Halstead marathon



  • Hey everyone,

    not much to report really had a nice week of slow running again, wednesday had a particularly hard session with the club

    100m sprint 200m recovery for 1 mile

    200m sprint 100m recovery for the mile back

    dont 4 miles of that and a nice 2 mile cool down so not bad at all.

    20 miler 2moro early morning image looking forward to that, it will be the final tweeks of fueling etc for me as i dont tend to fuel on shorter runs below 15.

    hopefully everones all good and is anyone going to go watch 2moro??

    sounds like a WR could be on the cards.

  • Morning all, it's been something of an interesting week for me.

    I missed my easy run on Tuesday but was feeling really good when I went to bed and looking forward to my Weds run which was due to be 70 mins @ MP.

    I woke up with this intense shooting pain in my right knee and couldn't straighten my leg without using my hands image

    Limped into work and although painful some movement returned as I reached the station. 

    I tried to keep it moving throughout the day and really had to try not to think about what this might  mean for Halstead.  There had been no warning signs so I could only hope that I'd slept on it badly.

    Anyway, I woke up on Thursday and it was still stiff but the pain had dissapered so there was a glimmer of hope.

    Rested again and by Friday it felt ready to have a go at the Parkrun the next morning.

    Pleased to say I had a good run on saturday, still a bit quicker than I would have liked but the knee felt good and for once the sun was shining!

    Not quite 15 miles for me this morning, just about perfect conditions and a real smile on my face for most of the way round with the last 5 (ish) miles @ MP (details here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/300854801)

    We also brough home our new puppy on Friday, we lost our Weimaraner, Lottie, suddenly at the beginning of December who had been my training partner for Kilimanjaro and the Liverpool marathon last year.

    So although it's going to be a little while before she'll be joining me on my LSR's we're settling down for some cuddles and plays whilst watching the London Marathon on the tele.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Having had a bit of a disaster yesterday at VLM (husband has had a really nasty fluey virus since last Wednesday - I thought I'd avoided it, but it struck me just after 8 miles into the race and had to drop out at 12 miles)  I am looking for another marathon to do to salvage all the hard training I've put in over the past few months.

    I like the look of this race - after all the razzmatazz of London, I think I fancy something low-key and rural.  I was after 3:15 at London; Halstead doesn't look like a PB course (mine is 3:19) but if I could get a Good for Age qualifying time for London next year so that I can do myself the justice I was unable to do yesterday I'd be happy.

    Question is, what training to do in the 3 weeks I have?  I've tapered for the last 3 weeks having done 5 x 20 milers and 6 x 16 milers during my London build-up.  Most of my long runs have been on a flat route along the River Lee towpath near where I live (preparation for a flat London course) but all my other runs during the week are on an undulating route as it's quite hilly where I live.  I was thinking of a biggish week this week, a medium week next week then cut right down in the final week.  Does anyone have any experience/thoughts on this?

    Many thanks!  I'm keen not to waste my training and also feel that my business in London is unfinished so I want to be in a position to have another crack next year if I decide to do so.  I'm 44 this year so not too many more PB opportunities I fear - ran my PB in 2010 aged almost 41, was definitely in shape to better it yesterday but it was not to be image

  • Hiya Minks,I think for most of us, other than DS2, we're all first timers for Halstead. I would welcome u to our lovely county. Certainly not flat, but I,m sure your experience of hill training is probably enough.

    I did my last 20 miler in the foothills of the Pyrenees yesterday and actually felt pretty good all the way round despite the tricky elevation changes. Can't tell exactly how as I can't pull the data off my gamin right now, but a good week of running nonetheless and happy t be in my taper image
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    How hilly are we talking, Angela?  Moderately undulating or some real corkers?  I'd say most of my runs are undulating - certainly not flat and I live on top of a big hill! - but obviously I'd been training for a flat road course so my long runs had been geared to that.

    Think I'll maybe aim for an undulating 16 this weekend and then try to make as many of my runs in the next couple of weeks hillybut shorter so at least I'll feel moderately prepared!  I've run 600 miles since January so have done plenty of training, but just need to get myself in the right place mentally as obviously I wasn't expecting to be running any distance again for a while after Sunday.

  • Hi Minks. I'm targeting 3:15 at Halstead. Done it the last two years and it's not really hilly in my opinion. I live on the North Downs in Kent so Halstead is relatively flat by my training route standards!

