Moving from the realm of half marathons (21km) to the daunting challenge of full marathons (42km) represents a significant milestone in any runner’s journey. 

Transitioning from half marathons to full marathons requires careful planning and dedication. This journey exemplifies the commitment needed to tackle this challenge. By structuring the training week, addressing running form, and finding a balance between individual goals and group dynamics, runners are poised to conquer the marathon distance with confidence.

Here, we lay out a detailed plan of action tailored specifically to guide Lulu Sibiya through this exhilarating transition.

Understanding the Transition

Transitioning to longer distances requires a fundamental shift in training approach and mindset. 

Lulu’s decision to embark on the marathon journey demonstrates her dedication to pushing boundaries and achieving new heights in her running endeavors.

Setting Realistic Goals

Lulu’s aspiration to tackle her first marathon at the prestigious 2018 Cape Town Marathon is both ambitious and commendable. With ample time for training and preparation, she can approach this formidable challenge with confidence and determination.

Balancing Responsibilities and Training Commitments

As a devoted mother of three juggling the demands of a full-time job, Lulu faces unique time constraints when it comes to training. However, by strategically scheduling her runs and integrating cross-training sessions into her routine, she can effectively manage her training alongside her other responsibilities.

Structuring the Training Week

  • Group Runs: Lulu’s participation in group runs with the Edgemead Club three times a week provides her with invaluable social support and motivation while simultaneously building her running base.
  • Long Runs: Scheduled on Sundays, Lulu’s long runs serve as the cornerstone of her marathon preparation, gradually increasing in distance to prepare her body for the rigors of the full marathon distance.
  • Interval Training: By incorporating interval and speed work into her training regimen, typically on Fridays, Lulu can enhance her speed, endurance, and overall race performance.
  • Strength and Conditioning: Leveraging her gym membership, Lulu can supplement her running routine with targeted strength and conditioning workouts aimed at bolstering core stability, preventing injuries, and improving overall athletic performance.

Addressing Running Form and Posture

Lulu’s expressed concern regarding her running form and posture, particularly in light of experiencing back pain, warrants careful attention. Through focused efforts on strengthening exercises and maintaining proper running mechanics, she can alleviate discomfort, mitigate the risk of injuries, and optimize her running efficiency.

Finding a Balance

Striking a harmonious balance between individual training objectives and the camaraderie of group dynamics is pivotal to Lulu’s success. As she progresses through her marathon training journey, she can dynamically adjust her schedule to prioritize key workouts while still deriving motivation and enjoyment from group runs.

Transitioning from half marathons to full marathons represents a formidable yet exhilarating endeavor, demanding unwavering commitment, meticulous planning, and steadfast perseverance. 

With a strategic training approach, a resilient mindset, and the unwavering support of her running community, Lulu Sibiya is poised to conquer the challenges ahead and cross the finish line of her inaugural marathon with pride and accomplishment.


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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