1:29 HM to sub 1:25

Firstly apologies if anyone is bored of this kind of thread but I'm after some advice and since I don't belong to a club or have any friends/family that run I figured this is the place to go...especially as I've gotten some top advice before (they say flattery gets you everywhere image). Rambling over here goes...

...at the end of November I ran my first HM (Norwich - in 30mph wind image) and my time was 1:29:22. I'm 31 and re-started running in March/April this year (I used to run on the track 800m/1500m from ages 11-15 and after I stopped running I used the gym to keep fit in my 20's) and started training 'properly' in September following the RW sub 1:30 HM plan.

I would like to have a crack at running a sub 1:25 HM by the end of 2013. Basically I'm after training and general tips/advice from those of you who've gone from where I am now to sub 1:25 (and beyond!).





  • Firstly, well done that’s a great time.
    It would be useful to know what training you did to get you to 1:29, weekly mileage, types of runs, length of long run etc.
    Also might be useful know what your times are like at other distances 5k, 10k. For example if you are running a 1:29 HM off a 19:50 5k then you convert well and might need to work on 5k speed, or conversely you might have an 18min 5k and therefore convert poorly and need to work on endurance.

    General advice would be to increase your mileage, slowly and make sure the bulk of your running is easy, i.e. HMP + 90 seconds per mile. With a session or two working on upper aerobic fitness i.e. 10k pace, threshold pace, HMP and MP and so on.

  • Charlotte, you cannot bore runners about running I assure you. The people who post on the training tab, as opposed to the witter nonsense tabs will be all over your situation.

    Like YD says, we need more background.

    You followed the sub 1hr 30 RW plan for a month and a half or so only and hit your aim?

    Have you been doing a regular 30miles a week or so with speedwork?

    A couple more months of that, and picking a spring half that is flat, and not into a gale, could see you quite close to your goal already.

  • Thanks guys image.


    Right here's more background.

    I started running on the dreadmill at my old gym this spring doing about 15 miles a week. I then started running outside May time doing 3/4 runs a week with my total weekly mileage about 20/25 miles pw. I ran a 10k in mid August in 43.02 - not a great time but it was partially off road and in 30c heat (don't have much luck with the weather in the races that I do!!). Then at the start of September I began the RW Sub 1:30 HM training plan and followed that through to my race on 25th November. My average weekly mileage was 40 miles running 6 days a week.

    Monday - 3/4 miles easy

    Tuesday - warm up then speedwork (total about 6/7 miles)

    Wednesday - 7/8/9 miles steady

    Thursday - tempo run (7 miles in total 3/4 miles at pace)

    Friday - 6/7 miles steady (hills once every 4 weeks)

    Saturday - long run (12-15 miles)

    Sunday - rest!

    Hope that helps




  • you're doing a decent level of training then, in 40 mile weeks. Not surprised you comfortably got under 1hr 30.

    Shows promise being able to do that off just a couple of months though.

    Now, it's about how you get faster.

    Some would have you doing reps and training based on your desired target pace, but I'd suggest training to your current pace zones.

    What pace zones have you worked off in your "easy", and "steady", and how does your speedwork look?

    I'd suggest a regular session such as 6miles at Marathon Pace.

    Your other hard session would be track based stuff...again to your current zones...

    For this to be effective you need to be spot on with your pace zone though, so I'll wait until you answer on your zones, and speed stuff.


  • Stevie,


    Paces as follows:

    Easy runs are @ 8 min per mile  and steady @t 7.30mpm.

    Speedwork is either 200m/400m/600m/800m reps @t 5k pace (6-6.15mpm) or 1k - 1.5M @ 10k pace (6.20-6.30mpm).

    Tempo runs are 3-4 miles@ HM pace (6.40-6.50mpm)






  • Looks like a well-balanced week, maybe put another easy day between the intervals and tempo so you are really fresh for the tempo. I like to have two easy days between quality days.
    Also agree with Stevie, start running some longer tempos, 6 miles @ MP is a good starting point, you should be able to increase the length fairly quickly. I also like to run progressive tempos, starting steady through MP and down to HMP.  Basically mix it up a bit, hitting a few paces over a period of every 3 or 4 weeks.
    MP tempo one week, progressive tempo the next, HMP the week after, and repeat the cycle, or something on those lines.
    As I was saying before the best and most reliable way to get faster is to increase the volume of miles run each week, increase the volume slowly. If you feel like it’s getting a bit too much, drop a quality and run more easy miles.

    I would slow your easy miles down a bit, running all your easy/steady miles at 7:30 – 8:00/m is too fast IMO. My 10 mile race pace is 5:55/m and I expect to go under 1:20 for the half next time out, maybe even 6 min miles. For example, tonight I ran 12 miles on the road no hills at 8:08/m, that the slow end of my easy range but I don’t often go faster than 7:30/m either, with the bulk of my miles in the 7:30 - 7:40/m range. By running this slow I am able to increase my mileage and nail my quality sessions.

    Good luck, you are quick for so little training, keep at it, train sensible, listen to your body and you will go far.

  • Thanks YD - that sounds like very sound advice. I think an extra day between my speedwork and tempo runs is a good idea as sometimes I do feel a bit 'leggy' when it comes to tempo day.

    With regard to slowing down my easy/steady miles would 8:30/8:00mpm be better paces?

    As I previously mentioned my average weekly mileage whilst training for the HM was 40 miles per week - what should I be increasing this to?



  • Charlotte – 8 to 8:30/m sounds more like it, nothing wrong with running 9:00/m if you are tired. If you can run with company do that, then make sure most of your runs are at a conversational pace, by that I mean you can talk comfortably when running without gasping for breath. Get yourself down to a local club, they usually have group social runs that are good for that.

    As for how far you should ramp up the miles there is no right answer to that question. The key thing is that your training is progressive over weeks and months, by that I mean over a period of months you should see a general trend upwards in volume. Do not try to increase your miles each and every week, make an increase, stay at that level for a few weeks to make sure you are comfortable and then increase again. Build in cut back weeks, don’t fret about taking days off when you are tired, or missing a hard session and just running easy. As long as the overall trend is upwards you will progress.

    I have just totted up the miles on that weekly schedule you posted, even if I take the lowest value listed you have more than 40 miles there. I would run easy in place of the steady runs and when you are comfortable with the pattern, then look to push one of the longer easy runs up towards the 9-10 mile bracket. Your long run length is fine.

  • Again sound advice and much appreciated.

    I have a long run tomorrow (12 miles) which I would usually run @ 7:45 pace so I'll slow it down to 8:00/8:30.

    There's a HM loacl to me in Mid March so I'll probably enter that and hope to better my Norwich time.


    Once again thanks for the help and good luck with your HM image   

  • Why not push yourself a little further and go for a marathon? The MK one would fit timewise. Training for a marathon on one of the more intensive programs such as P & D would boost your half times as well.
  • great to see so much great advice given. I struggle to get more than three runs in, in a week. twice to work 5 miles each and a longer wknd run when training for a hm. first hm was 1:27:32, 10k best is 39:24 and 5k best of 18:42. do I convert well? making my stride length shorter so I hit the ground below my body has really made a massive difference. I also make sure I have spag bol the night before, perhaps psychological but seems to help! good luck with your target of 1:25 target for hm, that's my target for 2013!
Sign In or Register to comment.