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Time to dig deep or is it a blow up? (Read 217 times)


Not dead. Yet.

    How do you tell the difference?  It seems like it can be a fine line.

     

    I've run two half marathons recently and while I made pretty good improvements in time since my last, in both cases I was reduced to several walk breaks in the last few miles.  I worked really hard to keep the pace in both cases, but in the end felt compelled to take a break.  Looking back, maybe I could have just held on and pushed through it with mental toughness.  I had already held that pace for almost an hour and a half...whats another 15 minutes?  Then again, I \did\ push really hard to make it that far.

     

    In both cases my heart rate averaged 90% for the race.  I held about the same pace for the whole time, and then at about 11 miles-ish I couldn't hold it any longer.  I hate to think I am a wimp, but I'm afraid I give up too soon when it starts to get really hard.

    How can we know our limits if we don't test them?


    Finally PRed!!!

      Perhaps you are starting out a bit too fast for your fitness. If you can't hold the pace the entire race, usually means it is too fast. If your HR averages 90% (assuming you know your true max) and you took walk breaks, that seems to point toward that also. My paces are similar to yours, and I usually average in the high 80% range for HM distance. I see in your log that your 5K and 10K races are a little faster than mine, but your HMs are slower. You also run a lot fewer miles than I do, so this makes sense, since lower mileage is usually the culprit when you have a big fall-off with distance.

      PRs: 5K: 22:31, 10K:46:43, 15K: 1:10:35, HM: 1:42:49, M: 3:38:20

        How long have you been running?


        Not dead. Yet.

          How long have you been running?

           

          About a year and a half.

          How can we know our limits if we don't test them?


          Finally PRed!!!

            I should add that sometimes mental toughness is an issue, and I think that is something that can be trained. But in this case a pacing/endurance problem seems likely, because the HM in particular wouldn't seem to be affected necessarily so much more than the shorter distances if mental toughness was the pnly issue.

            PRs: 5K: 22:31, 10K:46:43, 15K: 1:10:35, HM: 1:42:49, M: 3:38:20

              Time is on your side - keep running consistently like what you're doing now and in another year and a half those closing miles in the HM will get easier. As NTS mentioned, if you can't hold your pace in the final few miles, then you may have started off faster than your current fitness will support. More miles will help. My own favorite workouts for the half are to run a few 13.1 mile time trials, a week or two apart, and trying to run them faster each time. I usually get boo'ed and shouted down for suggesting that, so you didn't hear it from me . . .


              Not dead. Yet.

                Thank you both for your sage advice!  The next time I run a half it will be after another training cycle, so I'll have to try to figure out the pace again then.  But since I have already run a few at the top end of my fitness, I will ease back a bit and see if I can turn on the heat in the last few miles instead of fading.

                 

                NTS, you mention that mental toughness can be trained.  How do you do that besides just running/racing above your level of fitness on a regular basis?  I always wondered if really fast V02 max intervals helped with that.  Or maybe those fast time trials that some person other than Cecil recommended.  To me the mind is half of the equation and we should train it just like we train our bodies.  I'm just not sure how.

                How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                  Time is on your side - keep running consistently like what you're doing now and in another year and a half those closing miles in the HM will get easier. As NTS mentioned, if you can't hold your pace in the final few miles, then you may have started off faster than your current fitness will support. More miles will help. My own favorite workouts for the half are to run a few 13.1 mile time trials, a week or two apart, and trying to run them faster each time. I usually get boo'ed and shouted down for suggesting that, so you didn't hear it from me . . .

                   

                  I think that mental toughness is a bit overrated.  Mental confidence is what we're really after, and that will come with plenty of training and experience.  Years of solid training will do wonders.  You want to get to mile 11 thinking this is pretty hard, but I am strong, thanks to all my training, and I can finish this out.

                  Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                  ShuffleFaster


                    This^^

                     

                    OP:  I think at this stage of the game, it's your endurance that is holding you back as opposed to anything mental.


                    Not dead. Yet.

                       You want to get to mile 11 thinking this is pretty hard, but I am strong, thanks to all my training, and I can finish this out.

