Realistic Half Marathon Pace

Is breaking 2 hours realistic for first half?

7 messages
25/07/2013 at 14:28

Hi, I'm running my first half marathon in Birmingham this October. I started training in February having never really done any running. I'm a cyclist at heart and initially had problems with shin splints so my original target was just to complete the half. However, since getting over the shin problem (right shoes/ training back to zero and building gradually if anyone's interested) I have found my time's improving as part of the process. My best training run so far is 9 miles at 9 minutes per mile, at that pace I would break 2 hours for the half. Is this a realistic target, bearing in mind I'm new to running as of February this year but do have 3 months of training left?

Any advice would be much appreciated as I don't want to set an unreasonable target but I am someone that likes to see improvement in whatever I do.

seren nos    pirate
25/07/2013 at 14:36

as long as you train sensibly and remain injury free then i think that you will have no problem breaking 2 hours with the race day adrenaline in you.......just don't go off too fast on the day .

25/07/2013 at 14:38

Yes My first half was 1.43 after about 6 months of running If you can run 9 miles at 9minute pace their is nothing stopping you from doing it. On the day just make sure you don't go out too hard. If you are worried get a little more speed work in. If you have ran 9 miles in training already you could perhaps at some point run the full distance but at a slower pace and get a feel for the distance. Some people may say different but its a confidence boost knowing you can do the distance but you havent lost the challenge because the challenge is dropping under that 2 hour mark.

seren nos    pirate
25/07/2013 at 14:42

I would say you have time to build up to the distance no problem......although its not good to go overdistance for a full marathon........its usually recommended for training for a half


but remmeber not to run the training runs too fast when doing the long run....leave the faster stuff to the shorter mid week runs

Edited: 25/07/2013 at 14:42
25/07/2013 at 17:00

Yeah, can be done. My first one I thought I was going to be giving up running when the shin splints got so bad. I got my race pack three weeks before the event and went on to run a 1.55.56 and I wouldn't say I'm particularly fit...

25/07/2013 at 21:10

Thanks for the info everyone 

26/07/2013 at 11:16

Just to add to the comments above - definitely possible, I did my first in 1:52 based on a similar scenario as yours.  In fact - I'm doing Birmingham as well, will be my 2nd!  Don't know if you've seen the route, but everybody says watch for the big hill at mile 10, it's worth including hills in your training and keeping something in the tank for that!

One thing I found - my last long run was 11 miles at a slower pace, about 2 weeks before, and I was absolutely knackered, thought I'd never get under 2 hours for 13 - but the extra adrenaline on the day really helped.

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