Sub 1:30 Half Marathon 2021 Edition (Read 93 times)


Aspiring Hobby Jogger

    Greetings, all and Happy New Thread Year!

    First, thanks to Steve, our previous thread leader. Steve did a great job, but it's high time we have Freedom Unit-oriented leadership again, so I'll do my best to be a benevolent dictator leader in his stead.

    Second, if you've just been lurking around the forum/ old thread, now is the time to join! Yes, "Sub 90" is in the thread title, but that's mostly a hold over from the Olden Days. We welcome all regardless of if 90 minutes for a half is easy pace or if it's an "A" goal-level aspiration, so don't let the thread title scare you away.

    A few (largely copy/pasted) rules from previous years:

    1. All welcome!! This thread is for anyone AIMING to run a sub-1:30 half marathon in 2021. It’s also for anyone racing other distances below marathon that are looking for a great community to be with. You might be a bit faster, you might be a bit slower, but if that's your goal, this is the thread for you. 
    2. Start with an introduction... name, age, gender, location, running history and goals, favorite races, etc.
    3. We strongly encourage everyone to post their weekly training, it can lead to some very helpful discussions and insights.
    4. If you have an upcoming race, let me know and I will add it to the table below.  Note that we expect posters to post weekly mileage for 3 weeks before adding races (the regulars - you know who you are - are exempt), this is to encourage people to get involved in the discussion.
    5. We also highly encourage you to get involved with other people. If you only dump your weeklies and ask questions about yourself, you won’t get as much support. This is like give a penny, take a penny. Nobody likes people who only take a penny.
    6. Stick around - even if you're injured or your motivation is low. We all go through these spells and it’s good for people to know how you’re doing.  Others on the thread may have input on both mental and physical rehab from injuries.
    7. Banter and bad jokes are required and encouraged if only to get piwi out of lurk mode.
    8. Do not sandbag your goals. You will have been posting your training weeks so others on the thread will know if you're sandbagging!  Seriously though, this is about achieving your goals and discussion on setting appropriate goals is part of that.
    9. Some people in the thread like to complain about weather conditions - not just for races, but for EVERY TRAINING RUN.  This isn't to be dismissed even if the runner in question lives in a mild climate, like New Zealand.
    10. Taper madness is a real thing, but it should definitely be made fun of.  The more extreme the case, the bigger the mocking.  

    There is also a Strava club.

    Flavio has created an app to generate your weekly training in a nice table for those on Strava.

    Miles/KM converter, because we have too many Kiwis in this thread.



    Here's hoping we all get to race more in 2021 than we did in 2020!



    Memorable Quotes:


    5k: 18:25 10/19 (solo track TT) │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:24:16 11/19 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18


    Upcoming Races (?):


    3/13 - Okie Half


    Aspiring Hobby Jogger




      Name Date Race Goal Result Comments


      2/21 Run the Point 10k Defend home turf!    


      2/21 Wellington Round The Bays 6.5km TBD    


      3/13 Okie Half TBD    


      3/28 Whenuapai Half Marathon TBD    


      5/1 Southern Lakes Half Marathon 1:09:59    


      7/11 Wellington Urban Ultra TBD    

      5k: 18:25 10/19 (solo track TT) │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:24:16 11/19 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18


      Upcoming Races (?):


      3/13 - Okie Half


      Aspiring Hobby Jogger

        Just a quick intro/bio of your Friendly Neighborweb Thread Leader for anyone who doesn't know me or is otherwise curious:


        Kyle here. The Once and Future Mileage King. 36 years old and from flyover country (Oklahoma) USA. Married (11 years in March) with 3 daughters (ages 3, 6, 9). I'm an adult-onset runner, starting in July 2015. I jumped in to running headfirst after doing a 5k with my wife's family and discovered I loved it and wondered just how fast I could end up getting at the distance.

