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Half marathon four weeks after marathon?

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Post  MartinD Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:14 pm

I ran the Loch Ness Marathon on 2nd October, and appear to have recovered reasonably well so far (in that I'm back out and running, with 18 miles over 4 runs since Saturday). A few people from my running club are going to run a local half-marathon on Sunday 30th October, and I'm tempted to join them - there's also this little thought in the back of my mind that (weather permitting!) I might be able to take a bit off my current half-marathon PR (1:34.45, set a couple of years ago - given that I've run 1:36 and 1:37.30 in the second half of marathons, I think that this is a bit soft...)

Any thoughts or opinions? Is this reasonable, or something I should avoid? Any potential pitfalls to watch out for?
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Post  Jack_Scaff Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:34 pm

I'm conservative and would suggest taking it easy. But then again I have my own set of motivational issues.
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Post  Jerry Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:03 pm

Everyone is different. The key is to know your own limit. I won't do it as I know I recover slow. I need 6-8 weeks at least.

One lesson I had was a couple years ago I was on Hal's recovery program. About 3-4 weeks out, the program called a 3xmile repeat. After first mile, I sensed I had a tight calf. I thought about it during the jog, but still... As soon as I took off for the 2nd, it was too late.

I race half very hard, so even if I feel I am "fully" recovered in 4 weeks, I won't do it.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:41 pm

If you feel recvoered, then go for it. However, if it isn't right or you feel off after a couple of miles, then back off and enjoy yourself. I have run a half a month after a "raced" full many times and each time has been different, and in fact, I'll be doing it again in November. Enjoy!
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Post  Glenn Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:44 am

I read your race report from Loch Ness. And, I know people slower, older and more out of shape than you that have done a second full marathon within 4 weeks of a first marathon, with little problem. But they didn't try to race both at peak effort. I think you will be fine, but I would play it by ear. If you get to race day and it doesn't feel right, let up on the throttle and make it a training run.
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Post  Admin Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:57 am

Muscle recovery is a lot faster than the 'connective systems'. It's not uncommon to feel recovered when muscle soreness has diminished, yet ligaments, tendons, and smaller stabilizing muscles are still healing. Do an honest assessment and if you think you're okay then go for it.

As for racing close together, I've done sub-3:10s on consecutive weekends. When I tried to make it a 3rd consecutive weekend... I blew up. Hard. ;-)

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Post  Nick Morris Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:18 pm

@Mr MattM wrote:Muscle recovery is a lot faster than the 'connective systems'. It's not uncommon to feel recovered when muscle soreness has diminished, yet ligaments, tendons, and smaller stabilizing muscles are still healing. Do an honest assessment and if you think you're okay then go for it.

As for racing close together, I've done sub-3:10s on consecutive weekends. When I tried to make it a 3rd consecutive weekend... I blew up. Hard. ;-)

I agree with Matt. Make sure that you are truly recovered. From my own experience, I did run a HM two weeks after a full. But I only ran the HM at 80%, because I did not want to risk an injury.
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Post  MartinD Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:30 pm

Thanks for the replies - appreciate you all taking the time. I'm still undecided about this - will probably see how things go over the weekend before making the call one way or the other.

Loch Ness was a bit unusual, in that I went into the race just wanting to make sure that I finished - as a result, my early pace was quite a bit slower than it might have been, and I felt pretty good all the way through, even in the last few miles. While I was pretty sore in the days immediately afterwards, this eased off quite quickly (felt pretty close to normal by Thursday, and was only a little bit achy on the first run after the marathon on Saturday).

I'm also likely to be fairly conservative with my training over the next few weeks - if I do decide to do the half-marathon, I'm probably going to go into the race with a longest run since the marathon of 10 or 11 miles (and probably only one run that long). That probably isn't ideal preparation for a half, but ideal preparation isn't really an option here - doing a half four weeks after a marathon is quite a long way from ideal to start with!

Glenn and Michele's suggestion of giving it a go on the day but backing off if things aren't right on the day definitely sounds sensible - I would probably take that a step further by trying to go out at a relatively comfortable pace for the first mile or two, as that seems to be a strategy that works well for me.
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Post  mountandog Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:26 am

Well I just did this and was pleasantly surprised. I ran a marathon on Sept 3 with a 3:08:00 PR on less training mileage than normal and followed up with a 1:28:36 PR on Oct 2. But, I wasn't totally beat up by the marathon.

