Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2020 (Read 617 times)

Running Problem

Problem Child

    wow...this place moves fast. Not much from me as far as training. Life is getting in the way so I'm just doing daily runs. Hit about 45 miles this week and threw out a fast 2 mile run because I was feeling speedy.



    I still need to pick up the training plan book from the library. Currently on hold. I guess I could have just ordered it from Amazon so I wouldn't have to worry about late charges again.


    flavio I'll have to look into it. I've been so focused on getting into Boston that my other distance races have just been part of marathon training. Even my mile PR was during training for Chicago because I thought I could break 6 in the mile (high school fast) and had no idea how to run the mile. Almost all my marathon training has been Hanson's which does speed work early, then lots of running close to marathon pace for the last 2 months. I'll probably start with speed work since I can get that done at lunchtime and I would expect it to help with trying to lay down a goal for a 5K in March. I might have to be smart and aim for a 5K goal in line with my HM goal. I just need to start training again.

    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.

    VDOT 52.45

    5k19:35 | Marathon 2:56:07


    Cobra Commander Keen

      This thread moves as fast as ever!

      Kimba - You might try doing those tempo repeats by time, rather than by distance - it makes determining the correct recovery easier. Every 5 minutes on = 1 minute recovery. A 6:30 T mile equals 1:18 recovery, and who wants to do that math??
      I wouldn't worry much about the pacing. It takes some getting used to but will improve.

      Rune - !! How's the return going?

      Brew - Why not start speedwork now? Maybe a 1/4 mi Reps session this week and next, and use 5k effort intervals and T work for the rest of your speedwork (mixing in 2 quality days/wk). I'd probably keep LRs at 15-16 miles. To me those were like gold when going for the half, but it also keeps more endurance for longer stuff down the road.
      Sub-20 is a lock for you - in fact, sub-20 pace should be around your HM pace. It sounds scary on the surface, but you'll surprise yourself.

      Zebano - I'm a big fan of Ten Junk Miles. Start with the early episodes!

      I've kicked back into training mode again (since 12/30), now targeting sub-3 at the Cowtown Marathon on March 1. I'll probably be hitting 75-80mpw training for this, and I'm thinking of this general structure: 2 quality days (Reps or Intervals + Threshold or just between HM and 10k effort repeats) one week w/ ~16 mi LR, 1 quality day (likely threshold) the next with a 20-22 mile LR. or should I perhaps stick with 2 Q days/wk regardless of if I'm doing 20 on the weekend or not? Probably posting this in the marathon thread as well just for volume of input.

      Last week: 74 miles with 16 mile LR, 12x 400m, and 5x 3:30 I for quality.

      5k: 17:58 11/22 │ 10k: 37:55 9/21 │ HM: 1:23:22 4/22 │ M: 2:56:05 12/22


      Upcoming Races:


      Heartland 50 - May 6


      2/3rds training

        Hey everyone, just skimmed through the first 6 pages, this looks like a good group to be a part of!

        About me: 32M with off/on love/loath relationship with running since 2013. More into trail running and racing but this year I've got my eye on a few road races including the Half Marathon World Championships on March 29th in Poland. Last fall I went ~1:30 with little structured run training in a flatter trail/dirt road half marathon so I would like to improve upon that.

        1k: 3:14
        10km 40:29
        HM (dirt): 1:30
        50km (trail): 4:29

        2020 Goal races:
        29/3 HM World Champs Gdynia Poland
        End of May: Trail Marathon or Ultra in Belarus
        Early July: Road Marathon of Friendship in Lithuania/Belarus
        Sept: Trail Ultra Skyrace Pirin, Bulgaria
        Oct: Trail HM Belarus
        Nov: Trail Marathon Belarus

        I've struggled with consistent mileage over the years and have been plagued by IT band problems off and on for a while. Last year I hit 900 miles with almost the whole summer spent cycling instead of running (due to a mix of injury and disinterest). Cycling is something I love as well and I'll also do a bit of XC skiing in the winter to get extra volume and cross-training. 

        Last week was good with 4 easy ~6 milers, one 6 miler with 4x1km hill repeats at 12% on the treadmill, and a 30k long run. Sorry for mixing ks and miles, I'm an expat American living in Eastern Europe, so I've switched mentally to kms to chat with runners here.

