>Racing>Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2019
Corey - it kinda depends on how happy your body is with running more tempo stuff. Given all your training for your recent marathon, you've definitely got the endurance platform there. If you can run more tempo's and workouts, that's definitely going to help you for a half, but workout-heavy weeks can be pretty tough going. I'd say maybe give it a go for a week or two, if it's feeling manageable, keep it up, but if it's too tough then switch back to more easy mileage.
5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:58 (Nov-19) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19)
HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)
Last race: Bays Night of 5's 5000m, 20 Dec, 15:39 (PB)
Up next: Southern Lakes Half Marathon, 4 Apr
"CONSISTENCY IS KING"
Great RR Mark I really enjoyed the read. I just think you guys don't taper enough. But that's all I do, so don't listen to me
Jmac where's the report man? Amazing time, nearly perfect conditions. I think you can get break Marks half time, you are way younger than him too
Flavio: great week, I think this work consitency and improving form over such a long period of time is something I havent seen since I started lurking here. Also good to hear that your diet is continuing to work.
Me: slow week with some 36km on 4 days. Plus one day of hardcore skiing from 8am to 3pm on Sunday that destroyed my quads. So all good, weather ist starting to be extremely enjoyable and I will add a long run on weekends!
I just realized that autumn in the south must feel almost as great as spring in the north. Hurray!
Sorry everyone for the delay! Been jammed up with other life stuff. Report coming up next.
MJ/Mark/Flavio - I really thought I was in crap shape. I only averaged 46 miles over the past 12 weeks. I've done no real LT work this entire cycle. I truly believed I would come in at the low 1:18s, 1:17s on a good day.
You know Mark, we were talking about goals a lot, and it's time for me to man up and set the true BOTT goal: Beat Marky_Mark's PR at the Half in 2019. If I can run a 1:16:21 after putting up 22 miles just 8 days before and 17 miles just 6 days before with almost no LT training over the past 12 weeks in a super inconsistent cycle, I think I have a sub 1:15 in me this year. A little friendly competition on the sub 1:30 thread! We've spoken about you setting good goals yourself, hopefully this is motivation for you to get your time lower so that I can't catch you
5K: 16:51 (8/19) | 10K: 34:49 (10/19) | HM: 1:16:05 (10/19) | FM: 2:36:31 (12/19)
Next Race: Cupid's Chase 5K (2/8/20)
Race Report - 2019 NYC Half
This was a tune up race for me in prep for Boston in 4 weeks. I had some reservations about doing a half marathon so close to the race, but the folks over in sub 3 convinced me it was fine.
My cycle for Boston has been, in one word, dogshit. I've spoken about the volatility of this cycle, with three different injuries over the past 12 weeks: posterior tibial tendinitis, a calf strain, and pes anserinus tendinitis. These injuries led to not only inconsistent training, but a real lack of quality over the past weeks. After my third injury, I stopped trying to get the quality days in and instead focused on just getting mileage back up. Coming into the race, I had 3 weeks in a row of 60+ miles, so it was coming back nicely.
The problem, for a half marathon, was the complete lack of LT work. I looked back at my training log, I've done less than 10 miles of LT work over the past 12 weeks! I was consistently doing 3x2 miles and 4x2 mile workouts in my last cycle. But Mikkey over in Sub 3 was the one who pushed me to stop worrying about it and just run easy.
Woke up at 4:30 am. As most of you know on this thread, I am a nighttime runner, so it still shocks me when I have to get up this early. I decided to eat a little earlier than usual given my stomach cramps in the marathon, about 2.5 hours before. I hemmed and hawed on what to wear for the race (expected low 30s, sunny, 10 mph headwind), but stuck with a light long sleeve and arm warmers underneath. I've learned that the first thing to go for me are hands, and then my forearms. For training, I just overdress my core to take this into account, but I wanted to avoid that for this race. I came up with this idea of arm warmers underneath a very light long sleeve, and it ended up working perfectly.
After I left the house, I realized I forgot my water at home! I was a little worried on the subway, but figured I would just buy something at a convenience store once I arrived in Brooklyn. Right when I got there, I had to pee in the bathroom, and noticed I already was hydrated. I still bought the water, but one of my takeaways from this race was to stop overhydrating before races. If you go to bed well hydrated, you really only need to top off the system, not take in another 24 ounces of water, which I normally do. So this mini disaster of forgetting water actually turned into a good lesson.
