half marathon training

Hey guys,

Been reading threads for a while now there appears to be a lot of us taking part in half marathons soon was thinking we should start a training group here and report our progresses, answer questions and eventually praise all our success, anyway about me.....

I am a first time half marathoner, taking part on the 27th of Feb. i'm doing it for me and one day even hope to run a marathon..... I'm not completely in shape for it had the xmas blues for a while but i'm starting to get back into it. Completed my first 6 miles on Sunday was a great run although the last mile was a struggle.....Also, ive been opting to run in the gym loads really need to start getting outside but its always so miserable image

How is everyone else getting on? x


  • Hi,

    I'm running my first half marathon on 6th March, to be honest I don't want to run a marathon, I think 13 miles will be far enough for me, especially as it is cross country and at the moment liquid mud !

    Before Christmas I was running about 20-25 miles a week but with work commitments, Christmas and the New Year I'm only now just getting back in to it.

    I'm trying to run 4 times a week but it can be hard fitting it in round work, I'm self employed and have clients visit evenings and weekends as well as normal working hours.

    My long runs are nearly 11 miles but I do still walk the odd bit of these image just back from a 6.27 mile run this evening which I did run all the way, this is the furthest I have run without any breaks whatsoever. I know I don't have many weeks to improve on this !

    My cunning plan is to keep my long weekend "muddy" runs to about 11 miles and increase the distance on my mid week road runs so I can run at least 10 miles without a break.

    I'm also trying to sort out my refuelling strategy..... On the long runs I drink water and munch on the odd cereal bar but I do find it difficult to eat when running, or even on my walk breaks, so I'm experimenting on things to add in to my water to give me what I need, especially to replace salts etc...

  • You don't need to fuel on a half marathon, you won't run out of glycogen that quickly. And you don't need to drink on a winter half marathon, assuming you live in Britain.

  • Surely it depends on how long you are running for LA?! I reckon each individual is different.
  • The course record for women is 1:46 I am aiming for 2:30 but to be honest anything under 3 hours would be fine with me !

    I will most probably still take water with me, I seem to get incredibly thirsty when I run... Maybe I'm generally not drinking enough. I have found that the fitter I get the less thirsty I fell, not sure if that makes sense !
  • Hi Lisa the training looks good and i'm the same as you I work in the daytime and some evenings. It can be a real struggle to get out there.. What half marathon are you doing? and the mud sounds like fun I always panic about slipping though, I get so worried about getting injured!

    I cant really help you with the refuelling sorry but your way ahead with the training and mines before yours eeek haha.....

    I don't know if any one help but I have constantly been feeling tired and all I want to do is sleep is this because I am training a lot? my partner especially has really noticed it!
  • I'm doing the steyning stinger on the 6th March.

    I have only tripped twice when running cross country, both times when it was dry, luckily I only had scrapes and bruises....

    I know what you mean about the tiredness.. I really do need a good eight hours sleep, not that I manage it all the time though ! It is also important to eat properly.... On a long run I use over 1000 calories, I'm not trying to lose any more weight so I do need to replace what I use but with "good" calories rather than chocolate image

    I have also given up alcohol... Since I have been running I notice the effects far more than I used to and it compounded the tiredness...
  • the (easter) eggyptian toe wrote (see)
    Surely it depends on how long you are running for LA?! I reckon each individual is different.

    No, because the thread is about half marathons. If it was about marathons or further then I may agree with you.

    Glycogen isn't drip fed into your system at a constant rate, it's like the excellerator linked to a carburetor, the faster you run the faster you will run out of glycogen, the slower you run the longer it will last, in other words it doesn't matter if you're fast or slow, it's relevent to distance. This glycogen expenditure rate can be offset by training, which in reallity just means you'll be faster for longer, not go for longer unless you slow down to a drastically slower pace than you're used to.

    So the answer is still no, you don't need fuel for a half marathon. It's all in the mind. If you think you're tired and need a boost, you will slow down.

  • That makes it one less thing to think about ! I have been learning so much about physiology/biology since I started running.

    As for water, I'll see how far I'm running without it closer to the time, at the moment anything about 6.5 miles or under I don't drink anything.

  • Lisa - thought you were going to be doing Steyning image

    - I'd like to run that as well. I want to do the marathon, has been an ambition of mine for the past couple of years. Started training for it last year then was offered a club place for London so ran that instead. I am not fit enough to run 2 marathons that close together.

    Agree with LA about fuelling - hm don't, though drinking maybe reasonable, I wouldn't in training but in a race I tend to. Have to admit all my hm have been summer - autumn

    How far are you running on your long runs? Guess about 12-13 miles? - 1,000 kcals (I burn around 80 kcal / mile) If you're running in the locale you should be well placed. There are some nice hills around Steying and out to Washington over the Downs. Would love to live there again. image

  • Hi all,

    I've been training now for about 18 months and run three HMs so no great experience but here's what I've found.

