Spring Half Marathon Training

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03/04/2014 at 09:28
In the end I had another big week, 65k including a 23k lsr. I know that's more than is generally recommended in half marathon training, but I wanted to do 21 ti get Adele for the distance, and misunderestimated part of the course. Now I've had 3 rest days (one planned, one because work, one because torrential rain). Back on the trails today for a pacy 8k, I hope.
03/04/2014 at 23:22

Gaz - thanks for remembering. I'm wildly excited. Off to Paris tomorrow for the race on Sunday. Carb loading on good french food will be a massive bonus.

Enjoy your running everyone..

05/04/2014 at 07:52

Good luck Benign! Hope it goes well! try not to load up to much on the french wine before the race though :P.

Shame the threads gone so quiet, we've only just hit spring really :P, whats happened to our glorious leader Just Running? ho hum.

Well i've recovered from my HM from a few weeks ago now, took the 2 weeks leading up to a 10km race to recover properly though, but it all showed as i smashed all previous PB's for 10km and did it in 51:37 . was so happy with that, especially as i had to do it with no ear phones, so no App pacing me, which may have helped, dunno. 

Next HM for me is now in June (a VERY hilly one called the potters art), i'll be aiming for under 2hours again in that one (which i think is more like 1h53 mins for a normal HM :P). Between now and then, any other smaller races that come along. Got something called the spring treble, 3 races, each on a Thursday over 3 weeks, all about 5miles. My target for that one will be beating a friend of mine who finished the 10km 1min30secs quicker then me. it's good to have goals .

Whats the future hold for everyone else?

05/04/2014 at 20:54

Woohoo 10k training pb, 54:22. According to a pace calculator I looked at that predicts a 1:59:59 for the HM. Given that the 10k was on rough ground , with 100m of climb in it, should I dare to dream of...... 1:57? Only three weeks to go now.

06/04/2014 at 15:24

Dan, my suggestion, stick to 9 min miles, and see how you go.

Personally i felt fine for the first few miles, 5-7 miles were hard, then once i hit the 8th mile, i felt better and better. I then blitzed the last mile to hard, managed and felt sick afterwards :P but i'd suggest a gentle upping of pace around the 8-10 mile mark if you're still feeling strong at that point, and see how you go, ready to go back to 9min miles if you're starting to struggle much. 

That'd be my suggestion for a race plan anyway

06/04/2014 at 18:36
I think in kilometres these days, but yeah that sounds like a plan. I did 16K today, mostly pretty much flat, and managed to hold a 5:40 pace throughout, which will get me over the line in under two hours. So I'm thinking I'll try to hold.5:40 for 15km, and then see if I've got it in me to speed up.
07/04/2014 at 22:17

I ran a bloody marathon! It was just brilliant!

Race report when I've come down from the ceiling.

Well done on PBs Peter and Dan Drisc. We are all just ace

08/04/2014 at 21:52

Evening all,

Had a busy few weeks - moving house, losing IT and busy at work.

Congrats to Pete and BM on their recent race results. Hope you enjoyed your post race celebrations?

Dan - my advice keep an even pace throughout and push a bit in the last couple of miles if you feel okay.

Pete - good to see you got plenty planned. Great to see you improvements.

Not a lot for me to report, have kept thing ticking over between 30-40 MPW. Went to club tonight after missing a couple of wks. A general club run with 20 minutes along the beach, very enjoyable.

Have the Plymouth HM at the end of the month with colleagues at work - just treating it as a training run which will be a struggle after 2 wks on the beach...

09/04/2014 at 21:14


another enjoyable run in daylight, 7 miles @ 8:11. Getting back into it again now.

anyone else running....

BM - waiting for your race report!

10/04/2014 at 08:37

Good to hear from you again JR. Hope that you are settling into the new house well.

Well, first marathon in the bag. I say first because there was not a moment on the course where I felt that I wouldn't come back for more. I loved it. I'm not saying it wasn't tough but it was never the pain and agony that I had come to anticipate when my training went wrong.

All pre-race preparations went well; rendez-vous'd with my running club mate at the studio we'd rented in Paris; picked up my number at the expo without fuss; spent a wonderful Saturday carb. loading on my favorite french food. The day before was a real roller-coaster of profound calm and jittery mania. My legs felt sluggish and my confidence levels were quite low. Mentally I was really preparing myself for  a massive physical and mental challenge. People kept telling me that I would be OK because I had trained for this, not knowing that my training had been messed up and my mileage hadn't been more then 25-30m per week for ages. The other thing people went on about was that marathons are some kind of test of character; you really find out what you're made of in the last 6 miles. I was convinced I was a total wuss at this stage, so I didn't start out feeling good.