Ran a 2 mile warm up before the race. Usually before a half I only run a half mile warm up, but given I'm still focusing on Boston, I wanted to get the mileage up for the day (with a planned 2 mile cool down for 17 for the day). Warm up felt great, MUCH better than my shakeout the previous day. It's funny how it always comes together that morning.
Arriving at the start village, I was impressed by what a better job NYRR did with port-a-potties. As I've said in many race reports before, you need to arrive at least 30 minutes early for most races just to wait in line. This morning, I didn't have to wait at all. My guess is the combination of a large start village AND breaking the race up into 5 waves alleviated the issue. Good job NYRR!
After getting in the corral, I threw my extra pants into the Goodwill donation bin along with an extra top I had expected to need for the first couple of miles (wind was not an issue early). Gun went off exactly on time at 7:30 and off we went!
First 5K (beauty of big NYRR races is they give you official 5K splits) - 18:03
Right out of the gate, my right foot felt wrong. It felt like my heel was slipping all the time. I had read about people having this problem with the Vaporfly before, but noticed none of that during my practice run. I almost stopped immediately to retie them, but decided to keep going just to see if it got better. I was already in panic mode though given how off it felt, it was like my foot was slipping on a platform.
Luckily, after about 3K, I realized it was just because my foot had gone a bit numb in the cold weather (it was right at 32/0C at the start) and once I warmed up, my foot felt better. Crisis averted!
After a normal first mile, my second mile came in at 5:38. I was worried that I was going too fast given I couldn't complete a single 2 mile repeat at 5:55 pace in training! However, I felt amazing and knew that it wasn't a huge issue, but that I had to watch myself. The amazing thing about the Vaporfly is that you feel so great running in them. It's also their downfall, because you can get out of the gate too hot.
Mile 3 then came in at 5:32, and at that point I realized I had to slow down.
Second 5K - 18:04
This 5K involves climbing the Manhattan bridge. I'm no stranger to climbing bridges after completing NYC, but I've never had to climb this much of a hill in a half. It really took a lot out of me. On the backside of the bridge, I tried to build up energy, rather than letting my legs just take me down the bridge, which resulted in about 15 people passing me. I'm glad I did that, as it may have saved me.
After finishing the bridge, I noticed some stomach stitches starting, which occur every single race for me. I took one nausea pill (saving 4 for later in the race when I know shit really hits the fan) just to keep things at bay. At this point, I decided that instead of trying to get these stupid things into my back zippered pocket again (very difficult with gloves), I'd just put them in a front pocket since they generally do a good job holding things. I reach into my pocket to put them in there, and immediately heard them hit the road behind me! I wasn't putting them in my pocket: what I felt was the space between my shorts and my bib, since I put the bib on the side of my shorts so I could shed layers if needed. I went through that awful decision tree with only 2 seconds to make a decision: do I stop and go get them, costing me probably 15 seconds and lost momentum, or do I keep going? I decided to chance it and keep going, but about 5 seconds later I regretted that decision given I haven't run a race in 4 years without these things at the end to stop me from vomiting. Oh well, time to move on!
Third 5K - 17:55 (just missed a new 5K PR!)
This is where I thought it was all over, although I think that's true for third 5K in almost every half. The forecast originally called for headwinds, but I really wasn't noticing anything during the race so far, more of a cross or diagonal wind. Once I got on the FDR, which is a highway that runs along the east side of Manhattan, it hit me: the wind was there, it was just getting blocked by buildings. It really sucked out there, because Manhattan gets these pockets of areas that are super windy due to the tall buildings, with the FDR being one of them. One issue I'm quickly realizing as I get faster is that there are fewer people around. I was constantly making the decision of "do I speed up / slow down to stay with this person, or do I go out in no man's land." I've said this in race reports before, but I really run by feel, so I don't do a great job running in groups. What made things even worse is people weren't running the tangents! So I had a really tough time of deciding to stick with non-tangent runners or go it alone. Honestly, even when behind someone, I'm not sure how much it really breaks up the wind. It feels like you need to be behind at least 3 or 4 folks for it to really work, but if anyone has other thoughts, I'd love to hear it! Is it worth staying behind just one person or does it only make a difference in a bigger group?
I also started orange-lining (not quite red, but getting close). I went into my race mode which is just "hang on, don't push." In a weird way, I feel mentally defeated at that point, but it helps me to just calm down and say "it's okay, just keep this up, no need to worry about pace or pushing or anything else anymore." My pace actually only slowed a little towards the end of this 5K, but clearly I was doing fine given it was my fastest 5K of all.
