1:30 (ish) Half Marathon??

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18/06/2012 at 15:19

Advice needed please ...

I'm scheduled to run my first half marathon at the end of November. At the moment I'm on course to run around 1:38 (based on my current training times) -  with a good training plan (and staying injury/illness free!!) could I run close to 1:30 by the time of my race or is that wishful thinking?!

I currently run 5 times pw and cover 30-35 miles pw on average (mixed up between speedwork, hills, shorter runs (5-6 miles) and longer runs (10-13 miles))

If anyone can offer advice/training suggestions/similar experiences it would be greatly appreciated!



18/06/2012 at 15:42

Charlotte - Could you give an example of a typical weeks training? Maybe last week?

Edited: 18/06/2012 at 15:42
18/06/2012 at 16:11

Typical training for me is 3 x 5/6 mile runs pw (1 steady, 1 incorporating speedwork (200-800m flat out with jog recovery and 1 with 3miles @ threshold with 1-1/12 mile warm up & cool down)) plus 1 long run (10/12 miles) and a 3 miler.

Currently my mile times are approx as follows:

3 miles - 6 3/4 min miles

5 miles - 7 min miles

10k - just over 7 min miles

10 miles +   7 1/2 min miles









18/06/2012 at 16:52

The times above are my at the upper end of my threshold mins per mile - most of my training is at a slower pace.

I ran as a teenager (back in the 90's - ) then stopped competing and just went for the occasional run and mainly kept fit in the gym through my 20's. I started running at the gym regularly (3/4 times pw) last October and have started properly again since Feb/March this year.

18/06/2012 at 16:54

Increase your longer runs up to half your weekly milage but do this only once a month.

Do some 5k parkrun races at least one a month.

Every two weeks do some speed track work and/or tempo runs/ tempo intervals.

Hill work can be incorporated into the parkruns if you can find a suitable course.

I did this kind of training and on less than 35 miles a week did last years GNR in 1:31. Didnt even feel the hills people speak of and flew the first 10k in 42 minutes.

Miles 8-11 were tough pace wise but because I had done long runs of 13+miles I knew I could run it so I excepted the flutulations in pace and come mile 11 just went for it and put the hammer down. Thats what parkruns give you and often what gets a pb for me.

So, more  miles, threshold work, dedicated track work.

Also if you can safely lose any weight, and I emphasise safely, think of ways you can. It does make you faster if all else is equal. Right now I am just under 70kg my HM was done at 75kg and I know I am faster and stronger now.

Fortune favours the brave

18/06/2012 at 16:56

Listen to KK.

Though she does go on about non-running stuff too often she can run rather well;)

(I am now off to hide)

18/06/2012 at 17:08

Thanks for the advice guys - much appreciated

Re the weight loss I'm currently 9 stone (5'8") and my body fat is around 16-17% (I'm 31) is this OK or do I have scope to drop a pound or two?

I'm doing a 10k towards the end of August so I will let you know how I got on and may want to pick your brains (again) about where I go from there towards my 1/2 marathon!

18/06/2012 at 17:09

best luck, let us know how get on




Edited: 18/06/2012 at 17:11
18/06/2012 at 17:15

I would say you have the potential to go sub-90.  If your local parkrun is flat then use it for tempo runs, trying to get used to running at your target half marathon pace (6.50m/m).  It would also be useful to do some parkruns at about 10k pace (6.30m/m at a guess) and then a flat-out 5k (as fast as you can!).  Although conversions from 5k to HM do depend a lot on your endurance, it would give you a guide as to your fitness and help you select a target, as will the 10k at the end of August.

I make your BMI 19 so it is unlikely you have a huge amount of excess weight and I doubt it would be sensible to try and lose any - you'll probably end up getting ill or injured as a result.

Best of luck!

18/06/2012 at 17:42
Just to put things in perspective. Doing a half in under 1 30 is a championship time for a woman. The equivalent time for a man is 1 15. If you do it you will get automatic entry to vlm.
18/06/2012 at 18:49


That gives you a Marathon time of around 2:38-2:40

Is that correct really ?



18/06/2012 at 18:59

Those of you who run 1:30 and below what kind of mileage do you do per week when training for a HM?

Also pardon my ignorance but what is a 'Championship Time' please?



18/06/2012 at 19:16

oooh - sounds pretty cool!!

I don't belong to a club at the moment although I have been thinking about finding one in my area (Norwich) - have you noticed a significant improvement to your running since joing a club or not?

18/06/2012 at 20:08


See below -


I have a mere GFA marathon time, it is much harder to get a Championship time.


18/06/2012 at 23:29
Charlotte,I ran a 1.28 HM as part of running my first marathon this year. Similar advice to above. I did run my tempo runs further - building them up to 6 miles + warm up / cool down. In addition a few of the long runs were overrun (up to 16 miles).
In the build up the max weekly mileage was 40.
I always had the long run set in my mind as the priority.
I think I put too much emphasis on intervals, and not enough on doing a good tempo run.
19/06/2012 at 00:42
Surrey Runner wrote (see)


See below -


I have a mere GFA marathon time, it is much harder to get a Championship time.


There is no such thing as a "mere GFA"

Also-ran yes a good tempo run done once a week is a sure way of pushing back your LT. They are hard though, so often people opt for intervals, that atleast allow a break no matter how brief. A six mile tempo is very good though.

Oh i do like proper running convo's

19/06/2012 at 09:25

Good shout on the tempo runs.  Mix them up a bit as well, so that you can work around your target HM pace.  So you might start off with 3 miles @ proper threshold pace (somewhere between HM and 10k) but over a few weeks work up the distances, whilst easing off the pace.  Being able to manage 6/7 miles at target HM pace would be a good indicator and obviously good for getting used to what the pace actually feels like.

Surrey Runner wrote (see)




"Please check back at the end of July for full detail of how to apply and the closing dates."

Ooh, the big teases.  A couple of weeks ago that said "Please check back at the end of May..."  Somebody's slacking!

19/06/2012 at 10:30

Thanks again for all the advice/suggestions/encouragement it's all much appreciated

I will take it all on board and see where I am after my 10k in August!

25/11/2012 at 17:36

Well I did it (sub 1:30) - 1:29:22  Really pleased as conditions were awful - 30mph wind. Followed the RW sub 1:30 HM schedule and it worked. Now looking to join a club in the new year and hopefully improve. Thanks again for the advice 


26/11/2012 at 09:15
Excellent effort. At my club there is only one current woman member who has done under 1 30 for a half. Unless you join one of the really large clubs you will be one of the fastest women.
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