Need some helping knowing how to get under 2 hours and if I can and also some race day advice!
Im totally new to running, in fact I used to hate it with a passion being a cyclist instead. So I decide to do a half marathon to see what it was all about, well in 3 weeks I will be. Ive been training for a few months and really enjoying it but need some advice.
Im looking to run it in under 2 hours but Ive no idea if I can acheive this and how to pace myself. Currently Ive run 13.1 miles as part of my traning last week and did it in 2 hour 7 mins. The first hour I ran at 6.7 mph but then the last hour my knees were really painful and my speed dropped. I can run 45mins at 7mph. Any advice/thought on if under 2 hours is achicveable on race day and how to go about doing it - both training wise in these last few weeks and how to pace myself race day eg. run fast 1st then slow or what? Also should I buy a joggging watch? At the mo I carry my cycling gps with me....
Lastly on race day itself how should I hydrate and energise myself....Should I carry a bottle or will drinks be provided and how much water/gels should I consume?
Sorry if these are standard boring begineers questions! Any help appriacted.
thanks for reply.
ok glad 6.7 is good. im just worried as after an hour my pace slows and the knee pain worries me. the plan i followed is this http://www.runbristol.com/App_Files/Downloads/BEGINNERS_WEB_HALF%20MARATHON.pdf but live I say Ive done 13.1miles already and ive probably done more than the plan says generally.
so race day you dont think its best to blitx the 1st hour really fast given that in my second hour in training I slowed alot? or would that be counter productive.
ok great advice thanky you. Im doing 1hour and 45 this sunday so shall try to do the first hour at 9min/mile or faster and see how the last bit goes!
Given my 5 1/2s completed there is nothing worse than over cooking the 1st half of the race. It just spoils the run & makes it a big struggle to finish.
I did notts 1/2 in 2010 (1st one) & got carried away for 7 or 8 miles & found I was running on empty at mile 10. Horrible feeling as you just want to pack in. I did complete by walk/jogging.
Stick to a steady pace throughout whole race & just enjoy the feeling of completing it given its your first 1/2!
As the others have said, its your first HM so the best advice is to take it easy and not get carried away at the start. Its very easy to try and keep up with the faster runners at the start, but you will pay for this later.
As its your first race, I wouldn't worry about buying a fancy running watch. A basic stopwatch would be useful so that you can check if you are maintaining 9min/miles at each mile marker. If you enjoy the race and want to continue improving your running, then you could consider splashing out on a runnin watch as they are a great aid.
For race day, make sure you are well hydrated for the few days before the event, e.g. maybe add an additional 1 litre of water to your daily consumption to make sure your pee is clear. Then on race day, have a drink between 1 hour and 2 hours before (resist the temptation to have a drink in the last half hour before the race, as the inevitable urge to go means a long queue at the portaloos). Assuming its a large(ish) event, then there will be drink stops along the route (check event info for confirmation) so you don't have to carry your own. For a half marathon, you don't need to take additional energy drinks/gels, but if you have been using them in training its not going to hurt to have them with you. If you haven't been using them in your training runs, I wouldn't take them in the race.
I also have a knee niggle, physio (in my case) suggested itbs stretches amongst other excercises which I have to say do help. Also just run every other day to rest the knee. In terms of pace although 9 min mile sounds ok it depends on the course profile.
I'm doing Maccelsfield half in a month which has some good hills. Based on this I'm leaving the gps watch at home and just going to (as best as possible) enjoy & complete the run & not aim for any records!
Best of luck with your first half, great feeling when you finish & well deserved cold beer when you recover!
Race day advice:
If there are anticipated finish time markers or similar get into the right group and stick with it. If not then start right at the back. This is important and will not effect your finish time esp if it is chip timed. You want to finish strong so a few seconds or even a minute over the start line is going to hurt you a lot less than setting off to fast and blowing up half way through.
Start slowly, build up to your race pace slowly, don't try to make up lost time. If you are using a stop watch or app on your mobile phone, just keep checking your pace making sure that you are not running too fast. This way you will have all the energy you need to finish strong. If you've kept something in reserve you should be able to pick up the pace in the last few miles. It will more than make up for anytime lost over the first half mile or mile.
Good luck and have fun.
Agree with all of the above- find a group running at about your planned pace, start with them- not too far forward. Don't sprint away, esae into it. Print off a pace band for your target pace, (make sure whether you have mile or KM markers) , then, as long as you have a normal watch, and know what time the race started, you're fine. When it gets tough at 10 miles, keep going, you'll beat your training pace, becuase that's what race day does!
great thank you all for the advice, very very useful!
The knee I went for a 1.45min run on sunday and didnt have any problems! I stretched for much longer like you suggest and although it twinged once or twice I was never in pain. I also changed route so the path was more level. Pace wise i average 6.4mph. I took it slow but still felt like I had plenty in the tank - I ran 7.2mph for the last 10 mins. So the advice of start slow end strong seems to be the best best to hit my under 2 hour target!
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