Once runners are comfortable with shorter race distances such as the 10k or 5k races they often want to set themselves a new challenge and try a half marathon or a full marathon. The distance covered in the half marathon is 21K or 13miles (rounded off) and a full marathon covers 42Km or 26 miles (42.195km or 26miles and 385 yards).
Marathons and half marathon running is enjoyable for many people from all walks of life but the distance and training require discipline, proper training and greater preparations than shorter runs.
Participation in half marathons has grown steadily in Ireland because this distance does not require the level of training that a marathon requires but the half marathon still offers a challenge for the runner. Many runners like to try a half marathon before taking on a full marathon and those training for a full marathon may incorporate shorter runs and half marathons into their training program to help improve their performance and over all pace.
Running a marathon is an incredible goal for a runner. Marathon training commands respect and discipline and it’s not something to take lightly or do on a whim. However, if you are committed to training you can complete a marathon. Training for a marathon involves a slow, gradual and sustained conditioning process. In a marathon you are asking your body to maintain a running motion for up to four hours maybe longer.
They are lots of half marathons and marathons to choose from. You need to decide on what type of event interests you. You will need to decide if you want to run in a small events or large events, if you want to run local, in another town, city or internationally. For your first half marathon or marathon experience you should choose an event with the lease amount of challenge, avoid locations where it’s not too hot, located at altitude or too hilly. You want this to be an enjoyable experience that you will be willing to revisit. For experience runners who want a greater challenge they can try the option of half marathons or marathons on more extreme terrains, trails or hill running.
Whether your goal is a marathon or a half marathon you will need to work out a training program that suits your ability and fitness level. Your training plan should allow you to build up the distance gradually. Additional consideration needs to be given to your diet and hydration while training but with the right training plan and a determine attitude you’ll achieve your running goal. Read about the Race Series and Marathon Training in our fitness information section.