Sub 50min 10k/Sub 1h 50 half marathon

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02/02/2016 at 23:59

Hi Bob, I'm aiming for 4 hours in Paris, but as you say it's a bit of an open book as its my first attempt. I'm still finding it hard to get my head around running 26.2 miles although last Sunday I managed 16.5 miles in 2:50 with 1000ft of hill climb which I was pleased with and I ran a 12k race two weeks ago in 55:33 which I was more than pleased with. I have been trying to run as often as I can and clocked up 138 miles for January.

AndyS2 I'm on Garmin connect and Smashrun if you want to share( username farmerfreds)

03/02/2016 at 07:43
Welcome Aspirant and thanks! Sounds like the training is going really well for Paris. I'm also on smashrun - will try to send you a friend request!

Andrew- thank you! Well done on building your mileage back up, it can't have been easy Sounds like a good plan to use a park run to test things out.
13/02/2016 at 15:40
Really tough week but managed to get through it!! Last Sat I did my first 20 miler, I'd already planned a difficult route trying to mimic the Boston course, with tough uphill and steep downhill right at the start, and killer hill at the end. Of course, it was that day with the extreme winds (which always seemed to be against me!) so it was pretty challenging

Monday 11 miles with 10 X strides, Wed 10 miles, Thurs 6. Today was 16 miler with 12 miles at marathon pace (8m35/mile). Found it very tough towards the end, constant heavy rain not helping but at least no winds! But got through with average pace 8m34 for the 12 miles, pretty consistent except for mile 13 @ 8m55 but that was all uphill

Absolutely shattered now! Next week is a bit easier with mileage (supposed to be recovery week) although I have Hampton Court half next Sun. Will probably try to aim for 8m10-15/mile pace - assuming I run a bit longer due to weaving etc (say 13.5 miles) that won't get me sub 1:50 but hopefully still a good PB. Will see how it goes, I also have Surrey Half 3 weeks later so could always push a bit more on that one with another few weeks of training behind me!!

How's everyone else getting on? ????
Edited: 13/02/2016 at 15:41
14/02/2016 at 15:58

That's a really big confidence booster for you Nicole (the MP run). I did that run last week in what sounds like similar conditions. Also getting the first 20 miler in is another key step forward. The fact that you are getting all this done without any serious niggles is really encouraging.

Not surprised you're shattered! I felt exactly the same two weeks ago and started to think 'maybe age is gradually catching up with me'. But the week after I felt totally rejuvenated. Pfitzinger calls it 'supercompensation'. Not totally sure what he means but I think its the progress you make after a hard phase of training followed by a recovery period. Also, I think runners of our ability need to remember that the speedier runners probably feel just as exhausted.

Good luck at Hampton Court! 

14/02/2016 at 17:14
Thanks Bob! Yes, after last couple of years I always have the injury fear at the back of my mind - but I've managed to build a good base since late last year so whilst this mileage is very intense (particularly with the various speed works) I haven't made any sudden changes. I did feel completely maxed out this week (just overall and particularly with the MP run - I think I probably got close to the brink!). Although I managed the MP run I am very glad I've still got another 6 weeks of good training before taper as I don't think I could do 8m35 for the whole marathon just yet! I think also building in hills to these kind of runs is a big challenge - though one I have to take on with Boston in mind!

What kind of mileage are you up to at the moment?

I really like the thought of the super compensation -I could do with a bit of that before Hampton Court

Glad you're feeling good and getting through your even tougher schedule! What kind of marathon pace are you thinking of at the moment?
14/02/2016 at 17:54

Was recovery week this week (44). Have had two weeks of 53/54 and this coming week is 55. All of the next 5 weeks before taper are 50+. 

I'm looking at between 8:25-8:30. Deliberately planning for a 26.5 mile run so that I dont get caught out by the 'extra distance'. Did 16 miles at 8:23 last week as it was too wet and cold to go slower so I just got into the pace early in the run and tried to hold it.  Doing  that for another 10 miles is not really on though. I'll probably start off around 8:30 pace for the first 8 miles, pick it up to 8:25 to halfway then see if I can throw 3 or 4 miles in at 8:20. Plan then will be to drop it back to 8:25 before slowing to 8:30/8.35 ish for the  last few miles. That seems more manageable than 26x 8:25 miles!

Obviously with Boston pacing is tricky. Suppose youve got to take advantage of the downhill start without going over board. I dont think the hills look too problematic. I remember you saying that you do plenty of them where you live. I suppose its doing them when you are tired at 18 miles thats the problem. However, you are already addressing that in your training. As long as you keep enough in the tank you should be fine. The good thing is that if youve been over cautious, youve got a good few miles after the hills to use up any unspent energy. I know in Madrid the first time I'd saved too much but the hills were from miles 21-25 and I finished feeling I could have gone a lot quicker.

14/02/2016 at 18:47
Sounds like a great plan, Bob!

