Sub 1:50 Half Marathon.

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05/03/2013 at 10:13
Don't forget that when you're in a race you do actually have to push yourself a bit if you're looking for a half decent time...
05/03/2013 at 10:25

TimR, don't forget to leave yourself enough time for recovery. Also, well done on the extra run, but if you're planning to run at race pace, it might be worth adding a slower mile of warm-up/cool down on either side. Or start off slower for a couple of miles and gradually speed up to your fast pace for the 3.5 miles. That way you'd be getting some extra miles in, but they wouldn't feel like loads more effort and the fast part will probably feel like less effort too.

05/03/2013 at 10:50
Yes, it takes about 6-7 minutes to warm up. That's essentially a 9-10/mile up a 3/4mile hill till I get to a flat bit. 175 is pretty much pushing it hard for me. From experience any quicker and I blow up later on during a half.

I've done about 15 halfs now and still learning/improving.
06/03/2013 at 13:17

TimR -I'm 44 too and I did my first half in 2.04, then went down to 1.53 ish on a few occasions with mediocre training. Last year I decided to make a proper effort to get under 1.50. So I followed a training plan (RW sub 1.45) - I tweaked it slightly as I don't like to run more than 4 times a week. My key sessions each week were a LSR, a tempo session of around 6 miles at 8.15mm and mile repeat sessions at around 7.50mm. I'm convinced it was the mile repeats & tempo sessions that improved my speed as I already had the endurance under my belt. I managed a 1.47.22 and felt there was still something left in the tank at the end....sub 1.45 next time, maybe?!

Good luck





Edited: 06/03/2013 at 13:35
06/03/2013 at 13:31
TimR -- Don't be fooled into thinking that training quantity is the issue... I'm not saying that increasing the quantity wouldn't improve your performance... But you should be able to manage a sub 1:50 HM with 3 decent quality training sessions a week, i.e. the fact that you haven't achieved a sub 1:50 HM after 15 attempts would suggest that you have a quality issue. There's no point in spreading the same problem across more training sessions.
06/03/2013 at 13:42
Agreed but that's gone down from 2:30 and it's slowly come down over the last year from 2:06 to 2:54. Bearing in mind I'm not great in the summer and have been running long and slow for an Autumn marathon while neglecting speed in favour of endurance. Probably not the best approach but it has seen me drop 20mins off my Marathon.
11/03/2013 at 09:14

my biggest change for this year is mileage - averaging 5 miles a day (35 per week) for 2013 and it's helping immensely! just lots of longish runs (on running days I average 8 miles!). Regarding quality rather than just quantity, my runs span as LSR, efforts and tempo with the club, and I try to do 1 or two runs on my own which are usually 5-8 miles steady.

And today's run was brought to you by the nunbers -3 and "feels like -8". Lurvely!

11/03/2013 at 16:08

Sorry to butt in with what may seem like a daft question, but are you comparing your times over the same HM or different ones?  I was absolutely thrilled to get a PB last November of 1:52 (making a sub 1:50 my natural goal, so all tips welcome) but it was a flat course compared to the hilly one I'd previously PB'd in.  Strangely enough I did Conwy a fortnight later and came in at 1:54, but it had three miles of steep climbing up the Orme, so I felt that it was probably more of an achievement for being tougher. 

18/03/2013 at 12:35

No worries Auntie. Every half I do is different. Flat road, hilly, trail, mixed, I don't care. My aim is to consistently run under 1:50. If this means a sub 1:45 on flat road and a 1:49 on hilly trail then that's my aim.

18/03/2013 at 12:39

So an update on my progress after seeing David struggled yesterday to get under 1:55.

Training run of 13miles. Supposed to be an LSR. I've been feeling lately that it's been far too slow. 10:00/mile. Added in some 8:30/mile miles and was determined to keep my HR up at 161. Came in at 9:20/mile and felt comfortable although tired, wet and cold towards the end.

Have kept up the 4mile 7:45-8:00/mile runs and pushed harder on the 10 mile with 8:00/mile sections for longer.

Maybe it's working...

