MPW for a half marathon (Read 242 times)

    I'm currently training for a half marathon in April. Before I started the training plan I was averaging about 20mpw and the plan I'm following peaks at 31mpw. Is this enough for a half. Everyone else I know peaks at about 40-50mpw. I want to finish my half strong and not just simply "get through the distance."

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    an amazing likeness

      Is it "enough", sure -- there's no magic number of mpw for running a half or any distance.


      Does it sound a bit light? To me, it does. But beyond what's in the plan -- the starting point of the runner entering the plan is important.


      There's a big difference between a runner who is starting the plan with a solid base of 25 - 35 mpw and executing a plan that peaks at 30mpw, versus a runner with less base and the 30 mpw in the plan is a stretch and their high-water mark.

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      Feeling the growl again

        There are no hard numbers.  However, before I finished reading your post I was thinking "sure, if you just care about finishing".  But reading on, your goal is higher than that.  In which case, I would say you are definitely on the low side of what you need.  40-50 mpw would be much better.  But you need to work with yourself to build to that, not just jump to a plan that tops out there because you've arbitrarily picked a race on a certain date.


        Just adjust your goals accordingly.

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          40-50 mpw would be much better. 


          I agree. I ran 4 half's last year. 1st one was 20-30 MPW, 2nd 30-40, 3rd 40-50 and 4th 50-60. The first one I still finished strong but it hurt like hell. By the 3rd and 4th I was more limited by my lactate threshold rather than endurance. But as noted, don't rush into it. Too much too fast can lead to injury. My ramp up is probably a bad example, and I am lucky I didn't get injured.

          My future track stars

            Having been running for many years now I'm uncomfortable chiming in one these posts because I'm clearly no expert.  I've made a ton of mistakes over the years.  That being said here is my 2 cents unrelated to mileage but key for me running good half marathons is HM paced runs.  I do  three in a 12 week block building to 7 miles within a 14 mile run.  This is usually off 50+ mile weeks. I believe how you feel after is a good indicator if your goal pace is achievable.  In the past (I'm getting old now) I could always run 1:28Tight lippedx off 40 mile weeks.  But to get below 1:25 I'd have to string together 8 or more 60+ weeks.  Good luck!

              I think that you need to run enough so that you aren't intimidated by the distance. That's not a fixed number of MPW.

              And then, to finish strong, you need a good pacing strategy.


              No matter how good you are, if you start too fast, chances are you won't finish strong. So if finishing strong is your goal, then start with a realistic pace for the first half and hold it for the second half, or better yet, increase slightly the pace, but make sure you can hold it the distance to finish strong.


              BTW I have only 1 half marathon experience. The last three months leading to the race I was running 40-45 MPW. I finished strong because my goal was realistic

              I say things. I do things. Does it all have to make sense?



                You mentioned you were at 20 mpw BEFORE you began your HM training.   so, where are you at now with your plan?  How far along in plan & current MPW?


                I'm not going to add much to whats already been said because I don't have as much experience at HM distance of most of the other responders   But I do agree that  a plan that tops out at 31 MPW is soft if you want to do well & not just finish.    That would also mean that your AVERAGE MPW would be closer to mid or upper 20's..  not much more than what you started the plan at.

                  It's worth saying that a big factor in "finishing strong" is how fast you try and cover the distance. More training will in general allow you to maintain a higher speed and feel comfortable doing so.


                  If your real goal is to "finish strong" then the best thing is to run *really slowly* during the race.


                  In reality many people want to cover the distance in close to the best time they are capable of. This means that it's going to be quite hard to maintain the pace as the race progresses. If it feels easy at the end then you could have gone faster...


                  As others have said - there's no magic number in terms of mpw. How much do you run now? How quickly can you run various distances when you go all out?