    For my first HM I trained about 3 times a week with weekly mileage of 20 - 25 miles most of which were slow easy miles  with my LSR being between 10 - 13 miles.This got me in the sort of shape to run a flat HM (Chester) in 2:03 which I was really happy with but I felt with a bit more/smarter training I could do better.

    For my second HM (Anglesey 2-3 miles killer hill to the finish) I upped my training to between 30 - 35 miles per week and ran 4 times per week. Most of my LSR were 13 miles or so. I also introduced some speedwork on one day a week. Not sure which was most useful ..... the speedwork or the extra miles (probably) but I finished Anglesey in just over 2 hours. Again very happy but was sure there was still more time to come off if I was smarter image I'd gone off way to quickly and paid for it in the last 3 miles. I guess what I'm saying here is know your course !

    So, onto my third HM (Conwy big climb in the middle) Again upped my weekly mileage to between 35-40 miles per week and added a second "quality" session. V. happy with the result from  this as I finished in just under 1:54. I think this was again due to a mix of extra easy miles and the occasional speedy but image

    Got to agree with both LD and BM about the fueling .... I took drinks with me on both the first and second HMs as I thought I "needed" them but didn't on the third. I stopped taking them on my LSR and realised I didn't need them.


    If you are finding that you are walking part of your LSR it might be worth building them in as part of your race plan. Although your ultimate goal is to run the HM you could build in short walk breaks at around the mileages that the drinks stations will be in the actual HM. Psychologically it's better to plan stops that be forced into them image

    Before my first HM I was also feeling very tired but as I've got fitter the tiredness has disappeared even on the higher mileage weeks.

    Anyway, enough of my ramblings hope this may be some use ?image 

  • Oops, I meant to post a link to another thread I found really useful .... I know there's a lot to read here but it does contain some "pearls of wisdom" image

    <a href='http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/forummessages.asp?UTN=166480&URN=3&dt=4&srchdte=0&cp=1&v=1&sp=' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/forummessages.asp?UTN=166480&URN=3&dt=4&srchdte=0&cp=1&v=1&sp=</a>

    Edited as I'm useless at spelling
  • This link is the route of the half marathon....


    I think I may end up planning my walks for the very steep bits !
  • Hi Everyone

    Hope you don't mind me joining the thread.  I too have my first half marathon in a couple of weeks.  Buzzing Bee - mine is on the 27th too.  I'm doing the one in Blackpool - are you?

    I was originaly working off a training plan that was devised by smartcoach, but for some reason I couldn't settle into it, so I switched over to another.  I've already completed this training and finished it before Christmas.  My plan was to keep the maintenance up unti the race, but unfortunately I got ill, then Christmas, etc and a few weeks had passed before I knew it - so I've started the plan again half way.

    I've just done 10 miles today - bit slower than I would have liked.  The race predictor on here (based on my previous race time) estimates I will do it in 2hrs 30, so am aiming for that.  But like you Lisa, anything under 3 hours and I'll be made up with that.

    I only started running 9 months ago and never would have believed I would be running a half marathon!  Good luck everyone on your runs

    JESS x

  • I'm not sure I entirely agree with the comment on nutrition above.....  if you are running for less than 2 hours then you won't need any.  From 2 hours on it is a good idea to start thinking about a gel every half an hour or so (or any other non-gel alternative if you can't stand gels).

    As for fluids - this depends on the weather  to a certain extent, but I would advise on taking a few mouthfuls of water every 3 miles or so.  Carrying water is optional of course, but it's more weight to lug around so why bother.

    For training, if you are after salt replacement for long runs have a look at either Nuun or High 5 Zero.  Both tablet form which you drop into the water. No sugars but all the salts you need if you are sweating loads.

    Good luck folks...  and I will see some of you at Stinger half - i will be the short bloke in a Pirate top. image

  • Hi everyone, can I join you - I'm planning a half this year (but later in the year) haven't signed up yet I'm a painfully slow plodder so I'm looking for something with a big friendly field. My endurance isn't bad but  my speed (or lack thereof) is my main concern.

    Thanks for adding your experiences flip flop interesting reading.

  • K - there are a lt of races that are friendly. image They don't all have big fields, some are small. I quite like small races though when you are running alone and there is no one in sight it can feel lonely.

    Any race you have in mind?

    .PSC - if you are taking a gel then you need to take water with it otherwise you wont benefit from the gel - the opposite, it will have a detrimental effect on your running.

    Personally I prefer not to take anything.

    JESS - good luck for Blackpool. image

  • Biker-Mouse... have a look at the new High5 range of gels (IsoGels) - you don't need to take water with them.  Although I do agree that with most gels you do need water as well to help the ingestion.

    Morning all..........

  • Good morning, had a very hectic weekend with work but managed to get out Saturday evening for a longer run. I managed 8.86 miles in 1:34 with no stops image this is the furthest I have run non-stop to date. I have switched to road routes all the time it looks like a river running down the road opposite.....

    I should be back to a bit more of a normal work routine this week and I'm looking to increase my long run to about 11 miles and my shorter runs will be 3 miles and 7 miles (two three mile runs and one seven mile run....)

