Sub-90 Minutes for the Half Marathon (2012) (Read 6762 times)

    Based solely on what you wrote above, and assuming the course isn't particularly difficult, I'd think going out at 7:00 pace would not be overly aggressive. Bank steady 7's for the first 10 miles, which sounds like it shouldn't be too far outside your comfort zone. From there it's just (heh) a 5k. Drop the hammer if you feel good, fight like hell to hold pace if you don't. You might be more ready than you think.

     

    I agree. Go for it. And by it, I mean, at least close to 7's. I think you know that 7:25 is way too comfortable. I was recently given some advice that an 8 mile tempo is a pretty good barometer for what you'll be able to handle for the half. If the 7:06's for 6 "felt fine", I think you're in a pretty good way, especially if you're willing to concede there's a chance this could go south and push it a little.

     

    MTA: I think it's awesome that you want to push it and race this thing. I've been going through something similar trying to triangulate what I'm capable of at this distance

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

       I'm tempted to try for something more like 7:00  and just accept that I may well blow up (which I've never done in a race).

       

      You could always go for broke and hope the wheels don't come off, because sometimes they don't. If they do, it will be a good learning experience for your next one.

        There have been a lot of threads lately with folks trying to pinpoint a certain pace to run. I understand the motivation for trying to pin that down, but I think the most important thing is to feel confident about the training you've put in and try not to worry about pace. Show up to the line and execute a 100% effort for the day--and over the last stages of the race, look to compete. If you are not moving up in position over the last half of the race, you are slowing down.

         

        I know it sounds weird, especially to newer, inexperienced runners, but racing is really natural and simple, and if you just focus on running hard, relaxed, and executing a 100% race effort, you really will run well.

         

        You will KNOW in those first few miles whether your effort is too easy or unsustainable, if you pay attention to it.

          Thanks guys.  I was kind of afraid you all would say something like that.  I'll report back how it goes.

           

          And, Greg, I meant to say when I originally posted:  good job on the recent PR.  Kind of a bummer to miss by a few seconds, but seems like you are thinking about it the right way.

            Mandy, best of luck this weekend! Hope everything is going okay.

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

              There have been a lot of threads lately with folks trying to pinpoint a certain pace to run. I understand the motivation for trying to pin that down, but I think the most important thing is to feel confident about the training you've put in and try not to worry about pace. Show up to the line and execute a 100% effort for the day--and over the last stages of the race, look to compete. If you are not moving up in position over the last half of the race, you are slowing down.

               

              I know it sounds weird, especially to newer, inexperienced runners, but racing is really natural and simple, and if you just focus on running hard, relaxed, and executing a 100% race effort, you really will run well.

               

              You will KNOW in those first few miles whether your effort is too easy or unsustainable, if you pay attention to it.

               

              Whilst I agree with some of that I'm going to disagree with some of it too...

               

              I'm not sure that talking about "100% effort" really helps. The less experience people have the less able they are to run a realistic pace for the distance - many people end up running well below what they could have done because they go out too fast. If you can run a constant pace you're pretty much guaranteed to be passing many people during the latter stages of the race.

               

              Also - I'm not sure how people are supposed to even try to run "100% effort" - you can go out at a flat sprint - which would be 100% effort for the first few hundred metres, but I'm sure that's not what you mean. The first few miles of a marathon doesn't feel different to the first few miles of a half marathon - but you don't want to go out at the same pace for both.

               

              If you have a specific target time (like 90 mins) then your best strategy to hit it is to run at a constant pace that will give you that time. Of course what you don't know whether you're actually capable of executing that on the day - it may be that it turns out that you can't maintain it - but if that's true things would have been even worse if you'd go out any faster. On the other hand you may have been capable of going faster... in this case you at least have a chance to speed up in the last few miles; and know that next time you should target a quicker time.

                Whilst I agree with some of that I'm going to disagree with some of it too...

                 

                I'm not sure that talking about "100% effort" really helps. The less experience people have the less able they are to run a realistic pace for the distance - many people end up running well below what they could have done because they go out too fast. If you can run a constant pace you're pretty much guaranteed to be passing many people during the latter stages of the race.

                 

                Also - I'm not sure how people are supposed to even try to run "100% effort" - you can go out at a flat sprint - which would be 100% effort for the first few hundred metres, but I'm sure that's not what you mean. The first few miles of a marathon doesn't feel different to the first few miles of a half marathon - but you don't want to go out at the same pace for both.

                 

                If you have a specific target time (like 90 mins) then your best strategy to hit it is to run at a constant pace that will give you that time. Of course what you don't know whether you're actually capable of executing that on the day - it may be that it turns out that you can't maintain it - but if that's true things would have been even worse if you'd go out any faster. On the other hand you may have been capable of going faster... in this case you at least have a chance to speed up in the last few miles; and know that next time you should target a quicker time.

                 

                 

                1. Why would you ever think that you could execute a 100% effort in a race by going out too fast? Or by sprinting off the line? 

                2. The first few miles of a half marathon feel VERY different to me than the first few miles of a marathon! 

                3. This is not really a question that can be argued with words (I know that sounds like a cop-out).

                 

                You go out simply at an effort that you believe that you can maintain for the distance. Now, if you are the type of person for whom that means simply sprinting off the line even though you know that you can only sprint for 100m, I guess you are going to have problems, and I would highly recommend some conscious reflection on the sort of pace you would like to run.

