Acceptable First HM Time

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03/05/2011 at 13:03
First ever HM coming up in a few days, I know I can get round which is the main thing but what is considered an acceptable time for a first timer ??
M...eldy    pirate
03/05/2011 at 13:06
1hr and 12 mins




03/05/2011 at 13:07

If you are slower than 1:35 then people will point and laugh.









I have to say that isn't true, really.  An acceptable time is whatever you are capable of.  Don't worry about what other people do.

Meldy!  You're even meaner than me!

Edited: 03/05/2011 at 13:08
03/05/2011 at 13:08

Depends who you are  - Ryan Hall might think that close to an hour is reasonable, some else might think that 2 hours is good.

 A lot of club runners see breaking 1:30 as a big achievement

 Just enjoy the race and see what happens. Then you can have a realistic target in your second race.


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03/05/2011 at 13:11
Just concentrate on getting round your first one in good shape. If you feel good, forge ahead by all means. But once you've posted a time, you'll have something to aim at next time. I think people are taking the micky gently because your question is 'how long is a piece of string' - we don't know how fast you train and what you yourself think you're capable of running.
03/05/2011 at 13:24

Actually, I think first timers should go slower, otherwise it gives the impression running is easy ..

And wear a big red L plate, so everone knows you're a learner & have a chance to wind you up a bit,and of course, a green P for the next 6 races.

Brian - less than 1:12 and you can probably start making a living from it (or at least get lots of free kit) ... more than 3:30 and you might be walking. Anything in between is normally OK. Take a look at the results for last year, and see the range.

(Although my first ever half is still my best time, it's all been slower since then. But I got very close Sunday ...if it wasn't for that headwind in the last 2 miles, or those hills, or....)

03/05/2011 at 13:25

Well as we are in the beginners section I though I may have got a few replies from beginners saying that in their first they did it in x time or y time but never mind!

My longest run during training was 12.5 miles in 1min 50secs but this was at a pace that I knew I could get round in to get mileage under my belt. Only really managed one long run a week on top of playing football with a couple of missed weeks of training end of March.

03/05/2011 at 13:29
You did 12.5 miles in 1 min, 50 sec? Are you a whippet? A jaguar? Do you have a jet pack?
03/05/2011 at 13:32
What you might want to do, then, is have a vague aim of getting under two hours, or 1.55, which are very decent times, and see how you do. But don't get too hung up on it. There'll be other HMs.
03/05/2011 at 13:35
1 hour 50 mins, sorry, it's all these people taking the pi$$ out of me it's made me nervous
03/05/2011 at 13:40
AllNewTB wrote (see)
You did 12.5 miles in 1 min, 50 sec? Are you a whippet? A jaguar? Do you have a jet pack?


That's not a jet pack !  That's a teleport device.  I want one ! 

Brian Cohen wrote (see)

Well as we are in the beginners section I though I may have got a few replies from beginners saying that in their first they did it in x time or y time but never mind!


If you are after stats - mine was in 1 hour 48 mins.  Like you I did one "longer" run a week  (10+ miles) and a couple of shorter runs (4-7 miles).  I reckon you will find that running in a race will improve your time somewhat as you will get "drawn along" by other runners around you.

As everyone will point out comparisons are of limited value - age and gender are the most obvious factors to effect time but there are probably lots of other things that can have an effect (judging by other threads, even down to what you had for breakfast !)

Hope you enjoy it, get hooked and, as Peter Collins rightly says, once you have a first time you will have a target to beat in the next one !

 Good luck.

03/05/2011 at 13:46
Brian, I think people are doing it gently. Don't be nervous. Let us know how you do. Good luck
03/05/2011 at 13:48

Oh - and I forgot to say that in training my times were similar to yours ( that is half marathon distance in about 1hour 55)

03/05/2011 at 16:07
Thanks Weevil
03/05/2011 at 16:11
whatever you manage will be your PB so just enjoy it.
03/05/2011 at 16:30

Brian - the other warning is that most races have at least a few 'suspect' mile markers, and are often not exactly the right distance. So keep an open mind as to how you're doing and (depending on which race you're doing) expect plus or minus 1/4 mile on the distance.

My race times are always far better than training (although I can't walk for 2 days afterwards) - I think most people tend to push harder than training - there's always someone else to chase. Watch out for taking the first miles too quickly and blowing up before the end.

And as others have said - sorry for any gently ribbing, have fun & remember the purpose is to enjoy it.
*or at least enjoy finishing

03/05/2011 at 17:58
hey, we're roughly in the same field.  ive got my first half end of the month, ive just recorded my longest distance of 11 miles in 1 hour 35 mins  im aiming to do the half in 2 hrs or there abouts, which i am fairly pleased with.
03/05/2011 at 19:00
My first HM was the Steyning Stinger in March. Cross country with some killer hills ! I had aimed for 2:45 and ended up getting round in 2:26:57, a time that I was very happy with.

I have another cross country HM in October and I'm aiming for between 2hrs and 2:15

Not sure that this helps though the chances are you won't be last, just set yourself a target that you would like to achieve
03/05/2011 at 19:55

You've got no worries with the distance and really shouldn't go all out to smash your training time.  Have an idea how you feel your training will compare to the route for the HM - if there are a few hills to contend with and you only train on the flat, you could end up running a little slower.

For my first HM I aimed to run under 2 hours and was a little light on the training and missed it by a couple of minutes.  Now 2 minutes improvement will put me under 1.45.

If you set yourself more than one target ie sub 1.50 and sub 2, you can still feel you have achieved a goal if you finish in 1.59.  Your second target could even be getting around.

Whatever happens - good luck and enjoy setting your PB as it will be a time you want to beat next time.

04/05/2011 at 10:53

Plymouthrob, I'm also doing my first half at the end of the month, guessing you're doing the plymouth one too!! I'm getting a bit nervous now. I would love to finish in under 2 but realistically I'm going for 2.10 as I know I'm capable of steady 10 min/mile. I think I've now come round to thinking that this will be my first and very memorable experience and will give me a time to work from and (hopefully) get quicker in future halfs.

Maybe we all have the tendency to beat ourselves up too much. I'm worrying about not being 10 mins quicker but in reality, running for 13 miles is a massive achievement when I couldnt even run a mile a year ago. I should just be happy with a finish.

I should but.....

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