running a Half Marathon on the way to a Marathon?

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    My apologies, as I’ve been posting on here quite a bit lately.

    I just started an 18 week Level 2 Pace Based Marathon training plan in preparation for Boston on 4/17/23.

    I also just realized that there is a local Half Marathon where I am that falls just a little less than halfway through the training cycle: 2/6/23, which would be at the end of my Week 8.

    I’m wondering about possibly doing this Half Marathon on February 6 — mainly just for “fun.” Not to try to get a great time or anything…. Just something to sort of break up the monotony… But I also wouldn’t want to severely compromise my training/readiness for Boston… Not trying to PR at Boston or anything (it’ll only be my 2nd Marathon). But I’d like to finish! (And ideally have a shot at finishing at least semi-strong…)

    Wondering what your thoughts might be on that:

    Should I go for it (the Half Marathon on Feb 6)?

    If so, how might you recommend adjusting the training plan (articularly in the days leading up to and following 2/6/23: weeks 8 & 9 of the 18 week level 2 plan)?



    Leyla Porteous

    Hi Josh,
    I am assuming the half marathon is on Sunday the 5th February 2023 (unless it is a Monday event).
    That weekend you actually have a long marathon pace run that is approximately 14 miles in duration so don’t see any issue in doing the half marathon for fun and executing it very similar to the workout as scheduled in week 8 of the Marathon Level 2 plan. You can even add on that additional 1 miler as a cool down after the event to hit the workout distance target (if you run it as planned).



    Thanks Leyla,
    Would you then advise against running the half-marathon at a faster than marathon pace?
    The reason I ask is that I imagine it might be tough for me to completely “hold back” given the possible energy and excitement of the real race.
    I certainly wouldn’t be pushing for an all out half marathon effort, but I’m not sure I could guarantee being able to execute it at a pace completely comparable to what is prescribed in the training plan for the MP effort.

    Leyla Porteous

    If you wanted to run this at half marathon effort then I’d recommend a few days taper and recovery as that will make the run harder than planned. If you are planning to run for fun or as part of your training then yes I recommend running it within your MP zone. This could be on the higher end of your marathon pace, you could also use this as an opportunity to practice pacing by starting out holding back and not getting caught up in the the energy, then aiming to hold that pace steady or pick it up a little in the second half.

    don’t forget to check out the 80/20 pacing guide to help you choose your zones – you’ll see there is quite a bit of cross over for half and full marathon.

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