5 weeks to half marathon

So I think I'm in trouble. I signed up for my first half marathon months ago, with plenty of time to train and it was going great. I was steadily building my mileage, but I was still months away so I only got up to about 4 miles comfortably. Fun fact, I have type 1 diabetes and have been having serious trouble controlling my blood sugars the past few months. It has to do with my insurance and the supplies they've been sending me (or not sending me). Long story short, my high blood sugars have been making me so ill that I haven't been able to train at all in nearly 5 weeks now. I feel like I'm back even before square one, and my half is in just 5 short weeks. At this point, I plan on doing a run/walk, but I'd still like to pull this off without dying or giving up. Does anybody have any suggestions, now that my blood sugars are back in control, for a good training plan to bring me back to speed in just over a month?

I'm not expecting this to be a killer race. I just don't want to feel like *kitten* about myself having slacked off during my training.
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Replies

  • carlosjenno
    carlosjenno Posts: 174 Member
    You'll be fine. I didn't run for 6 weeks prior to a half marathon in April due to a knee injury and it was fine. I ran the distance again last week and again this week. It will be fine, take your time.
  • Go ahead and do it and if you have to walk some so be it.
  • jpapp13
    jpapp13 Posts: 73 Member
    I agree with the walk/run method, do what feels right for your body and enjoy the course, there's always another HM ..
  • dcresider
    dcresider Posts: 1,272 Member
    You may just surprise yourself on how fit you still are. Since you have 5 weeks, I suggest doing a long run one weekend by using time instead of mileage. You'll know how you will feel.
  • Greywalk
    Greywalk Posts: 193 Member
    Walk/run it and don't worry about time just get the finish in and put it behind you. You can knock this one on its head without an issue if you are flexible.
  • IGbnat24
    IGbnat24 Posts: 520 Member
    It'd definitely doable if you run/walk.

    My question is: is your blood sugar under control and are you well enoughto/should you do a half?

    Ideally, if you're gonna use this 5 weeks to actually train, add a mile or 10 minutes to whatever your current long run is each week.
  • SueInAz
    SueInAz Posts: 6,592 Member
    So I think I'm in trouble. I signed up for my first half marathon months ago, with plenty of time to train and it was going great. I was steadily building my mileage, but I was still months away so I only got up to about 4 miles comfortably. Fun fact, I have type 1 diabetes and have been having serious trouble controlling my blood sugars the past few months. It has to do with my insurance and the supplies they've been sending me (or not sending me). Long story short, my high blood sugars have been making me so ill that I haven't been able to train at all in nearly 5 weeks now. I feel like I'm back even before square one, and my half is in just 5 short weeks. At this point, I plan on doing a run/walk, but I'd still like to pull this off without dying or giving up. Does anybody have any suggestions, now that my blood sugars are back in control, for a good training plan to bring me back to speed in just over a month?

    I'm not expecting this to be a killer race. I just don't want to feel like *kitten* about myself having slacked off during my training.
    You've got this. Seriously. If you were running comfortably for 4 miles before you should have little problem using a run/walk to complete a half marathon. It won't be fast, but that's not the point right now, right? I've completed all of my half marathons with run/walk intervals and my slowest was 2:42.

    The first thing you need to figure out is what your run/walk intervals are going to be for the race. Don't just plan to run "until you are tired" and then walk because you'll end up hating it and probably wear out too quickly. While you're doing training runs, find an interval that makes you happy and that you feel you can sustain for 2-3 hours. My half marathons were done at either 3 minutes run/1 minute walk or 4 minutes run/1 minutes walk. I'm currently working on 5:1 for my next race. My sister does full marathons at 6 or 7 minutes run/1 minute walk.

    While you're figuring out your best interval, you need to be increasing your distance. I assume you already had a training plan in place so you know you should be increasing your total weekly distance by about 10% per week, no more than that. Ideally, you'd be doing two shorter runs and one long run each week. When I've trained for half marathons, I got to the point where my short runs were 6 miles and my long runs increased by a mile every other week (with the opposite week also at 6 miles). You don't have the luxury of that much time but you also shouldn't plan on trying to get to a really long run (11+ miles) in before race day.

