Hi, I’m hoping for a little advice please!

Im trying to break 1:30 in a half marathon in 3 weeks time

I came close last year but went off too fast and finished in 1:31:10 totally and utterly knackered. I had nothing left from 11 miles.

Ive upped my training and in the last 2 weeks have been running 50 miles a week but a maximum of 8 miles a time

Ive just done 8 miles in 54:28 in 6:49 mile with really consistent mile times. That’s my fastest 8 miles ever. 

Im 44 years old so certainly not young! My question is what now?

ive just run 13 days out of 14 but really don’t know when to slow down the training. I dont want to lose fitness but I need to maximise my chances! Last year I clearly couldn’t keep the pace up and really struggled at a 6:52 pace after 9 miles....today after 8 miles I feel ok but still think I’d struggle to keep the pace up for another 5.1 miles....

any advice very gratefully received!


  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    what were your splits for first 9m?

    Also, unless I've misunderstood, if you only run upto 8m, regardless of how fast you can do it you are bound to strughle in last 5. 

    It's difficult to assist without seeing a typical weeks training ie distance and pace of each run.

    It's too early to taper, typically fitness gains take about 10 days to filter through following a workout so in the last 10 days you can't do a great deal to improve, but you can do too much and detrimentally affect your time. typically I'd be pulling things back for last 7 days, perhaps with a light session on the Tuesday and then just short easy runs with some strides. 
  • Thanks that’s really helpful. Ought I to be running 10-12 mile training runs really at that pace to improve stamina?
    I did the 9miles on 1:01:ish but went off very fast, 6:25, 6:30, 6:35 which was pretty brainless. 
    I think I’ll struggle to break 1:30 and I guess next time have to run longer distances. I’ve run marathons before so used to running 16-18 miles regularly.
    Whats the max distance you’d suggest in training for a half?
    thank you for the advice 
  • Those first 11 miles they were all under 7 min then the last two i did in 7:30 but it was like running through treacle !!!
  • The last 2 weeks I’ve been running every day, 7:20-7:30 a mile 6-8 miles a day.
    but generally I’ve been 4-5 runs a week 10km a time around 7:20s
    To be honest I don’t think I’ve been training hard enough!!
    Running 6:52 a mile is a big effort for me and I guess I’d need to be running the 8 miles in 6:30s to be able to do the half in 6:52s
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Robert-You've got it the wrong way round by the looks of it.Your runs are way too fast for me,for perspective I run about 50mpw and 90% are at 8.15-30 pace and today I ran a 1:24 half.Going slower builds your aerobic base which is a massive part of half training.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Ok, we've got a lot to get through here!!!

    1. You will drop off if you max long runs at 8m. I run to 15m.
    2. You will also drop off if you set off 30s per mile faster than target pace. Start at 7mm, ease into it and push towards 6.50 and sit there. 
    3. Your running everything way too fast!

    I run about 50mpw and am 1.23 for a half and 2.57 mara. of those 50 miles at least 35 will be between 8-9mm pace.

    I will generally do a weekly tempo of about 8m. This will be between mara and hmp. I couldnt run 8m at my desired half pace just on my own in training.  I will also do another session, perhaps mile repeats or some sort of mixed pace fartlek. 

    It's too late really for this race, but you are running yourself into the ground. Yoyr paces and structure need a compkete overhaul. 
  • Thanks guys, much appreciated. Essentially I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I just run. Sometimes slow sometimes fast I certainly don’t think of any of the science behind it ! Mind you I did run a half in 1:31:48 and every single mile was 7 min give or take 1 second! So I think I have it in me to go under 1:30 but I’m sure I’ll be a lot better off taking your advice.
    so, I’m conclusion, run slower, run further and don’t go mental in the first few miles of the race!!
    thank you for your help.
  • What’s mile repeats?
    a fast mile then a rest then repeat?
  • What sort of age are you guys? Hopefully not too rude a question but those times are amazing and way off where I am! I know everyone has their own goals but i do wonder whether naturally I’ll be incapable of running faster as the years progress! Hope not! 
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Yes so say 4 x 1m at 10k pace with 3 mins rest between reps for eg. 

    It is really important to think about what you are doing each time you run and not just go out and run everything at what would be about your mara pace. Running slow and easy is a discipline that can be hard to master and get your head around as you will be used to considering a useful run as one that has you breathing and working hard. 
  • Yeah definitely. I need to give this more thought!
  • Do you reckon another 50 miles a week for 2 weeks but steady. Maybe do a couple of 10 miles and then taper off for the last week as you suggested?
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Yes, I'd do 2 more weeks and 1 week taper. Slow things down a bit and you could probably do a run (assuming you slow to say 8mm pace) of 75 min next week and 90 the week after. So at a slower pace 90 min would be over 11m but you'll at least have beem out running for the length of time you will in the race.

    As you've  been running 50mpw, you should be able to handle those two step ups, particularly as you'll be running nice and easy. 
  • Thanks so much for your help
    I should have gone on here years ago!!
  • Just wanted to say thank you to the people on here that gave me such good advice!

    I took it! 

    I increased my my mileage and ran a few steady 13 milers. I then tapered in the last week.

    I just ran the Cheltenham Half Marathon in 1:29:57!

    It was close but I ran very evenly and didn’t go off too fast at the start!

    Anyway thank you for the help. It really made a massive difference. 
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