    It's a great event and will give you some benefits a big city marathon doesn't!

    If I was you assuming you are feeling ok I'd do an 18 miler this weekend and then back to shorter intense work for a two week taper. When did you do your last LSR?
  • Sorry Minks, hadn't read your latest post just your earlier one!

    Seems we are thinking similarly. I would say as long as you do a reasonable amount of undulating work Halstead will be fine.

    Where do you live?
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Thanks DS2.  I'm in Cuffley in Hertfordshire, not far from Herts/Essex border and prior to the build-up for London was doing a lot of my long runs on hilly routes through Epping Forest/Theydon area so I'm not unused to hills, just haven't done hilly long runs for the past 3 months really.

    I was targeting 3:15 at London but not sure how realistic that is for me.  I think I'll just take it as it comes and aim for around 3:30 or a bit under.  Depends on how warm it is on the day too; my body is used to training in sub-zero conditions and I haven't acclimatised to this milder weather yet!  My last LSR for London was Easter Sunday, so 31 March.  After that I did 12 the following Sunday, then 10 the weekend before London.

    So I reckon 16 on Sunday on a hilly route, with maybe a 10 and a 7 during this week plus a couple of shorter, easy runs, then 10-12 next Sunday also undulating.  Just to get me used to doing a longer distance on a hilly route - I'm fine with up to 10 on hills at the moment but haven't done more than that since January!

  • I know the Epping Forest/ they'd on area well. Used to train there many years ago. My wife lived in Chingford and a previous GFA lived in Epping.

    I reckon you'll be fine at Halstead. I have the same weather concerns!
  • Forgot to add- there are lots of long flat sections at Halstead!!!
  • Hi Minks,

    welcome to the thread image. Im doing an 18 this weekend as i was to tired on sundays LSR to go the distance.

    hopefully thats plenty of time to taper and recover ready for halstead!

    i dont think you'll have any problems with halstead as DS2 has said its not THAT hard.

    My running clubs up for a water station this year so hopefully wont let anyone down image.

    Everyones got to meet up before/after, it would be great to put faces to names.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    DS2, my grandparents lived in Chingford and my mum grew up there so I know that area well too.  Thanks for the encouragement re. Halstead; I think I'm going to go for it as it would be a shame to waste all the training I've done for London.

    Good to hear there are some long flat sections as well as the hills!  One of my running friends texted me earlier and mentioned whether I'd thought of entering as he's done it once before and enjoyed it.

    Wondering whether to put in another 20 on Sunday rather than 16 and then just taper again.  I've never been in this situation before so hard to know!  Sunday turned out to be basically just a fast 12-miler and although my right quad is a bit sore at the moment I don't really need any proper recovery time.

    Ja5on, is this your first marathon?

  • I don't think a slowish 20 would do any harm Minks! I'm touch and go for sub 3:15 I reckon but don't think the undulations will make 15 mins difference. Also, being two laps you get to see what's coming so you can adjust.

    There's a decent hill early on so near start of second lap and a couple of drags for maybe quarter of a mile but nothing major in last 6.

    Maybe we could meet up and set off together?
  • Hi Minks yes this is my first road marathon image

    done an off road one early february but that involved alot of walking as it was terrible terrain image


  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    DS2, sounds like a plan image although I may start off a little conservatively, especially as the course is undulating.  At London I started with the 3:15 RW pacer but he set off at MUCH faster than 3:15 pace.  I went with him for 3 miles then decided to do my own thing as once the starts merged I was having difficulty keeping him in my sights in the crowd.  We went through 3 miles in 6:53 (!) so that was the right decision.  And taught me always to trust my own pace judgment in a race!  I think my plan will probably be to start out at 7:35 pace and take it from there - if I can maintain that it will still give me a small PB, best case I do a bit better and get close to 3:15.  OR I just bimble round and get a sub-3:50 which will give me a GFA for London next year at which I now have unfinished business!  Where do you live, DS2?

    Where do you live, Jason?  Which off-road marathon did you do?  I always admire people who do off-road events - I've done the Clarendon half marathon which I enjoyed but not sure I'd want to do the full distance.  It was SO muddy and difficult to maintain any kind of pace.

