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First half marathon in a few weeks... pacing/expectation question (Read 2161 times)

wickedlady


    Hi all,

     

    So, my first half marathon is in a few weeks.  I just ran 20k (12.4 mi) for the first time today in just under 2:30.  This park by my house has kilometer markers so I just focused on keeping it at about 7:30 per km.  Some were a little faster, some were slower due to stopping at my car at each lap for a drink or a fig newton.  But I was pretty much able to maintain that pace pretty easily, without wanting to die at the end.  In fact, I was able to give a little extra push at the end and my last km was about 6:30. 

     

    So I'm just wondering... I don't *really* have a time goal since it's my first half marathon, but I'm wondering what I should aim for in a race situation.  Would 7:00 per km be unreasonable?  I can run that easily at shorter distances but I don't wanna bonk out at the end.  I do feel like I'm getting the hang of fueling though and that's helped a lot.


    day after day sameness

      Since this is your first half you don't have past experiences to guide you, so think of this as fact-finding mission.  Along with all the other fun race experiences, use this to learn for the next one.

       

      I'd recommend you think of the race as 3 segments:  the first segment you run based on what you know about your training paces, use 7:20 - 7:40/km as target and don't worry much about nailing 7:30 each split.  6 miles for this segment.   The second segment gets you to 10mi, or halfway (that's right, 1/2 of the effort is to get 10mi, the other half will get you to the finish) -- this is when you want to see if the first segment has left you feeling strong or just ok or whatever -- you'll move your pace to faster or slower than 7:20 - 7:30/km based on how the first segment left you feeling.  The third segment is the final 5Km -- use everything you have left in the tank to get to the finish, it is only 5KM.   Try to pick it up, or just hold on...or whatever is right so that you stagger over the finish line and need to sit down right there.

       

      Don't forget the most important thing --- smile and feel great, 'cause you just ran an 1/2 marathon.

      I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...


      Prince of Fatness

        I'm not going to get into numbers.  What I will say that the longer the race, the more of a price you'll pay for going out fast.  So, I would take it out easy, and trust me, given the adrenaline from the race and the crowd pulling you along, easy might be right on pace.

         

        Just try to stay comfortable for as long as you can.  By this I don't mean to jog it, but you'll be out there a couple of hours.  You won't win the race in the first half hour but you can certainly lose it there.  Steady effort.  After 10 or so miles if you feel good push a little harder, if not, try to gut it in.

         

        Good luck.

        Semi-retired.

          Each lap was 1km? Or longer? It sounds like you should be able to manage a bit of a faster pace than you did for your 20k - but as has already been said, don't go out too fast. Once you've done one then you'll have a target pace to beat next time Smile

          TJN


          S Army Kettle run...

            I'm not going to get into numbers.  What I will say that the longer the race, the more of a price you'll pay for going out fast.  So, I would take it out easy, and trust me, given the adrenaline from the race and the crowd pulling you along, easy might be right on pace.

             

             

            I had a marathon friend who reminded me of this before a recent race .... The couple seconds per mile you think you are "giving up" early  in the race by sticking to your pacing plan are much better than those couple minutes per mile you give up if you don't. 

            Tim

            Tim 

              For your first half, don't kill yourself for a certain pace. Do you have a recent 5/10K race to go off of. These are pretty good indicators of a possible goal pace. You are a low mileage runner so you cannot start too fast as mentioned. As Milk Truck states you need to break up the race in segments. I say take those first 2 miles and start like a training run. Then if feeling great, you can pick it up a bit. At 5 miles, if feeling great pick it up a bit. These are small increases. Go with this until a 5K left and then think of this as a 5K race. If you were pacing a bit slow the previous 10 miles, you can make up a lot of time in the last 5K and also feel great about your experience as you pass runners. You should be hurting but that is ok. Go for it!

               

              With this being said, you will find you will have finished sub 7 min per K. Next half, you can evaluate your training, racing and perhaps do some 5Ks in advance to get a better sense of what time you could run. Enjoy this one. It will be a PR!!!!

              Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

              Julia1971


              All in for Boston

                I pretty much agree with what's been said already.  If I'm reading your post correctly, you stopped every 7:30 and didn't run the whole 2:30 straight through.  If you haven't done something close to a 10 mile run non-stop I would say you should play it safe and aim for 7:15-7:30/km pace for the first 10 miles and then pick up the pace after that if you feel you have it in you.  (I'm assuming it's a flat course, but if there's something like a steep climb at the end in which case I'd plan on keeping my pace).

                Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin

                  I would note, you don't have to go crazy over fueling. In my last 2 half marathons, I consumed no carbs during race and a few sips of water and was fine. Years ago when I would consume gels/fluid, I feel it weighed me down. That's just me. You will be running longer than 2 hours, so sipping on sport drink throughout is ok or perhaps a gel or  fig each 30-40 min after 1 hour of running (with water) would be ok. Choose sport drink or gel/figs, not both. People overestimate their fluid and carbs needs for a half. If the temps are under 55 degrees, no worries. If hot/humid, then you need to be a bit more conscious.

                  Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!


                  rhetorician

                    good advice here; agree about the fuelling - I did an 11 miler today and just took 500ml of water and about 6 jelly babies (gummi bears?) which really helped me on the second leg home (and got me a negative split too!)

                    2012 goals

                     

                    lose 8lbs

                    run injury free

                    run 3000k

                    run sub 60 min 10k

                    run 2 hour half

                     

                    2013 goals

                     

                    run 1750 miles

                    run injury free

                    sub 55 10k

                    sub 25 5k

                    sub 2 hour half

                    wickedlady


                      I pretty much agree with what's been said already.  If I'm reading your post correctly, you stopped every 7:30 and didn't run the whole 2:30 straight through.  If you haven't done something close to a 10 mile run non-stop I would say you should play it safe and aim for 7:15-7:30/km pace for the first 10 miles and then pick up the pace after that if you feel you have it in you.  (I'm assuming it's a flat course, but if there's something like a steep climb at the end in which case I'd plan on keeping my pace).

                       

                      No, I ran straight through, I was just making note of the time as I passed the posts.  Each lap was 5k so I stopped 3 times throughout for water or gatorade or whatever...

                       

                      Re: Do you have a recent 5/10K race to go off of. These are pretty good indicators of a possible goal pace.

                       

                      No, but I am running a 5k next weekend so maybe that will help.

                       

                      Re: overfueling.  I haven't even used so much as gatorade until I've gotten into the longer runs.  I don't think I'm overdoing it... I ate a fig newton at the halfway point and another one at 3/4 of the way because I genuinely felt hungry.

                       

                      This is great advice!!  Thanks everyone Smile 

                      Julia1971


                      All in for Boston

                        No, I ran straight through, I was just making note of the time as I passed the posts.  Each lap was 5k so I stopped 3 times throughout for water or gatorade or whatever...

                         

                         

                         

                        I'm glad I misread that.  It seemed like a lot of fig newtons, but then again, they are delicious.

                         

                        I forgot to add...  Good luck with your race!

                        Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin

                        xor


                          Now I want fig newtons.  They ARE currently on sale at my safeway.

                           

                          Julia1971


                          All in for Boston

                            Now I want fig newtons.  They ARE currently on sale at my safeway.

                             

                            I had kicked the habit, but am back on them.  But, I can eat a few and walk away unlike my Twizzler addiction.

                            Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin

                              No, but I am running a 5k next weekend so maybe that will help. 

                               

                              That will help a lot. Race it all out!!! Good luck. Don't start too fast in that race either Smile

                              Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                                I had kicked the habit, but am back on them.  But, I can eat a few and walk away unlike my Twizzler addiction.

                                 

                                New addiction for me...starburst flavor jelly beans.  Wife bought a bag of these home the other day and I almost killed the entire thing.  I think they may be a limited time thing for Easter though.  Would love to have those for a possible CIM run in December.

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