half marathon training

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04/02/2011 at 22:16

Well my calf seems to be getting better so I'm going to look for a hm to train for.

It's got to be off road and hilly.

I would like to do Seaford again, I came 3rd vet lady first and only time I ran it but it's the day after South Downs relay - don't think I could do both.

That leaves Milland in Aug, though not a half mara or Firle or Pilgrims in Sept / Oct.

07/02/2011 at 14:22

Hi y'all.

Just four weeks to go to the Steyning Stinger now.  Finished my first race of the year yesterday - the Chichester 10K in 61 minutes.  It was a tough enough run after a stop-start training month through December/January, so I'm happy(ish).

Now ... If anyone has any advice I'd appreciate it.  I'm going from road to a x-country/trail race in four weeks time - my top distance (ever) is 11 miles on-road, 9 miles off-road, and the Stinger is (obviously) a HM.... so, it's a stretch for me.

So, given the 'taper' the week before the race, I've effectively got three weeks left to train for this.  I'd appreciate any advice.  My brother (who has run a few HM's and M's) has suggested that I should concentrate solely on LSR's over the next three weeks on varying terrain.  In other words, forget speedwork as I'm not aiming to win the race (as-if), just to finish the damn thing in one-piece/reasonable shape.

 Take care all!


07/02/2011 at 18:38

Agree. Forget any idea of speed work.

Do shorter hilly runs. Steyning is very hilly - the hm has 2 or 3 big hills and lots of ascent / decent. What has your training been to date. What has been your longest run this year?

Personally I'd just run off road. If you are near the downs I'd run there. You may find it useful to add some hill work - just hill undulations. A short hilly route that is approx a mile long that you can run 3 or 4 times with a rest between each circuit. No need to go at it hammer and tongs, just work at a steady pace.

Where are you based?

07/02/2011 at 19:49
Hi Spartakrunner,

Looks like we are both at about the same place training wise... I'm planning on switching my long Sunday run to cross country again this weekend and still do my mid week runs on roads, mainly because it is dark when I run mid week.

My mid week runs are a bit up and down hill, I don't think anywhere in Steyning is flat ! I'm planning on doing 3 more runs of 11 miles each over the downs and mid week runs of between 3 and 10 miles....

Starting to feel quite nervous about it all...

07/02/2011 at 23:11

Hi Spartakrunner, I am going to be doing my first half ( Hastings) in 6 weeks. It looks like your training is going really well!

I have been doing some parkrun 5ks as some short speed runs to try and work on my speed mixed with some long runs (10/12miles). The race I am doing has quite a bit of incline to say the least, the first 6/7miles are all upward bound, so I have been putting in some good hill training or trying too!

I am begining to worry about it too, I worry I may become overwhelmed by the whole event , as I never thought I would ever get to this point!

Edited: 07/02/2011 at 23:12
07/02/2011 at 23:15
Hi Lisa, biker-mouse...

I'm not nervous about it, it's a kind of 'i can't wait for it but I know it's going to be a really tough challenge' sort of feeling. It COULD be beyond what I'm capable of? But that's also what makes it attractive. Not sure I'm making sense to you, but it makes sense to me!!!

I'm based in East Preston, near Littlehampton, b-m, Highdown Hill is close to me and where I ran the Duck Pond Waddle 15k cross in early December. Late December had little training due to illness and a three year old who didn't sleep much right through to a week ago, keeping my wife and I up for a good bit of every night - this has settled down now.

I've been doing about 25 miles a week on road, with occasional runs on Highdown and one short run near Steyning. I've also done a few short (120 metre) hill repeats on Highdown and on Primrose Hill near where I work in London.

Good advice about longer slower hill repeats. Highdown has a stretch of about three quarters of a mile that I could run back and forth on over the next three weeks, and I'm lucky enough to work from home 3 days a week, so I could do this at least once a week....

Lisa - I think you're a good bit ahead of me if you're doing regular 10/11 miles. I've only done one at that distance ever(!) - two weeks ago - on road. You'll be in good shape for the Stinger I think, and your training plan seems spot on to me!!
However, when I ran over your way two weeks ago it was pretty muddy, and since then there has been more rain - in Littlehampton at least, so it could be interesting.

For me it's about plodding on on the day - not lazily, but steadily - not to run up each hill, but not to just walk up and run down either ... I want to get to the free after-race brekka with a sense of satisfaction and a desire to want to do similar races again - in Sunshine perhaps!!!

Take care, both - thanks for the advice


07/02/2011 at 23:21
Hello Sharon - what I have found is that I love the occasion ( more at the end than the start, mind). Everyone at an event seems to be in the same boat, even if they're much quicker than you are, because I think everyone's goal is against themselves? So in that sense a feeling of nervousness is good - everyone feels that I think.

Good luck in Hastings - I don't know the area well, but a 7 mile steady uphill at the start sounds ... Er..... 'interesting'...

08/02/2011 at 10:51

Sharon. Just take it easy.

A lot of people use Hastings as a pb course so it will be a fast start. try not to get caught up in this.Start out slowly. Remember that once that hill is out of the way there is a nice down hill and a flat finish. Once you are over the hill you can assess how much is left in the tank and how hard you can push. Hold something back for the finish so that you can 'sprint' across the line. Not that it will effect your time but it feels so good.