  • Hi Minks,

    i live in Great Dunmow, the marathon was called the Braintree Boggle! it was Near the end of our running clubs XC season so i just went for a laugh image.

    yea the pace went right down to 11m/m but i stil loved every minute of it image. It was raining and windy but still fun!

    at the end i couldnt walk and just cramped up but everyone was the same!

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Ah, so you are an Essex boy then image

    That marathon sounds tough so by all accounts Halstead should be easy after that! image

  • Yes born and bread Essex lad im afraid (only a bit like the stereotype image)

    Halstead will be my first, and possibly my last one for a while.

    i'll see how much of a buzz i get from finishing it.

    possibly looking at improving the smaller races as im still in the speedy age (ive been told image)

    really looking for a sub 20 5k and sub 40 10k!

  • Hi all,

    Haven't checked in for a while, life has a habit of getting in the way but glad to hear everyone is ticking along nicely. One more longish run of 18 this weekend and then it is easy street for the next few weeks image I must say I have enjoyed a couple of runs in the sunshine this week but will be more than happy if it could do one on the 12th, I'm not sure I fancy 26.2 in this kind of weather.

  • Well, I'm back from a week with family in the south of France. They live about an hours drive from the Pyrenees and as a result the terrain is quite hilly, so all my runs were hill runs. I manage to do an 8 mile progression run the night before we travelled, and despite being the first run since my half marathon race the last 2 miles at marathon pace ended up being at half marathon pace. I really must focus on being controlled at my chosen race pace when I have loads of energy to go faster. Only a couple weeks to learn this now.

    I ended up doing my 5mile easy on Friday and my 5 mile pace on Saturday- I managed to maintain the slow end of my marathon pace despite the hills, which bodes well for Halstead once I have extra energy from the taper.

    I was fairly apprehensive about a 20 miler in this terrain, especially when my cousin drove me around the route. There are some hills that I just couldn't manage to run and took easy, mainly to avoid injury and burnout- didn't want to run the 20 miler perfectly to find that I couldn't race in 3 weeks time. I sweated a LOT even though it was around 14 degrees, and certainly lost salt- I did feel this for a few days after, so I will need to be sharp after Halstead to rehydrate properly.

    On the whole run i only came across 16 cars, 4 cyclists, a tractor, but no other runners! Mile splits are as follows and there are some amazing views:

    Mile 1: 10:37
    Mile 2: 10:25
    Mile 3: 11:24
    Mile 4: 11:21
    Mile 5: 11:52
    Mile 6: 10:11
    Mile 7: 10:01
    Mile 8: 9:44
    Mile 9: 9:56
    Mile 10: 10:11
    Mile 11: 10:46
    Mile 12: 12:02
    Mile 13: 10:53
    Mile 14: 10:58
    Mile 15: 10:42
    Mile 16: 10:57
    Mile 17: 10:32
    Mile 18: 10:21
    Mile 19: 10:21
    Mile 20: 10:52
    Mile 20.17: 9:40

    Time: 3:35:43- this is fast as I stopped so often to take pictures and gels etc
    Distance: 20.17 miles
    Avg Pace: 10:42
    Elevation Gain: 1680ft
    Elevation Loss: 1654 ft
    Min elevation: 1296ft
    Max elevation: 1966ft

  • Jason- did you get your 20 in?

    DS2- thanks for a bit of a course description- I'm going to get my fiance to drive me around it this weekend, so I have a better idea of what to expect - should be a lot less hilly than my last 20 milerimage

    Minks - I take it you've entered then?

    Oirish - life gets in the way huh??  supping beers are ya?

    Kandinsky - How is your knee?  Please tell me its all better and you're raring to go? image 

    I think a meet up after to swap race stories is a great idea- though DS2 and Minks might get a bit bored waiting for me to finish!!! image  Does anyone know Halstead well enough to suggest a meeting point?  Otherwise I'll have a look see this weekend to pick something out.

  • Nice going Angela. Just over two weeks to go now so no heroics. Anything we do now is unlikely to help performance but could destroy it!!

    Minks - I definitely won't be going off too fast!!! other than one hill I remember in the second mile (I think) it's relatively flat for the first 5 or 6 so we should be able to settle into a decent rythm and take it from there.

    I live in Kent, but only 15 minutes from the Dartford Crossing so not too bad for Halstead. I actually live right on the North Downs but in a valley so I have very little choice with hills unless I drive somewhere first.

