First Half Marathon in 8 weeks

A little advice please...

1 to 20 of 36 messages
10/04/2013 at 13:54

Hello all was wondering if I can get a bit of advice?

I've entered the St Albans half in June and was wondering if I could get any pointers on training and food. So background is - I started running last October after doing 0 exercise for about 12 years, culminating in a 10k race in March (56 mins).

I'm currently doing this:

Monday - rest

Tuesday - 4m - 35mins

Weds - 5k as fast as I can!

Thurs - 4m

Fri - 4m

Saterday - 9.5k

Sunday - 8m - 1:12 (done for the first time last week....first run over an hour long!)

Now I have a plan to up sunday to about 10 miles in a few weeks, then 12 miles a few weeks after that. Does this sound about right? All I really want to do in June is get round running at the pace I always seem to run at which points to about 2:15ish.

Also food, I haven't really experimented with what to eat before my long run though takeaway pizza seems to be good as was the huge amount of chicken-bacon-pasta that I ate before my longest run last saterday night. Any tips on what's good I can try out now and get used to?

Any advice appreciated, thanks

10/04/2013 at 14:14

Porridge before your long run. It's the running food of the gods. I make mine with water and stick a big glob of honey in there, all the fuel you need for an LSR up to about 12 miles.

You're already doing nearly 30 miles a week which seems a lot to me. I only got up to about 20 a week before my first (recent and only!) half.  If I was you I'd stick at least another rest day in there, possibly Saturday? Doing too much is a good way to hurt yourself.

The pace you're doing for your long run is also quite fast considering your target time - consider taking it slower, you want to build up the endurance rather than speed on the long run.

10/04/2013 at 14:19

Oh, and do some cross training too.

10/04/2013 at 14:29

Thanks Nicky, well done on doing your first half. Porridge is nice and I do eat it with my daughters, I just can't imagine eating before running - all my runs are at 6am pretty much as soon as I get up. Will give it a go though and see what happens.

And yes I might be doing a few too many miles, I just get itchy feet when I don't get out. As for the pace, I agree after reading alot of posts with advice on here I should be going slower, just seems to be my natural pace as I'm always +/- 1 min on my runs no matter how I 'feel' I'm running. Will try and chill out on saterday and sunday!

10/04/2013 at 14:52


there are some good schedules that you could look to maybe join along with on this site:

Sounds like your miles are up from what they suggest, but as Nicky pointed out above, you could always look to swap one of your run days for a rest / cross trainer day.

Good luck with your race, I'm hoping to complete a HM come september time - though quite a lot of training for me before then!

10/04/2013 at 15:10

Hi Stu, that training schedule was kind of what I was baseing it on, but adapting it a little  to how I feel if you see what I mean.  I'd actually really like to do some kind of cross training for variety if nothing else. I've got an exercise bike, not sure if it's really different enough though! Thanks for the encouragement...feels a bit daunting doesn't it?

10/04/2013 at 23:42

You don't really *need* to eat anything before a "long" slow run of up to 12 miles really, I don't for runs up to 15/16 miles (though I'll load up a little more the night before but only as I'll do some faster miles as part of it and its an excuse to eat).  I'd imagine not eating before running will help your body burn fat more efficiently and even the thinnest athletes enough fat to run miles beyond anything you can do in training (as long as you run slowly)!

If you can run 4 miles in 35 minutes in training each week, and 5K even faster with a recent 10K in 56 min, you should be on for *much* nearer 2 hours than 2:15 just work on your long slow runs for endurance which is the key to a decent HM time I found (I improved by 20 minutes from 2:06 to 1:46 by ditching the faster stuff and doing more miles slowly over 3 months).  I'm not sure running 5K "as fast as you can" each week is particularly helpful for HM training and may even be counter productive, I'm not even doing that at the moment as I train for a 5K.

11/04/2013 at 09:52

If you're going out at 6am, I wouldn't eat beforehand as you want to have finished eating a good hour (at least) before you run.

Personally I think doing anything other than snoring at 6am is a bad idea!

