1/2 marathon race strategy

17 messages
19/03/2006 at 18:12
A question for all those Forum Readers who are a bit more astute in their race strategies than I am:

I want to do a 1hr 35min half and am pretty confident I have it in my legs, but my race strategy sucks. I did the adidas Silverstone half today and just beat 1hr 38mins, with the following race strategy:

The 7min / mile pacer will get you round in 1hr 32mins. The 7min 30 sec / mile pacer will get you round in 1hr 38mins. My target is between the two. So today I ran with the quicker of the two until I couldn't keep up (ca. 6.5 miles) but tired a lot in the second half (not that surprising, I know)so my average time for these miles wasn't so far off 8min miles ie. I died a bit.

Was my strategy today very naive? Is it always likely to fail, even backfire? What alterantive strategy would you suggest I should consider to get my 1hr 35min goal in the Reading 1/2 in 3 weeks time?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Stump    pirate
19/03/2006 at 18:15
Run the first half the race within yourself and then open up later on. Hit 10 mile and you should go from working to hurting. Give it all you've got at the end.

Just my opinion. Your time is great as it is!
19/03/2006 at 18:17
Go for a negative split - a faster second half ; when you know how much you've got left and can start picking off the slower runners ahead (but going backwards)
19/03/2006 at 18:26
Go for a negative split - and bearing in mind that the Reading course has two significant hills, you want some energy in reserve.
19/03/2006 at 19:41
I'd go for as even paced run as you can. 7.15 min/miling all the way. If you've got your target time right you'll need to consciously hold back for the first 4 or 5 miles. This means that if you pass mile 2 in 14.00 you really need to slow it right down. The next third of the race should feel more testing and the last few miles will hurt. If you get to 10 miles though and you feel you have plenty in reserve push on a bit harder.

19/03/2006 at 19:47
Thanks for the comments to date. JRM: My view is that running with a pacer is very helpful in that you know how fast you're going and they help pull you along. I'm not sure I'm sufficiently accurate in my timing to judge a 7.15 Vs a 7.30 on my own, so at the moment am leaning towards doing the first 8 miles at Reading with the 7.30 guy (getting me past the two hills in the course) and then seeing what I have left to pick it up.
19/03/2006 at 19:49
they have pacers at REading???

u sure?
19/03/2006 at 19:58
Would have thought so, but just went to their sitre and no references. I'll find out.
03/04/2006 at 11:38
AJ-Runner, did you have any luck finding out about pacers at Reading? I'm doing it too, but didn't think there were pacers. Would be very happy to discover there were!
03/04/2006 at 14:45
I didn't. I gave them a shout but no response. I'm working on the assumption that means no.
cougie    pirate
03/04/2006 at 14:49
Get a watch that beeps on intervals you set and fix that for even splits. Then you'll know if you're up or down.

I've never really used pacers - prefer to take the credit or disgrace myself..
03/04/2006 at 18:31
AJ - from past experience of Reading they don't have pacers, although I've not run it since 2003.

I agree with Cougie (although my 10 mile PB was set virtually hanging onto someone's coat tail...) - have your splits in mind, written on your arm if needs be, and pace yourself. If you're too fast, ease off the pace; if you're too slow, take the next mile a bit faster (but don't try and make up all lost ground within one mile - you'll go into oxygen debt and crash and burn). Bear in mind that conditions will also play a part on the day, and you may need to revise your strategy. It may take several races to get it right, but you're better learning the art of pacing that way.

Or buy a Garmin and cheat. <prepares self for a mountain of criticism from Garmin lovers>
03/04/2006 at 22:31
Looks to me if it's touch and go as to whether you could hold 7:15 miling for a full 13.1 miles.

I think you have to run each mile as close to 7:15 as you can and see what you've got left with 3 to go.
04/04/2006 at 09:10
Thx JJ. That's the plan at this stage.
04/04/2006 at 09:41
AJ have you got your race pack for Reading? Page 8 of the Race Guide says that there'll be Fitness First Pacemakers running 1:30, 1:45 and 2:00.
04/04/2006 at 09:43
As always, I haven't read it yet! Thx for letting us know
04/04/2006 at 09:47
Well I hadn't dared to start reading mine 'cos I thought it would get me too nervous. But then last night I woke up having dreams about the queues for the loos at the start, so I figured I was nervous enough already!

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