    I feel like I'm suffering from taper madness now. Keep having all sorts of doubts - taking it as a good sign!!

  • Angela - it's set up really well at a sports centre and their is acres of playing fields there. It will be easy to pick a place to meet up. We could PM each other our mobile numbers?

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Angela, that sounds like a really tough 20 miler so well done for getting that in the bag.  Halstead will seem flat after that which can only be good!

    Swapping mobile numbers is a good idea, DS2.  As is a pre-race drive around the course; I'll see if I can persuade my hubby to do that this weekend or next - it would be good to get a feel for the terrain (although there may be a case for ignorance being bliss as well!)

    I did 7 miles last night and 7 on Tuesday night.  On Tuesday my right leg seemd to have a mind of its own and I felt as though I couldn't control it properly - very tight quad and hamstring.  A bit easier last night and most of the DOMS has worn off now.  I picked an undulating route on Tuesday and yesterday a mostly off-road route which I ran in reverse so it was almost all uphill rather than the downhill direction I usually run it in!  Averaged 8:11 pace on Tuesday and 8:00 yesterday so quite happy with that.  Although I only ran just under half the marathon on Sunday, my legs were about as trashed as if I'd run a half marathon at race pace so I'm pleased they seem to be recovering quickly.  I also feel much better - more energy, so hopefully the virus has passed through now.

    Actually, I still need to get my entry in for Halstead - haven't actually done that yet; hope there are still places! image

  • DS2/Minks- just sent u my number

    Minks, if you don't get the chance to do a pre race drive around, I can always take some pictures and put on my blog so you get a better idea of it image go and enter Halstead Now! I'm sure it wont have filled up, but I think there is a deadline for online entries.

  • Angela- epic fail on my 20 miler on sunday! only managed 10 and struggled with that if im honest! had a really late night on saturday looking after a drunken wife image so wasnt expecting miracles.

    Does anyone recommend a long one on sunday?? ive been told to leave it and start tapering but i feel like i havent done enough!!

    I know for halstead if you get in the right spot, spectators will see you loads (figure of 8).

    is everyone meeting up before or after??

  • Hi Jason,

    Hmm, I would say that you should leave it- if you haven't managed to do it already- from what I recall you struggled to come back after the braintree boggle, so you might risk burning yourself out before halstead if you try to do another long (20) run before hand, but consider what this means for your race strategy.  Perhaps it means 2xhalf marathon time + 10 isn't the right formula for you, and perhaps its 2xhalf marathon time + 20-30.  But again, I divert to those more experienced.

    I would rather meet after- pre race Im a bit of a wreck and you'll think I'm the most unfriendly personimage better to meet at the end when I'm on my runner's high image

  • Thats what i was thinking. im totaly confident about the race ive got all the fueling strategy mastered and happy about being on my feet for that long image.

    just another one of my jump in the deep end runs i suppose image.

    bit like the rest of my training i suppose image.

    Pre-race it is then, be good to put faces to names etc. halsteads a lovely place, i only lived down the road for a few years so i know the area well.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Jason, I'm considering doing 20 on Sunday - but only because my last 20 was 31 March (pre-taper for London) so I haven't done a long run for 4 weeks and feel there's too much of a gap.  I haven't completely decided yet but it will be somewhere between 16 and 20.  Why don't you compromise by doing 15 or so if the 20 at this stage will take it out of you too much?  You don't want to have your best performance on a training run!  How many 18/20s have you done and when was your last?

    Thanks for number, Angela - I will send mine to you guys as well.  Happy to meet up after - although also happy to meet up beforehand, DS2, if we might be starting together!  Thanks for the offer of course photos too - just want an idea of what the hills are like really (as race organisers' idea of 'hill' can vary considerably - I've done races classified as 'undulating' before which I would call hilly, and vice versa).


  • Hello everyone - latecomer here I'm afraid...

    Can everyone see the entrants list on the website ? I can see the Essex Champs list, but not the main list - which I think is the option I chose as I'm never going to be winning anything anyway... I'm getting an 'XML error' but I'm not sure if its just my PC.

    I'm planning on running this at a fairly sensible pace as I have Comrades two weeks later, but will hopefully still sneak in under 4 hrs. 'Planning' is the operative word as my self control is questionable...


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