Twin Cities in Motion

Mile Motivation Monday

posted on Mon, Jul 30 2012 9:30 am by TCM Staff

Week 10: Use a Half Marathon as a Target Race by Marlee Meshbesher


As runners are preparing for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, at TC Running Co. in Eden Prairie, we encourage our training team participants to participate in one of the many local August half marathons as a target race. Putting yourself through a race experience provides many benefits to your marathon training.

First, you learn to prepare and organize yourself for race day. If you treat this like a dress rehearsal and go through all the steps of preparation, you’ll feel more at ease when marathon morning comes. Practice setting out your clothes. Pack a drop bag. Properly eat and hydrate in the days leading up to the race. Practice eating what you’ll eat on marathon morning. What about those pesky bathroom issues? The more aspects of a race you deal with, and have a strategy for beforehand, the more confident you’ll feel on marathon day. 

Third, a race environment prepares you for race day by teaching you to deal with crowds, learn how to run through a water stop, energy management, mid-race refueling and hydration, pacing and focus. Our watch-word at TC Running Co. is, “Plan the race and race the plan. And always have a plan B.” The only thing you don’t have control of on race day is the weather.Second, you use your half marathon as a target to see if you’re on pace for your goal race. The general rule is to take your half marathon finish time, double it and add ten minutes.  This will help you determine how your training is progressing and if you’re on target to meet your goal. What if your miss your mark? Was it just the day? Is there something you can adjust in your training routine? Do you need to seek the assistance of a training team to help with pacing and motivation?

Lastly, placing yourself in a half marathon race environment gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself to nice, long 13.1 mile tempo run. Something you probably wouldn’t do on your own or with your running buddies. To get faster you have to go faster. Races tend to bring out the competitive nature in all of us!

Sign up for a summer half marathon. Enjoy the experience and learning opportunities which it can provide as you march toward your goal of crossing the marathon finish line.


Submitted by Marlee Meshbesher, coach TC Running Co. Eden Prairie, an official training team location for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.  For more information on our training team and store contact us at