        Obviously not much of a racing year in 2020. I did get in a marathon (Cowtown in Ft. Worth,blew up in unseasonal heat) and a 50k (Landrun, 2 weeks post marathon, and at the very start of races really shutting down for the year). I planned on running a small marathon in November, but ran into a back/hip/leg issue that, while I'm confident wasn't caused by running, did severely impact my running - both mileage/workout wise and desire, and so skipped the marathon. Right now I'm building back and thinking of targeting a HM in March. I'm not sure I can be in PR shape by then, but I'm going to give it all I can. After that I'll just see where things (my fitness, the racing calendar...) are before making more plans/goals for the year. Oh, and I want to finally win that blasted HM in Texas that I've placed 2nd at 4 of the 5 years it has been run. Oh, and run MOAR miles. That goes without saying.

        Mileage/training time history:
        2015: 558 miles, 85:52:07 h:m:s (starting from July)
        2016 1,912 miles, 252:01:07 h:m:s
        2017: 2,242 miles, 298:12:13 h:m:s
        2018: 2,931 miles, 388:49:29 h:m:s
        2019: 3,172 miles, 429:32:07 h:m:s

        2020: 3,353 miles, 463:06:50 h:m:s

        5k: 18:25 10/19 (solo track TT) │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:24:16 11/19 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18


        Upcoming Races (?):


        3/13 - Okie Half


          Oh man, look at this guy, can't wait to be king🤴. Ill be back when 2020 is over 😁. I have big goal to actually run a non trail race next year.

          1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 45:24 (2017), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Mary - 3:37:17 (2018)


            Thanks Steve and hail Keen!


            Mark, 39, from Auckland, New Zealand.  I have a wife and a 3-year old daughter who tolerate and even encourage my running obsession from time to time.  I started running in mid-2015 (never realised it was almost exactly the same time Keen started!) after rehabbing a very serious knee injury I copped play field hockey, and then things kinda escalated from there.


            In 2019 I had an absolute banner year, where I hit most of my current PB's, and smashed my HM from 1:16 down to 1:10 (net downhill course) over the course of four extremely good races, one of which saw me take out the Masters grade at National Half Marathon Championships.  2020 was a lot tougher, as it was for most of us.  Started extremely well when I ran 32:34 in National 10,000m Champs, and then I was targeting a marathon.  It turns out that me finally attempting a second marathon caused Covid around the world, delayed/cancelled races all over the places and also caused me to be very overtrained by the time I was finally able to run a marathon in October.  I hit a good PB but spent the next 2 months feeling pretty broken.  Inspired by JMac, I took a week off (my longest break from running since breaking my big toe in early 2016) and now Running is Fun Again (yay!).


            We are pretty lucky here in NZ that Covid has been contained at the border and races are currently going ahead as normal.  That could all change of course but at the moment I'm optimistic that most races should happen in 2021.  At the moment the goal race is Southern Lakes Half Marathon on May 1 (I've wanted to do this race for years and would've run it last year but for Covid), and then I'll likely target National Road 10k Champs in early September.


            Mileage history:

            2015: not much (didn't track it)

            2016: 2,686km / 1,669 miles

            2017: 3,612km / 2,244 miles

            2018: 3,613km / 2,245 miles (not an accident)

            2019: 4,146km / 2,576 miles

            2020: 4,436km / 2,756


            Goals for 2021:

            1. Have fun

            2. Don't get injured

            3. Run at least one new race

            4. Beat my 10k road PB

            5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

            HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

            Last race: Mt. Maunganui Half Marathon, 28 Nov, 1:20:08

            Up next: Southern Lakes Half Marathon, 1 May, and hopefully a few others before then



              Keen, for the board

              2/21/2021 Run the Point 10k, goal = defend home turf!

              3/28/2021 Whenuapai Half Marathon, goal tbc

              5/1/2021 Southern Lakes Half Marathon, goal 1:09:59 (yes, you read that right, it is stupidly downhill)

              5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

              HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

              Last race: Mt. Maunganui Half Marathon, 28 Nov, 1:20:08

              Up next: Southern Lakes Half Marathon, 1 May, and hopefully a few others before then

              "CONSISTENCY IS KING"


              King of pastries

                I'm Flavio, 40, originally from the south of Brazil, currently living in Bologna, Italy.

                Wife, no kids.

