Ask the Experts: Half-Marathon Q+A with coach Bud Baldaro

21 to 40 of 52 messages
27/07/2012 at 15:14

Stay smart with your training Emily and dont try and cram to much into the final few weeks.

Vital that you are  happy about spending time on your feet and are confident about coping with distance so at least one steady long run each week but ease down  2 wks out.

As with others mix with tempo and pace work 

and enjoy your running 



27/07/2012 at 15:18

ADS i would target time of well inside 2 hours.

and if you can go  out  of your comfort zone a lot faster.

 BE realistic but  be ambitious.

As with other replies maximise tempo runs

 do  your interval work and lots of steady running

Does that  make sense?

Best Bud

27/07/2012 at 15:21

You are  right  Caroline!

Between your hectic race schedule

lots of rest

 relaxed swimming

light cycling


and short easy runs

good CHO and lots of fluid 

and if possible good sports massage 

and rest the MIND

You will have a ball enjoy

Bud B

27/07/2012 at 15:25

Hi Bud, I am about 9 seconds away from dipping under 30 minutes for 5 miles and hope to crack this in a few weeks. What sort of time do you think I could achieve for a half marathon this October? And what sort of session do you think would take advantage of my new speed to translate up to half marathon? My current PB is 1.25.26. Thanks.

27/07/2012 at 15:25


I am totally convinced of the value of mixed pace runs

it helps with

variety of training

volume of a work out

 utilising  different energy system

training  mind to adjust   to change of speeds

minimise boredom

 helps you  become stonger both physically and mentally



27/07/2012 at 15:29

Massive  issues Knigt Rider IF you hav done the distance work to go with your speed over 5 you could be looking at 1 24  or faster

Get some long tempo runs in 

and some steady  runs mixed with long reps. Lets look to break  80min  in  the next 12 months

Enjoy your  riding  and running

Best Bud

27/07/2012 at 15:31

Hi all,

Thank you for such great questions - and thank you Bud for answering them! We'll be back soon with another half-marathon webchat, but until then, happy training and racing!


03/08/2012 at 09:03

Hi, I am not sure if anyone can help with this one.... I am looking at one of the half marathon schedules on here and it states completing a Warm up, then 2 x 2M (approx), timed, at threshold pace. This is the half marathon that covers 35-40 miles per week. Does anyone know the distance the warm up should be??

Many thanks

06/08/2012 at 18:03

Hi Poppyzest,

Can you send a link to the schedule and tell us which week and day you're looking at?


08/08/2012 at 17:52

Just did a thread but I should of come here lol


OK been training for a month now. My AVG time per mile is 10minutes. But when I break it down most miles are 9minutes 40seconds, a few are 9minutes 20seconds...


My question is this: Im running a HM in Oct 21st. My goal is 1:50:00. Im trying to bring my time per mile to about 8minutes a mile. HOW can I do this and what type of training do I need to incress my speed ???



Edited: 08/08/2012 at 17:54
23/08/2012 at 14:55

Hi Bud,

I am signed up to do the Birmingham Half Marathon on October 21st and want to do a sub 90 minute time. I want to know whether you think it is achievable based on my stats for the last two months of running I have been doing (below) and if there is a training plan you would recommend I start using now? 

The format of the table did not work so I took a screen shot and saved it here:

Edited: 23/08/2012 at 14:57
23/08/2012 at 18:02
Hi Bud,

My current pb is 1 24 08 obtained last Feb when I was training for a marathon.
Course was flat.
I have another flat half in mid Sep and am hoping to break my PB.
Have another hilly half in October and finally an extremely hilly half in November.
My current training includes 8 miles fairly hilly tempo at 6 25 pace, 8 miles steady at 6 40 pace; 10 miles steady at 6 40; a speed session at the club, usually VO 2 max and a long run of 18 miles at 7 30 pace. I also do a weights session in gym. Is this training regime sufficient to ensure I break my PB?

26/08/2012 at 21:06

Hi Bud, I'm doing the Birmingham half marathon in October and am sticking to a training plan which includes tempo runs and speed work. I'm gradually decreasing my minute miles through the tempo runs (to about 7:50 min miles), but I really struggle with speed work.

My questions are: what is the difference between speed work? Can I substitute speed work for a tempo run?

Many thanks.


07/09/2012 at 03:31

Hi Bud

I am running in a HM early November, and aiming to go sub 1 hr 42 mins, which was my time last year for the same race.  It is a hilly course, with temps in the mid 20s (Hong Kong).  

I just completed my first 10K race of the season with a disappointing 52 mins, though it was a very tough course, 80% humidity at 30 degrees.  I found I needed quite a lot of 'rests'.

