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

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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




01/03/2013 at 13:00

Yes, Tom, you should probably make sure you don't always race the 5k, ie don't always speed up otherwise it will hurt your half mara time at the end.

You sound like you are well on track time wise for a 1:50 half, as your miles per minute is at a great pace! And gosh you're so young. Long distance is supposed to peak around age 27!

01/03/2013 at 13:02

I presume they are in minute miles not minute kilometres?!?

01/03/2013 at 13:02

Oops, sorry, I'm not an expert at all. But have done lots!

06/03/2013 at 19:27
Hi I've just completed my first half marathon on 3rd march I did a beginners app which worked well. I'm doing a second half marathon on 12 may and want to add onto the training I've done without starting again with the small miles. I would like to improve on my 2.18 time, what is the best training plan to follow. I ran the race on a negative split 12 min miles to 6 then near 9 min miles after but know I could have run faster earlier if the race wasn't so busy to start with. Any help greatly received. I'm also doing a marathon in oct so building up miles over 13 will be happening soon.
18/03/2013 at 20:33

I Ran my first Half Marathon on Sunday 17/03/2013, it felt really good, I now want to do more of them, but I want to run faster, what is the best training programme to follow to increase my speed, a few details, I am 53 and my time was 1 hr 54 min and 36 sec for the half marathon

22/04/2013 at 15:04

I am going to attempt the GNR next September and I was thinking of doing the classic 12 week training programme. It does say the programme is for ppl who can already do the 1/2 marathon in around 2 hours and want to improve their time. However the programme consists of many 3 and 4 mile weekday runs and long runs at the weekend, but these long runs are at the longest 7 miles and to be done at an "easy"/""slow" pace.

I am not sure how this programme is going to help improve ppl's time - hopefully someone can explain.

Also there is a marathon but I notice the trainee never has to run more than 20 miles at one time in the entire programme.

Maybe it is never necessary to run the entire length of the run when training, just to do short runs often (and interval training).??

Please advise. Thank you.



24/04/2013 at 19:53

my advice is go on runnersworld smart coach i find the training plans very sutiable after entering my details

26/04/2013 at 04:45

so it seem when taining for a race it is not necessary to run the full length of the race (the smart coach longest run is 7 miles for the half marathon) and to do many short runs (2 or 3 miles)  thank you for the reply

27/04/2013 at 05:50

gareth how many weeks did you put down & how many miles a week did you put that you run. I put 12 weeks & 30-50 miles. My shortest runs are 6 miles which were done in the first week. My average runs are 8-11 miles. Rest on mondays. Training for hm. I am in my 4th week i ran hm yesterday in 1hr 28min very happy with that. 6 miles today at a slow pace.

16/05/2013 at 12:28

Hi Bud,

I am new to running being predominantly a skier! I ski about 5 days per week for about 5 - 6 months per year - great for strength but not enough cardio-pulmonary excercise, hence the running. Have signed up for an HM in October in Lyon, which is virtually sea level.  I am following the Couch to Half Marathon programme. Should I alter this programme at all to take into account the fact that most of my training is done at fairly high altitude 1850m or more? (I am well acclimatised but my lungs are struggling on the hills even for fairly short distances).

Second question: What is the best iphone app for this programme - there are so many I am confused! I am looking for something that I can program for iterval training so that it will tell me when to run and when to walk (i.e this week I need to run for 1/4 mile then walk for 1/4 mile and so on for 3 miles) without having to keep looking at my phone to see the distance I have travelled ( there seem to be lots of aps for 'time' based intervals but I am looking for distance.

thanks in advance any advice gratefully received!



19/06/2013 at 13:30

Hi - I have started training for my first marathon in Athens in November. I currently run aprox 42k per week and have a plan to increase it over the next few months. it includes a speedwork session and hill reps plus a long run and moderate runs. The problem I have is that I am a fitness instructor and the training is exhausting my legs. I teach x5 cardio sessions per week and x4 yoga classes. Should my training plan be adjusted to allow for this? Also what time should i expect to achieve? i run a half marathon in 1hr 45 mins and 10k's in 45-50 minutes.

I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you.


25/07/2013 at 14:09
Edited: 29/07/2013 at 14:10

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