Half Marathon Trainers

February (Read 58 times)


day after day sameness

    For those of us up north, February is tough running month.  The days get longer, but the temps continue to drop overall for most of the month. In New England, a few races start showing up on the calendars and they are usually heavily attended as all the runners want to do something, anything really, outside and off the treadmill. For the Boston Marathon trainers, every race is an opportunity to test their fitness heading into April, and the 10mi, 16mi and 20mi races in Feb are packed as a result.

     

    In a normal (uninjured) Feb, I target 150 miles or so, and try to get back to steady 1.5 - 2 hour weekend runs to lay down base miles.

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

      Thanks for starting us off, Milktruck.

       

      In my area, near Toronto, there are a few of the "frosty 5k" or "chilly half" type of events, mostly next month. The big one is "Around the Bay" in Hamilton, a 30k race which is a year older than the Boston Marathon. Tough to get ready for a longer race in this weather.

       

      I will be very happy if I match your 150 miles this month- unfortunately I have no gym membership or treadmill, so its all on the road.

      My slow buildup of mileage continues, and I have lost 2lbs somehow, so a positive start to the year.

      PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                          10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

       

        Easy 5 this moring in feels like 16 degrees.

         

        Simon, I have a gym membership, but rarely use it. I'm glad it only cost me $2 per week, it's through work.

          I'm glad January's over with! It was a tough month for me with a slight back injury and other things. Still managed 160 miles and - well you can see in my log what I've been up to. Hoping to resume my weekly tempo runs now. This week's went alright. I'll be running a 25K trail race on Feb 10. Although of course I won't be "racing" it, it will be my longest event so far - an accomplishment of itself. My trail running friend will be doing it with me and we are looking forward to having a good time out there.

           

          MTA: Simon - I know where you lost your 2 lbs - I seem to be on an overeating trend - must STOP. I feel like a Big Blob at this point.

          Use your momentum...keep going.  You know you can make it.


          Pura Vida

            I'm definitely in favor of longer days!

             

            I'm starting February on a good note.  Today I ran my first 11-miler, and the last 4 were faster than my goal HM pace!  Average pace for the entire run was 9:27.  With more than 2 months to go, I think that's a good sign. Smile  It really didn't feel like more effort than my usual LRs, which is also promising.  The pace just seemed to pick up on its own, although I did have to put some effort into maintaining it for the last mile.

             

            My last run in Jan. was a MLR on Wednesday night.  I did 8 miles with 10x100s.  This is the second time the sprints have come up in my plan but the first time I've tried them.  I had to pick my daughter up right by the track where the "official" half marathon group was training, so I decided to run the track and at least talk to the coaches.

             

            The coaches thought I was nuts for running 100s in HM training, and they're right, but also gave me some pointers about my form (I hunch over too much and run my recoveries too fast, oops).  But if I think of them more as fartleks and less as 100m repeats, somehow to me that makes sense.  I wouldn't sacrifice any other aspect of the plan for them, but if everything else is going well, then why not throw in some actual speed now and then?

             

            So that run was a total of 8 miles, with an average pace of 9:04.  So both LRs this week were faster than my McMillan range says they should be.  Yes, I should slow down.  But maybe, just maybe, I also need a new "A" goal.  Time will tell, I guess.

            PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02

            Upcoming: Beat the Blerch 10K 9/21, Portland Marathon (debut) 10/5

              Zelanie, I think I'm in the same boat with paces. I was originally looking at 8:55-9:00 as my goal, even though McMillian says I can do 8:20(based on 5k PR of 23:36). My fitness level is much better now than when I run my last half at 2:01:27. I kind of targeted the 8:55-9:00 mostly to get a sub 2. Then I thought about a 1:55:00 goal at 8:47 pace. My tempo runs have been in the 7:40-8:10 range most of the time. The half I'm running also has a full, and they have pacers, so I think I'm going to run with the 8:35 group, and if I fade a little to the 8:47 group, I'll still have a big PR. In all honesty, the 8:20 goal pace doesn't seem that far fetched right now, I just don't want to go out and blow up. If I can hang with the 8:35 group and feel like I have some gas left, I can always speed up the last mile or two. What do ya think?

               

              Anyone else, please chime in too.


              Pura Vida

                I would say go out with the 8:35 group for the first 5, then see how you feel and reevaluate from there.  Hopefully faster, but slower if you need to also.

                 

                Of course that's with my grand total of 0 races at that distance. Wink

                PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02

                Upcoming: Beat the Blerch 10K 9/21, Portland Marathon (debut) 10/5


                  Anyone else, please chime in too.

                  When is your race?

                   

                  I agree - better NOT to go out too fast and blow up. Better to start at a conservative pace and haul ass in the last three miles - if you can.

                   

                  Regarding pace - I think they have them organized by marathon finish time, like 4:00 and 3:50, that sort of thing rather than mpm pace. So 8:35 mpm = 3:45 marathon pacer(1:52 HM)  and 8:47 mpm - 3:50 pacer (1:55 HM)

                   

                  If my goal was come in  strongly under 2 hours, I'd start with the 3:50 pacer and speed up later in the race if I could.

                  Having potential fading factored into the plan ahead of time and running faster at first to compensate for it would probably diminish my confidence....and lessen my enjoyment.

                  Use your momentum...keep going.  You know you can make it.

                    I am glad January is gone although it didn't take the -32*C and worse windchills with it. I just can't run outside when it's so cold and I haven't found a solution to the mind-draining boredom of the treadmill yet. I run outside when I can and indoor if I must. (Currently blowing snow warning which is supposed to stick around until lunch, 70 to 80kph winds in the morning, but tomorrow afternoon the wind should drop to only a -31*C windchill. I don't know what my Saturday run will look like.)

