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Half Marathon Coming Up (Updated w/ Results) (Read 374 times)

DDXD


Slower than I look

    So I have a HM coming up a week from tomorrow and, other than a few 5k's from several years ago, this will be my first real race.  I'm returning to running with only an inconsistent past but am loving every minute of it.  I have only been running again for about 3 months (not ideal to jump at a HM, I know) but I feel like I have been really dedicated and had some good improvements.  I have done a decent job of making sure that most of my runs have been easy and I feel like it's paying off.  I don't know what the typical begginer improvement level is but I've been very happy with my easy pace seemlingly dropping steadily every week.  Better yet, my body feels better every week and running is beggining to feel like 2nd nature.

     

    So to my issue; I have absolutley no clue what my strategy should be to run my HM.  I never was able to run a 5k or other race to see where I stood..  Originally my only desire was to make sure that I finished in under 2:30 but that seems too easy at this point.  I know this is my first race but I want to run it somewhat aggressively and not leave much in the tank.  I wish I had more time to increase my mileage and build a better base but it is what it is for this one.

     

    So my questions are two fold.  I have 1 more long run of 9 miles planned for tomorrow.  I feel like I could easily go another 10 or 11 or even longer but I'm not sure if that would be too much of a risk with little reward given my small base.  I would appreciate reccomendations on distance or time I should run tomorrow.  Also, even though I have no races to go on, is it possible to look at my open log and make reccomendations on what strategy or pace I should attempt on March 2nd?  All I can offer is that most of my training runs are very easy these days and I always feel like I have a lot left in the tank.  Just be aware that I didn't really start recording workouts here until Nov. 2012.

     

    Thanks in advance for any advice.  This site kicks ass btw.

    Julia1971


      My general advice to friends and co-workers who ask me about long runs for a HM is if they can get up to 10 miles in training, they should be okay.  And, you've done 10 before.  So, 9 or 10.  I don't think it makes much of a difference.  Maybe see how you feel tomorrow?

       

      As far as pace for a HM, that's really hard without any previous races.  I would probably run conservatively.  Maybe do something like run the first half of the race the same pace as my long run and then very gradually pick up the pace after that.

      The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb

        Go out at your long run effort, the pace is likely to be faster, if you feel you have a lot left, pick it up around the 10 mile mark. You might need a significantly higher effort just to maintain pace at that point though.


        day after day sameness

          So, were we sitting and chatting about running in a comfy bar room over a beer, and you posed this question...I'd first tell you to listen to that Julia1971 lady, she's handed you a great plan.

           

          If you then wanted to keep on chatting about it...I'd tell you to not even worry about a pace....just run by feel, by effort. You know the effort you can run for 10 miles, so dial that in and use it. Run the first 5mi with that effort, the next 5mi harder, and the final 5K with what you've got left in the tank.

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

          adavis58


            Being it is your first half my goal would be to finish.

            I would run conservatively the first 10 miles and then hit the last 5k with what I had left in my tank.

            Don't forget to take advantage of the water stations.

            Carry a couple of packets of gu with you.

            Have fun.

            Art

            http://fitatfifty-art.blogspot.com/


            Mostly Harmless

              Because this is your first HM, if your race offers pacers I think it is a good idea to follow one of them for the first few miles. Often the excitement in races can make you go out too fast. I wouldn't necessarily stick with the pacers for the whole race, just long enough to get your pace locked in and let your nerves settle a bit.

               

              Don't forget to have fun!

               "Address the process rather than the outcome.
              Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp

                Great advice above. I do think you want your first half to be a pleasant experience. Remember, your time will be a PR for the half. You can then build on that. I recommend to beginners or first timers without a huge base to start out a half conservatively or it will be a miserable experience. You don't want to get into oxygen debt too early or you won't recover. I am with those that say start conservative and then let it go a bit more aggressively the last 3-4 miles. Your time will be solid and you will feel great passing a lot of people. I think 2:30 is well within your reach. Use this as goal. Next time, you can set a more specific goal based off of some 5K or 10K race times.

                Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                DDXD


                Slower than I look

                  Thank you all for your responses.  I will definitley focus on staying somewhat at a conservative effort before letting loose later in the race.  I actually like MilkTruck's proposed plan as a strategy too.  Plus it was born in a bar over a beer, and what bad idea was ever the result of alcohol influence?

                   

                  To update, I did go ahead and run an easy effort 10.5 this morning and felt very strong the whole run.  Looking forward to the race next weekend.

                  DDXD


                  Slower than I look

                    Being it is your first half my goal would be to finish.

                    I would run conservatively the first 10 miles and then hit the last 5k with what I had left in my tank.