Yes, i think the problem is the placing of the uphills in Boston. They start around mile 16 with the worst one (Heartbreak) at mile 20. From all that I've read the advice is NOT to bank time on the earlier downhills, particularly mile 1 which is a steep downhill. Apparently many people do this and trash their quads, then fall apart once the uphills start. So best to be cautious and hold back a bit.

As for the extra mileage yes I always factor that in, I find I can do up to 0.25 miles extra per 10k (although usually less). However, good news for you is that Manchester was a massive exception to the rule - myself and most others on the Manchester forum reported running almost true to distance. One of the reasons I'm not sure I'll PB despite probably being in better shape - as 0.5 miles extra can add 4-5 mins extra. Then the hills too! But hopefully it won't be as bad as I think and I can still get a small improvement. Would be massively happy with sub 3:50 which would be London GFA
15/02/2016 at 12:10

Nicole & Bob - you both seem to be in a very nice groove of training at the moment!

Nicole - good luck at Hampton Court  What you say about having to factor in extra distance in most races in definitely a consideration - I even managed to run an additional 0.03 miles in a parkrun on Saturday, and I was sure that I was running the racing line throughout! So it must definitely add up during a marathon (by quick maths, 0.03 x nearly 9 = over a quarter of a mile extra, taking the marathon distance to nearly 26.5 miles!).

I am slowly but surely adding mileage and now starting to build in weekly tempo and interval sessions too, after a few months of purely base mileage and easy running. Up to approx 30 miles each week now. Did a parkrun on Saturday to assess current fitness and did it in 22.03, so over a minute down on pb, but equivalent to my 5k time from early June last year (so 4 months ahead of that this year) and about 2min30 faster than a parkrun on the same course at roughly the same time last year. So I was relatively pleased with it.

15/02/2016 at 13:17
Thanks Andrew! Yes, the extra distance thing definitely comes into play, obviously the longer the race, but also depending upon how crowded the course is/whether people are in the correct start zones etc. Hopefully if Hampton Court isn't too bad for this, you never know for a sub 1:50!

Great work on the park run, although not a PB the thing to look for is your level of improvement in recent months, which is excellent, and I'm sure there is plenty to come now you're back in steady training!

After Sat hard effort I was dreading this morning's run, 9 miles including intervals session (5 repeats of 0.5 mile at 5k race pace, 3m20s jog recovery). Ended up doing my best ever session with the fast intervals at 3:49/3:49/3:43/3:42/3:51 - average pace 7m33/mile which is a 5sec improvement on last time. Encouraged to finally be getting good improvements after many frustrating months, fingers crossed this continues up to Boston
16/02/2016 at 13:42

Quick hello to everyone, not posted for quite some time. just been reading through the trend

Bob & Nicole sounds like you’re both doing some serious miles and your training is going great.

Which is more than can be said for me, had no races in the back end of last year but did manage to get some good training in, but unfortunately life, Christmas then a skiing injury and a cold/chest infection have knocked all that out the window and I have barely done anything since mid-December.

Just started getting back out again and doing some cross training which is not before time as I have a ½ marathon at Silverstone in 4 weeks, unfortunately because of the time off there is no chance ill do a PB and break that magic 1:50. Not sure yet what ill be able to do, but just trying to make every session count at the moment.

Any advice on the best way to train in the next few weeks would be helpful, i.e. should I train hard with speed and hill session, or just concentrate on slow and steady and getting my mileage back up again?

16/02/2016 at 14:38

I'd say you need to concentrate on the endurance Stephen. Having a comfortable journey around the 13 miles is the aim for this one, speed work isnt going to help with that. Of course, some faster work wont go amiss but its the long, slow, steady stuff that will help you most with this one (and any other for that matter!). Good luck!

21/02/2016 at 14:38
Tough few months for you Stephen, sorry to hear! Well done on getting back into things. I agree with Bob. I had a rough time last autumn after extended illness and a couple of halfs I'd originally signed up to hoping for PBs became very different! First one was just getting the finish as my mileage had dropped way down, second one still consolidating. It's frustrating at the time but so worth it in the long run! Just take the speed pressure off whilst you build back up

Pleased today, I managed 1:51:18 at Hampton Court half, not the sub 1:50 yet but still a PB by over a minute! Possibly the worst organised race I've done though, it was narrow and overcrowded the whole way with slower runners, and had to queue for up to a minute at each water station, as they were pouring cups and had completely run out, not the best So feeling confident I've got the sub 1:50 lurking in me - hoping it will emerge at Surrey half in 3 weeks!
21/02/2016 at 14:53

Well done Nicole! Edging ever closer and who knows, without the frustrating delays it could have been today. Just a matter of time now - three weeks hopefully! 

21/02/2016 at 15:03
Well done Nicole that's a great time and I am sure your break the 1:50 in a few weeks.

