Half Marathon Trainers

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Newbie to the 1/2 marathon... (Read 429 times)


TRIing to beat the heat!

    Hey there! I've been running for about 14 months now (also competing in sprint and oly distance tris) and I'm just starting to move into the longer distances. I'll be running my first 1/2 marathon on February 15th. Been training hard and I feel confident about the distance. 'Hopefully' everything will come together on race day. Cool My original goal when I signed up last November was to complete the 1/2 marathon in 2 hours... but my secret goal is to come in around 1:50. Do y'all think the 'stretch' goal is realistic in any way, shape or form... or should I just get it out of my head before I do too much damage to my running psyche? Blush I can't wait to browse this message board more thoroughly. So glad to have found it!

    2012 Goals

    Sub-1:42 for half marathon √ (1:41 at Disney, Jan '12)

    Sub-22 for 5k √ (21:51 in Sept '12)

    BQ for marathon- FAIL

      ***** Waving Shell !! ******* You will love this group, lots of great and talented runners to share advice.... Enjoy your Journey! Wink

      2014 Goal : " Be my own Hero" 

       " Choose Joy"

        That's a hard question for us to answer, because so many factors contribute to it, especially how difficult a course it is. Seeing that you're in FL, I'll assume it's a course without many hills and therefore not too difficult. Looking at your workouts, you certainly get a lot of cross training in and sounds like you're pretty fit. Hard to tell from your actual workouts though on your miles vs time vs effort. Howver looking at your curent race times of 5K (7:47)and 10K (8:47), it sounds to me that you are off the pace of 8:24 needed to run a 1:50. There are some charts and formulas around to help you convert a shorter race with an expectant longer race, but I've never used them and so call on other HM groupies to pitch in. Again, I don't know what effort you put into them or how much you have improved since them. Also, don't know if you're working with nutrition or anything for during the race, (gels/drinks/sport beans etc) Some people feel you don't need them on a HM, but I'm a believer in making sure you take something in other than just water throughout the race. Whichever way you plan on going, I suggest you try it out on a practice long run of close to the HM distance and see how it is. Welcome to the group and remember none of us are experts, but we share our opinions and our lessons learned to anyone that asks. My opinion is to set a reasonable goal and be delighted with breaking it rather than a strectch goal and face dissappointment for not making it. Unless your fitness has drastically changed, stick with the 2 HR (9:10 pace) for the race. Larry

        LPH

        "Today I broke my record for most consecutive days lived!"


        TRIing to beat the heat!

          Thanks so much! I'm really looking forward to being a part of this 1/2 marathon community! From what I've read so far, there's LOTS of good info. here! I agree that there are too many factors to really call it... weather is a BIG deal here in FL. I've upped my mileage (and intensity of training) quite a bit since my 10K last October and have even run a faster 10K during training runs... it's also A LOT cooler now. I think I'm going to stick with the 2 hour goal. If I run it faster so be it and if something happens to where I need to run it slower, so be it. It is my first one, afterall! Enjoyment is key, right?!? Big grin

          2012 Goals

          Sub-1:42 for half marathon √ (1:41 at Disney, Jan '12)

          Sub-22 for 5k √ (21:51 in Sept '12)

          BQ for marathon- FAIL

            That's a great attitude. You're training hard, you're preparing, now go and run and have fun. Keep the goal in mind but don't let it be the most important part of the race. Larry

            LPH

            "Today I broke my record for most consecutive days lived!"

              Hi, Shell! Sorry it took me a while to see your question. Your question was interesting to me because my goals were so similar to yours: I wanted to break two hours and thought I was running too fast at the outset of my half. I knew I should be running 9-minute miles but was closer to 8:45 and 8:30s . . . but some race days are good like that. I ended up with my 1:50. Train like a bear--run lots of race-pace tempo runs (okay, not lots; don't injure yourself, but teach your body how to run that pace)--and if you have time, stretch out your long runs. What pace to run your tempos? I wouldn't be legalistic about it--run them between 9:10 and 8:24. The important thing is to teach your body to sustain that pace without too much effort, for six to eight miles. If you can do that on training day, you'll know a lot about what you can expect on race day. I took two Gus in my last half, one at mile 5, one at mile 10. I know your training is so different from ours because you have to squeeze in your biking and swimming, but do try to get your speedwork in if you intend to race this one. And then, pray for good weather. Smile Which race are you running? I'm going to be in your corner of the woods on March 1 running my first marathon . . . I'm scared out of my mind!

              Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Heb. 12:1b)
              Mile by Mile


              Prince of Fatness

                Like the others have said it's tough to say whether 1:50 is a reach or not. I'd like to see more mileage, but I guess that's what I always say. You do plenty of cross training, and I'm sure that helps. I do have one thing you could try that may give you a better idea of your time goal. Run 15 - 20 minutes easy to warm up. Then run ~5 miles @ 8:30 minute miles. Finish with 15 - 20 minutes of easy running to cool down. See how you feel after that. For you to run 1:50, you really shouldn't feel like you need much recovery at all after that workout. One other thing if this is your first half. Pay attention to your pace early in the race. Adrenaline and the crowd will get you going faster than you realize. Good luck!

                Semi-retired.


                TRIing to beat the heat!

                  You guys rock... Thanks again! MrPH... I would looove to be able to get in more mileage. I love training for the run more than either of the other two tri elements. Unfortunately, with tri season looming only 2 months out, it's nearly impossible right now. This year, however, I have vowed to cut my tri season short (mid-summer) and start training for my first marathon this fall (Philly). I imagine the mileage will make quite a jump! Cool Vixi... thank you so much for your support. You and MrPH both mentioned the importance of practicing race pace. Will definitely look into that. You know that I'll be PRAYING for good weather. I keep wishing that this cold stuff that we're having now would carry on to Feb 15th. I would LOVE that! I'm running the Sarasota 1/2 Marathon- Feb 15th. You are probably running the Gasparilla Distance Classic, right? I hear that's a really nice race! I 'almost' opted to do that race as my first 1/2, but ended up signing up for a 60-mile cycling event on that date instead. I love Gasp. Distance Classic logo! They should have great t-shirts! Wink Good luck to you! Can't wait to read your race report!

                  2012 Goals

                  Sub-1:42 for half marathon √ (1:41 at Disney, Jan '12)

                  Sub-22 for 5k √ (21:51 in Sept '12)

                  BQ for marathon- FAIL

                    Thanks, Shell. Yes, I'm doing the Gasparilla Distance Classic. I hear the last push of the marathon course, up Bayshore, is windy every year, but in my experience, every Florida race has some element of wind to it--I think it's our tradeoff for flat courses. I'm praying for cool weather too; I'm afraid by March the mercury may be starting to rise. Boy, you keep a stacked racing schedule, don't ya! No wonder you can't slack on your tri training! Maybe I"d be in better shape if I cross trained too . . . first marathon this fall, huh? Can't wait to follow your training!

                    Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Heb. 12:1b)
                    Mile by Mile


                    TRIing to beat the heat!

                      Boy, you keep a stacked racing schedule, don't ya! No wonder you can't slack on your tri training! Maybe I"d be in better shape if I cross trained too . . . first marathon this fall, huh? Can't wait to follow your training!
                      LOL! Ya know what all of this cross-training gets me? Very tired legs... My long run yesterday was wicked tough over the last 2 miles or so. I feel amazing cardiorespiratory wise, but my legs just start to fail me. It's unnerving to say the least as I'm beginning to get worried that I'll feel this way during the 1/2... only earlier in the race! *gulp* This week I am attempting a new strategy just to see if it affects next weekend's long run. I'm cutting out cycling completely and doing absolutely no lower body weight training. The only thing going on this week will be running, swimming and core work. I also think that I may be timing some of my strength running (like this past week's hill work) too close to my long run. Something to think about once this 1/2 marathon is over and done with. I think I mentioned in my original post that I've been working with a runner-trainer from my gym and she's been compiling my workouts for me. For my next go-round, I'll be attempting to do things on my own with the advice from RA and from some print sources. Keeping my fingers crossed that with a little trial and error, things will get better all around. Big grin

                      2012 Goals

                      Sub-1:42 for half marathon √ (1:41 at Disney, Jan '12)

                      Sub-22 for 5k √ (21:51 in Sept '12)

                      BQ for marathon- FAIL

                        Shell, was this your first time doing this distance? If it was, it seems pretty normal your legs would rebel, and I agree, your legs are doing a lot! One thing I tried to do during my half training was to keep tough workouts separated. In fact, I was supposed to be doing weights to strengthen my leg muscles and discovered I had to keep them separated from the longer runs and the speedwork--those tougher runs--or I didn't have the legs for them. You see, you're already putting your head into your training! What's your long run plan for the next couple weeks?