                    Don't forget to take advantage of the water stations.

                    Carry a couple of packets of gu with you.

                    Have fun.

                    Art

                    http://fitatfifty-art.blogspot.com/

                     

                    The comment about Gu does bring up a question.  I have never used Gu or any other kind of fuel source in a training run.  In fact, most of my long runs are done on an empty stomach.  I haven't ever even had to stop for water (though I certainly plan on doing so during the HM).  What sign does someone use to know they should be taking in fuel while running?  I get a little hungry sometimes but that doesn't seem to hurt my performance.  Is it really vastly different during a race because of the harder effort?

                      Probably don't need any Gu. You will be at 2:20-2:30 which is at a point where you may need some but with a lesser intensity, I think you will be just fine. Don't do something you haven't done in training as said before.  Maybe try some sips of sport drink during your runs this week if you choose to do this during the race. Also, see which drink will be in the race.

                      Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                         

                         What sign does someone use to know they should be taking in fuel while running?  I get a little hungry sometimes but that doesn't seem to hurt my performance.  Is it really vastly different during a race because of the harder effort?

                         

                        If you start feeling all over tired on a long training run, and then take in some calories (eat an apple, suck down some Gu, drink sugar water  such as Gatorade), and feel better in five minutes, then you need to take in calories.  Your need for calories gets less as you get more aerobically fit.

                         

                        When I started running, I needed food after 1.5 hours of walking.  Now I can run a 20 miler without Gu or sugar water.  On a cool day, I can run a 20 miler without any water.  My last marathon was on a cool day.  I took in 3 or 4 small cups of sugar water, and about that much plain water.  Your needs, of course, are different.

                         

                        Never try anything new in a race.

                        GinnyinPA


                          If you haven't trained with Gu, don't try it during the race.  I've tried it twice, on training runs, and both times I ended up with bad stomach cramps that forced me to walk, drink a lot of water to dilute the sugar, and wait until the pain eased.  Not what you want in a race.

                            Hey, GinnyInPA! I recognize your name from Active.Com. I'm primarily over on My Last Run Was.... but your post was listed in the margin so wanted to say Hi!  How's the journey??

                            Mary Kay

                            Mary Kay

                            2013 Race PRs: FM - 6:30; 5k - 36:39; 10k - 1:24:06; HM -2:57:32

                            Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement - Matt Biondi

                            I am an extraordinary achievement - Me  


                            Token Fat Guy

                              If you haven't trained with Gu, don't try it during the race.  I've tried it twice, on training runs, and both times I ended up with bad stomach cramps that forced me to walk, drink a lot of water to dilute the sugar, and wait until the pain eased.  Not what you want in a race.

                               

                              This a dozen times over.  As a relatively new runner (I finished my first half a week ago yesterday) I kept myself to stay within this, and I'm glad I did.  My training took me up to 10 miles, and bridging the gap to 13.1 wasn't that bad - though I've usually used a Gu during a long training run.  In hindsight, I would have brought more than one Gu - I hit the wall hard at 12 miles, luckily my race had all kinds of sugary snacks at mile marker 11 and 12 (red vines, donut holes, etc).

                               

                              The best advice I've read on here, or anywhere else, is that we are all an experiment of one.  I can't run more than a mile at a time without drinking water or Gatorade, but I'm a 235 pound fat guy who's thirsty 24/7, so what works for me probably won't work for you, with one exception - pacing.

                               

                              No matter what you run it in will be a PR, if you push too hard it will be a terrible experience, never forget it's supposed to be fun.  Your log looks awesome, I'm actually jealous - I had to bail on a lot of my training because of bronchitis followed by the flu.  If you set your goal at 2:30 you WILL hit it without trying too hard (I did it in 2:29 including waiting 4 minutes for a portajohn at mile 4 Big grin ), so don't feel bad about setting the bar low - just means you will clear it with room to spare.

                               

                              Good luck and have fun!

                              5K - 29:29 10K - 1:07:52 13.1 - 2:28:36

                              DentingPavement.com

                              GinnyinPA


                                Hey, GinnyInPA! I recognize your name from Active.Com. I'm primarily over on My Last Run Was.... but your post was listed in the margin so wanted to say Hi!  How's the journey??

                                Mary Kay

                                 

                                Mary Kay - I was sidelined for 8 months, thanks to a pelvic stress fracture that developed a week before my first HM.  I dropped off the forums for a while, and when I started back, I didn't go back to Coolrunning because it was so horribly slow.  I was on RW, then switched  here when RW got inundated with spam. I started running again in Nov. and so far all is going well.

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