Anyway, we lined up on the Champs Elysees in the sunshine. As I had been told, everyone just openly takes a last pee on the ground in the pens. Then finally, after 5 months of thinking about this moment every day, I was off. I had set a very conservative target of 4h40m, so I just had to maintain a 10.30-40 m/m pace through out. Most people around me shot off faster then that, but not going out too fast is my thing and I was aiming for an even or negative split. There was more room on the course then I'd expected. the only scrum was at the food and drink stations; slippery orange peel and banana skins everywhere.

The heat was the unexpected thing; over 20 degrees - some said 22, and high humidity. Thank goodness I'd worn a vest. I plodded on but it was clear from 10 miles in that people were suffering; I was amazed at the number who were walk/running. Mostly I felt fine. I had a few bad moments in the first half when I kept thinking about how much was still ahead, but I knew that a good moment would follow it soon.

Then I hit 14miles and turned a corner, real and proverbial. I was passing one of the many bands, with a fantastic female singer, and I got a sudden massive endorphin surge, burst into tears and just felt confident and amazing. All my doubts fell away. Or at least I decided I was there to enjoy the ride, not fret my way around Paris. I think I kept smiling from that point in. Miles 14 through 20 were OK; strange disco thing in a really hot tunnel, bit of a scrum opposite the Eiffel Tower. A lot of ambulances around and many struggling runners by then.





10/04/2014 at 09:01

...Having never urn more then 20 miles I had no idea how I was going to get around the last bit, in the Bois de Boulogne, aka 'woods of death'. But looking at those around me I knew I was in a better state then most. My breathing stayed good and even, no particular aches or pains just fatigue in the quads. I felt quite springy. And it stayed that way until the end; I don't know how but sped I up slightly for the last four miles, half wanting to see the finish, half wanting it to never end. I started sobbing uncontrollably 200 metres from the finish and legged it forwards with everything I had left

So target time 04h40m, actual time 04:40:16. It wasn't fast but I did what I set out to do and I had a great time along the way.

Good things were; running a fairly even split; getting 8 gels in during the first 4 hours so no 'hitting the wall', taking Imodium at the start and paracetamol at the half way point, getting distracted by the brilliant bands, interacting with other runners and the crowd.

Sore muscles the next day but no injuries. I've managed a recovery run since and I'm going back to my club tonight, mostly to show-off

..and I'll be back in Paris chasing a pb next Spring



12/04/2014 at 08:10

Wow benign epic story telling there , loved it. Big congrats on completing your first  mara! but even more congrats on getting around it so well and positively . and just think, now you don't have to do anymore 20mile long runs for a while .

Once again, big congrats to you .

I'm off to parkrun now with the girlfriend, pace her around her technically 2nd time around, though she developed an injury last time and gave up, so hopefully better this time . Will come back for more updating and such later.

12/04/2014 at 09:20

Congratulations on completing your first marathon Benignmurmurring! It sounds like your hard work paid off and you got to enjoy the race as well as finish it.

I've still not really worked out my plans, but suspect that a marathon will be on the cards for me in 2015. I might be able to fit in another half this year though, to see if I can improve on my result at Cambridge. In the meantime, I'm on holiday in NZ to see my wife's family and have managed to get out for a few 4 mile runs around the neighbourhood first thing in the morning.

12/04/2014 at 16:59

Thanks Peter and Gaz I'm so looking forward to watching VLM on the TV tomorrow, with a long, cold drink and my feet up. I did have a mad urge to sign up for the North Dorset villages marathon in three weeks but I'm hard trying to ignore that.

I think that I may now concentrate on trying to improve my cadence and running form; my race photos showed me what a dreadful heel-striker I am. If I can change that I may not be so injury prone in future. And I want to get back out on some trails and hills. Then there's the Cotswold Relay in June with my club. I might get back on the track as well.

Any ideas which marathon you're interested in Gaz? There's that choice about whether you like to train in winter or summer. Hope you're having a wonderful holiday

13/04/2014 at 00:48

oooo i think you shouldn't jump into another mara in 3 weeks :P, that'd be crazy . enjoy some other distances for a bit .

Gaz: getting some good heat training in in NZ?

