Speeding up after a marathon for a half marathon

4 messages
15/01/2013 at 12:23

Hi all

I have previously done half marathons and got my pace for that to 8 min miles. I was pleased with this getting just below the 1:45 mark.Last year I switched to focus on marathons for the first time and it became a little addictive so I did three (Copenhagen, Berlin and Dublin).  My  marathon pace was 9 min miles, I found this a good challenge and enjoyed the marthons that I ran.

I have decided to take the first half of the year easier and to focus on halves again, however when I am training I am really struggling to move much quicker than the 8:50 min mile marathon pace. I am getting quite frustrated at not being able to pick up my pace. Is this normal?

I have just under 8 weeks until my half marathon and would like to get under 1:45 again - any advice would be welcomed.


15/01/2013 at 13:04

Do you train at a constant pace?

Have you tried doing intervals or fartlek sessions?  

If you are running at a constant pace, its worth removing the focus from the full 13 miles into smaller chunks.  A fartlek sessions is the easiest where you just pick up the pace for random distance & duration on an ad-hoc basis (e.g. I'll sprint to the third lamp-post and then return to an easy pace).

You shouldn't have lost the ability to run at 8min/mile through your marathon training, so it appears to be more of a psychological barrier.  By taking the focus away from the HM ditance and pace, you can hopefully overcome it. 

15/01/2013 at 20:47
It is a cliche but if you only do long slow runs you become a long slow runner. If you vary your pace in training, you wil improve over all distances. In 2009, 2010, 2011 I recorded half marathon PB's in May after an April marathon and 5k pb's in June.

My training was all for that April marathon, but the benefit of a combination of tempo run, intervals speed work and a long run made a massive overall difference.
28/01/2013 at 13:18

Sorry for the delayed response - a bout of flu has slowed me down further!

Thanks for the advice - I have tried a bit of fartlek and varying my pace and it seems to work. I managed a whole 5 miles at 8:30 ish which is giving me a little more confidence that I can pick up my pace. I am going to try and build in some varying of pace in to some of my longer runs - not by much but just to pick things up again.

Thanks again I appreciate it

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