2nd half marathon in a year

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05/06/2013 at 17:15

I have never done more than one half marathon in a year but having completed Edinburgh recently I foolishly entered for the Cricklade half marathon in October

(3 days before my daughter gets married as well)

I did Edinburgh in 1.51 which was slower than my target but as I was just over a footballing hamstring injury I was not too displeased. I would like to get my time down below 1.48 which is my PB since I started running again. 

My question is having built up for Edinburgh how do I get the benefit of my recent mileage so I can have a real crack at 1.48 (or lower) ? Do I go back to shorter distances for a bit? Concentrate on speedwork? Or carry on as if Edinburgh never happened?

Any advice welcom, ta.


05/06/2013 at 17:56

You'll probably get more specific (and possibly contradictory) advice, but I'd suggest a combination: keep up your LSR at the top end of where you've reached, not every week but say every second weekend, with a shorter LSR on the in-between weeks and keep your weekly mileage not too far from where you'd got to, but concentrate on some good speed work - at least either a tempo run or intervals once a week, and if you have a parkrun, run it regulary and really go for it in that once a month.

If you keep your mileage up a bit like this then if your training goes haywire close to the wedding/race, you shouldn't need to worry about whether you can do the distance. And if you put in the speed sessions then you should be faster as well.

Another thing to think about, if you can fit it in, is getting your LSR up to several miles past HM distance, so that 13.1 miles is no longer "a long way" - which should give you the confidence to really go for it on the day.

07/06/2013 at 14:14

Thanks Debra, sensible stuff. (I thought I had replied to you earlier, maybe never sent it properly) 

07/06/2013 at 17:43

You're welcome - glad it sounds sensible.

17/06/2013 at 17:47

Interesting that my current parkrun times are nowhere near my PB, need to improve by about a minute to regain that level of speed.

17/06/2013 at 19:53

Make sure you have clear boundaries in your pacing of the different training runs that you do otherwise you'll end up in a narrow range which will neither build your stamina and endurance nor your speed.

Slow long runs build stamina/endurance and leave you the energy to run lactate threshold runs hard - a hard 5k is perfect.

17/06/2013 at 21:53

Not scientific as n=1 but.. the way I knocked most time off my HM PB (20 mins off) was doing a marathon training plan.  The higher mileage really helped psychologically and the extra aerobic fitness from the long runs brought my time down massively.

18/06/2013 at 11:07

Cheers guys...I did 9.41 on Sunday at  8.40 min miles. I guess for a half marathon time of 1.48 I need to be running at 8.10 mins per mile, is 8.40 too fast? For the Parkrun my most recent was at 7.36 min per mile.

18/06/2013 at 16:11

Magic Roundabout. You need to run your LSR slower, but getting longer. Then you need to do your tempo and VO2 max sessions faster.

If you go to http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/rws-training-pace-calculator/1676.html and put in the time you're aiming for at the top it will calculate recommended paces for different types of runs, and suggest some tempo runs etc.

I too found that my HM time came down while I was marathon training - I think the psychollogy of 13.1 miles no longer being a long way makes it a lot easier to really push on during the HM. My 5K time also came down while I was marathon and ultra training - just much fitter, I guess.

19/06/2013 at 14:31

Thanks Debra that is useful, I did just over 5 miles today at a pace of 8.04 minute miles, the calculator suggests my tempo runs should be at 7.56 and LSR at 9.31. 


19/06/2013 at 23:11

Sounds good - 5 miles is a decent long tempo run for HM training and you were not far off pace. So, you want an easy run, then a decent length LSR, then maybe a speed session. How often you do Tempo, speed and LSR depends on how many training sessions you can fit in per week, and what your body can cope with. And don't forget to have easy weeks. Even when training for ultras I have a drop-down week every third or fourth week, when I greatly reduce the mileage on my LSR (which for me means running 10-15 miles rather than 20-25+ - but it's all relative).

23/06/2013 at 14:24

Must be getting better at judging the pace now, 10.09 miles at average of 9.15 minute miles. I suppose its the getting faster on the shorter runs that will be more difficult.

24/06/2013 at 18:45

That's good. Personally yes, I find it easier to increase the distance on LSRs than to improve my speed on tempos and intervals. According to the RW calculator I need to speed up quite a bit - I did six miles at an average of just over 8 mins/mile last Wednesday on a club run and was knackered - dropped to about 9 mins/mile for the last mile or so back to the club - and I need to be down to 7.30-7.45 mins/mile for tempo runs before London next year, depending whether I'm targetting 3.30 or 3.40. But I've (a) been concentrating on distance (did c. 27 + 15.5 miles in the Lake District this weekend, final recce before Lakeland 50); (b) been injured and had to cut out most of my speed work for the last several months.

Like everything, it's practice that improves things - back in Jaunary 2011 I considered six miles a long run!

25/06/2013 at 07:23

Ahhh a  3.30  marathon, getting me nostalgic for 1985.

25/06/2013 at 10:57

3.9 miles today in 30.25 which works out at 3.48 minute miles. This included 10 repetitions up Shaw Ridge in Swindon and the rest a mixture of hard running for 3-4 lamposts jogging for 1-2 lamposts. 

29/06/2013 at 16:31

Wow...having been stuck on 23.30 ish for about five weeks, my parkrun time today was down to 22.41 (round about 7.17 min miles) thanks for the guidance

29/06/2013 at 18:59

Great running! I ran my parkrun today as well (as Event Director I don't get to do that very often). Time was 24.05, which is about 95 seconds off my PB, but it's faster than my other two outings this year and I'm fairly pleased given how tired my legs were after last weekend's efforts (and my ankle isn't yet 100%).

02/07/2013 at 19:46

Moving in the right direcvtion at least. Hope the ankle gets better.

06/07/2013 at 11:48

22.34 for Parkrun today, a small improvement but all welcome. looking warm for long slow run tomorrow though.

06/07/2013 at 12:37

Well done on the parkrun improvement. Suggest an early morning or an evening run!

I was going to run the Croydon Ultra tomorrow (30 miles) but I've decided not to risk straining my ankle any more so I'm manning a checkpoint instead. I'm sort-of pleased I won't be running 30 miles in the heat tomorrow, but also regretting not doing the race.

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