>Running 101>HM help please - RR added
I was hoping for some advice for my upcoming half (next weekend). I am trying to work out my strategy for the race. My training has been way down this cycle due to a number of reasons, but I have remained injury free (which is my primary goal for the year). The two options I am debating are:
- go out fairly slowly, but try to speed up towards the end if I can, walk up hills/water stops as needed
- use a walk/run method from the start, but again, if feeling good at the end, speed up/drop the walk breaks.
Option number 1 is my usual strategy when I run HMs, and usually seems to work well, but I am feeling more undertrained than usual, and am wondering if I should try option 2 this time.
Some background - I have been running for about 4 years, completed 8 HMs, and have been frequently injured. Decided this year to cut my mileage back and increase cross training, and this seems to be working so far. I had a very strong, hilly 7 mile race about a month ago, where I felt awesome throughout and at the end. I then crashed on my long run the following weekend (I think it took me longer to recover than expected). Ran a 10 mile LR 2 weeks ago, then 8 miles this weekend. Pace on the run/walk 8 mile was 10 sec/mile faster than the 10 miles fully running.
Goal for this race is to finish it strong (not going for a PR this time)
Thanks in advance.
1. Start, stay, and finish the year uninjured!
Have you tried negative splits?
What I like doing is:
1. First 7km @ HM Pace +10 seconds
2. Second 7km @ HM Pace
3. Pedal to the medal - Finish last 7.1km @ HM - 10 seconds (or whatever you have left!)
It is a pretty awesome feel as you run the last 7+km and you are passing everyone!
The last 2 races I have done, I have started at least 1 corral further back than I was assigned to. That allowed me to have the pleasure of passing people almost the entire race! It's a pretty good feeling, especially being a slower runner.
I haven't specifically targeted a HM pace like that before. I like that idea of breaking the race into thirds, and having a specific pace goal for each portion
I've used run/walk intervals quite a bit so I also like the 2nd option with run/walk intervals from the beginning. That gives you a strategy for controlling the tendency to start too fast which is so easy to do plus it gives you a little recovery along the way if you're feeling undertrained. Of course you can drop the walk part toward the end (last third of the race?) if you feel good. If you're good at managing your pace, that option could work well, too.
2014 - heal the sinuses and move to Germany!
2015 - Paris Marathon 12 April
I would suggest you assume your cross training has been effective and start out with the intention of running 2:15 (or whatever you think is reasonable.)
Having completed 8 half marathons you should know how you feel and can adjust your pace accordingly.
This will allow you to run a good race, possibly even to PR, if things go well, but to back off if it is not your day. I am not a fan of entering race and then not racing, it seems pointless to me.
PBs since age 60: 5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.
10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.
Thanks for the advice. Lots of good suggestions.
I guess I need to have confidence in the training I have done, and trust my judgement come race day. I'm still undecided as to run/walk vs straight running, but am leaning more towards the straight running as that is what I usually do/have done in the past.
Good luck on your race!
I also just finished my 8th half, and I was concerned about being undertrained. Surprisingly, I felt better than most of my previous ones. I went with something like your option #1. I passed quite a few people the last 5 miles or so, and none of them passed me again.
I agree with this, and I'd go with your option #1 as well. Have fun at your race!
Just wanted to thank all those who gave me advice and support. I ended up deciding to run the whole way, taking breaks as I needed. I set myself 3 goals: A) Under 2:20xx, B) Under 2:30x and C) Under 2:36:39 (last year's time on the same course).
I knew that miles 5-10 would be hilly (Flying Pig), so decided to go a little faster for the first 5 miles, as I knew I would lose time on miles 5-10. This strategy seemed to work well for this race, as I did end up needing to walk up parts of 2 hills. I also took my own water, so that I could fuel as I wanted, so I didn't stop at any of the water stations (until around mile 10, where I took a little gatorade). The last 3 miles of the race are pretty much downhill, and I flew down these hills, with 2 of my fastest miles being miles 11 & 12.
My final time was: 2:17:25, my second fastest half marathon ever, and the fastest I've run since October 2011!
Congratulations, great job.
Well done -- you surpassed all of your goals! Thanks for the RR.
Congrats and well done!