        Look forward to learning and bouncing questions and thoughts off you all here!


        Mother of Cats

          Hello to everyone.  Wow - a lot of people are going through tough times, between fires, injuries, illness, other stuff. I hope things improve for everyone.


          Re: question on how fast to regain fitness - I don't historically take long breaks of more than about 4 weeks.  But I can tell you that even with about 2-3 weeks of no hard workouts post-marathon, it takes me about 9-10 weeks to get back to where I was before.  Note that I count in weeks, not workouts.


          Question: I saw "ARTC" mentioned.  What is that?  Is it a local training group?  I ask because there's a subgroup on Reddit about running entitled ARTC that included a race report on my goal spring marathon, so I'm very curious as to what ARTC stands for (I couldn't figure it out from reviewing the group).




          My week:

          60 miles, 27 "miles" of pool-running, and 1000 yards of swimming
          M: yoga and 10 "miles" pool-running.
          T: In the morning, 3 mile shakeout (9:07). In the evening, 4 mile warmup, 4 mile race in 24:55, 3 mile cooldown.
          W: 3 miles very easy (9:07), yoga, 3 miles very easy (8:58), and then 6 "miles" pool-running.
          Th: Lifting, core, and 11 "miles" pool-running
          F: 5.5 miles very easy (9:31 - not a typo - rainy, dark, awful visibility), yoga, 6.5 miles very easy (8:56), drills and four uphill/downhill strides.
          Sa: 17 miles, including a workout of 2x5 miles at marathon effort. Split 33:42 (6:49/6:47/6:44/6:43/6:39 - 6:44 pace) and 33:45 (6:42/6:48/6:49/6:45/6:41 - 6:45 pace). One mile float in 7:42 in between. Followed with injury prevention work and 1000 yards recovery swimming.
          Su: 7 miles very easy (9:18), drills, two strides, upper body weights/core, and 4 miles very easy (8:57)


          [for those of you who don't know my math - 10 minutes of pool-running = 1 "mile" - so 6 "miles" of pool-running is an hour.]

          Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


          And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

          From the Internet.

            darkwave - we took a vote and ultimately decided ARTC doesn't stand for anything, lol. TL;DR there was some subreddit drama in AdvancedRunning, where a bunch of us used to hang out and participate regularly, so we split off and made our own thing. ARTC started off as Advanced Running Track Club and when we moved, we couldn't decide on a reverse-engineered name from the acronym so we stuck with just the acronym. Sub is pretty quiet but the majority of the socializing happens in a slack workspace now.

            Running Problem

            Problem Child

              keen I'm not really looking to do hard workouts yet. Plus I don't have a structured training plan to follow. Jumping into 12x400 is probably where I should start and just pick a day like "Thursday" to do it based on a 5K race pace. It's not like there is much difference between a 3:05 and a 2:59 marathon pace for 400m repeats. I think it's 2 seconds or less, and I could do that much variation by not paying so much attention to speed. Add in having not trained for anything by Marathon pace and it just feels so uncomfortably hard...because it is.

              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.

              VDOT 52.45

              5k19:35 | Marathon 2:56:07


                Brew, I like Keen's suggestion to do some reps sessions. 12x400 might be too much, Daniels starts out with 2x8x200, with 200 super easy, maybe even walking, in between. This progressed to  2x200+2x600+4x400 for me.  I would say somewhere between mile and 5k pace. I will not be an aerobically hard workout but it will help develop strength.


                Keen - I wasn't sure about the return at first. I was sore at the injured tendon after my short runs, but I think it was just inflammation and no new injury. Just saw my doctor today and strength tests out good with no pain when I load the hamstring, but I'm kind of tight on my left side (injury side) right now. Stretching has been a no-no during healing but now I can start to do that as well. Sitting is still a pain in the ass, literally speaking. My doctor even suggested that due to the tightness the brisk walking I do in the run breaks might load the tendon more than the actual running, so next time I will do the walk breaks at a leisurely pace. It's not like these "runs" are aerobically taxing anyway, they are just to carefully build strength again. The exercises I do for my shoulder are even working so I might be able to swim again soon as well.

                5k: 20:32 (1/17)  |  HM: 1:34:37 (2/18)  |  FM: 3:31:37 (3/18)


                Getting back into it


                  Hey everyone!


