Half marathon tune-up two weeks out - too risky or go for it? (Read 120 times)


    Greetings all! My first time posting in these forums. My question:


    I’m thinking of doing a half marathon tune-up race two weeks out from my marathon, even though racing a HM so close to the marathon is generally not recommended. (Not able to schedule one any sooner as they don’t start coming on the race calendar in my area until early Sept, and my marathon is Sept 22.)


    I tend to recover quickly, and I’m not at all injury prone. My usual practice is to do my last long run of 23 miles two weeks out, then taper. I’ve always been able to recover nicely from this.

    So I will either do:


    A)                  13.1 @ ~7:20 pace


    B)                 23.0 @ ~9:00 pace


    Seems to me if I am able to recover from my usual 23 miler two weeks out racing a HM instead shouldn’t be a problem. But I wanted to put this question out for comment before I commit.


    I have already done 5K and 10K tune-ups, which should give me sufficient info to determine my goal pace for the marathon. So as much as I’d like to do the HM also I don’t want to jeopardize my marathon. If the consensus opinion here is that it’s too risky I’ll probably drop it since it’s not really needed.



    Latent Runner

      Hmmm, I'm thinking option "A" but with more like a 7:40-8:00 pace.

      Fat old man PRs:

      • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
      • 2-mile: 13:49
      • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
      • 5-Mile: 37:24
      • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
      • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
      • Half Marathon: 1:42:13

        I would do neither but as we are all an experiment of one you know from experience you recover well from a 23 miler 2 weeks out, then I agree with your logic that racing a HM instead shouldn't be a problem. At that point I think if it's a HM that you want to run then run it.

        Runners run.

          You know your recovery abilities and sounds like you bounce back fast. I say go for it. Start first mile or two a tad conservative. Settle in at solid pace and then run last 3 miles with a 5k race mindset. Jog 2 miles after the race to enhance recovery and give you some added mileage. You need to take it easy until the marathon with minimal quality work or nothing extended. Good luck and have fun!

          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!


            +1 to what MikeyMike wrote.  If it was a race I really, really wanted to do, I'd probably go for it.  (I'm actually facing a similar dilemma).  If not, I wouldn't bother racing that close to goal race day.  Seems like the risks outweigh the rewards.  Again, unless this is one of your favorite races or something special like that.

            “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the fight in the dog. – Dwight D. Eisenhower


            My blog is JT Running DC.  It's awesome.

               Seems to me if I am able to recover from my usual 23 miler two weeks out racing a HM instead shouldn’t be a problem. But I wanted to put this question out for comment before I commit.

              What would be better for you mentally? Knowing that you finished a 23-miler, or a fresh PR in the HM (it looks like you want to PR in the half)? And, to what extent do you need a strong mental game going into a marathon?


              There's a fast HM near me three weeks out from my Oct. 13 marathon: I'd love to do it, but have been advised that 3 weeks out from a marathon is too close for a hobbyjogger like me to hammer out a PR in a half. But. Damn. I'm tempted.

              Another thing to consider: Recovery from a fast HM is different than recovering from a long run, at least for me.

              Good luck, whichever you choose.


                Running a half marathon two weeks out is not a great idea if you are trying to PR or run a fast full.  You may think you will be recovered in time for a marathon two weeks after a half marathon or a 20 miler but you will not be.  All of your muscle fibers will not be repaired yet and when you are trying to go to 26.2 mi, you will need all of them.


                You aren't going to lose your fitness in the last two weeks before a marathon but you can hurt yourself.  That's why you should focus more on quality workouts (10-12 mi at marathon GRP max) than on trying to race a half.