Half marathon tomorrow .. Pacing .. Thoughts appreciated

Hello forum, in early weeks of training plan for a mid May marathon after running consistently 20 plus miles per week during last 3/4 months. have ended up with a place in a half tomorrow which doesn't quite fit into the Plan. Don't feel quite ready to do full blown half a marathon race pace tomorrow or rather I haven't trained specifically for the event. Don't know how to pace it - but it seems wrong somehow to take part in a full blown half marathon event and run it at long slow pace! October had a PB of 1:56, marathon, 4:20 which I hope to better. Thoughts appreciated.


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Why not try running it at the marathon pace you are hoping for in may. It will give you a good idea of where you are in your training.

    Running it flat out will probabaly mean that you cannot train properly next week.
  • I think it takes a special level of discipline to specifically aim to run at a non flat out pace zone like Marathon Pace within a race. Sounds more the kind of thing a really experienced runner with a lot of history of Marathons would do.

    When the race starts and the adrenaline rises you'll probably relish the chance to give it as much beans as you have on the day.

    Otherwise, maybe you could follow a structure I heard ages back.

    5miles to get settled into the race, 5miles to push the pace, 3.1miles to hang on image

  • I'm trying to work this out as well. Doing brighton half tomorrow but mainly training for VLM in april. Previous half pb was at 8.8 min/mile (1:55:30). Marathon aim pace is 9min/mile. Ideally would like to be doing this HM at 8,4 min/mile (1:50) but not convinvced I'm ready to do that without ruining next week so just going to see how it goes and be happy with somewhere between my pb and my aim. The 1:50 aim comes from collated info suggesting that to run a 9min/mill marathon you should be able to run a 8.4 min/mile half but if I am not ready for that I wont be too gutted.

  • I like to give the HM 100% effort running on tired legs with minimal taper mid marathon training. It gives me an indicator of where I am fitness wise and helps me to determine planned marathon pace to shape remaining training. No specific HM training undertaken.

    Example, I did Wokingham HM last weekend in preparation for VLM. Closer to VLM I will do another but at MP following a reasonably long warm up.

    A lot of it is down to how quickly you recover to get back to Marathon Training. I got a small PB improvement last weekend, Monday am cross trained, and was back running Monday pm. A year ago I may have needed a couple of more days recovery.

    So ... If you run it as hard as possible, how quickly do you expect to recover?
  • I leave my computer running, and just turn off my monitor. Don't tell the planet. Seriously though, I didn't run for 25 years. If I stopped now, I'll be in my 70's before I'm back at it.
  • David Falconer 3 wrote (see)
    Stevie G . wrote (see)

    5miles to get settled into the race, 5miles to push the pace, 3.1miles to hang on image

    Don't you think he'll regret that when he doesnt set a PB and will behind a week from his program as he recovers?

    We're in Feb, and his marathon is in May. It's the half marathon a few weeks before the race that is better suited to a MP effort.

    He'll still be able to do the half marathon flat out tomorrow, and then do the correct length long run next sunday. No problem.

  • Thanks guys for all the thoughts. I will give it a go. But start slower and see how my legs feel. I have had bad experiences of running too fast two quickly and both marathon and half marathon PBs from starting slower than legs felt able. A four hour marathon pace is 9.09 ish which is dead on 2 hours so if I start out like that and speed up if legs ok.. Or find I am not where I should be and do a PW.. Vicky - am also doing Brighton, I'll be the woman in a purple tutu. Not as funny as my male mate in a pink tutu though. Glad it's not too windy tomorrow. Not great with wind resistance..
  • How did it go? Lovely weather right! And thought it was well organised! It was also fantastic learning experience for me!

    1) I got slightly sunburnt - wear cream for VLM

    2) I had tech errors with my garmin - stop being such a tech idiot for VLM

    3) I couldn't keep up my pace - do I need to reaccess my goals for VLM?

    So there's two months to go until VLM. I hoped to do something between 1:50 and 1:52 for my half today but it came out at 1:53. I did the first half with a pace around 8:30 m/m but I couldn't keep it up and after mile 7 it dropped to nearer 8:50. I was hoping for a 9m/m marathon but off the back of this is it possibly not quite realistic? Training wise I've done two 20milers so far at 10.10m/m and 10.3m/m.,

  • Thanks all and Vicky, I really enjoyed the course. Could the day have been any better? Beautiful blue skies and sunshine. I carried my indecision into the day. I really wasn't sure I could sustain even mp (I had also not run last weekend due to vomiting bug so only decided to definitely go in Thursday after that - can I just say how come my 6 year old recovered in a day and I took four. Grumble) anyhow. So started cautiously and didn't feel strong so first couple of miles c 9:10. But then got into stride around mile 3/4 and of course it's hard not to give it a go - as mentioned above. So upped the pace little by little 8:50 then 8:40. Found the last three miles bloody hard work to sustain the pace which I broadly did but mile 12 down to 8:50, then 8:20 for last mile. I was about 30 seconds outside PB (discounting lace tie ups, 8 seconds faster!)

    I realise after every race how much to learn. I have been running regularly but v inconsistently over last 3 years or so but only done two marathons (2008 and 2012) and two halves (not counting yesterday) plus a marvellous hilly annual off reader near me in Derbyshire. I agree every event is a massive learning experience and I should do more events and local races. I am learning to pace so last two halves and marathon have been negative splits but I do think I need to learn to be slightly less cautious at the start, not by much may be.

    Vicky, you did fabulously well. You still got a PB. It's funny how our targets in our heads make us berate our achievements. You bettered your time by two minutes. There is a definite trick to pacing it so you can run faster at the end - but I have insufficient experience to advise. Lots of the other forumites can do. I did have great advice I will try and find about pacing (mentally) for my last marathon which I lived and breathed but also had a good day so went from a first timer of 5:04 to 4:20 on hilly course with ramshackle training. Keep going on your plan. Even if you end up outside of 4 hours by a little, it will still be a bloody great achievement. That's what I am trying to tell myself. Improvement comes in small steps.. Unless you are getting the 26.2 asics treatment - the team of which are brilliant inspiration.
  • Vicky - I am clearly being a nompty but can't cut and paste on this device. If you click through me you should see previous post. Last may post have a reply from blisters about paving on the day which I really found helpful on the day.
  • Pacing.. Not paving.
  • Taking this thread on a slight tangent now .... 

    So the week after this half marathon (sunday) my training went like this:

    monday - gentle 20 min run, weights + swimming

    tuesday - 4 miles run with 4 min hills included

    wednesday - rest

    thursday - steady 8mile run

    friday - gentle 20 min run, weights + swimming

    saturday - attempt to do 22miles, crash and burn hard after 15miles

    Before the half marathon I had already achieved 2 20 mile runs and was averaging about 35 miles a week. My saturday crashed crashed with what felt like exhaustion. I took monday off, tried to run tuesday but legs were knackered and had to stop after a couple of miles. Not run since then (did weights and swam).

    I am generally concerned that my recovery from any quality session (LSR, hills, threshold) takes too long. I stretch religiously and have built up my long runs (which I run very slow!) and weekly max gradually.

    What else can I do to speed my recoveries? Shall I jump back into previous routine? (would like to attempt the 22 miles again this weekend, bar the couple of miles on tuesday will have had a week off running).



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