sub 1:35 half marathon

Hi everyone.
I'm aiming to run a sub 1:35 half marathon for my first half marathon in 2 months time. I'm 17 (male)and can currently run a 10K in about 42mins.
What do you think my chances are and any advice for good training runs?


  • Have a look in the training section of the web site.  My 10k PB is just under 42 mins, and my HM one is sub 1:30 - so 1:35 is definitiely achievable based on your 10k.

    Your biggest problem is likely to be endurance, as your 10k time shows you have the speed, so you'll need to get the long runs in.

  • Hi Jonathan,

    Based on your 10K time I'd say your chances on getting a 1:35 half are pretty decent.  This is assuming that you are doing some longer distance work too though.  Make sure you get a few 10-12M easy runs in between now and then.

    Best advice I can give is to ease yourself into your target pace, perhaps starting a bit further back in the field than you normally would.  Unlike 10K, where starting the first 2-3K too fast means 7K's of pain, in a half marathon, it would mean 18K so things are a bit less forgiving.  Perhaps try to aim for negative splits, say:

    0-10k - 44min

    10-20k - 43min

    and you will reach 20K in 1:27 on target to get well below your target with just over one K to go.

     Best of luck to you anyway!

  • Very achievable although it depends a little bit upon your current training.  If it's mostly short stuff at the moment - team sports etc. then you were probably hanging on a little to do the 10k in 42 mins.  Even at that if you run often, do one longish run each week and one faster it should be possible.  If your post what level your training is at currently one of us might be able to give you some specific advice.
  • Thanks so much for the help so far. @Clearly: at the moment i run mostly short runs (5miles or so) 3 times a week and try to get a longer run in once a week (+- 9 miles)
  • I would suggest that you add a mile a week to the middle 5 mile run and the 9 mile run stopping at about 15 and 10.  Keep them both at a pace that is challenging but not too hard.  Change one of the other 5 mile runs to a tempo run where you warm up from about 2 miles, run comfortably hard but not all out for 20 mins and then warm down for another mile.  Increase the 20 mins by 2 mins per week. 

    Take the last week easy doing shorter versions of your runs. 

    In summary what I'm suggesting is that you do a long run, a medium-long run and tempo run.  Add in as many miles as you like on other days at an easy pace and effort but don't let it impact the 3 main runs. Do a few strides whenever you like.  The main focus of this training is on building your endurance.  You do not need to worry about speed

    Some other thoughts:

    Listen to your body and back off if it feels like it's too much. 

    Start every run you do slowly. 

    In the race itself run the first 10k @ 4:30 per km pace, pick it up to 4:25 from 10k and bring it home for the last 2-3k faster if you feel good or hang on as long as you can if you're struggling. 

    If you keep running you'll break 1:30 for a half marathon and 40 mins for a 10k in 6 months or probably sooner.

    Most important of all..... Enjoy it!

  • fine !thanks !

  • Thanks so much. Really appreciated!
  • I ran a PB for a 10K race today - 40:55 image
  • That is 10 secs slower than my PB, I am also training for peterborough half in a few weeks, first one. I was hoping for about 1.35. I have been doing 4 training sessions a week consisting of a speed session at the track, 6-8 mile run at 7 min miles, long run of 12 minimum, 8 mile easy run. Seems to be working for me, can't stress enough how much you need that long run as my legs start dieing around 11 miles, good luck buddy.

  • Martian, do you think sub 1.30 would be Folly?
  • Wonder how he got on in the end.

    I'll be in a similar place come early next year.  First HM in March so given myself plenty of time to prepare.  Already have 3 12 mile easy runs logged so I know the distance won't be a problem at all, it's all about the time for me.  I have a slightly more challenging goal though, I want to go under 1.30.  I have similar 10k times and a 19.24pb for 5k but have only just started "proper" training so I hope these will come down markedly by the time March springs upon us.