                I've started running about 10 years ago and I have probably tried every wrong choice there is. Up until 2019 I had never done workouts safe for a quick training block in 2016. I was always getting injured when I tried. It turns out I just needed strength training. Once I started that I could do workouts just fine. That's why I'm such a PITA in preaching that people stop being lazy Lucies and start doing proper strength training (not a couple rounds of planks and crunches). It turns out strength training is the answer to 90% of the questions.


                The 1500 is my favorite distance, I hope to run one more in 2021, hopefully in a proper race, not running by myself like the last time.


                I'm currently targeting a potential half marathon in early March, though it will most likely be a solo time trial.

                I'm also planning intermediate time trials for the 5K (this Sunday) and for the 10k in a few weeks time.


                I'll repeat my quote from last year:

                "Here's to a year without injuries, with a lot of strength training, running and PRs all around."

                PRs: 1500m 4:54 (2019) 3K 10:34 (2019) 5K 18:02 (2020) 9.86K 36:40 (2020) HM 1:23:30 (2020)

                Up next: Some half marathon race early march 2021

                Tool to generate Strava weekly


                King of pastries

                  Zeb - that’s a sensible approach haha, I can’t say I haven’t tried it.

                  Your recent workouts should guide your initial pace until at least half way. Then if feeling good switch up a gear, if not enjoy the pain


                  Piwi - you're going strong on the emoji game 


                  Darkwave - you absolutely need to post a picture once Fluffy is fully fluffy.

                  Also our baits worked and took Keen out of the woods.


                  French fries - You add toppings to French fries? What’s wrong with just salt?

                  PRs: 1500m 4:54 (2019) 3K 10:34 (2019) 5K 18:02 (2020) 9.86K 36:40 (2020) HM 1:23:30 (2020)

                  Up next: Some half marathon race early march 2021

                  Tool to generate Strava weekly


                  King of pastries

                    Bit of a recap from last year:


                    - Moved to Italy in late Jan

                    - Ran a half marathon PR in mid February - 1:23:30

                    - Locked at home by government decree and public pressure from March 18th to May 4th, with zero runs during this period.

                    - Started back slowly

                    - Stole a Strava crown

                    - 5k PR 18:02 in early September in solo time trial (Lots of people said it's not a valid PR because it's not an official race, but they can go lick a nail till it becomes a pin for all I care)

                    - Almost 10K PR in mid October in the 2nd proper race of the year in Pisa, if only the course wasn't short.

                    - Stole a couple more Strava crowns.

                    - Quit a 5k time trial in early November because it wasn't going to be a PR (stupid, I know). Now I need to run another 5k time trial to the end to erase that memory.

                    PRs: 1500m 4:54 (2019) 3K 10:34 (2019) 5K 18:02 (2020) 9.86K 36:40 (2020) HM 1:23:30 (2020)

                    Up next: Some half marathon race early march 2021

                    Tool to generate Strava weekly

                      Hi everyone

                      I'm Andrew from NZ married 4 kids 15 to 23.

                      I'm 52.

                      Been running for 10 years. Mostly now to keep fit but still enjoy been a bit fast for my age to satisfy my ego 😅

                      Did 3 5ks last year around 18.30ish. A couple of 10kish races but short courses.

                      Next year I hope to stay consistent and if so run a half.

                      50+ PBs -  

                      5k 18.25 Tauranga Parkrun  Sept 20      81.36 % age grade

                      10k 38.55 oct 19 strava run

                      " If you don't use it you lose it but if you use it, it wears out.

                      Somewhere in between is about right "      


                      Running Problem

                      Problem Child


                        Reno, Nevada (NOT pronounced ne-VAH-duh in case you were wondering. It pisses off locals)

               SIX years old. One 3 year old son and another due in 2021.

                        PR'd the marathon (2:59:10) in 2019, got pumped about 2020 being a banner year because I FINALLY BQ'd (minues 5:50) after three serious attempts and learned a LOT about running over the years from this forum and the last. Lost ALL desire to run or even maintain fitness in 2020 for various reasons (mostly self inflicted) and went down a really dark hole of anger and self pity. I DID finally break 20 minutes in a 5K/3.12 mile flat loop time trial in 2020. I've not been able to do it since I started running because I was drawn to the marathon just because of the weekly training demands showing improvements and my goals being accomplished again, and again, and again.


