Thoughts on the Half Marathon Long Run

The last two weekends I have used these half marathons

as part of my 20 mile long runs.After polling you - my awesome readers- who recommended running the extra seven miles before the race I decided that was the best course of action. Though I had to come to the terms with I would be starting each race tired, because seven miles is not really a stroll in the park, this worked out brilliantly because when the race was over I was done, medal and snacks in hand.

I would recommend this method to anyone who is intimidated like I was of the long run for marathon training.  By this point seven miles is not a huge deal - meaning seven miles does not scare much as twenty miles.

PROS of the Long Run/ Half Marathon Combo:

  • Course support means not having to run with all the stuff needed to keep you going for that many miles
  • Cheering volunteers and spectators- they are always good motivation/ distraction to keep your butt in motion
  • You get a medal at the end. Twenty miles around the neighborhood does not result in this. 
  • This equals a long run with other runners to keep you motivated.
CONS of the Long Run/ Half Marathon Combo:
  • For me I had to let the idea of 'racing' (let's be real I am more the completing type than the competing type) go- getting a PR feels out of the question with all the miles I have been running during the week and the mileage before the half. If this bothers you, being at a race might be frustrating. 
  • There is about a five to ten minute interval between 'warm-up' and race time- this will not happen during the marathon. During this time I usually eat a granola bar. I will have to figure out fueling with non-stop running on my last long run in a few weeks.
Overall I really like this method of getting the mileage in while still working on my goal of running 30 half marathons before 30. 

What do you think- would you ever fit in a long run this way?


  1. Oooo...this is GREAT advice!!!!! I may have to find a half marathon the same weekend I'm supposed to do 20 miles training for my full marathon. You're so smart!!!

  2. One of the things that scares me about marathon training is the long runs. I can train for a half by myself no problem, but running 20 miles alone?! No thanks! So I think this a great strategy and one I'll definitely keep in my if I ever decide to go for a full.

  3. Racing is pretty much the only way I manage to get in double digit runs. I have zero desire to PR or actually RACE a race so it works for me. Still have never actually added miles before or after a race for even longer distances though.

    nice job!

  4. I tried this same method last summer when I was training (for the marathon that never was!), but I woke up and just didn't want to deal with the chaos of a race day. I bailed on the race and ran the 16 miler at home, by myself. Not sure if I'll always choose that route, but I know that it was right for me on that day!


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