Half Marathon Trainers

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Half Marathon Race Plan .... Help required? (Read 372 times)

Hotheels 28


    I rarely write here, but am now in need of advice.

    My Half-Marathon times are in the 1h53+seconds range. I am 44/female/running for 3 years/did a full marathon in 4h22 last year. Up to now, I have done my HMs (and all races) based on an intuitive sense of what I could sustain over the 13.1 miles. Since Christmas, I have been using a forerunner (best pressie ever), mostly trying to build miles for a marathon in the Autumn, with some speed work thrown in. I have had a sore leg through April (seeing Physiotherapist tomorrow). If he gives the go ahead, I am wondering about my race plan. On Saturday last, to test both injury and pace, I did 10miles: 3 slow, 5 at 8.17min/mile average (169average HR), 2 slow. My maximal HR is about 183-5 which I worked myself using a  warm-up, run as hard as you can for short distance x 3 times (found on some website). On Saturday, I did feel that I had more in me, although was also happy to slow down. The uneven canal path was my main reason for slowing.

    My questions: If I can run 5 miles at an average 8.17min/mile, should I aim to run the whole half marathon at that pace? I have to remember that there are hills in the race, not so much last Saturday. I would like to begin slower, but, how slow? What about 3 miles at 9.30min/miles; the next 7 at 8.17min/mile; and then doing my best to pelt it for the last three? How soon can I open up for the final push?

    Any advice welcome.

    Niamh

      I have done my HMs (and all races) based on an intuitive sense of what I could sustain over the 13.1 miles.

       

      Don't unlearn this!!! (Or really, learn it better).

       

      I have recently come around to the following: it is good to have a plan for how to approach a race – it’s generally a fool’s errand to have that plan include specific paces. Unless you are a seasoned racer, particularly tuned into your current fitness, and very familiar with a course (i.e. you’ve raced it several times before), and you know exactly what the weather conditions will be, and how you wake up feeling – something is going to mess with your planned pace (in either a good way or a bad way).

       

      So, a plan like “take it out conservative the first 3, run at close to threshold for 7 and empty the tank in the last 5K” is probably more useful than “9:30’s for 3, 8:17 for 4-10, xTight lippedx for end”.

       

      You really can't base a race plan on any single workout anyway.

       

      Disclosure: I have an anti-HRM/Garmin bias. My watch doesn't even have a stinkin' "lap" function. Also, I've many times gone into a race with a specific pace plan - it has unfolded the way I planned exactly zero times.

       

      Good luck with your leg. Should have written that up front - take care of this issue first. And of course, good luck with the race - and have fun (and apologies for this maybe less than useful response).

      Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
      We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
      Hotheels 28


        Dear Kevin,

        Your advice is helpful. I would love to improve on my time, to do a sub 1h50 and my question is about doing my best, really. I have to add that I do find the Garmin a great training device, and enjoy it. The leg is healing, I think, but not as quickly as usual. A twinge (wherever), a few days ease and usually all is well, but not this time. Neither do I want it to become a 'thing'.  We'll see what PT has to say.

        Thanks,

        Niamh.


        day after day sameness

          Up to now, I have done my HMs (and all races) based on an intuitive sense of what I could sustain over the 13.1 miles.

           

          ...trying to build miles for a marathon in the Autumn, with some speed work thrown in.

           

          My thoughts on preparing to run a half marathon (or any event, I suppose) are fairly simple…there are two training components or goals:

           

          First is doing the training necessary to have the base level of fitness to be able to run the distance;  second is layering training on top of that training geared to running the distance faster.


          Yeah that is probably (1) obvious…and (2) overly simplified.   In fact, most of the experienced runners here on RunningAhead are quick to say that there is no separation of the two…they repeat the mantra “…to run faster, run more…”.  And to run more, you have run lots of your miles easy.

           

          With that in mind, I approach half marathon prep as a long cycle of putting down the base miles (easy and longer runs), and then only a small percentage of time on trying to learn to run faster (tempo and intervals).  I do think in the past I haven’t done enough of the tempo workouts which are so important to teaching your legs how to hold pace over a longer distance.

           

          My questions: If I can run 5 miles at an average 8.17min/mile, should I aim to run the whole half marathon at that pace?

           

          The answer to this is to ask a question of you...can you run that fast for 13.15 miles?  Does your training lead you to believe you have that combination of endurance and speed in you today?  If yes, then it is a reasonable goal.  If no, then you've got to give back some pace to get the endurance. Given that your base mileage is somewhat low-ish, I'd be a lot more confident if that as 8:17/mi for 8 or 10 miles before I'd see that as a pace to try.

           

          Like Kevin says in his post, you have to find the effort that you can sustain, and let the pace come out whatever it may.

           

          ( Take all this pondering with a huge dose of skepticism; I’m a middle of the pack, hobbyjogger, at best. This is just how I think about training for the half marathon distance. I think I write this stuff mainly to convince myself to do whatever it is I've pontificated.)

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

          Hotheels 28


            Thanks Milk Truck. It's all a bit academic now, I'm afraid.  I've since been to the Physiotherapist and have a bursitis in the pes anserine (think that's right) area. Discomfort is very local and generally, runable through. Knees and hips show no other damage etc., I did stop running for two weeks altogether, again based on instinct. I'm glad that I pulled back when I did and so is PT. Says it could have been a lot worse. So ... I'm not to run for the next week, can swim and cycle. PT will talk next week about the HM, but it's unlikely. He also wants me to see biomechanics specialist, which is no surprise to me, to be honest. I might need orthotics, I might need exercises to strengthen certain muscle groups? Now comes the real test of my love of running. I've hit my first glitch; do I have the patience to deal with it? Do I abandon longer distances? Do I abandon trying to getting faster? Do I mess around with a bit of swimming, bit of running, bit of cycling?  Trying to be cavalier, but so, so disappointed by this injury ... majorly so. I was so enjoying running January through March. And could really feel a bit of improvement... oh well ... 

            vegefrog


              Sorry to hear that HotHeels.

               

              Hit the pool and take the time to work on your swimming and cycling...that will keep you in shape and keep you from going insane from lack of exercise. Maybe you get so good at those 2 disciplines, that when your knee heals and you can start jogging again Triathlons become your go to event!