I'm looking to try and knock a significant amount of time off my half-mara PB (1 hr 57 mins). I'm prepared to take a long-term approach to it - and am targetting Liverpool Half next year (2011) as my full on target - its where my current PB is set.
A little bit of background - been running about 3 years, ran Edinburgh marathon (4hr 47) last year and just about to run London this year (aiming for about 4hr 30). Gonna take a week or 2 off after London and then basically give full focus to half marathon training.
I run fairly comfortably at 8:45-9 m/m pace for distances up to about 14-16 miles, and can stetch my legs out to about 8 min/miles when pushing it, but could only really realistically hold this pace for about 2-2.5 miles before needing to do a recovery jog.
I generally run about 30 miles per week, primarily consisting of 2 runs midweek, followed by a long run on at the weekend. When being good I do get out an extra small run during the week.
I've recently changed jobs and location and so am able to get out more often now, and I'm in a position where I can dedicate more time to my training. I also have access to a gym. I've also got a possibility of getting on a bike and doing some miles on that.
Over to you - I'm basically presenting a blank sheet of paper and looking for suggestions as to what to do, and essentially when to do it. I've always felt that I can run better (faster) than I am doing at the moment, but need some kind of structure and a firm target to aim for. The past 2 years have been spent challenging myself with distance, and now I want to change that to try and get some improved times.
Quick list of PBs to give some more indication of pacing:
10k - 48m 50s (Dec 09)10M - 1hr 27m (Dec 09)Half - 1hr 57m (Mar 08) (most recent half - 2hr 04)Mara - 4hr 47m (May 09)
Any advice gratefully received
Hello MA, your profile is very similar to mine at the moment 10k-1/2 M, and also mileage, so I am interested to hear what people have to say. I do my furst marathon later in the year.
Only basic suggestions I have is to add speed training to your current training?
a) try a regular 5k or 3M time trial or do regular fatlek/intervals to improve base speed. ( maybe go to a track once a month and time yourself for a mile, try to beat it the next month )
b) join a club for the competition element in training etc
Think more experienced folk will be able to help with a formal plan.
Thanks for the reply. I've taken a schedule from Hal Higdon's website and going to give that a shot.
I've been doing a little speedwork up to now, but its been at club sessions, so varies from week to week, rather than consistently building upon previous sessions. I also find it too easy to drop into the pack and hide rather than continually push myself. Going to try running by myself for a bit and see how thats goes...
The schedule I'm going to attempt to follow is this: http://www.halhigdon.com/halfmarathon/inter.htm
I'm going to throw in a couple of swimming sessions in the mornings as well - although if it proves to be too much, I'm prepared to drop them.
I've decide to target MK Half in July as my first attempt to see how I'm progressing - and am aiming for a sub 1hr 55. I'll then re-assess how that training went, and decide on what to target next.
Which half are you going for?
Yor plans look good to me. hope the running on your own helps.
They say self awareness is necessary in running. So if you know that youhave been hiding a little at times then you are half way there to improving the speed stuff
I do the stratford1/2 at end of may and then the hihg wycombe 1/2m in july, both as prep for the Berlin marathon in Sept.
I too am hoping for 1:55ish at stratford at the end of april. I am also trying to work out what pace time I will end up doing the full marathon in - so its good to get an idea from your times, especially as you run similar weekly mileage.
Good luck with your H/M, I think following that scheule and you will hopefully smash you PB - you have the time to do it. Weill youkeep your long run? ( as schedule long rungs are quite short ??)
Movingalong - the relationship between your different PBs may suggest you need to concentrate on developing your aerobic capacity ... your 10K PB suggests that you should be capable of running 35-40 s per mile faster at HM than you have so far.
This may help http://www.fetcheveryone.com/viewtopic.php?id=31192&page=1
Stephen - its tempting to keep some kind of long run. Although I'm having to jump in at week 3 due to timings around London, so maybe a 6-7 milers to start with will be alright. I'll maybe extend the longer runs with the next round of training.
Good luck with Berlin! As for my 4hr 47 at Edinburgh, is difficult to say. I found it really hard going between 21-24 when I went mentally rather than physically - I think I ended up walking most of those 3 miles. After mile 24 I ran the remaining distance without any issues. I'm certainly aiming to run a constant 10 min / miles for London this year if I can, and therefore hope I'll come in under the 4hr 30 marker. I still feel I could go fast than this, but training this year hasn't really gone to plan.
Dr Dan - thanks for the advice. I'll give that thread a good read tonight on the train and see what I can make of it! As for my personal feelings, I also feel I should be running HM's at that kind of pace faster... if not even faster with time and focussed training...
Have a read of the (long) document in the link in the first post on that thread... or read this
That Higdon plan looks pretty poor, like one of his others I have seen.
I suggest you run more often and include some strides twice a week. When you're up to running 5 times a week consistently (whilst keeping the long run) and without pain / niggles make one of your runs at an upper aerobic pace (c. predicted marathon pace). Once you've done that you're ready to train.
The half marathon is a long distance endurance event and running 3 times a week (plus a short run) isn't going to cut it. I'd leave out the dedicated speed work for the moment.
Thanks for the advice. If I step up to 5 runs per week, what kind of mileage total should I be looking at? Presumably a long run of at least 9 miles once a week, followed by 4 runs, say Tues: 5-6m, Wed: 3-4m, Thurs:5-6m, Sat:3-5m?
Does that seem a reasonable approach? Doing the strides presumably on a Weds and Sat?
Thanks MA And good luck in London....
Dr Dan, Thanks for the link. I read that ( very long) link in the other thread. basically it says I am running too fast in training and/or notdoing enough miles. I guess It might be an idea to get the Heart monitor out for a while....I see sense in it.
Moraghan, having read the other thread - I see what your saying......
MA - that's look like a sensible plan. The goal would be to take each of those runs and bump them up - each time doing so after you've spent a bit of time injury free at the previous mileage. I think the 10% rule is a crock of shite - you have to listen and monitor your body.
Ultimately, in my opinon, if you're serious about running a good half you need to be looking at a long run of about 14 miles at the very, very least. If this is to be correctly proportioned within your week than you are going to be looking at a total of at least 45. It's important to get the pace correct as well, irrespecitve of the method you use to do so.
It's not that you can't run a decent half off less but it's the consistent mileage you can build up that will help get the most out of your quality sessions later on. This is a powerful combination in the long term.
I would argue that if you are happier sticking at about 30 miles you'd be better off focusing on a shorter distance otherwise your whole training is based on excessive compromise. But many would disagree with me on that! It all comes down to your goals. Is your goal to complete distances or is your goal to complete distances as quickly as you are able?
I would give it more than a couple of weeks. With mileage bumps it takes two weeks to see how the body is going to react - the first 2 weeks you often feel like superman irrespective of the toll it's taking.
Keep up the strides and I think your plan sounds very reasonable. A cutback week ever 4 weeks is always a good idea, or every 3 if necessary.
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