And thanks to you a bob for the advice just been doing the miles nice and easy 4 days a week with strength training on two other days. managed the full 13 today which was tough but knowing I am ok at the distance is a great mental victory. 3 week to go for me also
21/02/2016 at 23:06

Well done Nicole, you've been covering some impressive mileage recently, do you think you could have used more of a taper? or were you treating it more as a training run than a race? I'm sure you will smash it in 3weeks!

i ran my first ever 20mile run today in 3:28:55 average pace 10:24 so my joints are feeling a bit sore tonight along with the blisters I've got on my feet. I'm breaking in a new pair of shoes so wore my old ones today which now have over 500miles on them and have lost a bit of their flexibility. Feeling a lot more confident now for my first full marathon, just 6weeks away now.

Stephen, well done on the 13 miles today, looks very impressive negative splits, you should be able to improve on that in 3 weeks if you trust in the power of the taper?

22/02/2016 at 07:44
Stephen - well done on the 13, that's a great confidence booster! Which half are you running?

Aspirant - likewise for the 20, that's a huge barrier, both mental and physical! Do you have another one planned before taper?

Thanks for the good thoughts, guys! Aspirant - well I guess the problem with racing halves during marathon training is you can't afford to take an ideal taper. I did do it on the recovery week, which is the best I could do, I think! Saying that it's during the marathon training that I always seem to see the improvements and PBs in other distances, even though I'm not doing any specific training for them

With yesterday's race, I feel it was more the difficult conditions that took away the crucial minute or two. It sounded like a good race on paper but I think they seriously need to rethink for next year! Apparently the park and ride went badly wrong with a huge amount of runners caught up in logjams - they then delayed the start (so everyone else waiting and shivering!) Once the park and ride runners arrived they all joined the nearest line of runners which was meant to be the sub 1:30 group. When the race eventually started, it was awful until nearly half way as we were basically all running on an ordinary width pavement with no road closure apart from short stretch right at the beginning. (This was a fairly big race as well with 4000-5000 runners). So all the slower runners were blocking everyone and the only way to overtake was to run into the road with traffic. I saw several bad casualties in this stretch where people had come to grief tripping on the kerb leaping in and out. I pushed hard trying to keep sight of the 1:50 pacer but just used so much energy dodging in and out of people, up and down the kerbs and boggy verges, that by the time we got to the towpath section I was quite depleted. Then had to stop and wait for a minute at water station around 7 miles for them to pour out water and lost sight of pacer. Kept pushing hard but I'd lost time and my pace was dropping after the energy zap of first half. Still felt strong though and constantly still overtaking where possible (more narrow stretches). Held on and then a final push at mile 12 to finish fast!

A bit frustrating but I'm really pleased with PB and feel if everything comes together then I do have the sub 1:50 in me!
Edited: 22/02/2016 at 07:46
22/02/2016 at 08:03
Hi Nicole I am running the silverstone half
29/02/2016 at 16:07

Hi everyone, hope you've all had a good weekend. I did the Coventry half marathon yesterday at the end of quite a high mileage week for me. I started with my daughter so that I wouldn't run too fast, but after the first couple of miles her shins were hurting and she needed to walk so I left her and carried on alone. I caught up and overtook the two hour Pacers and kept on passing runners at under 8min/mile pace. I was feeling good and I knew it was meant to be mainly downhill from about mile 8. At mile 11 we were back into the urban streets and I could feel the energy levels dropping so I picked up a jelly baby and carried it just in case. Mile 12 brought a bit of uphill again so started on the jelly baby, and then fortunately we reached the top and there was a nice long downhill in front of us. I stretched out my legs to make the most of the gradient but before I knew it I was at the bottom going round a roundabout towards the city centre and the finish. I was trying to keep my speed up but the end was still nowhere in sight, round one more bend and there was the finish line only 80m away. I looked at the clock, 1:49:40! I just thought I've got to get there before 1:50 so started to sprint with all I had left and then I had done it, I didn't see the clock but looked at my Garmin 1:43:13! I couldn't compute this at the time but I'd forgotten that we hadn't crossed the start until 6 minutes something after the gun. So my official chip time was 1:43:14 wow! Nearly 5minutes off my pb! 

Sorry if I've gone on too long but I am still quite chuffed. 

Nicole, looks like you've been doing some impressive mileage recently, well done for that. When is your next race?

Stephen, you've been running well too, I think you can be quite confident for Silverstone.

03/03/2016 at 19:39
Hi Aspirant, wow!!! Massive congratulations, that's fantastic, particularly as you had no idea how you were doing. I expect you're still on cloud 9
05/03/2016 at 14:51

Afternoon all,

Not posted on here for what seems like forever (apologies)

A lot has happened in the last 9  months. I had a bad mountain biking accident which meant nearly a 5 month break from running (although I think this was a blessing in disguise as I'm excited about running again now!) I got engaged, and will be getting married this summer. I started a new job, and will be starting some accounting exams later this year. So keeping busy!

Back to the running. Started again in mid january and have been building mileage up. Just back from a 2 hour run so thought it was about time to get back on here and see how everyone is getting on. I've signed up for the Taunton half again (4 weeks time) and secretly hoping for somewhere near my PB.

I hear someone got a BQ? And someone else is knocking on the door for a GFA for London. I'm still not sure I understand you marathoners, but I'm in awe of you all the same!


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