                       

                      I trained really hard the last several months leading up to these races, and I kind of feel like your statement says that I didn't train hard enough.  I know that's not what you are going for, though.  I do realize that I am still a relative noob and have a lot to learn and a lot of fitness still to gain.  Maybe that's the point you were trying to make.

                       

                      It seems like the consensus is that I just need to keep on keeping on and I'll get there eventually.  The next cycle starts next week and I'll be training for my first marathon.  Hopefully I can race a half as a tune up in a couple of months.  I'm excited to try again.

                       

                      Running a half at the top end of my fitness like that really humbled me for the marathon.  If a half can get that tough, I can't (yet) imagine how hard it is to race a marathon.  For my first, I'm going to shoot for a very conservative time and then race the last 10k if I have anything left.  No marathon blowups allowed!

                      How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                        The best in our sport can provide a maximum effort while remaining totally relaxed and composed. I'm not sure that mental toughness is overrated in distance running, but I'm pretty sure that it's misunderstood.

                        SillyC


                          Have to agree with others that this is probably more physical than mental.  You might have started out too fast, or you haven't been putting in enough miles.

                          Have you seen this?
                          http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/

                          It's a little calculator - if you enter a recent time at a shorter race, it will recommend what you might be able to do at a longer one.  It's not perfect, but worth checking out.  For me, for example, it recommends a half marathon pace that is ~ 45 seconds per mile slower than what it recommends for my 5K pace.  Did you go slow enough?

                          http://heatherrunstoomuch.blogspot.com/

                             I trained really hard the last several months leading up to these races, and I kind of feel like your statement says that I didn't train hard enough.  I know that's not what you are going for, though.  I do realize that I am still a relative noob and have a lot to learn and a lot of fitness still to gain.  Maybe that's the point you were trying to make.

                             

                            It seems like the consensus is that I just need to keep on keeping on and I'll get there eventually.  The next cycle starts next week and I'll be training for my first marathon.  Hopefully I can race a half as a tune up in a couple of months.  I'm excited to try again.

                             

                            Running a half at the top end of my fitness like that really humbled me for the marathon.  If a half can get that tough, I can't (yet) imagine how hard it is to race a marathon.  For my first, I'm going to shoot for a very conservative time and then race the last 10k if I have anything left.  No marathon blowups allowed!

                             

                            No, please don't think I was being critical at all.  I think you're probably doing fine, training your best, and making good progress.  There are just some aspects to the process that can't happen in  a matter of months.  Let's just say I'm advocating patience and persistence.  Keep it up; I'm looking forward to seeing your continuing progress!

                            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


                            Not dead. Yet.

                              Have you seen this?
                              http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/

                               

                              Did you go slow enough?

                               

                              I have seen it.  My 5k gives me 1:45Tight lippedx for the half and my 10k gives me 1:46Tight lippedx.  I went out to run the half in 1:45.  Even so, I will I agree I probably went out too fast.

                               

                              I was also trying to get some idea about when mental toughness comes into play.  Obviously we all have different levels of "pain" that we can endure.  If we are hurting during a race, we have two choices; we can either slow down or walk, or we can choose to deal with it and continue on at the same pace.  If we are racing near our maximum fitness, when we give in has a direct impact on our race times.  So, training our ability to withstand and run through it just seems like another way to improve our times.

                               

                              think I agree with the others though, that in general it just takes time and experience to know where your threshold is, and when and for how long you can push the envelope.

                              How can we know our limits if we don't test them?


                              I'm back!

                                I think that mental toughness is a bit overrated.  Mental confidence is what we're really after, and that will come with plenty of training and experience. 

                                 

                                Jeff's response is interesting, and I hope he can elaborate?

                                 

                                But I also don't think mental toughness is overrated. After 10 years, lots of marathons and ultras, I have plenty of confidence. But on the toughness front I'm not sure I have made much progress since my first year, and I think toughness does have a pretty direct bearing on race results.

                                 

                                For the OP in particular, though, if you have to walk, you started too fast.

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