Help - Half Marathon Pacing Tips



  • Snail,

    I think Neversweat is right - I make it 10m23s/mile as well.

    From my calculations:

    If you were to run the 1st mile at a pace 1 minute per mile slower (i.e. at 11m23s/mile pace) then you would need to run the rest of the race at 10m18s/mile pace.

    If you were to run the 1st mile at a pace 2 minutes per mile slower (i.e. at 12m23s/mile pace) then you would need to run the rest of the race at 10m13s/mile pace.

    If you were to run the 1st mile at a pace 2 minutes per mile slower (i.e. at 12m23s/mile pace) AND the second mile at a pace 1 minute per mile slower (i.e. at 11m23s/mile pace) then you would need to run the rest of the race at 10m6s/mile pace.

    Even in the last (and probably too extreme) case you would only need to be running 17s/mile faster than the overall average 10m23s/mile pace - I don't think this should be any problem given your 10k pace.
  • doh.... I never could count...not enough fingers....

    Well it certainly sounds feasible...especially as all my runs round here vary between 9 and 11 minute miles cause of the hills. On the flat I suppose I should be able to sustain 10 23....

    Does starting so much slower..say I take the midle option really give you so much more extra energy at the end....? not sceptical, just surprised as a novice....
  • good question, how hard is it to pick up pace?
  • Snail,

    I don't know what the science is behind it, but starting slow really does seem to help later in the race. As I said, I did it by fluke at the GNR and it really worked. I've also done it the other way around (starting too fast) and really paid the price.


    I never find it hard to pick up the pace - in fact I find the hard part trying to stop myself running too fast at the start. If you run slow enough at the start then you should really feel like you are running slowly. It just feels natural (like taking the brakes off) to up the pace after a mile or two. On a half-marathon it certainly shouldn't feel like much more effort or else you are probably forcing things and exerting too much energy.

  • Thanks Lawrie..... I'm going to give it a go...2nd or 3rd option on Sunday... It's my first half so it'll be a PB anyway!!?

    ..actually looking forward to running that far on the flat. Most I've done so far is a very hilly 11 miles....
  • Good luck on Sunday Snail, see you at Blackpool I'm doing the full. Don't forget to report back on this thread on Monday.
  • SP, what pace are you starting with on Sunday? I've only just caught onto this thread and it's all very relevant!
  • SP, what pace are you starting with on Sunday? I've only just caught onto this thread and it's all very relevant
  • Sounds interesting - Blackpool this Sunday is my first half too, and I'll be making a determined effort to run slowly at the start (like that'll be hard for me!).
  • Hi HW...looks like I might head out on a 12:20 1st mile, 11:20 second mile and then try to keep to just over 10min miles for the rest...see 2nd post down on this page...tho' isn't 12:20 virtually walking.....anyway something like that.

    As long as I break 2 30 I'll be sort of happy but really want to do sub 2:20...

    You're heading for a similar time aren't you. Shall we meet at the start. You too fishy...
  • Sorry..second post down on PREVIOUS page....

    I'll catch up with you on events...don't want to entirely hijack this thread... :0)
  • I find I get a real loss of hope between miles 5/6-8. If I can deal with that I can usually deal with the race. Does anyone else feel like that?

    Really difficult keeping a sensible pace at the beginning of ANY race hard not to get sucked into the mania of everyone rushing off
  • SP - sounds good to me - I think we're thinking along similar lines. See you on the 'Events' thread.
  • Blots mate:
    Positive attitude, break the event down into little bits, this is how I visualise a half marathon

    6 is NEARLY halfway
    and 7 is MORE THAN halfway.
    At 8 there is only 5 left to go,
    and at 9 there is only 4, ANYBODY can run 4
    at 10 you are into double figures, Phew!
    at 11 its two to go, just think about how good you will feel after crossing the finish
    12, one to do, come on, thats not far
    13, only 182 yards left!
  • I do a similar thing to MTDRF above. What I also found in my last half was that holding back for the first half meant I was overtaking all the way home which was a huge psychological boost rather than feeling low as lots of people run past me as had happened previously
  • Blots Mate,

    Yeh, I get that real loss of hope too, especially when people are overtaking me from mile 6 (cos of being too quick!)and so by 9 and 10 I really struggle.

    Breaking it down into bits is good, unless like me you have spent too much energy on the first 6, cos then it end up as'oh no' from 7 on adn 'I just want to stop' at 11.

    I amdefinitley up for the confidence boost of passing people, which is a real incentive to work hard at slowing down in the first half.
  • Me too!

    Mile 6 is my danger point for losing the will to continue - and next time I'm going to chant MTDRF's mantra and banish those 6-mile demons!

  • Thanks for all of that. Def agree that passing people gives you a real lift & helps keep positive.

    I WILL start at a steady pace next 1/2M. Prob not till August. Set off too fast in a 10k on Tues & had lost the will to live by 5k. Apply it to all races!
  • To avoid going too fast at the start... Work out the pace you are going to run at, try it out on the treadmill a few times so you're used to it, find a song you know well that's at the right bpm, when you start the race sing it to ourself to get the right cadence and then at the first marker check to see you're still at the right pace.

    Worked for me.
  • Blott: message from Mak. "Do you run races? I'm allowed to do dog friendly ones!

    Best results
    10k 45 minutes
    10m 75min
    1/2 1:42

    Longest run ever 21 miles.

    Come down this way and run the Sturminster Newton half on 3 Aug!

    ARF! ARF Votes for dogs"

  • Dear Mak,

    I expect I could match yr times but my mate can't. Her pbs are around yr times but to be honest she's a bit inconsistent & she will keep yelling at me when I run into her at high speed. Apparently I have a brain the size of a peanut whatever that means.

    Sturminster Newton sounds a bit Devony. Long way fm deepest Suffolk. Dogs allowed you say? I'll ask her

    regards Blott
  • Blot:
    Happy running
  • Hmm Dorset, not SO bad. If I learn to run on the lead in a straight line she said she'd consider it.My mate used to live in Hampshire so should find it

    Happy running to you too. Just off for an uncontrolled run involving water

  • Liked the music idea.
    I often run with headphones on and tend to burn compilation CDs for running, and they help quite a lot.

    I had not got as far as buring a CD based on exact or near exact tempo. So far just have motivational and chill-out options for racing and training.

    Will definitely experiment there
  • well I have no idea if what I did yesterday got me to a faster time or not I do know that in the heat if I had not chatted to you guys here I would probably have gone out on 10:15 10:30 miles and don't think I would have finished. As it was I did 3 11 mins to start and think that was probably enough to help me through to the end. On another day that may have helped me to pick up the pace abit after 6 miles but yesterday I struggled to add any thing after doing4,5,and 6 at 10:15 pace and completly died back at 10 miles when I began to feel sick.

    So, yes I think going out slower undoubtably helped but I hope to see better effcts from it on a far less hot day. Thanks for the advice tho'. I think it saved me....

    btw...was aiming for 2h 16 and did 2h 22 exactly....
  • snail,

    good going in what sounds like warm conditions.
    heat is always a difficult thingt o contend with, especially if dehydration sets in.

  • I found it helped as well, SP - I made a conscious effort to run slower for the first few miles, and whilst I didn't have anything left to speed up later in the race, I managed to finish in 2.27 when I was aiming for 2.30 :)
  • well done fishy..hope we meet at the next one!!!!!
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