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How To Safely Race A Half During Marathon Training

NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training!

Q: Is it safe to adjust a training plan if a race pops up? For example, I’m preparing for a marathon and want to do a half marathon on a weekend I’m only supposed to be running 10 miles.

The general emphasis of training should be what best readies you for your goal race—in this case your marathon. If the half is four weeks or more out from the marathon, it won’t hurt your training to have more mileage that weekend than originally intended. Another important factor is how hard you will be going in the half marathon. Are you trying to go as fast as you can or using it simply as a long run with a lot of company? The main idea is that you don’t have to spend too much time recovering from the half marathon as that time could negatively impact your marathon training. If you take recovery seriously after the half and use that next week as a “down week,” you should be okay and still be on track for your main event!

Have a question for Coach Kigar? Email editorial@womensrunnning.com or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #AsktheCoach.