Fourth 5K - 18:25
You need to climb an on-ramp right after the 15K marker, which really sucked. I also was completely alone at this point, with the nearest people at least 50 meters in front/behind me. I also was mentally crushed by the open highway / wind experience, and was just thinking that it was time to keep jogging it in. NYRR really botched the mile markers at this point, with them either way off (which is rare for them) or completely turned off. GPS also doesn't work great within Manhattan as you all know from my Strava, so I had no idea what pace I was running.
With a long, gradual climb up 42nd street, I felt pretty broken, but when the 11 mile marker hit, I realized that I hadn't gotten past orange lining, which meant I was going to be okay! The mile 11 marker was also on, and I did some math to realize that I was going to come home in under 1:17, which really picked up my spirits!
I also figured out that if I worked super hard, there was a chance at sub 1:16. However, without my anti-nausea pills, I knew that was not going to happen. I could get my legs going another 5-10 seconds per mile, but it was going to increase my chances of vomiting to nearly 100%, and I'm not sure how to recover from that (I also didn't check a bag so would have had to jog home covered in vomit). I finally said "this isn't the goal race, it isn't worth it" so I just kept chugging along at my normal pace.
Once you enter Central Park, it gets real hilly. You need to climb this annoying hill to get in, and then another 2 hills just to get to the finish. I started to feel that "uh oh, it's coming" feeling with about 400 meters to go, and so I stopped pushing any sort of pace.
I crossed the finish line and immediately ran to the side, ready to vomit, but I held it together. Yay me!
Finish - 1:16:21, a 4:02 PR! I also got a new 10K PR of 35:59, and just missed out on a new 5K PR!
JMac - Great race,and great RR too! A four-minute PR on a difficult course is amazing for someone already running fast. (Three more of them and you'll almost qualify for the Olympic marathon trials.) As for running with others, I run by feel too, and it seems much easier mentally/emotionally if I'm with someone than if I'm alone, regardless of any possible benefits from drafting. Only problem is that most races around here that are big enough that I'm sure I won't be alone are in Atlanta, which means lots and lots of hills.
Corey - Are you not doing any work faster than tempo pace? Higher-than-usual-for-me mileage and longer-than-usual tempos helped me to a successful half two weeks ago, but I think I might have done even better if I had been able to get in a few speed workouts. (I did do 1200s (VO2 max) 3 times in the last two months along with a slow 5K race, but I think some faster short hills or 400s or 800s could've helped a lot. I didn't want to take the chance of reinjuring my hamstring, though, and the tempos and 1200s seemed more important in the limited time I had after coming back from hamstring trouble.) Seems like you have enough time before your race to get in one or two faster workouts before focusing on tempos and/or race pace as the race approaches. That's as long as your legs can handle it; not getting injured is the most important thing, of course.
Post-1987 PRs: 5K 19:12 (2017); 10K 39:35 (Sept '19); Half 1:30:14 (March '19)
2020 Goals: 35+ mpw, Half<1:30, 10K<39:35, 5K<19:30
weight loss complainer
Jmac - Oh man, that race report was a roller coaster! It brought back memories from my half PR (a day where I broke my 10K PR as well)
I believe you carried over a lot of fitness from the previous cycle.
The weather seemed to have been perfect and it's interesting to see that you, a native New Yorker suffers more at 32F than me. For reference my 5K race in Germany was at similar weather and I ran it in a singlet and shorts
I'm sorry to hear about the stomach issues, something I never had and it puts some perspective on how much harder the races become for you.
From what I can remember central park is VERY hilly and it'd be a bitch to run that at the tail end of a half marathon.
I'll be curious to know how much endurance you will have in Boston, the speed is clearly there. Hopefully you get a break there, weather wise, as it's been wild for a few years.
A marathon PR is looking likely now, provided that you recover well from the half.
Last but not least, I just wanted to say that if you happen to break the world record in Boston, it will not be valid
PRs: 1500m 4:54.1 3K 10:34 5K 18:05 HM 1:24:25 - Up next: Chase the HM PR
JMac - great RR and well done again on the huge PR. I thought you would get a 1:17 fairly easily but the 1:16 is huge. Good call to just leave the nausea pills behind. I'm amazed you remember me dropping that gel, that was from my marathon in 2017 - I was dumb enough to stop and pick it up despite having a spare with me anyway! Anyway there's pretty much nothing as satisfying in running as when you not only hit your goal for a race, but you absolutely blow it out of the water, so I'm stoked for you.