                  Thanks for the responses on my work-outs!  You guys are great.


                  Darkwave - yes, you're right.  I need to keep the rest honest.  But I need people to yell at me to do that.  On another note - how do you count your cross training miles in your total weekly mileage?


                  Flavio and zebano - embarrassingly enough, I was on an indoor track, and I did consult my watch.  I knew exactly what I was supposed to do.  To be fair, my first 200m was in 45 seconds (6:00 min/mile pace), so I slowed down a little bit, to 6:30.  Once I get in a rhythm, it's VERY difficult for me to change it.  I was happy to have slowed to 6:30 within the work-out, but still overall annoyed that I messed up the work-out with the long rest.  And to be completely honest, this is a long established problem for me.  To compound the problem, my coach and I are co-dependent.  He wasn't supposed to be at this work-out with me, and I have told him I am doing my own thing for now (following Daniels).  But he was there, and he timed me, and he always comes up with some rationale for why it's okay to go faster.  I try to explain to him what I'm trying to do, but it doesn't matter.  I just can't be with him when I'm trying to do threshold type training.  It doesn't work.  I'm not making excuses - I know I need to do better.  But just trying to explain how this can happen despite the best of intentions.  In the future, I don't plan to do any of these types of work-outs with him around if I can help it.  And again, I know the responsibility ultimately lies with me, but he's a very persuasive guy.  Ask Lauren; she knows.


                  When is your race, Flavio?


                  zebano - I've recently started listening to "The Hidden Brain."  It's based on a show that's on NPR - lots of different topics


                  kcam - sorry to hear about the back; hopefully it rebounds quickly.


                  dps - same to you - hope you can find some peace and wellness soon.  Sounds like tough times.


                  Updates on me:  the day after my failed track work-out I went for a long run.  After the long run I had some random tightness/pain in my right calf.  Not something I've had before.  Feels like an acute strain, but I have no idea when it happened - never felt a thing.  Ugh.  Took Sunday and today completely off from everything, but can still feel it walking.  I might try the bike tomorrow, but certainly won't do anything weight bearing until it resolves.  Jesus Christ - if I have another injury I might just be done with this whole running thing.

                  800m:  2:20.3 (2015) | 1 Mile:  5:13 (2016) | 5K: 18:32 (2010) | 10km: 39:55 (2012) HM: 1:28 (2013) 



                    Hey guys.  I've been traveling for the holidays, so a bit behind.  Here is my week.  (current focus is LA Marathon on 3/8)


                    Here was my last week (my RA log is public as well):

                    Sunday - 20 miles trails

                    Monday - Rest

                    Tuesday - 12.5 miles roads

                    Wednesday  -  8 miles roads

                    Thursday - 5.5 miles roads

                    Friday - 12.8 miles roads with some tempo

                    Saturday - 10.5 miles roads


                    Total 69.3 miles


                    2/3rds training


                      Updates on me:  the day after my failed track work-out I went for a long run.  After the long run I had some random tightness/pain in my right calf.  Not something I've had before.  Feels like an acute strain, but I have no idea when it happened - never felt a thing.  Ugh.  Took Sunday and today completely off from everything, but can still feel it walking.  I might try the bike tomorrow, but certainly won't do anything weight bearing until it resolves.  Jesus Christ - if I have another injury I might just be done with this whole running thing.


                      I've just (hopefully) got over nagging calf pain. It took a few lower volume weeks which probably would've happened anyway with the holidays and travel. It was a first for me as well. Get after it with massage and give it time off right away. I tried to come back after just two days rest when it first popped up and it returned the next day. Ended up having to take two four-day breaks (plenty of walking tho) for it to bugger off completely. Good Luck!

                        I'm back from holiday in LA and behind on everything .. finding time to write on the forum has become difficult lately but I wanted you to know that I'm around and reading. . Just need to find the space in my day to write more constantly...

                        I'm ramping up my mileage to marathon training for Belfast (May)


                        I'll write more soon great to see so much action and "new" faces in the forum Smile

                        PRs since re-started in 2013:

                        5km: 19:43 (Belfast park run Sep-16) | 10km: 40:16 (Belfast Lagan side 10K Sep-18) 

                        HM: 1:30:09 (Belfast city Half Marathon, September-18) | FM: 3:25:05 (official chip time Belfast city Marathon, May-19, marathon was 0.3/4 longer, original time 3:27:20 for 26.5/6...)