                     

                    I didn't run today but I did register for the half marathon I'm doing this fall. It's going to be interesting to see how fast it fills up. Registration opened at 11 or something like that this morning and I'd guess they are probably well over 300 registered already.

                    "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

                     

                    "The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."

                      When is your race?

                       

                      I agree - better NOT to go out too fast and blow up. Better to start at a conservative pace and haul ass in the last three miles - if you can.

                       

                      Regarding pace - I think they have them organized by marathon finish time, like 4:00 and 3:50, that sort of thing rather than mpm pace. So 8:35 mpm = 3:45 marathon pacer(1:52 HM)  and 8:47 mpm - 3:50 pacer (1:55 HM)

                       

                      If my goal was come in  strongly under 2 hours, I'd start with the 3:50 pacer and speed up later in the race if I could.

                      Having potential fading factored into the plan ahead of time and running faster at first to compensate for it would probably diminish my confidence....and lessen my enjoyment.

                       

                      Feb 17th, in Birmingham, AL. you are correct, they have marathon pacers for 3:45(8:35 pace) and 4:00(9:10 pace). I feel that 9:10 will be too soft, but there is not a pacer for in between, so I was trying to split the difference. Maybe I should start with the 9:10 pacer and speed up around the half way point? Or maybe just forget the pacers and run by feel? I'm not gonna kid, this is what I'm having the hardest time with, that's why I'm asking.

                        It's hard to base a plan on a pacer... It might help if there was a way to contact the 4-hr pacer and find out his pacing plan...I say this because when I ran the Skagit HM last fall with my 2-hour goal, I decided to start out with the 4-hour marathon pacer - but was dismayed to find he was running around 8:35 to 8:40 mpm in the first few miles and planned to do that through the halfway point and then slow down! Although I could keep up with him then, I knew it would ruin me in the rest of the run; so I dropped back.  My point is you can't count on a pacer to run even splits.

                        Use your momentum...keep going.  You know you can make it.

                          What I did was make myself a chart showing even splits based on my 2-hr finish time - that told me where my time should be at the end of each mile and taped that to the back of my hand.  It was nice to have because I'm not good with numbers, especially when running hard.  Although I couldn't keep my pace up due to a strong headwind in the last half of the race, at least I knew by the chart how much I had to make up if I wanted to achieve my goal....which I did.

                          Use your momentum...keep going.  You know you can make it.

                            I know I'm rambling....but I thought of something else... I think in general it's smart to "run by feel" and "effort" ...but in a race with a goal time, that feels too vague for me.   For me, RACE STRATEGY is all important. I'm not a good enough athlete to execute a strategy, but it helps me to feel mentally prepared and to do the very best I can.  I base my strategy on my fitness, how my training has gone, what I know of the course, and what I want for my outcome.

                            Use your momentum...keep going.  You know you can make it.

                            vegefrog


                              I know I'm rambling....but I thought of something else... I think in general it's smart to "run by feel" and "effort" ...but in a race with a goal time, that feels too vague for me.   For me, RACE STRATEGY is all important. I'm not a good enough athlete to execute a strategy, but it helps me to feel mentally prepared and to do the very best I can.  I base my strategy on my fitness, how my training has gone, what I know of the course, and what I want for my outcome.

                               

                              Yeah! Exactly. I like to have a plan and you should have a reasonable idea going into the race of what you are capable of. For a race longer then a 10K I like to have an idea in my head of what splits I need to maintain my goal. I try to stay as close to them as possible for the first half at least, then base the last half on "feel". Your body should be warmed up and you will know if you are capable of speeding up or if you need to hold steady for a few more miles.

                              Having a goal pace is important for me for sure. I need something like that to focus on and when I hit, say, mile 5 for a half marathon, it's encouraging to have a clear idea of where I am compared to that goal and what I need to do to make it happen.

                               

                              For my half next weekend I am teetering with my goal. I had it set @ 1:45 before finding out I was preggers, and honestly my training plan hasn't changed much at all...the only thing I deleted were the extended tempo runs. Now, I know those are important for racing distances over a 5K. But...I'm still thinking...PR??? I want something between a 1:50-1:45. That's my superwoman goal. Realistically I will be happy with anything under 2 hours Smile

                               

                              Feb is going to be a good month for everyone, I can just feel it! The groundhog says early spring and with the temps some of you are running in, I'm sure you are thankful! My race today was in the coldest temps we have had yet this year, 28 at race start! BRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

                               

                              I'm still averaging 50 miles a week and Jan was actually my highest mileage month yet! This baby might come out with running shoes and a race bib on Wink

                                HF and Veg, thanks for the input. It's not rambling at all. I have already planned to talk with the pacers. I would like to just stay between the 3:45 and 4:00 pacers. But I have read others say what you mentioned, about running faster at first, and then cruising the 2nd half. I feel good about being able to hit 1:57-2:00. I hope after I speak with the pacers on their tentative plans, this will help clear up some of my confusion.

                                I suppose if I list my true goals for this half, that might help too. First and foremost, is I want to break 2 hours. Secondly, I want to beat 1:55:27, this is my plant manager's time, and I just can't let him beat me, hehe, ya know? Third, is my stretch goal, and that would be to go sub 1:50.

                                Oh, and I have already planned to use marathonpaceband.com. I will print off the time bands for 3:45 and 4:00. This will let me know the mile splits, because I struggle with doing math while running too.