Stop carrying on about the hills though. There was only one hill of consequence in that race, looking at the elevation profile, and that was the one around mile 5 (the Manhattan Bridge, I think). The rest were 'undulations'.
And yeah I'm all for the competition! It'd be deeply satisfying if we could wind that mark down by a minute plus this year. Also I'm probably running Kerikeri HM at the end of November so I will likely get last shot (it's a stupidly quick course). But as of Sunday you're reigning thread champ for the year... for now.
I'll admit I really don't have a read on my race fitness under decent conditions at the moment. My last 3 races have been slow courses in hot conditions to varying degrees, and heat has always been my kryptonite in any sport. But in between that I've been hitting better workouts than ever (generally in better conditions than the races!) and higher mileage too. I'm in that frustrating zone of knowing I've probably got a really good race in me but the course and conditions just haven't aligned (although what should I expect from running slow courses in summer). On the upside that Maraetai race definitely reminded me how to suffer. However, with Waterfront and Christchurch both on the horizon, that will be 2 chances for a really good crack, weather permitting.
Re wind - it only takes one person to make a difference if they're sufficiently large! I worked with another guy on the Auckland Half in 2016 to deal with a headwind on an exposed section. However, if you can get in the middle of a decent group, particularly if they're moving quickly, it seems to amplify the effect a lot.
Stop carrying on about the hills though. There was only one hill of consequence in that race, looking at the elevation profile, and that was the one around mile 5 (the Manhattan Bridge, I think). The rest were 'undulations'.
I think this is Mark's way of getting back at me for telling him that the weather he deals with is not really that hot
In all seriousness, just like weather, "hills" are subjective. Central Park is considered "hilly" but it has nothing like that clown hill you had to climb in your last half. Just for comparison, I gained 447 feet in this half, where you gained 577 feet. Boston is considered a "hilly" marathon but it's also relatively flat when looking at true hilly races. Maybe it's not the case in New Zealand, but you can actually run pretty flat half marathons here in the US if you find a good course, and I really mean that the only hill is maybe +30 feet as an overpass. There's a reason why the truly elite marathoners don't go with NY: when they have places like Chicago, Berlin, or London, why bother?
I also go with this BOTT goal more as a challenge to you than a challenge to myself, because I know you have bigger things ahead of you if you continue to work for those top goals.
Flavio - I'm pretty sure I have Raynaud's syndrome, which is just very poor circulation to your extremities. My fingers, even with heavy gloves on, often turn completely colorless in relatively mild winter conditions. I can wear those gloves in 30 degree temps and if I'm outside for even an hour run, I will come home with them in a level 7 out of 10 pain (ie stabbing pain). I probably could have run in a singlet, but still needed heavy gloves.
JMAC- Way to hang in there, and good decision not to stop... I think that would have been mentally crushing.
In regards to wind, being behind one person definitely can make a big difference, if you put them right between you and the wind. On a windy day, I'd rather be behind one person for the whole time, than 4 people 2/3 the time.
5k- 18:55 (2018) 10K- 39:04 (2017) Marathon- 3:00:10 (2018)
20m/65ft elevation gain is the minimum to constitute a hill. I live in a city with 53 dormant volcanic cones so I consider myself the expert on such matters.
I'd always take a race with more small climbs over one or two big ones though. The big ones take more out of your legs and are often too steep to really make time up on the downhill. On a smaller climb you don't really lose a lot on the uphill and can generally make a lot of it back on the downhill.
There's really not a lot of flat, fast races in NZ. There's a few flat, slow ones like Queenstown and Omaha, but the flat fast ones are really only Waterfront, Christchurch, Taupo, Wellington (if it's not windy, which is a massive IF), and Huntly (but no-one trusts them after they screwed the course up a couple years ago). Maybe a few smaller races too but as you know they're not always reliable for distance.
edit: the two fastest courses aren't flat either. Southern Lakes is basically a 200m / 650 ft downhill spread steadily over the entire course. Kerikeri has a climb up to around the 8km mark of 90m / 300 ft, but it's then a steady downhill to the finish.