    One question for people.  Most of my early training is easy. steady or Fartlek runs.  I am doing a Parkrun 5k most weeks but is there anything wrong with throwing in a 13.1 mile run at the pace i'm looking to officially log, at some point?  At the end of the day, plenty of people run 2 HMs in a 6 month period so what difference is there if I just do one on my own?

    I understand the reasons for the easy runs but why is running your target distance at your target pace never encouraged in the training plans?

  • Mr VMr V ✭✭✭

    Strangely – A couple of reasons really. Firstly it is pretty much impossible to do. For a half marathon most people find 6 miles at race pace is the most they can manage in a training run. And this only very close to race day (i.e. it’s a session you would have to build up to). Adrenaline and all kind of other factors kick in on race day which means you can run faster for further than you can in training.

    Secondly there is the recovery aspect to think of. A flat out 13 miles will require a fair bit of recovery which will impact on your training for the following week or two. I guess the question is for what purpose do you want to do the session?

  • Thank agian Mr V, how's it going?

    I guess the answer is because i'm in unfamiliar territory at that distance.  I know roughly what I can do at 5 and 10k now so don't feel the need to prove it to myself any more.  HM though, I really have no idea whether my target time (sub 1.30) is actually realistic or achievable as i've never done it.  i might aim for it, try to keep that pace up but find after 8 miles i'm done in and can't finish the race and that would be, you know, a bit of a pisser.

    I guess i'm still struggling to get my head around the whole mechanics of setting a taget pace for yourself when you don't yet really know what you're capable of.

  • Hi Strangely - I was attracted to this thread because I am actually targetting a sub 1:35 in about 11 days - ran a 42:13 for a 10k about 3 weeks ago as part of my training rather than a targetted race - have you tried going on the Calculators on the Training Section of this site? That enables you to put in your race times for different distances and comes up with an expected pace for a different distance provided you do the relevant training. good news for you is that I've just put in your 5k time and it reckons just over 1:29 for a HM!image

    This then means you can build a training plan around that speed/target.

    My 42:13 suggests I can get under 1:35 - but that's not quite the same thing as getting under 1:35!

    Cheers, Skinny

  • You have to love the internet.  Where else could a conversation take place between Strangely Brown and Skinny Fetish Fan? image

    I have indeed used the calculators and that's what made me decide to go for sub 1.30 rather than the slightly less ambitious sub 1.35.  But, as you rightly point out, saying that you may be able to do it and actually doing it, are very different things!


    I guess i'm just going to have to wait until race day to see whether I can do that time or not, just hope I don't feck myself up in the first 7 or 8 miles!!

  • Why don't you try and find a 10 mile race somewhere between now and end of January - then jump in distance won't be so great? If you have a week off training after that then doubt it will do any harm because most HM trainnig plans are 12 weeks and you've got 5 or 6 months.

    Cheers, Skinny

  • Mr VMr V ✭✭✭

    Strangely - That's always going to be the case to a certain extent when you haven't tackled the distance before. The problem is if you try and run 13 miles flat out as a training run it will be tough and you won't get close to what you would do in an actual race. So it probably won't really help.

     I guess a couple of points I would make. Firstly the first time you tackle a distance will inevitably be a learning experience. It’s unlikely you will run to your absolute peak but it will make the next one easier. You have plenty of chances to run half marathons so no need to set yourself too rigid a time target for your first one. Start conservatively, pick the pace up if you feel good and see what happens.

    Secondly are there any 10 mile races you could do beforehand? If so I’d encourage you to enter and try and run it at what you think your half marathon pace will be. It will help to bridge the gap between the distances and if you misjudge the pace a little then you’ve got a bit more leeway.

    Finally have faith in your training. If you are doing the right sessions then you have nothing to fear about the distance. I know you are working on building your mileage at the moment. But are planning a preparation phase prior to the race? There are plenty of good sessions you can do that will give you a good idea of what pace is realistic come race day.

