Is this time possible?

I've recently started training for my first half marathon in March. My target is to beat my friend, who claims to have run a half marathon a few years ago in 1 hour 26 mins. He played a bit of sport, but this was his first HM, he had no previous experience of running and apparently only trained for a month. Do you think this story could be true? I think not, but he seems convinced. The reason I'm asking is that I'm using this time as a target for my own training and am now concerned I'm being too ambitious and driving myself to injury. I'm running about 20 miles a week at the moment (aiming to get to 40 miles in due course), and did 4.5 miles in 32 mins yesterday. Assuming my friend's times are correct, do I have any hope of matching or beating him? Thanks CB


  • Its possible it's true - but that's not an average time. That would probably put him in the top 5% of the field. Trying to match that is unlikely to be successful.

    There are plenty of plans around for a half marathon. You'd probably be better looking at those than running full pelt - you don't want to get injured.

    Anyway results have been online for years so your mate should have proof of his time ?
  • Does sound the classic blagger story, "No training" yet a time like that.

    In reality, he's probably one of those types who does plenty of training, but it's in the format of treadmill running or football/other sports which involve plenty of running.

    Crowded, get him to confirm where the race was, look it up...and job done.

    As for you, if you're male, 18-40, no real injuries, and are committed to getting to a general 30-40miles a week for a good amount of time, done at the correct paces, then no reason you can't beat that, AND better it.


  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Earlier this year I bumped into a couple of neighbours setting off to take part in their first race; a half marathon.

    A few days later, one of them told me he had run 2 hours plus while the other had come third with 1:21:56. (Marlow Water of life HM)

    That was Phil Johnson, who just plays tennis. Not a runner.

  • Your mate's story is possible but not highly probable. But either way, you'd be better just training to run your own race rather than trying to beat him.
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