Increasing speed and stamina in 6 months

Have just finished the Birmingham Half (obviously not just - a few hours ago).

Only did 6 weeks training and having done 7 Halfs all the ones that I have done any training have be around the 2hr mark.

Now I'm back into the running again I want to focus a bit more..... the aim being a 1h50m Half in march next year (I'm think Stafford which I've done in 2h02).  Who knows, maybe a 1h45m would be possible.

Can someone give me tips on where I get information on acheiving this?  I've seen the 'typical' distances and paces on Fetch, but the paces on there seem well down, even on what I've done today.

Running clubs are difficult to get to (on time) - i.e. they all seem to meet at 6pm ish, which I can't do as I work a distance from home and don't finish until that time and I quite often might not know what time I'll finish so would find it hard to commit - for this reason I tend to go out, on my own, at 9 at night.


  • Clubs - I joined one where I worked not where I lived as I knew that by the time I got home I wouldn't want to go out again. Maybe an option. I had to kill time so I went swimming before running.

    Getting a sub 2hr marathon should be very easy for you to do. Not rocket science just running. You simply need to run more.

    Build up a good solid base mileage through 3 or 4 runs a week. The more running you do the better at it you will be. It's down to how much you want it, how much you can commit and how much natural ability you have.

    You can build stamina through easy running, don't worry about pace. The slower you run the further you run. If you want to run faster then run much shorter distances.

    If you really want a sub 2hr half then you need consistancy. You need to train for longer than 6 or 7 weeks. Simply; the more running you do the better.

  • Thanks for the response.

    I'm definatly going to be trying to commit to the running (18 weeks to train) but the plan I've seen for a 1h50m has consistent longest runs at 8miles and at 10mim pace.

    I get what you say about gettin distance into your legs, rather than speed, but surely to do that a LSR needs to be longer than 8miles at some point in the build up?

    Currently planning Sunday as an LSR day, Saturdy as Parkfun day with Tuesday and Thursday as runs too.... Maybe one working on speed (I.e 3 or 4 miles working at getting longer) and one kin of mid distance (5 or 6 to start with and see where it goes).

    I think I'd quite like a club, but again I don't actually know where I'll be sometimes at the end of the day - do clubs get annoyed if your attendance is a bit hit Andys due to work (assuming you still train if you don't attend)?
  • Clubs do not get annoyed if your attendance is sometimes or rarely. We have runners like that. Most people accept that real life gets in the way.

    As for the distance you need to run - when building a base mileage for hm, 8 miles is fine but in training I would run 15 miles as my longest runs. This should get you well under 2 hrs (assuming all else is well). If you can't manage 15 in training then as far as you can, at least 12, 13 is better.

    Once you have built your endurance you can start to worry more about pace.
    Don't worry about your long run pace being slow, it has to be slow so that you can complete the distance and not compromise the rest of the weeks training.
    Running too fast and you will not recover quickly and you will waste a week of training. Faster paced work should be over a much shorter distance.

  • Have you looked up Hal Higdons plans?

  • Like T. mouse says, doesn't matter if you don't get to club runs regularly (if it does, find another club!).

    And again like T.mouse says, you want to be reaching say 15 miles in training on your lsr - preferably more than once. Beginner training plans are minimal "get you round", and may indeed only take you to 8-10 miles longest, but that's nowhere near ideal. The more training you do, the easier you'll find it on the day. Going over race distance in training is a fantastic psychological help on the day, as well a helping physically. An experienced runner once told me to "train for marathon, then race half-marathon" and she had a point (okay, I went for ultra instead, but...)

    Also, from my experience over the last couple of years, I'd say build base mileage and get to the point where you're comfortable running say 15 miles lsr, then maybe drop back the miles a bit and work on speed. In my experience building miles and trying to do speedwork at the same time is more likely to lead to injury.

    Four runs a week including parkrun, lsr and a couple mid-week sounds fine.

  • Well I've found a club half-way between work and home so I should be able to get to from either.

    From the threads you've mentioned it looks like I need to effectively double my mileage from 20ish to 40ish before concentrating on any kind of speed - makes sense.

    Any advice on percentage increases to avoid injury? Does 10 to 20% seem reasonable?

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