  • Thank you gents, much appreciate the advice.

    Hadn't thought too much about a 10 miler to be honest, I have booked another 10k race in for November so perhaps a 10 miler in Dec/Jan would be a good idea.  i'll have a scout around and see what's available.

    I guess "having faith in your training" is much easier once you've proven the concept.  I've mainly run the short races off no formal training for them distances so the HM will be the first one i've specifically trained for.  In my case, at this stage, I suppose it should be a case of  having faith that the type of trainng i'm doing has stood the test of time.  I need to have faith in other's trainingimage

  • I'm doing the Lake Vyrnwy half in September and a 10 mile preparation run  at the end of August.

    I'm hoping to complete the half in under 1:30, is it best to try the 10 miles at this pace? I was thinking I'd be happy with anything under 1:10 for the 10 miles at this point.

    Thanks for any advice.

  • NayanNayan ✭✭✭

    Wow old thread. Most of the posters may be just bleached bones in the desert now. Anyway yeah, unless you are elite, your 10mile pace is discernibly faster than your HM pace.

    10mi pace is often recommended you use for tempo runs. 1:30 HM is what 4:15/km? Your threshold/10mi pace would be more like 4:10/km I think.

    So, 1:08 for 10mi running flat out and where you know you couldnt possibly have gone any faster tells you that 1:30 HM is on. However you'd then only have two weeks taper to race day. You have to weight this versus the risk injuring yourself / not being able to recover in time for the HM.

    Alternatively running the 10mi at 4:15 goal pace will give you an idea of how you will feel going into the last 5k. If you can do it sub 1:10 and (being honest with yourself) you know you can hold pace for three more miles or so tahts not a bad confidence boost either.

    Either way, you have to judge the risks for yourself. Twoo weeks to race day theres not much you can do to get faster, but plenty you can do to ruin your race. 

  • That about sums up the options thanks! The last paragraph certainly rings true, i've managed to avoid injury so far despite the odd niggle, a sensible taper might be wise. Just use the 10mile to remember what it's like to run with other people!

  • NayanNayan ✭✭✭

    Think of it like baking a Black Forest Gateau.

    You could take it out of the oven to examine and test it 15 minutes before its due, just to see how well its baking - but you'd fuck it up completely. 

  • image As a chef, that made me laugh! I'll wait for the buzzer, looking forward to some cake now! after swimming tonight!


    Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte wrote (see)

    Wow old thread. Most of the posters may be just bleached bones in the desert now.

    I've been avoiding deserts, just in case


  • Just to confirm this bag of bleached bones is also still around image

    Not sure if your 10m is 3 or 2 weeks before but I would make it a 14 mile run as follows:-

    3m WU, 1m easy, 3m steady, 3m MP, 3m HMP, 1m WD - this should make it a good long run without trashing yourself and also be a nice confidence booster as if you are going to be able to hit your HM pace in a HM the last 3 miles of the 10 shoudl feel pretty good!

  • Thanks Skinny! The 10m is 2 weeks before the HM but it is an organised event, this one

    The 14 mile plan looks like a good idea for a training run some time this month. I really have no idea what I'm doing with training so any advice is appreciated.

    Since May when i started this bout of running I have been variously working on speed work and endurance in periodized blocks. In this last month I'm concentrating on the endurance as having recently managed around 40 min 10k in training I reckon i've all the speed I need. So I am doing one long run, about 13-15 miles slowly, two tempo runs and the odd filler run.

    The tempo runs are around 8-9 miles, a slow mile to start, 4-5 miles at around 6:45- 6:50 and the rest about 7:30- 8:30 gradually slowing on the way home. It's the tempo runs where i'm not sure whether this is right/effective or not.

    Like I say I would really welcome advice.


  • 1:07 for the 10 miles and could have gone faster in the last couple of miles but didn't want to hurt anything! One big hill and the half doesn't have any hills as far as I know. Think it's on!image

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