                 

                On the other hand, if you have trained adequately for your event, you should have spent a decent amount of time practicing your race effort, especially in the last month before the race.

                 

                Think about it like this: how hard do you throw a basketball in order to make a free throw? You don't need advanced physics to figure that out; in fact, if you are thinking about parabolas, you are less likely to make the shot. You have a shooting routine that you have practiced. You get into that routine, you take aim at the basket, you shoot. It's that simple--and it's even easier because in running you control the ball at every moment of its flight.

                 

                The mind is a very powerful instrument, but only if it is focused on what matters.

                  Baseball coaches will admonish kids not to aim the ball into the mitt. I think sub-90 is a great benchmark, but perhaps if I hadn't aimed for sub-90 in the races, I would have done even better. Mind like water and all that. In fact, in my last two attempts, I was "behind" going into the last 5k. Thats when I asked myself "Do I have 'it' in me to run this in 20 minutes?"

                  "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                    I agree, Nader.  For a very long time a bunch of years ago, my half marathon goal was to break 1:20.  I tried and just missed a whole bunch of times, even taking an entire "marathon training season" and aiming it at a half instead of a marathon  I couldn't put it together even when by all appearances I should have had the fitness to do it.

                     

                    Then one day during a marathon buildup I ran a half marathon as a workout--the only plan was to run controlled effort for the first 10 miles and then do a progression the last 3 miles to "empty the tank."

                     

                    I was so focused on keeping the effort right to put myself at the correct level of fatigue by 10 miles to get the right workout value out of the race, that I pretty much ignored the splits I was running.  Then for the last 3 miles I just focused on racing the people in front of me and running out all that was in me.  I caught 4 guys in the last mile and finished 8th.

                     

                    I wound up running a hard but controlled 59:57 (6 pace) for the first 10 miles then about 18 flat (5:48 pace) for the last 5k to finish in 1:17:58.  As soon as I stopped trying to run "1:20 pace" and just focused on effort, I broke what had been an insurmountable barrier by more than 2 minutes.  That race was an epiphany and totally changed the way I approached racing from then on.  It still ranks as one of the top 3-5 races I've ever run in terms of executing as close to 100% of what I was capable of as possible.

                     

                    As the exchange between pr100 and Jeff illustrates, "race effort" is one of the most misunderstood and impossible to explain concepts in running.  But Jeff's basketball free throw and your "don't aim it, throw it" analogy are a really solid efforts at doing so.

                    Runners run.

                      This is good stuff, guys.  I blame missing my sub-20 5k goal a few weeks ago (by 10 seconds) on too much watch-gazing.  

                       

                      I think part of the problem is that no matter how many times the more experienced people recommend racing by feel, the less experienced among us are apprehensive about leaving the fruit of a several-month-long training cycle to our own subjective race-day estimates.  It's just more comforting to have objective benchmarks ticking away on your wrist.  But then again, what the hell does comfort have to do with racing?

                      "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

                      Jack Kerouac

                        Not two hours after I wrote the above post, I went out too hard in a 5k and blew up.

                         

                        So, yeah.

                         

                        (But to be fair, I was focused on beating this guy who I'd never beaten instead of focused on race effort. Plus, sometimes you just have a bad day.)

                          Ok I'm in... Crashed and burned in my one and only HM in 2010 and ran 1:38. Have in HM in sunny Spain in 4 weeks but not fit so sub 1:40 is ok for me

                           

                          I'll target 1:30 later in the summer when I have more miles under my belt !

                          2012 Goals:

                          Sub 90 minute Half Marathon - (1.44 disaster in March)

                          Sub 19 minute 5km

                          Sub 40 mins 10km - (42.08 in early May on tough course)

                          Break 1,000 miles for the year for the first time ever...

                          Finish a marathon - time not important

                            Good weeks training behind me this week - maybe I can get close to 1:35 in Spain. 2 weeks solid training and a nice taper and I should be in decent enough shape...

                             

                            Sub 90 is still quite a way off - maybe in late summer Smile

                            2012 Goals:

                            Sub 90 minute Half Marathon - (1.44 disaster in March)

                            Sub 19 minute 5km

                            Sub 40 mins 10km - (42.08 in early May on tough course)

                            Break 1,000 miles for the year for the first time ever...

                            Finish a marathon - time not important

                              Good weeks training behind me this week

                               

                              Cool. Even better to share the log and let us check it out.

                               

                              We have 3 going for it this weekend. Best of luck to jaxn, Chris UK and pr100...go get em guys, would love to put some in the win column for the thread this year...

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

                                Cool. Even better to share the log and let us check it out.

                                 

                                We have 3 going for it this weekend. Best of luck to jaxn, Chris UK and pr100...go get em guys, would love to put some in the win column for the thread this year...

                                 

                                Ok I think the log is open for public viewing - let me know if you can't see it...

                                 

                                Not enough training so for for sub 90 but if I can get 85 - 86 mins from these few weeks training I will be well chuffed !

                                2012 Goals:

                                Sub 90 minute Half Marathon - (1.44 disaster in March)

                                Sub 19 minute 5km

                                Sub 40 mins 10km - (42.08 in early May on tough course)

                                Break 1,000 miles for the year for the first time ever...

                                Finish a marathon - time not important