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Last 3 miles of a half marathon (Read 1875 times)

runningchica


    I have run three half marathons now. Despite training for all of them, I bonk emotionally and physically in the last 3 miles of the half marathon and end up doing a walk/run for the last three miles always finishing with a time around 1:59. The pace that I am capable of running for long distances should put me at a 1:50 or below. I have tried different things including trying to run slower at the beginning, eating Jelly Belly Sport Beans at the one hour point, and carrying water with me to avoid dehydration. Any hints to avoid the mile 10 bonk? I am running another half marathon in May.

      a little more about your training background would be helpful?

       

      Miles/week, long run, days running/week, types of quality you do?

       

      However, I will add that the last 3 miles of a 1/2M do hurt, a lot, assuming you've raced it the whole way. Sometimes your emotions can make you feel physically drained, when you aren't. 


      Race Less Train More

        . The pace that I am capable of running for long distances should put me at a 1:50 or below.

         Why do you think your 13.1 should be under 1:50? Is your 10K <49:00?

        Run until the trail runs out.

        2013***1500 miles

        50 miler

         

         

        unsolicited chatter

        http://bkclay.blogspot.com/


        day after day sameness

          runningchica,

           

          There's a message thread around here titled Fix That Fade (ok found it, added link), it has some training suggestions for not fading on the last part of the half. Might be worth a read.

          I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...

            If you try to out run your fitness, things always go badly in the last quarter of the race--it isn't specific to the half marathon. The answer us either go out slower or get fitter.

            Runners run.

              If you try to out run your fitness, things always go badly in the last quarter of the race--it isn't specific to the half marathon. The answer us either go out slower or get fitter.

               

              Yep. What he said. The half really starts being a race around mile nine or ten.

              It should be mathematical, but it's not.

              majocoesq


                I think everyone has their moment of doubt at a different mileage point.  For her, it seems to be mile 10.  For me, it's around mile 7 or 8.  What helps me is a psychological "reset."  In other words, prove to yourself you can run the full distance.  How?  Run at your target pace for two hours on a treadmill, but cover up the data display (with a magazine or something) so you can't see the distance you've traveled.  Once you do this without peeking, your mind and body will be more comfortable with the duration and distance of your actual half marathon.

                  I just did the Houston Half Marathon this past Sunday --- and like my previous attempts --- the latter miles were tough.  However, this time, the "tough" part came on much later in the race (Usually comes on around mile 10 --- this time it didnt get too rough until late in mile 11, and then mile 12 was a bear) .  I also managed to run my fastest mile in my last full mile.

                   

                  What made the difference?  Part of it was the course --- it was flat.  BUT ... I am convinced three things I did made the most difference:

                   

                  1.  I mentally prepared for the moment I needed to dig deep in those last tough miles.   For example, we did long runs where first 6 miles were at normal long run pace, but then did miles 7-11 at Goal Race Pace -- and this was after a high mileage week. While not as hard as an actual race, it was a tough workout and forced me to go to that same mental zone in a race where you gotta dig deep.  During my tough miles on Sunday, I thought "I've been here before --- this exact moment when it's tough is what I was training for."

                   

                  2.  I finished many of my long training runs with a faster last mile.  During the end of the race, my mind kept telling me I couldnt go faster at the end ... but my experience said "BULLSH&T! Youve done this before!"

                   

                  3.  I included many more longer runs in my training this time versus before prior races.  As a result, my legs and body just felt stronger.  I did feel like I needed a bit more leg strength towards the end, so I'll work on that for next time, but I know my many long training runs paid off in the end.

                   

                  I ended up exceeding my goal time and came awfully close to hitting my stretch goal;  While those last few miles still sucked, I'm convinced the above 3 things helped me get through them.


                  Black-Toe-Nailed

                    My first ones were a torture too (well my second one was during a heat wave after a very cold winter).

                     

                    But after passing the 35 mi / week barrier on my marathon trainings I PR-ed on my third half marathon last January 8 with 1:39:15... and this result could have been even better but I  just felt so fresh and energetic that I didn't even realize I was already in the last two-three miles (plus the fact that my I have my Garmin set to miles while the indicators were in kilometers).

                     

                    The secret is easy: miles and miles and miles of training (up to 55 with my current scheme based on Pfizinger).  Once you have enough miles under your belt a 13 miler is just what you run on easy weekends and if you add a bit of extra effort you can get a relatively good result even without the specific speed workouts required to run a good half marathon.

                     

                    Note that while on my first one I either took water / energy drink from the aid stations or carrying an hydration belt... on my last one I swallowed a gel and 200ml of water 10 minutes before the start and my only concern close to the aid stations was to ricochet the runners which stopped.

                     

                    But the real best thing is that I enjoyed every single second of the race unlike my first ones where it took me a lot of self-discipline to get my sorry self over the finish line. Maybe that's the key: if you cease to enjoy the run, slow down. In any case keep in mind that just getting you butt to the race already makes you faster than all of those couch dwellers Wink

                    --

                    "If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years,
                    then will power is no longer a problem. It's raining? That doesn't matter.
                    I am tired? That's besides the point. It's simply that I just have to."

                    Emil Zatopek

                       

                      The secret: 

                       

                      Training lots of miles, of course (my scheme calls for up to 55mi a week) but more less importantly: 

                       

                      Fixed that for ya.


                      Dave

                        If you try to out run your fitness, things always go badly in the last quarter of the race--it isn't specific to the half marathon. The answer us either go out slower or get fitter.

                         

                        Word.

                        I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

                        dgb2n@yahoo.com

                          I have run three half marathons now. Despite training for all of them, I bonk emotionally and physically in the last 3 miles of the half marathon and end up doing a walk/run for the last three miles always finishing with a time around 1:59. The pace that I am capable of running for long distances should put me at a 1:50 or below. I have tried different things including trying to run slower at the beginning, eating Jelly Belly Sport Beans at the one hour point, and carrying water with me to avoid dehydration. Any hints to avoid the mile 10 bonk? I am running another half marathon in May.

                           

                          Get used to running that distance or at least pretty close to it - go as slow as you like.

                           

                          Run more miles each week - how many are you doing at the moment?

                           

                          Lose weight (assuming you have some to spare - most of us do).

                           

                          Understand pacing better - if you always finish in around 1:59 then don't try to run faster than 1:55 pace - once you've got that under your belt then you can think about trying for faster.

                           

                          Race shorter distances as often as possible.

                            I have run three half marathons now. Despite training for all of them, I bonk emotionally and physically in the last 3 miles of the half marathon and end up doing a walk/run for the last three miles always finishing with a time around 1:59. The pace that I am capable of running for long distances should put me at a 1:50 or below. I have tried different things including trying to run slower at the beginning, eating Jelly Belly Sport Beans at the one hour point, and carrying water with me to avoid dehydration. Any hints to avoid the mile 10 bonk? I am running another half marathon in May.

                             

                            Do  a LOT of aerobic work with some long runs over 14 miles, and learn how to pace yourself. First,, you want to learn how to figure out what pace is possible, then you construct your pace plan accordingly. If you truly can do a 1:50, the start the race at a slower pace in the first few miles, then get up to 1:50 pace and hold it. If 1:50 is in your current potential, then you should be able to smoke the last few miles. 

                             

                            Using the Team Oregon Pace Wizard and/or McMillan Calculator can help.

                             

                            My first few half marathons were like yours, until I learned how to train aerobically, and figure out pace.

                             

                            Good luck.

                             

                            --Jimmy

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