18/03/2013 at 12:50

Good work Tim ........ yeah Im still annoyed by the result .........  next one Im going to shoot for a 1:47 instead of trying to get under 1:45 and hopefully make sure Ive gone to the toilet (not for a number 1 I might add) beforehand which might have solved the problem I had at the 7 mile mark.


03/04/2013 at 16:04

Didn't manage to break the 1:50 barrier at Wilmslow (1:54), but took 5 minutes off last year's time so at least it was a step (or several steps) in the right direction.  The weather was awful, and we were running into a headwind for what seemed like most of the course (funny how it's never behind you, isn't it) so all in all I was happy.  Cold but happy.

03/04/2013 at 16:09

" so at least it was a step (or several steps) in the right direction. "

As David Brent once said ..... 'As long as youre headed in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking ....'

Sage advice.

03/04/2013 at 22:06
5minutes is the best part of 20secs a mile. That's a fair chunk.

I've dropped 5mins off my 10mile run now by sticking to 9:00-9:30/mile with a couple of sections of 8:00/mile for 2miles.

Still doing the 7:45-8:00 for 4miles on Mon and Fri.

8:20s are fairly comfortable now.

Next half is Sunday 5th May. Hilly trail. Of course
04/04/2013 at 14:20

I'm hoping it's my marathon training starting to kick in, although that's been predominantly long slow runs so won't account for an increase in speed.  I also PB'd by 3 minutes in a 10 miler the week before, so maybe I'm just hanging on that bit longer at my faster pace.  Having said that I can't PB over my local parkrun at all!  Maybe after the marathon I'll try to concentrate on some speed work and have a serious attempt at a sub 1:50 HM in the autumn - although the only one I've got lined up so far is a hilly one...drat!

04/04/2013 at 23:59
I found the long slow runs have really bought my base heart rate down. Previously a 9:00/mile would have me struggling at 170. Now I can't get over 160 without some serious sustained effort at 7:30/mile.

Sunday I ran 17miles at 9:30 and my heart rate averaged 150.

I've a feeling I'm just not pushing hard enough in a race.

Need to book some more up.
07/04/2013 at 20:44
Can I join in? I ran 1:54 today in the Waltham Forest HM which is quite hilly. I did 2 halfs this time last year: Brighton in 2:03 and the Waltham Forest one again in 1:58. I felt much stronger today and the last 2 miles were the fastest so I'm hopeful I can improve.
I'm 47 and run about 25 to 30 miles pw pretty consistently. My parkrun time is 24:37 and 10 km is 50:xx Have to say I don't think I have any natural flair whatsoever (!) as anyone else I know who runs the same kind of mileage has much better times but I really enjoy running so it's good to have a target to aim for.
08/04/2013 at 16:22

Racquel - we sound very similar even though I'd love to be 47 again...  Friends tell me I'm a strong runner but I look at everyone else and never feel as good in comparison.  Then I look at their ages and realise that for 50 I'm not doing too badly.  OK I'll never be an elite, even in an advanced age group, but if I can stay in the 60%'s in the age grading I'm happy to be "above average".  I still feel I've a good few years running in me, so why not try to improve?  I'm better now than I was five years ago, so who knows what dizzy heights I might reach by the time I'm 60!  Hopefully a sub 1:50 HM will feature in there somewhere!  Just get out there and enjoy yourself!

08/04/2013 at 18:05
Yeah exactly! The results are on the web page now and I was just under 1:54 and 12th woman so not bad I guess!?
07/05/2013 at 11:52

Interesting result on Sunday. Hilly trail. Comparing last years race with Sunday's.

Last year 1:59:24, yesterday 1:55:05.

Last year Avg HR 172, Sunday 165.

So I think maybe I wasn't pushing hard enough yesterday, maybe I've forgotten how hard I can push?

Still 4mins off last years time in much hotter conditions. So I'm reasonably happy.

Next two races are St Albans and The Surrey Badger. Neither of which I will run as 'Races' as I'm going to accompany some novices. Think I'll see if there's something else local soon. 

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