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Half marathons are quickly becoming one of the most popular race distance in the United States. (The 5K is currently the most popular.) They are awesome, rewarding and 13.1 other happy words. They’re my favorite distance too! But after you accomplish the half marathon you might ask yourself “Should I run a full marathon now?”
I personally have more than 15 full marathons under my Spibelt and 20+ half marathons. So I understand asking yourself “What’s next?” after completing a race. But the answer doesn’t have to be covering 26.2 miles. Before you sign up for a full marathon ask yourself a few questions.
1. Do you WANT to?
Um, this should be the obvious thing you ask yourself before really doing anything (except going to the dentist. Just go).
Are you considering running a full marathon because it’s on your list of goals or because of social media, outside pressure or an attempt to run away from your problems.
Dedicating yourself to training for a full marathon is a lot of work. Make sure it’s something YOU want.
2. Are you at an appropriate fitness level?
Running one half marathon doesn’t mean you can run a full marathon next. Many experts suggest you run a few 13.1 mile races before considering a full marathon.
You should also assess:
- How you feel after a half marathon
- If you have any nagging injuries or are injury prone
- If you have the time to get ready for covering 26.2 miles
3. Should you run a full marathon?
So you’ve asked yourself the previous questions. Yes, you want to and yes, you are at a good fitness level…
But should you do it? It’s very physically and emotionally demanding to commit to over 16 weeks of training. But if it’s on your ‘bucket list’ or you just feel completely ready to ‘go for it’, then…GO FOR IT!
If it will be an enjoyable experience overall, then sign up and get running!
But if you aren’t sure about your physical readiness, the time commitment or have any other random hesitations, flip a coin. Another option is to sign up for another half marathon and sleep on it until you are 100% ready to go.