                        Started running about 10 years ago I think and never wanted to run a marathon. It was cheap fitness. Did three tough mudders and moved on to road runs (5k-half marathon) and entered my first marathon because I figured "okay I'll do one to say I did it". It ended up being my second and my first was the cliche "went out too fast, hit the wall, training was garbage and I didn't respect the distance" race. I still hold on to those memories from being a 3:56 marathoner at heart and still consider anyone who is a sub 3 marathoner (or close to it) elite and 2:56 or faster makes you pratically an olympic record older in my biased opinion towards those faster than me.


                        I helped a former forumite for Western States pacing (29:26 thank you very little) and wrote a three part story about it (lightly edited, stream of consciousness is my style), met a few along the way at CIM 2016, and now get to wait until my ultimate goal (run the BOSTON MARATHON) actually happens. Looking forward to meeting whoever is going to be there.


                        I'm on strava. I title everything "that time ____" and it has been a fun experience doing it for however long I did it. I started out with one run, then carried it a week, and slowly realized there is always something I can find to make a title. Some are better than others.


                        Currently there are no races in my hometown and I'm not involved enough to find them online so without COVID 19 vaccines allowing mass gatherings (county said no to the Governor's allowed 250 person limit and race organizers have said they doubt they'd be issued a permit) I'll have to stick with 5k-10k training and see how it goes. Maybe I'll get to run my favorite local 5k on St. Patricks Day. At this point my ONLY expectation is to run Boston in September, and requalify for Boston at CIM 2021. If anyone wants to run CIM I'm a BIG fan boy of the race and might even be willing to put aside my son's birthday party to run it again.


                        fun facts:

                        I hate trail running and hills, and have completed two ultra marathons on mountainous single tracks.

                        I also own a 1989 Jeep Cherokee that will eventually be sitting on axles from a 1989 F350 and 40" tires.

                        I believe public lands should be open to the public regardless of your opinion/feelings of the activities others participate in.

                        I run with sunglasses because they are my security blanket. I'd probably run without a watch before I ran without my sunglasses.

                        Oh and because I'm married I order SWEET POTATO FRIES  with KETCHUP and share them.

                        Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.


                          ohh a self-biography. How boring.


                          I'm Shawn, married, 4 kids, my goals are to run a lot, race a lot and enjoy the process. I dabble in sprint triathlons because my oldest does them.



                          High School: Ran JV XC for 2.5 years, ran 20:04 3 times and each year ended with really bad shin splints. Frustrating but had a lot of friends on the team. Also played tennis for 3 years but was mostly a band geek.


                          20s: Got Fat


                          30s: stayed fat but my brother talked me into a bucket list marathon in 2014 which slowly turned into a lifestyle.


                          Date ▼ Distance Duration Activity
                          2020 2066 mi 308:23:26  trail races, not much else
                          2019 1686.7 mi 246:29:02  injuries, but success when I did run
                          2018 1946.7 mi 280:49:05 3:37 marathon (progress!) 
                          2017 2229.0 mi 320:41:06  
                          2016 1639.5 mi 241:44:36 another 4:30 marathon , but I broke 20 in the 5k (faster than high school me!)!!!! 
                          2015 753.7 mi 117:02:02  hamstring injury
                          2014 838.6 mi 126:15:58  4:30 marathon
                          2013 154.0 mi 24:09:00  


                          I turn 40 in January, so I get to be a Master. It looks like there will be a local 5k in Feb, and a Sprint tri in April. I'm planning a self supported ultra across Isle Royale (44 miles) in July. Everything else is up in the air.


                          To be specific about my goals

                          * I'd like to progress my mileage where my "on" weeks are 60+ miles w/ 2 workouts (I've averaged 45mpw over the last 12 weeks)

                          * my recovery weeks are ~45 miles and can include a short time trial (800m-5km) or race

                          * race each month just to stay sharp, don't bother tapering for most of them (unless it coincides with goal #2).

                          * In 2018 I weighed 155lbs, I'm now 170 and plan on getting back below 160 (I'm 5'9"). This mostly involves drinking less beer.

