2nd half marathon in a year

I have never done more than one half marathon in a year but having completed Edinburgh recently I foolishly entered for the Cricklade half marathon in October

(3 days before my daughter gets married as well)

I did Edinburgh in 1.51 which was slower than my target but as I was just over a footballing hamstring injury I was not too displeased. I would like to get my time down below 1.48 which is my PB since I started running again. 

My question is having built up for Edinburgh how do I get the benefit of my recent mileage so I can have a real crack at 1.48 (or lower) ? Do I go back to shorter distances for a bit? Concentrate on speedwork? Or carry on as if Edinburgh never happened?

Any advice welcom, ta.




  • You'll probably get more specific (and possibly contradictory) advice, but I'd suggest a combination: keep up your LSR at the top end of where you've reached, not every week but say every second weekend, with a shorter LSR on the in-between weeks and keep your weekly mileage not too far from where you'd got to, but concentrate on some good speed work - at least either a tempo run or intervals once a week, and if you have a parkrun, run it regulary and really go for it in that once a month.

    If you keep your mileage up a bit like this then if your training goes haywire close to the wedding/race, you shouldn't need to worry about whether you can do the distance. And if you put in the speed sessions then you should be faster as well.

    Another thing to think about, if you can fit it in, is getting your LSR up to several miles past HM distance, so that 13.1 miles is no longer "a long way" - which should give you the confidence to really go for it on the day.

  • Thanks Debra, sensible stuff. (I thought I had replied to you earlier, maybe never sent it properly) 

  • You're welcome - glad it sounds sensible.image

  • Interesting that my current parkrun times are nowhere near my PB, need to improve by about a minute to regain that level of speed.

  • Make sure you have clear boundaries in your pacing of the different training runs that you do otherwise you'll end up in a narrow range which will neither build your stamina and endurance nor your speed.

    Slow long runs build stamina/endurance and leave you the energy to run lactate threshold runs hard - a hard 5k is perfect.

  • Not scientific as n=1 but.. the way I knocked most time off my HM PB (20 mins off) was doing a marathon training plan.  The higher mileage really helped psychologically and the extra aerobic fitness from the long runs brought my time down massively.

  • Cheers guys...I did 9.41 on Sunday at  8.40 min miles. I guess for a half marathon time of 1.48 I need to be running at 8.10 mins per mile, is 8.40 too fast? For the Parkrun my most recent was at 7.36 min per mile.

  • Magic Roundabout. You need to run your LSR slower, but getting longer. Then you need to do your tempo and VO2 max sessions faster.

    If you go to http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/rws-training-pace-calculator/1676.html and put in the time you're aiming for at the top it will calculate recommended paces for different types of runs, and suggest some tempo runs etc.

    I too found that my HM time came down while I was marathon training - I think the psychollogy of 13.1 miles no longer being a long way makes it a lot easier to really push on during the HM. My 5K time also came down while I was marathon and ultra training - just much fitter, I guess.

  • Thanks Debra that is useful, I did just over 5 miles today at a pace of 8.04 minute miles, the calculator suggests my tempo runs should be at 7.56 and LSR at 9.31. 


  • Sounds good - 5 miles is a decent long tempo run for HM training and you were not far off pace. So, you want an easy run, then a decent length LSR, then maybe a speed session. How often you do Tempo, speed and LSR depends on how many training sessions you can fit in per week, and what your body can cope with. And don't forget to have easy weeks. Even when training for ultras I have a drop-down week every third or fourth week, when I greatly reduce the mileage on my LSR (which for me means running 10-15 miles rather than 20-25+ - but it's all relative).

  • Must be getting better at judging the pace now, 10.09 miles at average of 9.15 minute miles. I suppose its the getting faster on the shorter runs that will be more difficult.

  • That's good. Personally yes, I find it easier to increase the distance on LSRs than to improve my speed on tempos and intervals. According to the RW calculator I need to speed up quite a bit - I did six miles at an average of just over 8 mins/mile last Wednesday on a club run and was knackered - dropped to about 9 mins/mile for the last mile or so back to the club - and I need to be down to 7.30-7.45 mins/mile for tempo runs before London next year, depending whether I'm targetting 3.30 or 3.40. But I've (a) been concentrating on distance (did c. 27 + 15.5 miles in the Lake District this weekend, final recce before Lakeland 50); (b) been injured and had to cut out most of my speed work for the last several months.

