Half marathon: 85 to 70 minutes

Hi all, I'd really appreciate some insight and wisdom from members on here with more experience than myself. I'm a 26 year old male and in 2012 I ran a few halfs, coming in at around 85 minutes. This was with a maximum training load of 25 miles a week, with no specific sessions built in - just general 5-10 miles solid runs. Often I'd have weeks with no training. By October 2013 my target is to run sub 70 for a half - the course I'm aiming to run it at is one of the flattest in the country. If anyone on here could advise me on either a training plan, schedule to achieve this target or good clubs to train at in Leicestershire I'd be most grateful. In return I'll keep my progress posted on here and would like to stick a picture up running sub 70 in October! Any help is gratefully received!


  • David,

    Did you mean sub 80 by October?

    102 runners went sub 70 in 2012. They are surpremely gifted elites, or those who have spent years and years working very hard.

    You simply don't go from 85mins off 25miles a week to sub 70 in 9months. You'll do amazingly well to ever get under 70 as it is!

    However, following the below gives you the chance to maximise your potential.


    • find a good club/coach who know what works
    • slowly build your mileage, but based on what you currently do, you'll need a good 50-60miles a week
    • 1 tempo, 1 speedwork and 1 long run a  week, and as much easy running as you can. All sessions built to your current fitness rather than aspirational.
    • Be lucky with injuries!
    • Be prepared to commit 10 years.

    Just to give you some idea, I did 85:45 in 2005 off your current mileage aged 24 (turned 25 in July that year). in around 2008/09 i started casually doing 40+ miles a week anyway I fancied and saw some more gains.

    Last 2 1/2 years I've taken it pretty seriously, and got down to 77:52, and would hope for a 76:xx next time out.

    You may well have more ability inside you, as I'm certainly a progressive improver rather than a super fast one,  but sub 70 takes huge ability and work.

    I'd probably think more attainable goals for a while if I were you.

    Best of luck

  • October 2013 isn't realistic but if you were fully focused and trained well dont think it would take 10 yrs.

    25mpw to 80mpw is a huge leap and massive commitment esp if you have a job

  • the 10years is more to hit your maximum...


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