Planning for a Fall Half Marathon?

Last year, I had hoped to make a half marathon PR attempt in the fall, either before or after Wine and Dine. For various reasons (mostly, budget restrictions), that didn’t happen. This year, I’m revisiting that idea. I’ve got a better handle on my budget, I’m not racing as much, and I’d really love to have a goal to work toward for the fall to keep me motivated after marathon training ends. I’m the type of person who needs a dangling carrot to keep up with training.

HOWEVER… While I do have this half PR on my mind, I still really want to relax this summer. I wrote about how marathon training is taking over my life, and I don’t want training for a PR to take over my life once the marathon is done. I mean, theoretically I need to train for a half anyway, because Team Can-Am will finally be together and whole for Wine and Dine in November (!!!). But training for an early November half (and one that I wouldn’t be racing), would mean that I wouldn’t have to stick as closely to a training plan, and I wouldn’t need to even start training until mid-August, leaving my summer much more open.

It’s funny, because I started writing this post several weeks ago, and the general content was much different then. It was more like “I want to run a half marathon PR this fall, and I’ve already got a training plan and this is gonna be so awesome!” But now that I’m deeper into training, and in the thick of Mary Poppins madness, I’m changing my tune. I actually came back to the original post and wrote in all caps “DO I EVEN WANT TO TRAIN FOR A PR ANYMORE? NO!”

I’d say that at this point, I’m about 70/30 in favor of just not doing it. There is a half close by that’s one month before Wine and Dine, so I could potentially train for that and then just do maintenance until November. Or, I could just take it easy this summer, doing some leisurely maintenance to keep up marathon fitness, and focus on fun at W&D. Of course, because I’m just a little bit Type A, I’ve already pulled together a training plan “just in case.”

I’m sure it’s just the burnout talking, but I’m almost feeling like I may not even run a half again for a long while after Wine and Dine. I love running, but I think I need a good long break from distance running. It would be fun to work on my 5k pace for a while and really see what I can do speed-wise. Just think of it: a whole summer of nothing higher than 5 miles in distance… Boy that sounds great.

Are you a fan of super long distance running, or do you prefer shorter distances?





16 thoughts on “Planning for a Fall Half Marathon?

  1. Anna @ Piper's Run says:

    I have one race confirmed for mid September and 1-2 others pending. Right now I can’t even think about fall races. I think it’s good to take a break now and again from long distance running, though I do enjoy have a race to look forward to – even if it’s not a half distance.

  2. SuzLyfe (@suzlyfe) says:

    I’m sorry that you are feeling so overwhelmed! It really is a lot of work, and sometimes, no matter how much we work to combat burn out, it is inevitable. It is the hazard of being awesome.

  3. allisonfiorini says:

    I love long distance but I top out at 26.2. No ultras for me! Here’s a thought: does that race sell out? What if you don’t sign up but “train” for it, and then if you aren’t feeling it, just don’t do it? This way, you didn’t lose the money. You can sign up at the race gets closer. Sure, you run the risk of paying a few extra bucks as the prices rise closer to race day, but it’s cheaper than signing up and then not doing it. You’ll feel like you have more freedom to opt out if you feel overwhelmed. If your body needs some rest and recovery and the half isn’t in the cards, no worries! But if you have a good summer of running, you might want to put it to good use and try for a PR!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Not a bad call. I don’t anticipate this one selling out, and I think the price doesn’t increase until day-of. We’ll see how I feel once I’m fully recovered from marathon training. I think right now the combination of marathon training and Mary Poppins is just killing me and I’m having a hard time knowing how I actually feel about running because it’s just an added stressor. I took the day off on Monday and I plan to just get caught up on sleep, which I’m sure will help clarify things a bit.

  4. hellyontherun says:

    I love the long distances but since my injury I’ve been doing a lot more shorter distances having ran more 5ks lately than I can remember, lol (and another one next month!). I think it’s good to switch things up every now and then. I also think training for the faster 5k races has helped me with my longer distances too, so there’s that 🙂

  5. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    I love half’s but the training is a lot, throw in a marathon and it gets intense. I am only registered for one race post full and it is a half. But it’s Rock n Roll LA on Halloween so it’s like Wine n Dine- fun and friends. I am afraid I will feel the same way you do soon.

  6. txa1265 says:

    As others said, give it some time but don’t forget the impact you are feeling right now combining training and other stuff. The question you have to ask yourself is – can you just run the half and NOT worry about a PR? If not, you need to make the choice – and maybe taking the focus off longer distances would be smart. Running 5K and 10K races is quite challenging but doesn’t take over your life the same way as marathon training.

    • DarlinRae says:

      That’s sort of what I’m feeling right now. MP is over so a lot of the craziness is dissipating, but I still feel like maybe shorter distances are the way to go for me in the future because I’m so damn busy ALL THE TIME.

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