that it is best to be sure you will not be overdoing your exertion stage on cross-training exercises.

Take heed to your physique or use your coronary heart fee to information your exertion stage.

#6: Pace Work

Marathon coaching plans for freshmen don’t all the time embrace interval exercises on the monitor or hill repeats as you may when coaching in your first half marathon, when making an attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon, or hit a selected quicker marathon time.

Nevertheless, pace work can nonetheless be actually useful for enhancing your general health stage and ranging the stresses in your musculoskeletal system.

VO2 max intervals, hills, fartlek runs, and marathon tempo or half marathon race tempo exercises add selection to your coaching schedule, effectively enhance your health stage, use totally different metabolic programs, and problem your muscle mass and cardiovascular system otherwise.

Nevertheless, for brand spanking new runners or these coaching for a marathon for the primary time, most operating coaches suggest that you just shouldn’t be doing multiple pace exercise and presumably one extra tempo run per week. 

A person running on a track.

These kinds of exercises are extra tense in your physique and the main focus usually must be on increase the longest run distance and recovering from increased weekly mileage to forestall accidents slightly than constructing pace to hit a sure time purpose.

Ensure that for pace work, you do an intensive heat up and funky down earlier than and after the pace work.

Total, it is best to attempt to get pleasure from race day. 

Not every part will essentially go precisely to plan in your first marathon, however for those who work arduous in your coaching days, observe smart marathon coaching ideas, dial in a workable fueling and hydration technique for race day, and observe a very good marathon coaching information for freshmen, it is best to have the ability to cross the end line triumphantly.

We encourage everybody to hitch the Marathon Handbook Fb group to start out studying extra about how you can grow to be a marathon runner.

After you end your first marathon, you possibly can work on setting an acceptable marathon time purpose and ironing out the kinks in your marathon coaching plan for a good higher second go-round on the marathon distance. 

Take a look at our marathon plan database right here.

Benefit from the journey!

People running a road race.

Clint McDougal
Clint McDougal
Get ready to meet Clint McDougal, the running sensation who outruns laughter and leaves you breathless with his witty charm. Join the hilarious journey of a wise runner extraordinaire!


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