Do you reckon long tempo runs would better my endurance?  At what pace and for how long would you recommend?  And should be these be done on a flat route? I essentially run 5x/week, including a long run, speed session, mini hill session, plus one medium run of 1 hour, and one recovery run.  


24/09/2012 at 16:43

Hi there,

My questions are pretty broad but I'll try and include as much info as possible...

I've made a late entry into the Birmingham Half-marathon on 21st Oct. I've never raced before but I'm a regular runner and I run every other day. I only entered to raise money for Care of Police Survivors given the incident in Manchester last week, but I also want to take the opportunity to give it a real good effort and get a great time.

My runs vary between 7m - 13m. My times fluctuate from around 8:30 - 9:00mpm. I'm slim/fit but I am a 15-20 a day smoker and just eat whatever I want. I also probably don't hydrate properly - I tend not to drink a few hours before a run as I find I need a toilet stop if I do! I wear cheap £25 trainers which I've had for 2 years with no issues - I've been told to get specialist ones (Asics?) but should I really switch at less than 4 weeks out?

I don't know what foods to eat, when to eat them, when the best times are to train, or even how to train. I've always just run for fun. Although I am confident running, I feel like I know nothing about it, and don't have a clue how to improve my performance/time. How many days should I be resting between my last half-marathon and the actual race day? What should I eat/drink that morning?

Desperate for some good advice on how I should prepare and what I should be doing for the next 4 weeks....


24/09/2012 at 17:17

Oh right sorry - first day, forgive my ignorance.


14/10/2012 at 16:19

i got a pb of 1 47 for half marathon, do you think it is possible to get sub 1 40 by february

25/10/2012 at 15:45


I am doing a 'dirt' half marathon which is basically up hill for the first half and down hill the second half. This is my first half for nearly 25 years.

I have run about 1hr50 for 13.1 whilst running a 15 mile steady run across much hillier ground than the event is over. On this basis I am going to set out to run at 1h50 pace for the first half of the dirt half marathon and something like 1hr35 for the second half.

This is on the 17th November. I am then probably doing the London marathon. My first marathon. There are many training programs on runners world and I am not quite certain what pace marathon to aim for. They are mainly 16 week programs which therefore starts about first week of Jan 2013. My running is still improving from when I started 13 weeks ago so I am uncertain whether to embark on a more ambitious program based on what I think I will run on the day in 5/6 months time from now, or whether I should base it on the dirt half marathon time (albeit off road and probably more hilly), so that's one problem.

The other problem is that after the November 17th half marathon, I have 6 weeks 'to kill' between that and the start of the 16 week London marathon program. What do do with this time? I don't want to 'sit still' and want to push on so that I go fast in the marathon. I did think of trying to do another half around Christmas/New year but there isn't one on - and I can't find a six week program. Problem 2. Any ideas greatfully received!

22/11/2012 at 12:52

Hello I would like advice on dedicated 5km training:

im following a programme that involves interval traning on one of the days, this week I ran 5 x 1/2 mile intervals with 3mins recovery imbetween as stated on the plan.  On average each one took 3mins, now if i was aiming for a 5k time of 18 minutes surely this would mean that my times aren't in that ball park currently?  i would assume that if im running 1/2 mile intervals with recovery that my time should be far less than 3minutes?

It is only week 2 of a 12 week 5km programme so I'm not too ashamed but lets say by week 6/7/8 surely i should be looking at running training 1/2 mile intervals in 2min45secs?

The 12 week plan is great but there are no target times so it is hard to know whether i am meeting, exceeding or being under performing?  I have experience in running so have a fair idea.

Appreciate your time in reviewing this,


20/02/2013 at 00:54




I have just started training for a half marathon and was looking for guidance on a good target to set myself. I am a fairly fit 19 year old with a little experience running shorter distances, and any expert advice you could give me as a novice would be brilliant


I know that sub 2 hours is an ambitious target for a first half marathon but my easy pace is around 8:40 and my medium pace is around 8:00. This is the pace I feel comfortable running at. Would it be sensible to maintain this pace and slowly up the mileage, or slow the pace down first?


I have started training before but it was ruined by s broken arm two weeks in. Before Friday I hadn't run since last summer. I did a moderate intensity 5k run, where I upped the pace to 7:15 for the last mile and felt strong. Today I did a 7k run in 35:40 and ran the last mile in 7:34.


Am I going the right way about my training early on? I feel like I have to be exhausted when I stop my run so I always up the pace in my last mile. Should I be focusing more on slowing the pace down? Or should I continue upping the mileage at the same pace?" I ask because I anticipate that I'll hit a wall at some point where I won't be able to maintain this pace. It's concerning me slightly because an "easy/slightly moderate "pace would project to a finishing time of 1:45-1:50 which seems absurd and out of reach.


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated at this early stage




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