                        Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Heb. 12:1b)
                        Mile by Mile

                          Shell, A couple of things I would suggest. You're doing too many hard workouts while trying to get the mileage up. This brings up the 2nd piece, you need to start tapering. Most workouts that I see is that you start to taper two weeks before the half, but in your case since you are training for tris, your workouts are more intense. So here is what I would suggest. Start tapering a bit this week, no hard workouts, no strength training (you've either got it by now or you don't). By tapering a bit this week, you can rest up and try for the 13.1 this weekend which would be two weeks before your race. Then you need to taper for the next two weeks. Do you have a schedule with recommended tapering for a half? If not ask and we'll get some plans to you. Personally, at this point, I wouldn't worry so much if you actually run 13.1 this weekend or not. Looking at your log, you did 12.5 and that is enough to get you through a HM providing you run a smart race and you are well rested. As you said, you had no problem with the Cardio, so it's all in the legs. They need to learn to take the pounding that comes with the distance, but as I said, you are there, so don't kill yourself this weekend. If you feel good, then run it if not, don't be afraid to cut it short. Then taper/taper/taper, your legs need to be rested for the race. I know you have other race experience under your belt (tris etc) so you also know about the adrenelin rush you'll have on race day that will also help carry you through. Just don't try to overdue it on race day, make sure you're rested, have the nutrients you need, and hopefully you've plan for the right nutrients for your needs for during the race. So don't worry, you're right there and you'll do fine. Larry

                          LPH

                          "Today I broke my record for most consecutive days lived!"


                          TRIing to beat the heat!

                            I just can't thank you all enough. You guys are so great here... and believe me, I am listening to everything that you are saying. Big grin Larry, I agree. I wish that I had done many more easy runs compared to all of the intense stuff that I've been doing. Unfortunately I was using a training plan created by a trainer-friend of mine and I guess her ideas of what I needed were different from the masses. Next time around, I'm going approach things differently. Tapering... well, thanks to all of the intense training (and winter germs), I've come down with a nasty cold. So it looks like I will be starting the taper that you mentioned. The body always knows what it needs, doesn't it? My trainer-friend's plan for this week has me running a tempo run and an easy run with pick-ups as well as 13 miles on Satuday. I think I'm just going to do some nice easy runs and then the 13 on Saturday/Sunday (if the bod feels up to it). Do you think this is a good approach at this point? I really have no idea 'how' to taper for a longer road race. For tris, I would usually just cut all of my workouts back by a certain percentage. I suppose it works this way for longer distance running as well? Any additional advice on this would be GREAT! I feel confident about the race. I'm actually very excited about it and the closer it gets, the less I find myself worrying about finish time, etc... I understand well how adrenaline works and I have a feeling I'll be very pleased with the outcome "if", like you mentioned, I train smart during these last few weeks AND race smart. Big grin Thanks again for all of your help and support!

                            2012 Goals

                            Sub-1:42 for half marathon √ (1:41 at Disney, Jan '12)

                            Sub-22 for 5k √ (21:51 in Sept '12)

                            BQ for marathon- FAIL

                              You certainly seem to have a good handle on everything, your expereince with Tris and your training for the HM will carry you through no problem as long as you run smart. I'll have to check a book I have at home for a tapering plan to suggest to you. Larry

                              LPH

                              "Today I broke my record for most consecutive days lived!"

                                Hey, Shell. For my first half I did my last long run about three weeks before the race--not by choice, just life. This time around I ran twelve eight days before race day, then the week of ran a total of 18 miles (you can see my log for Nov 08 for the breakdown). I got to the line feeling good, but I wasn't training to the level that you were. I can only share my experience. It's funny how much our training is paralleling as we both prepare for new distances. I'm wondering how much I should taper for the marathon. BTW--I saw your thread about salty sweat, and I have the same problem. I stopped into my running store and they said if it bothered me, to try the s caps, though they didn't think I'd end up with cramps in the marathon if I hadn't had a problem yet. Their second suggestion was switching from Gu to some of the other gels that have much higher sodium and potassium content. My favorite so far is Accel Gel, but you can also try e Gels and Gu Roctane. It's too late to try anything new before your half, but might be worth experimenting before our wonderful summer warms up again.

                                Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Heb. 12:1b)
                                Mile by Mile

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