    You mentioned that you *were* running 4 miles comfortably, but your longest comfortable distance doing a run/walk is what is going to be important now. Any idea what that starting point is? It's going to be the determining factor for how to figure out a training plan for the next five weeks that will have you relatively comfortable on race day without risking injury before then.
  • ThickMcRunFast
    ThickMcRunFast Posts: 22,511 Member
    Yeah, I don't know if you're going to be 'fine'. Can it be done? Sure, but it won't be a fun experience. You worked up to 4 miles, then took 5 weeks completely off, so you will have lost fitness. More importantly, you have a blood sugar problem that might not be under control quite yet?

    Real talk - This doesn't sound like a good idea at all.

    edited for spelling
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
    you gonna die.

    ded srs.

    cancel the race and see if they'll put your fees towards next year's event. and don't feel bad either. you were ill. succumbing to illness is NOT the same as slacking off in training. take some time to start slowing increasing your training to make sure that your medical issues are under control, and then hit up an appropriate race when you're satisfied that, you know, you ain't gonna die
  • jofjltncb6
    jofjltncb6 Posts: 34,415 Member
    you gonna die.

    ded srs.

    cancel the race and see if they'll put your fees towards next year's event. and don't feel bad either. you were ill. succumbing to illness is NOT the same as slacking off in training. take some time to start slowing increasing your training to make sure that your medical issues are under control, and then hit up an appropriate race when you're satisfied that, you know, you ain't gonna die

    ^this

    Also, I'm a little shocked at how many are saying that this is a good idea and that you'll be fine. Perhaps they know a lot more about your particular situation than I do, but suggesting that a mostly untrained type 1 diabetic who is dealing with blood sugar regulation jump into a HM with woefully inadequate training seems like potentially dangerous advice. (No, that isn't quite right.) It *is* dangerous advice.

    Have you asked your GP about this?
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
    DNF
  • tameko2
    tameko2 Posts: 31,634 Member
    If you had no health issues, I'd say you can do it but you're probably gonna have a miserable time.

    I'm concerned that with your blood sugar levels you haven't tested out how you will do with prolonged periods of exercise - do you know what happens to your blood sugar when you've been out on the pavement for 2+ hours? Have you tested how you respond to various amounts of carbohydrate, what sorts of things you tolerate well, and how frequently you need to drink/eat? I think 5 weeks is enough time to do all that, but I am not familiar enough with your condition to know how tricky it makes things compared to a healthy person - I'd think that it makes things trickier.

    I think you'll have a much better first race if you ask to move your registration out to next year (usually they will allow this if you have a good reason - like health issues) and sign up for another half that is 3-6 months from now so you can get all this worked out and get some more miles on your feet. And that also gives you time to talk to your doctor about any precautions he or she might have for you.

    tl;dr - yes, I think you will regret that missed training time.
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,049 Member
    I only got up to about 4 miles comfortably.

    I haven't been able to train at all in nearly 5 weeks now.

    my half is in just 5 short weeks.

    If you can't do a 10 mile run within 2 weeks (I doubt it) then this is going to suck for you with or without insulin issues. Even if you can run 5 miles of this, walking the additional 8 miles will probably take you about 2.5 - 3 hours.
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
    This.
    Yeah, I don't know if you're going to be 'fine'. Can it be done? Sure, but it won't be a fun experience. You worked up to 4 miles, then took 5 weeks completely off, so you will have lost fitness. More importantly, you have a blood sugar problem that might not be under control quite yet?

    Real talk - This doesn't sound like a good idea at all.

    edited for spelling

    And these
    you gonna die.

    ded srs.

    cancel the race and see if they'll put your fees towards next year's event. and don't feel bad either. you were ill. succumbing to illness is NOT the same as slacking off in training. take some time to start slowing increasing your training to make sure that your medical issues are under control, and then hit up an appropriate race when you're satisfied that, you know, you ain't gonna die

    ^this

    Also, I'm a little shocked at how many are saying that this is a good idea and that you'll be fine. Perhaps they know a lot more about your particular situation than I do, but suggesting that a mostly untrained type 1 diabetic who is dealing with blood sugar regulation jump into a HM with woefully inadequate training seems like potentially dangerous advice. (No, that isn't quite right.) It *is* dangerous advice.

    Have you asked your GP about this?


    Health issues aside, I have done a half marathon undertrained and it was not a fun experience. At all. 4 miles is a long way from 13.1 even with walking. Throw in the medical issues and I would be out for sure.
    Lots of races have roll over registration. Or if there are a number of events going on you could switch to a shorter distance.
  • SueInAz
    SueInAz Posts: 6,592 Member
    How many of you saying she's going to die or shouldn't do it have actually completed a half marathon? This isn't an ultra-marathon, for crying out loud, it's 13.1 miles. I've run races that distance beside non-runners who were otherwise in good shape but didn't train for the race at all, or had only run as far as 3 or 4 miles. Since I run/walk in intervals so did they. Yes, I had to coax them along through part of it when they got tired. Yes, they were tired and sore the next day but it's certainly doable.

