Half marathons

I talk a lot about marathons on this blog because they are a pretty big deal and I spend a lot of time and energy training for them.

Since I spend so much time on marathons, I don’t get a chance to talk much about my favorite of all the races: the half marathon!

Although I do LOVE marathons, I love training for them and love the feeling of accomplishment after, there is just something comforting about the half marathon.

Why do I love them?

2010 SB Wine Country Half Marathon 001


13 miles is still a long way to run!  When you are done with a half marathon you still got a great workout, a long run done and have a great feeling of accomplishment. 



I typically can run the next day following a half marathon.  I might be sore, but nothing like the full marathon soreness that leaves me clenching rails for a week.  Recovery time is faster and that means I don’t have to take time off of running! 

They also don’t take quite as much out of you so you can actually semi-function the day of one.


Fast pace

In half marathons you are running faster than marathons which is fun (sometimes), but not quite as fast as the short distance 5k or 10k that just plain hurt.  Half marathon pace is the happy place between I-hate-my-life 10k pace and gotta-hold-back-a-tad marathon pace.  Half marathon PRs feel pretty awesome too!


Next please

Half marathons you can try again at racing one sooner.  A full marathon requires recovery and retraining, you can’t get out there and full out race another one too soon after, but a half marathon you might be able to.

2010 LBHM 003

Party time

Half marathons are over much faster than full marathons and the celebrating can begin sooner! 

This weekend I will be running my 18th half marathon!  I haven’t technically “raced” them all, but I have completed them all as races or training runs.  I am very excited to get out there and see what my legs can do and on a course I haven’t run before – Davis Stampede.  After this very busy week, being sick and travelling for a couple days, who knows what will happen, but it will be fun to get out there and kick off the 2011 race year!

What is your favorite race distance?

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36 Responses to Half marathons

  1. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate February 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    I love half marathons! It is still a long distance, but it doesn’t beat the crap out of you like a full does ;)

  2. Tina (MightyMite Runne) February 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    my friend David Banks in our running group will be there running the half too! I’m sure you’ll do great! you have the training and miles under your belt so you can just get out there and do what feels good!

  3. naomi February 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    good luck this weekend! i know you’ll kill it! ;)

  4. Julie (A Case of the Runs) February 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    True — I often find myself running again after a half, but a full — I need at least a week!

  5. TinaBeanCT February 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Good luck to you! I am running my first half marathon in May (the Long Island Half). I injured myself in Dec and am finally getting back. I live in CT, and running outside has been an occupational hazard. I am traveling for work this week and next and got a nice 4 miler in today in Atlanta (cold, but no snow). It’s the longest I’ve run in 6 weeks!! I was up to 8.5 miles. I had to move the half back, but I know that now I will be stronger and more prepared. You’re an inspiration for me and I am glad you feel better.


  6. Kim February 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    I love the half! Good luck this weekend. I agree fully with your assessments.

  7. nicole February 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    I tend to love half marathons more too! I cant wait to take a break from marathons and race some serious half marathons! good luck this weekend and have fun!

  8. J February 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    I love the 5k distance and 15k. I still really inexperienced at the half marathon distance but hopefully I can get better and more comfortable. 13 miles is still a long way no matter way!

  9. Nelly February 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I’m with you – half marathons are my favorite distance as well!

    Your quote sums it up perfectly “Half marathon pace is the happy place between I-hate-my-life 10k pace and gotta-hold-back-a-tad marathon pace”.

    You nailed it – at 10K pace and lower I feel like I’m running at close to my puke threshhold, but at half marathon pace you are still running hard but it doesn’t feel as bad as 10K pace.

    Good luck with your half marathon, with how your training is going I think you will do great!

  10. Average A February 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    I also love the half marathon distance! if you need my reasons why, just re-read what you wrote because you pretty took it all straight out of my mouth. :)

    Good luck this weekend!


  11. Kristy@RunTheLongRoad February 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    I really enjoy half marathons too. I completely agree with you about pace — fast but not that gut-wrenching all out pace!

  12. runner26 February 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    halfs are the best! for all the reasons you stated. hope you’re feeling better!

  13. Tara February 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Halfs are definitely the best for all the reasons you mentioned! Have a great weekend and race! :)

  14. Michelle February 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Good luck! I have a half this weekend too – so excited!

    I haven’t run a marathon yet – but I do think half it’s just the perfect race. I love that I can do them so often too! I don’t think I’ll ever run 2 marathons in one month.