                        Upcoming races:  


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                          Intl. correspondent

                            Kcam - Ouch, I hope you’re better!


                            Dps - damn man, you’re indestructible, count me jealous.


                            Zebano - what I found works best for me in terms of sleeping at the right time is establishing a routine, having dinner early (6pm) and having that software that dims the light of the laptop and the phone after sunset.


                            Lauren - 3 strong runs in a row sounds like a recipe for disaster. I know some people can handle 2 in a row, but that’s pushing. Stay safe!


                            Brew - you can make it very simple.

                            Do one of these every Thursday, at a 5K pace compatible with your current form. You’re looking at an 18:40 5k most likely if the weather is ok.

                            12x 30 seconds strides, 12x 1 minute, 12x400 , 8x600, 6x800, 5x1000, 4x1200, 3x1600

                            Last one 10 days before your race.

                            Embrace the suckage!


                            JMC - welcome aboard!


                            Kimba - don’t sweat it, just get the next one right. Indoor track is a risky proposition what with the sharp turns.

                            For calf injury I use the massage ball against the sole of my feet and the piriformis. I’m trying to preach to the preacher though haha.


                            My race is in mid February.


                            Marco - what up!


                            me - Got out there 6am today and it was already too late, but I still managed to complete the 5x1000 at 5k/10k pace. I had a nice call with my coach yesterday and it was cool to see the overarching strategy at play, understand the why's.

                            I have a mission now until race day. Eat better and don't fuck up with my training. I'll go super light with the strength training the next few weeks.

                            PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                            Up next: April 8th - 20.8K Eco Trail Porto (

                            Tool to generate Strava weekly


                            2/3rds training

                              Flavio I hit that same workout today on the treadmill. Felt really good!

                              Anybody else doing speedwork today? Anyone have good interval recs for the treadmill targeting HM? Either broken down by time or km distance. 1k reps with .5k recoveries were easy to track. Have not tried the 'track' setting on the treadmill but I guess that would open up 400/800/1200 options. Trying to KISS.


                                jmctav23 -- I've always found time based intervals (some call them fartleks) to be easier than distance on the treadmill. Also calf pain is an abomination and usually requires rest IME. Sorry. For a HM workout I'd probably start with 4x8 min tempo on 2 min jog and build the time duration week over week. Given that you've done KM hill repeats lately 2x20 min w/ a 4 min jog might  be feasible if your LT system is feeling well developed.


                                Kimba - Nate Jenkins in his blog has a great story about doing the work that's important to racing well which I occasionally re-read when I overrun my intervals though he buries it under a heading about running fast and relaxed rather than making it the point of the paragraph.


                                A real life example during my senior year in HS I regularly did 8x400m repeats. Early in the year when I started I ran this session and averaged just over 70s per 400. That is two miles of work in 9:20.  At that point I had run 2 miles in around 10:02 seconds.  By the end of the year I had improved the 8x400m workout to averaging just over 60s per 400m, 8:00 for two miles work. An incredible improvement of 1:20 for two miles work.  In the same time frame I improved my 2 mile race time down to 9:47 seconds. There was no doubt I was fitter but I had improved only 15 seconds in what mattered to me and in workouts which were not my goal, not my focus I had improved by eight times as much.  The training I was doing was VERY HARD.  The training I was doing did a GREAT job of improving my body and my abilities but I WAS NOT IMPROVING IN THE WAY I WANTED TO!  Years later I would run a 5k early in a season at 14:30 seconds and around the same time I would run 12x400m in 67 seconds.  At the end of the season I ran 6x800m in 2:13 only a small improvement on my early season workout, at least at first glance, but I ran 13:56 for 5000m.  I was improving where I wanted to improve. Where it mattered.



                                Thanks for all the podcast recommendations the NPR recommendation got me catching up on Ask Me Another and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. so that made yesterday enjoyable. What are you're guys go-to cross training activities (without buying a belt and resorting to water running) that seem to carry over the best? I did elliptical yesterday and wanted to do something like 20 min Z2, 20 min Z3 and what I ran into was that my quads got challenged long before my lungs/HR were.

                                1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 41:20 (2021), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Marathon - 3:37:17 (2018)