Well todays Parkrun was a success, got my girlfriend and a friends daughter around in new PB's for them (32 mins). Meant it was a nice jolly one from me, had plenty of breath to thank the volunteers, and chat along the way

Was good to have an easy one, after Thursday run! the "hanchurch hilly", a trail run of sorts, around 7.3KM in total. 2 laps of a course, where the first mile i did in about 7 mins (well to quick :P, but it was mostly downhill and i was a bit swept along), and a long uphill climb. spent a lap and a half in a battle with a young lady who i just couldn't shake off :P, until after the 2nd climb, where i saw a friend of mine just close enough in front to offer a chance to catch up . he'd made the mistake of going with me somewhat when i went off to quick, and was now paying some of the price of that. unfortunately he beat me by about 4 seconds . I pushed myself hard on this one, as it's all good hill training for my next HM in june (a hilly one). Got 2 more coming up in this series, over the next two thursday nights, will have to see if i can somehow nip in ahead of him .

happy runnings all!

16/04/2014 at 02:33

Greetings from Shanghai airport PeterM! It was pretty warm in NZ but harder yet were the hills surrounding my parents-in-law's place in North Auckland. They live on the highest point of a peninsula so pretty much every direction you go in, you're heading down to the beach and have to climb back up.

We may also have sorted out my next race. My sister-in-law and her husband are doing the Queenstown Half in November, and have been nagging me to join them. It's a long way to fly to run 13.1 miles but I've never been to South Island and it's beautiful down there. See if I can save my pennies up!

19/04/2014 at 16:01

As part of training for a half marathon which takes place in two weeks time, I ran the 13.1 miles at the pace Im hoping to run at in two weeks last sunday. I had a sore calf for a day or two then I tweaked my hamstring on wednesday morning and it has been sore since.

I know that it might take til next Wednesday or later to rest it and make sure its right. Now, normally I'll run tge full twice in training to get used to the time on my feet and distance and pace ran.

In light of all this and with two weeks to go, am I better of just resting the leg so its better and hope that the training ive done means all I'll need to do is a few 10k runs at a gentle pace in the taper week ahead of raceday?

Your help would be appreciated as I'm aiming for a sub 2hr half and my training run came out at 1.58: 12 and I'm worried the lack of activity will hamper getting that time again.

Ta all.

20/04/2014 at 08:42

Hi Lord Boz

Hmmm.....so you injured yourself three weeks out from the race but you've already managed your goal time. The age old bit of advice about  it being better to arrive at the start uninjured but maybe a bit under-trained has to apply here. But you can probably play it by feel a bit as well. I think that we loose endurance slowly but we loose speed quite fast. I'd say you'll easily go the distance on the day after that marathon paced run which was well placed 3 weeks before the race.

If you've injuries feel OK when you test them out on a shortish, easy run then your idea of some 10ks sounds good but you could probably afford to inject some tempo sections into them after a good warm up or some strides if you are used to them. You could also try some cross-training that really gets your heart rate high - like an interval sessions on a static bike at the gym - I wouldn't think that would aggravate those kind of injuries.

I find that during a race my pace is magically always 10-20 seconds faster then in training. I think you have an excellent chance of getting a sub-2

20/04/2014 at 10:12

I know what you mean about how on raceday you always go that bit faster, I cant run that pace in training but can on raceday, very odd! 

I think iI'll try a mixture of cross training and going for some easy runs later in the week. I know that chasing the miles a this stage is not going to do me any good but I dont want to turn up to the race in two weeks feeling podgy and slow.

I think that I'll see how it pans out this week. Hopefully by Wednesday, I'll have given it a week of rest to try it out and will mixit up. 

Just get me under two hours... thats a good day for me.

Anyone somewhat obsessed with a quest for sub two hours?

Yesterday at 23:42

tut tut Lord Boz,... not for the injury, these things happen, but for running the distance at race pace!! i think you'll find most pages on this thread, and most threads on this site, saying that your LSD's should be done at an easy pace! maybe with short sections of race pace thrown in. i know this doesn't help you right now, but someones got to wag the finger at you, so it might help for next time.

As for now, yeah, rest it up! try really short stuff here and there once you can jog a bit on it, but if you can't run on it anyway without aggravating it, then you'll just have to rest it some more. 

Under 2 hours was my goal for my first half mara, it's quite good in that it offers a nice round number of 9 min miles , focus on that the route around, and you can't go to wrong. 

Just signed up for my next half mara one June 8th, and that will be another sub 2 hot attempt , this one is REALY hilly (one near the end called heartbreak hill), though they purposefully give out an extra medal for finishing in under 2 hours, so thats extra incentive :P.

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