  15. Susan - Nurse on the Run February 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    I really do like the full marathon, but I did my second half a couple weeks ago and it was nice to be a long distance but still kind of short. I would love to really train for one to see how fast I could run, but I have to stop signing up for marathons first. :)

  16. Kristin February 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    15K, never had a bad one! Of course they’re pretty rare and I only do a couple each year. Half marathon very close second!

  17. Running 365 February 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    18?! That’s a lot of 13.1s! I can’t say that I really have a favorite distance. I’ve had some really good half-marathons, and one really bad one. My only marathon was wonderful, but I don’t think I can declare a distance as my favorite if I’ve only ran it once!

  18. Amanda February 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Good Luck and have fun!

  19. Laura February 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    18 half marathons! That’s so many! I think I like the half marathon distance best thus far. I still feel like I’m settling into my running and figuring things out, so that could always change. For now I definitely appreciate not having to run at that feels-like-death pace. Good luck this weekend!

  20. heather February 4, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    I love half marathons too, for exactly the reasons you describe. They don’t completely kill your legs, yet you have a totally legitimate reason to party afterwards :) And the pace is just right for me, not too fast, not too slow…

  21. Bethany February 4, 2011 at 4:58 am #

    I agree, half marathons are my favorite too for similar reasons. I haven’t raced a half marathon in almost a year tho, that makes me kind of sad and i probably won’t be racing one for awhile. My next half marathon is in March but I’m pushing a handicapped child in a wheelchair so it’s not gonna be fast. There are a few half marathons around here before Boston that i’d like to use as a tuneup but i don’t think any will fit my schedule. This post really makes me want to go run a half!!

  22. Marlene February 4, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    Half’s (or is it “halves” – lol) are my fave distance also, for all of the reasons you posted. My first race of the year will be a half (first wknd in March) and I can’t wait!!

    Good luck and have fun with # 18!! (wow!)

  23. Meghan February 4, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    I love the half distance too. I love that it is more mentally approachable. Even if you want to really push it in a half and get tired early, it is much easier to say, “only 5 more miles” rather than, “only 18 more miles!”

  24. katie February 4, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    I love love love the half marathon distance, for all these reasons! great post!

  25. skinnyrunner February 4, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    i feel the same way about the half pace… 10k is i want to die and mp is a bit slower and half is just right.

  26. Adrienne February 4, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    I love the half marathon as well!

  27. Jo Lynn February 4, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    I have never “raced” any distance. I’m just happy to finish. ;)

  28. Denise February 4, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    i actually like them all…for different reasons. but the marathon might win by a little.

  29. Nancy February 4, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    I’m with you…half marathons are my favorite! I feel like it doesn’t kill my family since I don’t have to do as long a long run but it is still a race distance I have to train for. Love it!

  30. Kim February 4, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    I LOVE Half Marathons, for all of the reasons above :) It’s also easier to convince friends to do them, serious and less serious runners…so it makes the party that much more fun! Have so much fun this weekend and GOOD LUCK! Kick butt :)

  31. Mica February 4, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I don’t know what I have a favorite distance. I think 5K is my LEAST favorite distance though. I have no idea how to race them!

  32. Heather @ Dietitian on the Run February 4, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Ha, I love the last reason – party time comes faster!! This is EXACTLY why I registered for the DC Half, instead of the Full again, in March – I want to really enjoy my time there, relax, and have fun without the race-stress! Halves are definitely much more relaxing (once you’ve done a few of them) and enjoyable! :)

  33. lifestudent February 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    I USED to love the half … then I had a horrible experience in Miami and had a 2nd baby 9 months or so after that. Now I’m dying to do one but cant find the time to train for one … so I hate them just because they seem out of reach ;)

  34. Karyn February 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    omg i love them too. i need to sign up for more of them…although with a shorter recovery time i’m always tempted to run too many!

  35. the dawn February 5, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    i love running halfs because i feel like you can “fake” your way through them. i mean, yes, they are still intense and rewarding, but you don’t have to train your heart out and if you miss a long run or two you will still be able to pull through on race day on sheer willpower. NOT like marathon training!

  36. Kristen February 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    So behind on blogs! The half is my favorite too for all the reasons you said! You still do a decent distance, and you get a medal!! :) They are also easy to train for – if you happen to miss a run you aren’t screwed for the race and you don’t have to devote a half day for a training run. Congrats on finishing #18!

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