Thursday, October 28, 2010

When is one ready to train for a full marathon?

How do you know when you are ready to run your first marathon?

With 3 half marathons under my belt, and numbers 4 and 5 around the corner (LA County ½ on December 12th and the Walt Disney World ½ on January 3rd), when am I ready to take the next step in tackling a full 26.2 miles?  I absolutely don’t know. I toyed with the idea of time – “I need to run a half in xyz time before I can progress to the full.”  I thought of mental preparedness – “If I set my mind to it, I know I will be able to.”  And of course I turned to the Twitter world – “How do you know when you're ready to go from the half marathon distance to the full 26.2?”  Some of the responses I got are as follows:


@Love2Mags you don't wait until you are ready and just do it, then trust in your training. 


@Love2Mags If you have run 4 or 5 1/2s without any problems, you can run a full

@Love2Mags I registered for my full on impulse..If I can finish in one piece, so can you. Find a training program & trust it.


When u've got the desire 2 make committment @Love2Mags How do you know when you're ready to go from the 1/2 Mary distance to the full 26.2?

@Love2Mags When you mentally want to and you're willing to train


You dont, you just register

As anyone who has read any of my race reports knows, I am not a fast runner.  Of course when I take the plunge and run 26.2 miles, I will not be running for time.  I will run as a test of mental strength and endurance with only one goal in mind – to finish.  I am toying with the idea for now (maybe the LA Marathon in March…?)

What do you think?  When is one ready to run a full marathon?


  1. I'm not sure there is a "right time" when one is ready to run a full 26.2. I think you have enough 1/2's under your belt to take it to the next level.

    I think you need to pick something out of your comfort zone and that scares you a little 26.2 miles, make the commitment, train and go for it. You'll do just fine.

    LA Marathon 2010 was my first marathon, next year I will tackle my first 1/2 Ironman.

    Good Luck!

  2. I was training to run my first Half last year and realized how much I enjoyed training so I started thinking about the Full... When I finished said Half I signed up for Chicago. And I've never looked back. Love me some Full! It was hard, it hurt but it was the most amazing thing I've ever done. I love the distance, determination and strength it takes to make it to the Finish line. Whatever and whenever you decide will be the right time!

  3. I don't have the will power like you superwoman! ;) keep it up!

  4. I think you're ready when you start asking this question...really, I think yo've already decided...haven't you?

    You can do it...

  5. When you want the challenge. That simple. You don't have to have ever run another race. You simply have to be willing to put in the time training for the marathon. If you put in the miles and complete a training plan, you'll be able to complete a marathon. (If you have ambitious goals, that's a different story. But just finishing? You're absolutely ready.

  6. IMHO - you are ready to run a marathon when you are ready, willing, and able to commit to training. The key to finishing an having some fun is consistent training - as in five to six days a week, 35 to 50 miles a week. Even then it's no guarantee....

  7. You can do it! I had only run one 1/2 before I took the leap. Make sure you get in 4-5 long runs before the race and you'll do great. I hear the LA Marathon is a great one. You can do it!

  8. You will love running LA! Lots of crowd support. Plus it was was MY first marathon.

  9. I agree that once you start considering it, you've already made the decision ;) The same went for when you considered running a Half. At that point you never looked back and just did it! I also agree that you have to be willing to put in all the training, which I don't think will be a problem for you :) I say go for it!! March is pretty far away yet so you've got plenty of time!

  10. Wooot, I'm quoted twice! :)
    Seriously, you can do it!! I'll cheer you on ALL THE WAY THROUGH!! You won't regret registering, you'll have something to look forward to, you'll be constantly challenged through training, and when you complete it, you'll feel like a million bucks. Do it!

  11. LA marathon was my first marathon after only 2 halves under my belt so if you're willing to do the training you're definitely ready to do a full. I think you should have no problem. It's not easy but it's so worth it and LA is an awesome race to run!