    The plain fact of the matter is you can WALK a half marathon at a 3.5 mile pace in under 4 hours. She's not going to "die" if she does this. Would you really tell someone who's in reasonable shape that they shouldn't walk that far or for that long or run for some and walk the rest? Someone who was running 4 miles straight several weeks ago can easily pull that off. I see no need to discourage her from giving this a try given that she could simply walk the distance if running it turns out to be a problem.

    The OP says her blood sugar issues are now under control. Well, she's got five weeks of training to discover if that's really true or not. Telling her she's going to "die" trying this is just plain silly. Discouraging her from giving it a try is unfair.

    OP, if you're serious about wanting to do this and working out a training plan, message me with the details on your current fitness level (once you get a chance to get out there and determine how you're feeling) and I'll help you the best I can.
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
    How many of you saying she's going to die or shouldn't do it have actually completed a half marathon? This isn't an ultra-marathon, for crying out loud, it's 13.1 miles. I've run races that distance beside non-runners who were otherwise in good shape but didn't train for the race at all, or had only run as far as 3 or 4 miles. Since I run/walk in intervals so did they. Yes, I had to coax them along through part of it when they got tired. Yes, they were tired and sore the next day but it's certainly doable.

    The plain fact of the matter is you can WALK a half marathon at a 3.5 mile pace in under 4 hours. She's not going to "die" if she does this. Would you really tell someone who's in reasonable shape that they shouldn't walk that far or for that long or run for some and walk the rest? Someone who was running 4 miles straight several weeks ago can easily pull that off. I see no need to discourage her from giving this a try given that she could simply walk the distance if running it turns out to be a problem.

    The OP says her blood sugar issues are now under control. Well, she's got five weeks of training to discover if that's really true or not. Telling her she's going to "die" trying this is just plain silly. Discouraging her from giving it a try is unfair.

    OP, if you're serious about wanting to do this and working out a training plan, message me with the details on your current fitness level (once you get a chance to get out there and determine how you're feeling) and I'll help you the best I can.

    I have done a number of half marathons. I know that a few of the others you are referring to have done them as well. At least one has done an ultra.
    As I said, I've done a half marathon undertrained, with a lot more miles under my belt than the OP. I don't recommend it. That's not even considering medical issues.
    I know you can walk 13.1. I know people who have. It is also not a fun endevour for the undertrained.

    I'm typically a go for big goals type person. But I also balance that with how reasonable they are. Can the OP finish? Probably. I still don't think it's a good idea.
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
    How many of you saying she's going to die or shouldn't do it have actually completed a half marathon?

    What's your experience with crippling type 1 diabetes?

    What's the harm in pushing back her HM another 12-16 weeks so she can prepare. I mean, back when she signed up she didn't set a date 5 weeks out, did she? Of course not, because that would have been insane. She gave herself months to prepare. What has changed between now and then that taking time to train is no longer a good thing?
  • corinic91
    corinic91 Posts: 148 Member
    Thanks for everyone's feedback. First off, DavPul I wouldn't say my diabetes is "crippling". My control was relatively bad for several weeks, yes, (compared to my normally very stable control) but it's back in check and I'm feeling fine. I'm not going to push my body if I'm really feeling bad (which is why I've stayed away from running for the past few weeks). My main concern was that I know my overall fitness level has decreased in my time off.

    Moving forward, I'm going to continue training with run/walk intervals and gauging my fitness from there. My half doesn't allow changes after registration so it's too late to change or cancel my race, but if before the half and I'm still struggling with a few miles, I certainly know when to say when.
    SueInAz, once I get a few runs in, I'll PM you. Thanks for your support!
  • Daiako
    Daiako Posts: 12,545 Member
    If you're just gonna do what you're already planning to do and pay no mind to others saying "bad idea" why ask?
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
    Perhaps I come from a different background, but if my medical condition keeps me so ill that I can't continue my planned activities for months on end, that's indeed crippling. whether I balk at the term or not, I still have to plan my training around it accordingly.

    My question remains, if you feel that 5 weeks is enough time to prepare for a HM, why didn't you sign up for one that started sooner than several months away?