I may go for a hilly run later this week and see how it feels. I have always wanted to run Steyning. I mat enter on the day and use it as a training run.

08/02/2011 at 11:20

Hastings: Spoiler


looking at the hill profile. it undulates for the first 8.5 miles with the longest ascent being between 3 and 5.5 miles. A long downhill between 8 and 11 miles then flat.

Total ascent 237m / 778'

Having a varied profile helps to keep the race interesting.

Edited: 08/02/2011 at 11:22
10/02/2011 at 13:08
Looking at the rain outside I think I'm in for a very muddy run on Sunday !
11/02/2011 at 10:48

And slippery. glad I did my hills on Weds.

Hope it's stopped raining by next Weds.

13/02/2011 at 18:03
Had a good run today, 10.75 miles over the hills behind Steyning. Completed in 2:12 knocking about 8 mins off my previous time for this route.

VERY muddy, very windy and raining. It has made me realise I still need to do more hill work than I have been doing if I'm ever going to find these events easier..... Total mileage for the week 26.41 miles.

Hope everyone else has been having fun !
14/02/2011 at 11:29
Trainings looking good guys lots of running and no injuries and Lisa your 8min improvement in the mud and rain is v impressive

JUST UNDER 2 WEEKS eeeeeeeeeeeeek
Last big push this week Think most of us are feeling the nerves I know I am cant wait for all this work to pay off and I really hope I hit my target time - fingers crossed!!

Went to my first group running sesh last Wednesday and it was really good much more relaxed than i expected - running with people really pushed me and I managed to keep up....... I going to join the club fully after the race - I'm hopping it will keep pushing me to continue running and maybe enter another later in the year.............

Sharon my race is pretty tough with lots of hills but just take your time and like biker mouse said enjoy the varied profile

Great stuff guys nearly there x
Edited: 14/02/2011 at 11:29
20/02/2011 at 16:14
The end of another week and today's run was 13.47 miles in 2:44:03 through the mud that is otherwise known as the South Downs..... Just rinsed my trainers and they are now draining before sitting back next to the AGA to dry out.....

This is the furthest I have ever run... But at least I now know my legs can cover the HM distance although I still struggle with the hills. Total mileage for the week 26.84 miles
01/03/2011 at 15:17
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO My first half is over and in under and in 2.27 so just within my goal! i feel great it killed me though and the hills were so hard! my butt and quads are in bits even two days later but my achievement makes the pain worth wild

My advice or what i've learnt is run your own race and don't try keep up with the crowd - I may have got a little caught up in the moment and i was punished later in the race haha Also, talk to people I meet two lovely men who were also running there first and it really made me relax

Great work Lisa with all the running i wish you and everyone else every success... Talking to runners at the event there is so much to learn and improve on I want to get under 2 hours next time (Yes there is going to be a next time)Hows everyones training going not long now for many of you? I look 4ward to reading all the success stories keep running people! x
01/03/2011 at 15:51

Well done ! That is a great time

 Starting to feel a bit nervous... what training did you do the week before BB ?? 

08/03/2011 at 10:07
Thank you Sorry haven't been on in a while...... How was your half Lisa?? Tell me all And now that you have achieved this, what have you got planned next?? x
08/03/2011 at 12:40

Just under two weeks to my half here, and feeling fairly well.

Had a bit of blip in training a few weeks back, a 12 mile steady run took a bit out of me (not carbed up, and forgot my drinks container, I think) so had to ease off on the milage a bit.

Think I'm getting back on track again, did a 10k on Sunday which was a very hilly course, and loved it. Was treating it as a warmup to the 1/2 marathon, trying to run it according to my target 1/2M pace to see if I could do it, or needed readjust it down a bit (am aiming for either 1.40 or 1.45, having done it in 1.50 in 2009) So, if I coulnd't do 10k in 1.40 pace, not much chance of doing 21k.

Was nervous as even the 1.40 pace for 10k would be close to my previous pb for 10k, so was thinking I'd bitten off too much. As it happens, the hills made pacing keeping nigh impossible, as the paces went all over the place with uphills and downhills, so just kept an eye on pace in the few places it was flat. My hill work must have paid off, as I loved the hills, and made up more time downhill than lost going up, so came home comfortably under my 1/2 marathon target pace, and bet my 10k pb in the process

So, in the last week of training, just doing some steady miles mostly to keep legs moving, and looking forward to two weeks time


08/03/2011 at 12:54
Have entered Three Forts Half on May 1st. Very hilly and over the Downs. Am aiming for sub 2hrs.
09/03/2011 at 08:09

My half went really well, far better than I expected and I completed it in 2:26:59 I had been aiming for 2:45

Luckily it was dry the week before and it had dried out quite a bit. I did end up with a blister on one foot that burst and started bleeding I think this is due to the fact my trainers have come to the end of their life and I have started running in their replacements.

So, what next ? Unfortunately I work quite a few weekends during the summer and lots of the other races I wanted to do fall on dates I'm working, like the three forts and barns green half so I'm currently looking at entering a half on the 9th oct that starts at Denbies vineyard in Dorking. Before that I have entered three 10k races, the first is on the 17th April. I have also signed up for the race for life in July and I am planning on running the Round Hill Romp in Steyning in July, so I have plenty to carry on working towards ! I would like to get my 10k time down to sub 55 mins over the next 3 races and then to approx 50 mins by November.....
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