Training for half marathon - Not seeing any improvement

Hello Gurus,

I ran my first half marathon (Silverstone) in March 2012 @ 2:09 hrs. I was hoping to crack it under 2 hrs, but as you see I couldn't. I have now another one coming up in October. I would like to do it under 2, if possible.

I have been training 3 dpw (some times 4) clocking around 14 - 18 miles per week, for last 6-7 weeks.I'm not noticing any improvement in my speed or stamina.. on the contrary I'm finding it a bit of struggle even to do above mileage. I don't drink much (10-12 units a week, not every week) and eat healthy, other than work, which involves a bit of travelling (& usual stress), I can't see any reason for me why there should be any improvement. I'm male & 42.

Any suggestion or advise will be greatly received.






  • Which training programme are you on?  What does it look like?

  • Not following any particular one. But its loosely based on the one I followed during my last half marathon, which I got from the ASICS site. For the last few weeks all my runs are between average of 08:30 - 09:30 min/miles, all short runs (4 miles) are under 9 min / mile. The 7+ mile runs are over the 09min 30 sec plus mark. The best i have done in the last few weeks is 4 mile in 33m 40 sec,

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    It looks like you are training too fast most of the time relative to your planned race pace.  Have a look at something like this: to give you some ideas about training paces.  McMillan doesn't think any of your runs, including tempo runs, should be faster than 9m/m.

  • McFloozeMcFlooze ✭✭✭

    I agree with Joolska.  If you slowed down you would find the training easier and be able to increase mileage and time on your feet.  And that's what you need for a good Half time.  In my opinion the mileage you are doing is nowhere near enough for a good half.  It's barely sufficient for a 5k.  Don't even think about adding any faster pace running until you've got the mileage up to 25-ish miles per week.

    How long is your long run?  This is your key session for a half marathon - add on a mile a week until you are up to half marathon distance (or even above).  But you don't want this run to be more than half (or ideally a third) of your weekly training distance.   Which all adds up to increasing mileage.  Do that consistenty and the improvement will come.  

  • hill work and interval training has got me running faster..i run 3 times a week mon wed fri

    monday,easy 10k tues hill /interval fri long run,this seems to be working for me,when i started i just run 3 slow runs a week and didnt get any faster at all..


    good luck 

  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭
    I agree with McFlooze. A typical week for me would be 6mile Wed consisting of 1.5 mile warm up, 3mile at 9m/m 1.5 mile warm down. Then 10mile Friday and 13mile Sunday at 10m/m. I'm running sub 2hr comfortably and heading to 1:50.

    If you're a beginner speed work can come later once you have the stamina.

    By running 4miles flat out you are tiring yourself out.
  • slow things down and up the weekly mileage.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭
    gemgemx wrote (see)

    slow things down and up the weekly mileage.

    This 100%. One simple line, that will guarantee to improve your times comfortably.

  • thanks to all for your advise & comment. Just to let you know I did the Pharmalink Maidenhead half-marathon yesterday @ exactly 2 hrs.


  • Well done. Lots of people never come back with the results of their training.

    What did you do?
  • Also to let you all know I cracked 2 hrs mark in this years Silverstone half marathon @ 1:55. And felt still had something left in the tank.. I was playing it safe as my target was to go just under 2 hours.


    I have Maidenhead HM in 4 weeks and I'm planning to do close to 1:50. I recently did a 5 K in 23 min.

    Am feeling my right hip a bit somewhere between right hip and hamstring. Any suggestions


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