What's the steepest hill you've faced in a race? I look for flat courses for goal races (my recent half only gained 263 feet), but in 2017 I ran the "Suck It Up Buttercup 15K" that had a mile-long hill in which the last 1/4 mile gained 140 feet, which I think works out to a 10.6% incline. The last block was steeper than that, but it was hidden behind the trees growing alongside the previous block, so we didn't appreciate its full awfulness until we got to the previous block. Note that I didn't ask about "the steepest hill you've successfully run up in a race."
James - the one in Sunday's race was nasty (1km at around a 6% grade, followed by 500m at around a 10% grade), but I was OK with it.
For sheer hill brutality, the worst I've faced was actually leg 8 of National Road Relays: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/4480691
It's a 9.9km leg with 3 hills, all around 1km long, with grades of 7%, 7% and 10% respectively. The last one damn near killed me. And because it's the last leg I had to be sober driver for the van back to Christchurch because everyone else had a few beers already.
JMac - awesome race.
PRs: 5km 18:43 (Dec 2015), 10km 40:28 (Aug 2019), half 1:26:16 (Sep 2016), full 3:09:28 (Jun 2015)
40+ PRs: 5km 20:10 (Dec 2019), 10km 40:28 (Aug 2019), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)
Hot Weather Complainer
I'm not a fan of hills which isn't surprising given most of my running has been in Melbourne or Christchurch. Having said that, Melbourne has some decent bridges that I hadn't trained for and they didn't slow me down much.
JMac - Congrats again. Good luck chasing down a Kiwi though, especially after raising his competitive hackles. Interesting what you say about volume over speed. For Waterfront last year I didn't have the base but smashed almost all my speed sessions in training, and the race was a disaster. Then in August I had a good base but missed most of my speed sessions in the last 6-8 weeks because of injury and illness and just ran to feel and got within 3 minutes of a PB without really pushing. Makes me feel better about my current struggles with speed sessions although last night I did 3x(2,3,4) which at 27 mins of VO2 Max effort is my toughest interval session and I ate steel...sessions like that are generally followed by Kardashian level suckage in this cycle though.
PB: Christchurch 2016 1:29.25
Recent Races: South Island Half-Marathon 2018 1:32.39 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49
2020 Planned Races: Christchurch 10km Series (Park), February 2, Christchurch Half-Marathon May 31, South Island Half-Marathon August 2
First, sorry again for the absence, I was convinced I posted over the weekend but I realized I didn't.
Mark, Jmac... thanks for the great RR and for the wisdom shared!!! I have no words to describe you guys, just really well done, definitely your work is paying off!!! I will read your report again before my next race, I have lots to learn!!!
Corey, in my experience running faster twice a week pays off but I had to stop increasing miles to avoid problems. I agree with Mark, see how it goes for a couple of weeks.
There is a lot of good running and training going on at the moment, I am enjoying reading the forum, but I have very limited time (due to work) to contribute much...). Flavio I look forward to your races given how the training is going
I am feeling a bit out of context right now, coming back from the cold and definitely slowing down in my training, I am starting to be a bit pessimistic about my preparation for a 7'30 pace in a full marathon and I am also starting to feel a bit less confident on my ability to run a 1:30 HM. But I am not going to give up just yet. I will read your RR again and try to learn.
Last week was the first week with a full training and without strong cough. I did 63 miles in 6 days, with a 20 miles on Sunday which felt ok (with a few miles at 7'30 and a 8:15 average). On Monday I ran an easy 6 miles and I was surprised on how little was left by the 20 miler, usually I cannot move on Monday and a Struggle keeping up 9 per mile, but this time I could run easily 8:30
Today I put in my first interval session with 9 miles including 6X600 meters at 5k speed (I had to slow down a bit, but I managed 3 at 5K and 3 at 10 K speed) with 1' recovery between them.
Now the big question will be: how do I understand pacing? How will I decide what to do in 6 weeks time when the marathon will actually happen? should I test a few long runs at 7:30 and see how it goes or should I start with 8 pace and try to understand?
I am not fully sure how I will proceed, and I will think about it in the coming days. I am also undecided on whether I should target a half marathon soon (6 weeks) after the marathon as that was the plan initially... I will keep you posted.
have a good week
PRs since re-started in 2013:
5km: 19:43 (Belfast park run Sep-16) | 10km: 40:16 (Belfast Lagan side 10K Sep-18)
HM: 1:30:09 (Belfast city Half Marathon, September-18) | FM: 3:25:05 (official chip time Belfast city Marathon, May-19, marathon was 0.3/4 longer, original time 3:27:20 for 26.5/6...)
Belfast city Marathon, May-20.