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How hard should you push in a half marathon? (Read 455 times)

    This is a good thread for some of us noobs. I have a half in 3 weeks that I was originally planning to make a full, but decided I wasn't going to be ready, and instead plan a full 8 weeks later. I was kind of bummed but decided to get excited about the half & race it hard; sounds like no risk there with 8 weeks before the full, and as someone said, actually good training. I am now inspired to go out a little harder than I was thinking; I always hear don't start too fast, but as was said, much less risk in a half than a full.

     

    One thing I am unsure about is my weekend LR. I was originally not planning for a half, and of course HM plans typically do not have a LR more than 12-13. Any reason not to keep doing longer ones, considering my end goal is a full? I did 16 today, there are 2 more LR's before the HM.

    Dave


    an amazing likeness

      DaveP -- my suggestion would be to stay the course on your training plan for the full in 8 weeks and just plug the HM into that plan. If your marathon training plan has a LR on the weekend of the HM, shift that LR by one week either way.

      Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless


      HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

         

        This is all decent advice if you're main goal is to avoid a blow up and have a confidence boosting experience, but if you want to see what you're capable of, occasionally you have to risk blowing up. You have to take into account the course profile, your competition, whether the  mental let down of letting a group or a competitor go is better than trying to hang and risking a blow up, etc. There are lots of little things that come into play.

         

         

        Methinks Mikey is less concerned with ensuring he gets a runner on, and more interested in trying for the home run.

         

        I tend to go this way too, as long as I've done the distance before, so I don't care about "accomplishing it", because I've already accomplished it -- and now I want to try to do it nearly as fast as I can.

        It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

          DaveP -- my suggestion would be to stay the course on your training plan for the full in 8 weeks and just plug the HM into that plan. If your marathon training plan has a LR on the weekend of the HM, shift that LR by one week either way.

           

          So, no problem to run even 18-20, 1 week before the race?

          Dave

            Regarding the "feel"  of a race,  l  try to avoid thinking I'm going to run "hard".  My best races have happened when I ran easy, light, and quick. Yes, they were difficult in the last third,  but thinking light, quick, and relaxed Improves my form and helps me to hold out for the duration.

            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


            an amazing likeness

               

              So, no problem to run even 18-20, 1 week before the race?

               

              Assuming the marathon is your goal, then the HM is just a tempo run with a bib pinned on you and a good fitness test. So, yes...just run the HM whenever it happens, as it happens, with the legs you have on that day.

              Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless


              Feeling the growl again

                 

                So, no problem to run even 18-20, 1 week before the race?

                 

                Well, that's not going to put you in an ideal position for that HM, but if the HM is not the primary goal who cares?

                 

                If the average runner is training specifically for the HM, long runs regularly of 16 miles with decent quality are a good length.  You will not get as much value from the 18-20s as putting that effort towards the rest of the week.

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                 

                   

                  This is all decent advice if you're main goal is to avoid a blow up and have a confidence boosting experience, but if you want to see what you're capable of, occasionally you have to risk blowing up. You have to take into account the course profile, your competition, whether the  mental let down of letting a group or a competitor go is better than trying to hang and risking a blow up, etc. There are lots of little things that come into play.

                   

                  My last half marathon (last Sunday) I was probably a tiny bit too aggressive in miles 5-7, but I was running stride for stride with one of my  buddies/teammates/competitors and we were in a good groove, working well off of each other and neither of us wanted to blink. I wound up fading quite a bit after mile 10, where he didn't. He got me this time, but maybe next time I'll get him. That's racing. I still hung on for a better finish than I probably would have if I'd set a conservative goal and tried to negative split the race. At age 43 it wound up being my 2nd or 3rd fastest half marathon ever and I've run a bunch of them. No regrets.

                   

                  It didn't sound like the OP was trying to decide whether to win the race or not.  If you are trying to discover what your HM pace is, being ultra-agressive from the start is not going to help you find it, it is going to show you how fast you can run the final 2 miles after shuffling through miles 8-11.  If you have run the distance a dozen or more times, of course you have more knowledge about how hard you can press and you can try to ride the knife's edge.  Personally, i like the 5K for that experience, but for some of the really good runners here, i can see there isn't a lot of difference between their 5K and HM paces.  For most people, the competition at the starting line is with themselves first, and they find their other competition along the way, hopefully as they are picking them off those last three miles.

                     If you are trying to discover what your HM pace is, being ultra-agressive from the start is not going to help you find it

                     

                    Right, but neither will being ultra-conservative.

                    Runners run.

                       

                      Right, but neither will being ultra-conservative.

                       

                      I don't think my approach is ultra-conservative, but I disagree with this statement regardless.  If you run your race too conservatively, then you learn that you can complete the distance easily at that pace, and that you need to go faster the next time.  None of my PR's involve significant positive splits though.  Red-lining and blowing up at mile 6 only tells me how fast i can run 6 miles.  You're an experienced and accomplished runner, so for you at some point, finding the limit of your race potential means getting closer to the red line.  The OP though has less experience, and is looking for a net training effect for the full.  I think this means running harder and longer than you would in a typical quality day but without blowing up or trashing your legs enough to require two weeks of recovery.

                         I don't think my approach is ultra-conservative

                         

                        I don't think my approach is ultra-aggressive.

                        Runners run.

                           

                          I don't think my approach is ultra-aggressive.

                           

                          (deleted unnecessary snark)

                           

                          Because, you know, I'm being nicer and more positive in my interactions with fellow earth-residents.

                           

                             

                            (deleted unnecessary snark)

                             

                            Because, you know, I'm being nicer and more positive in my interactions with fellow earth-residents.

                             

                            *SIGH*

                            Runners run.

                               

                              Spoken like a Masshole.

                               

                              No those guys get on the Garden State Parkway and drive under-agressive,way underagressive. In the left lane. Then they get in the right lane and drive over-agressive, way over-agressive. Make up your mind: Are you annoying or rude? Oh, I see.

                              "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                                 

                                I don't think my approach is ultra-conservative, but I disagree with this statement regardless.  If you run your race too conservatively, then you learn that you can complete the distance easily at that pace, and that you need to go faster the next time.  None of my PR's involve significant positive splits though.  Red-lining and blowing up at mile 6 only tells me how fast i can run 6 miles.  You're an experienced and accomplished runner, so for you at some point, finding the limit of your race potential means getting closer to the red line.  The OP though has less experience, and is looking for a net training effect for the full.  I think this means running harder and longer than you would in a typical quality day but without blowing up or trashing your legs enough to require two weeks of recovery.

                                 

                                It may be a matter of words at this point, but really I am not sure the recommendation was to red line and blow up. I for one learned my limits when I forced myself to go out hard, contrary to my inclination in races.  I ended up with a PR. That was a good learning experience. A really good one.

                                 

                                MA: It was a half marathon.

                                "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

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