12/04/2013 at 08:51

Deave, thanks for the advice. I agree I doubt running a 5k once a week all out does much but it's a bit different than the plodding around and breaks up the routine a bit. Did it yesterday morning and got to about 3.5km before I had to slow down to normal pace, really amazes me how people can keep up the speed ove long distances!  As for aiming for 2 hours, well we'll see. I'm going to make an effort to try and slow it down but do a few extra miles tomorrow and see how it feels.


And Nicky, even if I wasn't out running the kids would have me up by half past!

12/04/2013 at 12:01

If you want to break it up a bit, you could try some intervals like 5x1Km or 1.2K with breaks (couple of minutes?) in between at a walk or slow jog rather than racing 5K every week - you'll get a similar amount of training at higher speeds, but will recover much quicker enabling you to train better the rest of the week.

12/04/2013 at 12:57

Might just try that daeve

15/04/2013 at 08:50

Went out yesterday for my weekly 8 miler - 75 mins. Felt pretty tired after the massive hill at about mile 3....but made it all the way up without stopping . Sweating buckets by the end though as I forgot it was warm enough for just t-shirt. So same, if not a few mins slower than last week...and I was trying to slow down a bit more. Good news is that there were absolutly no niggly pains anywhere.

I think I'm going to knock the 10k on a saterday on the head and just do an easy 5k so I can get a really good (slow) long 10m run in on sunday. After I get used to that it's only a smallish step up to the half marathon distance isn't it?

16/04/2013 at 20:37
That's quite a lot of miles for a half.i run 3 times mon wed fri for halfs
19/04/2013 at 09:26
jeremy lucas 2 wrote (see)
That's quite a lot of miles for a half.i run 3 times mon wed fri for halfs

Yeh I'm starting to understand that. This week I've been mixing it up so that it looks like:

Mon - nothing

Tue - 4m (am)

Wed - 10k (pm)

Thur - nothing

Friday - 4m (am)

Saterday - 8m+ (am)

Sunday - easy 5k (pm)

So far the runs have felt alot better with the fresher legs. Going to try 10 miles tomorrow as I really want to get used to running nearer 13 miles before actually trying to do it on the day.


31/05/2013 at 14:19

Hi guys, the half is now next week. I've been doing weekly 10.5 mile runs every saterday for a good few weeks now so for my last lsr tomorrow do you think it's worth doing an extra bit and getting up to 12 miles?

I think the half is going to be ok, just going to plod round it I think and stick to aiming for 2:15.

31/05/2013 at 14:31

The going over 10.5 won't actually physically make any difference as it's only a week away, but it's more i guess it will help you mentally to know that you can do it but realistically it's less than 5k extra and you do 10.5 miles each week you know you can just stick 5k on top of that.... So you aren't going to make yourself any fitter for the half, and might make yourself a bit more tired... but if you want the psychological cusion of knowing you can go further then I guess go for it.  But only if you know you can recover and not be tired? If there is the slightest chance of that then it seems a bit daft to be to knackered on the day because you've overtrained.


Edited: 31/05/2013 at 14:36
31/05/2013 at 14:44 would be for the psychological benefit only. I think i'd recover ok, not going to alot of running next week anyhow. Only 5k more....thinking of it like that it doesn't sound too bad at all!

31/05/2013 at 14:50

If you want more boost it's actualy only another 4.3km on top if you are doing a full 10.5m (16.8km)

That's how I did my first marathon when I hit new territory I told myself it's only 10k to go... after all that training of course I can stagger around 10k.  So the same applies for you.  You know the training you've put in, and so another 4.3km is a breeze

Do it if you want but don't get hung up about it.  Just relax and know you've put the hard work in, and you just have the fun ahead of passing the finishing line in just over a week.

31/05/2013 at 15:27

booktrunk - I like you, you say good things! 4.3km pah! I think I'll leave it and when I see that 11 mile marker next week laugh out loud in regards to the distance remaining....

31/05/2013 at 15:29

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