    Just updated my running blog as well http://pancakemuddypaws.blogspot.com
  • Hi guys,

    Jess L mines the Roding Valley half... Dam it! would have been nice to know someone running the same race... I've heard the Roding valley is a pretty hard route eeeek! Your training looks like it is going great. what training plan is it you are following now?

    Welcome K, look forward to hearing about your training progress and success. Have you got a date in mind to aim for? And are you following a training plan at all?

    My training is looking up this week and I have had a pretty good week, managed 8 miles sunday -longest run yet. My legs feel really tight and heavy today though. Is it because i've up the mileage? Any tips to aid recovery??

    And Lisa Beaney congrats on giving up alcohol that's a massive achievement and I just checked out your blog some lovely pictures of your routes image Good luck with the mileage increase!

    Thanks flip flop for the advice and the link is really good haven't got through it all yet but Moraghans principle makes a lot of sense...and 3 half marathons 18 months and to get your time down by that much is impressive... I'm hoping for 2.30ish.... Have you got any plans for future events?

    Happy running guys, hope everyone has a good week!

    p.s. I'm glad I am not the only one that experienced tiredness training for their first half as I was starting to worry.

  • I find a soak in a warm bath helps the heavy feeling muscles .... I have also had a sports massage... One of the most painful things I have ever done but it made a real difference on how tight my calf muscles felt.. To the point it is something I will be doing on a regular basis..
  • Hi all.... I'll also be attempting my first HM at Steyning in six weeks time - I'm not as far along in my training as Lisa, but I think there's still time - looking at the course map, it appears the last mile and a half (just after what looks like a hellish last 'climb') is all downhill, so I'm trying to fool my brain into training for an 11.7 mile race, knowing that if the worst comes to the worst I can just launch myself down the hillside.

    I don't have a structured plan other than getting out for a long XC run on a Sunday on the lower South Downs hills around Goring, with smaller runs including intervals during the week. I'll try and get up to four runs and about 30-32 miles per week by the end of February, and then I'll slacken off.

    Can't wait for the weather to improve by even 4 or 5 degrees though as I hate running in tights.

    Take care all, stay safe

  • Hi everyone

    Ahh Buzzing Bee - yeah it would have been lovely to meet up with someone.  Have a great race though.  This is the training plan I have been using.  http://running.about.com/od/racetraining/a/basichalf.htm

    I've found that website really helpful - I have enjoyed all their training plans and they have videos (which I need) about proper running form, tips, etc.

    Good luck to everyone one with their races.  My estimated time for a HM on the RW race predictor is 2hours 30, so if I make that I'll be very happy.  Getting nervous now though as it's my first one and have a terrible feeling I'll still be running when they're putting the traffic cones away image

    JESS x

  • I am planning doing a half in April/May.  NOt decided yet going to see how the next few weeks pan out with how my legs handle the increase in milage.  Did 5 miles on Sunday at constant 9 min miles.  I am doing the Hal Higdon plan with a few repeat weeks.
  • Good luck - I've just signed up to my first in June, Potters Arf.  I may start a blog to track training.
  • Sports massages are quite expensive aren't they? A friend recommend a foam roller, has anyone else used them at all?

    I've looked at the Hal Higdon before there are some big increases in Sat mileage some weeks, especially week 6-7 must be tough... Great work with the 9 min miles image...

    Hi James good luck with the half,have you started training yet? and And Spartakrunner looks like your training going well and I cant wait for the weather to warm up a bit either! Bad news though apparently its going to get colder again at the weekend image Fingers crossed the weather man is wrong.... What distance you aiming for this Sunday?

    Happy running guys keep at it!
  • Foam roller - known as torture eqipment for anyone into S&M there are great. They do work, as do wooded rolloing pins (you can pick one up for a £ so no big outlay there).

    I think a lot of people swear by their foam roller... or is that swear at it. Yes get one. image

    There is plenty advice on RW US site re exercises and stretching and core and flexibility.


    I read it ften and take little snippets at a time.

    I am hoping to start running again soon.

  • There's no pain like a foam roller, unless it's a physio stripping your IT band.image

    Definately worht it though

  • Hey,
    Thanks for the advice I went for a 4 mile run last night on the treadmill (I'm a big wimp and wasn't brave enough to venture outside), then got one of the trainers to show be how to use the foam roller correctly and the pain at points in my quads was horrible. But legs felt so much better after image def going to invest in one - and k the words IT band and stripping sounds very painful....Hows the training going k??

    And Biker-mouse found some helpful stuff on the runners world site never really gone through it before so thanks. There are some post run stretching video routines I might give a try image and hope you get back into running soon.

    Anyway hope everyones trainings going well and for most ready for your weekend long runs i'm going for the 9 miles Yay me
  • I'll have to see if I can find any videos on YouTube about foam rollers...... Could be a money saver !

    I'm having a day of running today and off to a belly dancing class instead image
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