                          * keep doing 2-3x 15 minute body weight workouts a week, or progress to the gym when Covid is over (it's mostly hip / quad / hamstring / balance stuff)

                          * 5k PR!! (my current fitness as of Dec 29 is 20:39 so the first step is to get back into shape)

                          * 10k PR @ Living History Farms (XC) in November (7:14/mi current PR pace)

                          * Take a crack (or two) at a sub 90 HM


                          Other thoughts:

                          * Leg speed has felt limited lately, I need to keep up on my strides & hill sprints or perhaps true sprint work (this might just be the cold)

                          * I think running easy days by HR and off-road has been really good for keeping me healthy. The off-road part is harder to accomplish in the winter but I invested in a chest strap instead of the wrist HR and it lines up so much better with RPE.

                          * Last year was in many ways the year of the tempo run for me. I want to maintain that, but I also want to do some faster stuff this year. I did better with that last spring but it fell off the plate in summer, fall and winter and it needs to be more consistent.

                          1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 45:24 (2017), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Mary - 3:37:17 (2018)

                          Running Problem

                          Problem Child

                            Zeb if you want to drink less beer maybe check out this company.  Without knowing what kind of beer you like (In a previous life I ran marathons and brewed beer along with traded beer across state and country lines) I can tell you the stout, Pale Ale, and IPA are good enough to pass most people's perceptions of what a non-alcoholic beer would taste like. The IPA I poured even looked like a regular beer with foamy white lasting head and golden yellow color. Pretty sure they're using Cascade but not like Sierra Nevada Torpedo levels. It might cut that "post run" beer edge a lot. Down side is they can be out of stock, and they're about the same price as a normal 6 pack. MY wife enjoys the wines.

                            Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.


                              Chris, 43 from greater Wellington, New Zealand.  Married with two girls.


                              I started running in 2011, with a half in 1:45.  In 2016 I got my half down to 1:26, and it's stayed there.


                              2014 to 2016 were my best mileage years.


                              2020 was not a great year for me.


                              In January I injured my hamstring pretty bad, it's still not 100%.  It wasn't until June that I was back training moderately well.


                              Late October I broke my elbow (radius) and damaged my shoulder joint in a running crash.  The elbow is now very good.  But the shoulder is still a few months from being good.


                              In between my injuries I raced a lot, mainly small club cross country races and a few road races.


                              Highlight was a 39:59 10km.


                              I ran two half marathons.


                              One was in September being Rotorua which was mainly off road, and I did 1:36:37 which I was quite happy with, 14th out of 360.


                              The other was Wairarapa in October (where Mark ran the full).  This was a disappointing 1:30:18 (19th out of 69) with a bad last 7km, slight up hill into the wind.


                              Anyhow, 2021 will be injury free...


                              Upcoming races (all aims TBC):

                              - 21 February, Wellington Round The Bays 6.5km

                              - January to March, Wellington 5km Summer Series, three races,

                              - 11 July Wellington Urban Ultra (WU2K) 43km with 2km elevation.

                              - August/September Wellington 10km Road Champs

                              - April to September misc club races (some cross country)

                              - October to December, Wellington 5km Summer Series, two to three races,


                              There's a good chance I won't run any half marathon's this year.


                              My plan roughly is:

                              - January to February, some running and races with shoulder rehab

                              - March to June, build up mileage including substantial elevation.  Will race a little.

                              - July, WU2k and then recover

                              - August onward, train and race

                              PRs: 5km 18:43 (Dec 2015), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:26:16 (Sep 2016), full 3:09:28 (Jun 2015)


                              40+ PRs: 5km 19:31 (Oct 2020), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)



                                Posted my recap in the 2020 thread, but because I'm superstitious, I won't post my intro in this thread before it's actually 2021.  If I did, 2021 might never happen, you see.  It'd be like wearing the shirt you get at the race expo with your bib before you've finished the race.  So you can all thank me on January 1.

                                Post-1987 PRs:  Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (April '20)

                                2021 Goals:  Stay healthy, 40+ mpw, Half<1:30; PR or 80% age-grade at some distance