    Like everything, it's practice that improves things - back in Jaunary 2011 I considered six miles a long run!

  • Ahhh a  3.30  marathon, getting me nostalgic for 1985.

  • 3.9 miles today in 30.25 which works out at 3.48 minute miles. This included 10 repetitions up Shaw Ridge in Swindon and the rest a mixture of hard running for 3-4 lamposts jogging for 1-2 lamposts. 

  • Wow...having been stuck on 23.30 ish for about five weeks, my parkrun time today was down to 22.41 (round about 7.17 min miles) thanks for the guidance

  • Great running! I ran my parkrun today as well (as Event Director I don't get to do that very often). Time was 24.05, which is about 95 seconds off my PB, but it's faster than my other two outings this year and I'm fairly pleased given how tired my legs were after last weekend's efforts (and my ankle isn't yet 100%).

  • Moving in the right direcvtion at least. Hope the ankle gets better.

  • 22.34 for Parkrun today, a small improvement but all welcome. looking warm for long slow run tomorrow though.

  • Well done on the parkrun improvement. Suggest an early morning or an evening run!

    I was going to run the Croydon Ultra tomorrow (30 miles) but I've decided not to risk straining my ankle any more so I'm manning a checkpoint instead. I'm sort-of pleased I won't be running 30 miles in the heat tomorrow, but also regretting not doing the race.

  • My 50th Parkrun this week so target is a PB and a T shirt image do a bit of volunteering the following week for a rest image

  • Good luck for the parkrun PB - and good to hear you're volunteering! image

    I rather enjoyed manning the checkpoint/aid station for the Croydon Ultra. Ran the first half of it afterwards (well, diverged towards the end to do less road, more trail). Spent Monday evening running an 800 m and a 5,000 m for my club in a Veterans League match. Running round the track is not my favourite activity; I felt tired, slow, and my ankle was not happy afterwards, so now I'm resting it for a couple of days. Oh well.

  • I do enjoy being a Marshall, great to see the sheer range of abilities, all enjoying themselves.

  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭

    You should easily be able to do a half marathon a month.

    There are a few of us aiming for sub 1:50/1:45 here:



  • Cheers TimR, I now realise I could, not sure if I want to though. I am currently able to do the mileage as work is a bit quiet at the moment but I don't think I would have the motivation to do more on a regular basis. Getting under 1.45 would be nice though, could make that my next target.

  • http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/325590113


    Latest workout, trying to concentrate on speed a bit.

  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭

    The main thing is experience of racing the distance. It doesn't matter how much training you do because you never train at race pace over race distance. So relying on one or two races a year probably won't see you improve that much.

    If you target everything on one race it can put a lot of psychological pressure on you in the run up. 

  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭

    I can't see that workout unless I add you as a friend. 

    From the other thread I've got good results from 3 runs a week:

    1. 5k at fast as possible pace -

    2. 10miles, 2-3 warm up at marathon pace, 4-6 at half marathon race pace, 2- 3 warm down. For me that's 9min/mile and 8min/mile paces. 

    3. 13-15miles at marathon pace. 



  • TimR, thanks for letting me know the workout is not visible. I sort of guesssed that might be the case but thought I would give it a try anyway. (Thought I had seen some that others had posted) Yesterday was a new pb at parkrun by 2 seconds. This thread has obviously been motivational as my recent  times have come down from around 23.35 22.43 22.34 22.18 and had been plateau'ed at 23.30 is territory for a few weeks before that.

    So big thank you to all so far, Obviously a half marathon is a different kettle of fish from a 5k but I feel much better equipped than I did a few weeks ago.

    Looking as if its going to be a hot one today so better get off ASAP.



  • .....and I have now worked out how to make that workout public.image 

    Lets see if it works with yesterday's  http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/326342155

  • Managed to cut my head on a road sign, trying to duck under it unsuccessfully, so 10 miles turned into four miles as there was a lot of blood, by the time I got home it had dried up and is little more than a graze. Must be taller than i thought.

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