The four weeks in between I ran 25, 35, 26 & 38 miles. The 38 included the 1/2 marathon. My longest run was only 8 miles but I did a number of them. Most runs were between 6 and 8 miles. A few repeat 800s, 600s and strides. That was it. I felt fine for the 1/2 and was actually going to go for another marathon PR this coming weekend but family & work issues have gotten in the way.

I'm almost 55 years old and assume I recover a bit slower than younger runners, but I had no problems whatsoever in doing these races so close together.

Go 4 it. Good luck.
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Post  Jerry Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:41 am

@mountandog wrote:Well I just did this and was pleasantly surprised. I ran a marathon on Sept 3 with a 3:08:00 PR on less training mileage than normal and followed up with a 1:28:36 PR on Oct 2. But, I wasn't totally beat up by the marathon.

The four weeks in between I ran 25, 35, 26 & 38 miles. The 38 included the 1/2 marathon. My longest run was only 8 miles but I did a number of them. Most runs were between 6 and 8 miles. A few repeat 800s, 600s and strides. That was it. I felt fine for the 1/2 and was actually going to go for another marathon PR this coming weekend but family & work issues have gotten in the way.

I'm almost 55 years old and assume I recover a bit slower than younger runners, but I had no problems whatsoever in doing these races so close together.

Go 4 it. Good luck.

Well, anyone claiming younger than you needs to beat your time first. Very Happy
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Post  MartinD Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:42 pm

A little update - my training runs over the last few days have gone really well (Saturday's run in particular - did 8 miles in less than an hour without feeling like I was pushing), so I've decided to give the half-marathon a try.
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Post  Peg Coover Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:13 pm

I just did a 15K exactly 2 weeks after my marathon. Everything turned out great--I set a PR!
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Post  Jenny O Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:18 am

I just did a half this past weekend--2 weeks after my marathon where I set a new PR. Based on my runs the week of the half, I wasn't sure what to expect for the half. I went in thinking I'd see how the first couple miles felt, and then decide if I was going to run for fun, or actually try to race it. I ended up racing and missed a PR by less than 30 seconds. I think you just need to see how your legs feel the morning of the race and keep your options open. Good luck!
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Post  mountandog Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:58 pm

you're gettin close Martin. How ya doin'?
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Post  MartinD Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:29 am

@mountandog wrote:you're gettin close Martin. How ya doin'?

I've been feeling pretty good on my runs over the last ten days or so - am taking it relatively easy over the next couple of days to get ready for Sunday.

Depending on the weather, I think that there's a good chance of me running a PR, and I might get pretty close to 1:30 if I have a really good day...
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Post  MartinD Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:09 am

A quick post-race update: Things went pretty well on the day - managed to get into a nice rhythm early on, and was able to maintain that pretty much all the way through the race, even when we turned back into a pretty strong wind for the second half. The last couple of miles were tough, though - there wasn't much left to give at that point, but I managed to just about keep things together until the finish. My time was 1:30.12 (unofficial, according to my Garmin) - a little bit frustrating, as it would have been good to go below 1:30, but still a PR by around four and a half minutes on a tricky day.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:59 pm

Congrats on an excellent run, Martin!
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Post  mountandog Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:21 pm

Glad you ran it and posted the PR. Congrats.
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Post  Dave-O Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:04 pm

So to answer the initial questions: No, it wasn't too soon!

Congrats on the PR
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Post  MartinD Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:38 am

Official time was 1:30.10 - not sure where they got the couple of seconds from, but I'm not going to complain...

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Congrats on an excellent run, Martin!

@mountandog wrote:Glad you ran it and posted the PR. Congrats.
Thanks!

@Dave-O wrote:So to answer the initial questions: No, it wasn't too soon!

Congrats on the PR
Thanks! I'll be a bit cautious at this point, and wait to see how I recover from the race on Sunday - in terms of being able to put in a solid performance, it wasn't too soon, but I will need to take it easy for a little while to give myself the opportunity to come back from two all-out efforts in the short space of time.
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