Will this do?

Thought I'd throw this one open to the floor for opinion, comment whatever.

Basically, I'm mainly a 5K/10K runner (comfortably sub 18 for 5K, about mid-37s for 10K), but I've responded to a bit of forumite pressure and put my name down for the Helsby half-marathon in January - as a one-off. This despite the fact that until 3-4 weeks ago I'd not run more than about 7 miles since the 1980s. What finally clinched it for me was the thought that the extra mileage would if nothing else give me a decent aerobic base for trying to improve my performance at my favoured distances.

I've tried to come up with a plausible target time to go for - 84 minutes is what I've guessed at. This would be about 6:24 pace - don't know if it's reasonable to expect that from the above performances at 5K & 10K.

Current training regime is as follows:

Sun: long run (currently up to 10 miles, will lengthen further)
Mon: rest
Tue: ~7 miles (inc. warm-up/warm down) - quality session with Wirral AC runners (could be speed session, hill reps, tempo....) - v hard - they're all 37mins pace or faster over 10K.
Wed: 5 miles recovery
Thu: rest or 3-4 miles short acceleration run (alternate weeks)
Fri: longish run (~Sunday length minus 2 miles), higher effort level than Sun
Sat: 3 miles or less, brisk.

As you can see, there are only 2 outings that are really relevant to the 1/2M - on Friday and Sunday. Is that enough? I don't want to drop the Tuesday session - but its intensity more or less determines what I have to do on Mondays & Wednesdays.


  • Mike - having lost a good chunk of my speed over the last few years (and a good deal more over the last few weeks!) I can only say whats worked for me in the past.

    I would say that you have the fundamental, i.e. the base speed for a fastish half. I seem to remeber that when I was regularly running sub 38's for 10k, I was also running regular sub 84's for the half. I think you might make it on your current plan but to run a sub 84 with your current racing speed will require decent conditions on the day and a reasonably amenable course.

    The key to the half marathon for me was always a long grinding run midweek - which in my case used to be a club run at close to race pace over 9-10 miles (if memory serves me rightly we used to do 9.65 miles in 62-63 minutes). I could never have done this on my own however.

    Looking at your schedule at the moment I would suggest your Friday slot would be perfect (replacing Saturdays brisk with a 3 mile easy recovery before the Sunday long run). The effort I'm talking about is hard (really hard!) and if you're doing it alone I might suggest 2-3 x 3 miles at close to half marathon race pace with a relatively modest recovery (5 minutes).

    The alternative to develop this speed would be to move your long run to Friday (I don't think you need to do much more than 10-11 miles) and race most Sundays.
  • Mike S,
    I think Martin H is right on the money regarding the key elements for 1/2M preparation. You've also got a while to prepare which is good.

    If you can manage to stretch out your Sunday long run to about 15 miles, you'll be really glad you did during the closing 5K of the 1/2M.

    I think your Tuesday session is perfect.

    MartinH's suggestion for the Friday run sounds ideal, you might want to alternate between some 1/2M pace workouts (as Martin suggests), 10K/5K type track workouts and tempo runs on different weeks depending on the type of club session you do on the Tuesday.

    Best of luck, looking forward to the updates.
  • Try this session 9-10 days before your half marathon.
    AM- 10k @ 10k pace
    PM- 5k @ 5k pace.

    Make sure there is around 4-5 hours in between sessions.

    A great days work, its hard to run the 5k in the evening or afternoon, as the legs are a litle fatigued, but this will help you get through the latter stages of the race. Train smarter not HARDER.

    Have a good run tomorrow!

  • When would the last time for a long run be - by long I mean something of 12 -15 miles.

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    Couldn't agree more with what Martin said.

    I'd try to get my long (Sunday) run up towards the 15 mile mark about 3 weeks before the race.Also I think you'd benefit from longer distance 'tempo' runs on the Friday in your schedule.

    My target speed is around 7min/miles for a halfM, so I build up to 10 miles at this pace again about 2-3 weeks before target race day, starting at around 5 miles at race pace and adding a mile a week.

    I also do my speedwork (individually-not a club member) on a Tuesday.For halfMs I find 6*800m at 5k pace with 200m recovs are the hardest but also a very good workout.
    Also I throw in longer reps ie 3*2k at 10k pace with 400m (~3min) recovs.

    Good luck, I'll look forward to reading about your progress!
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Mike, seems like a well balance programme.

    I'd agree with Martin and MM regarding Friday's run - either a tempo or similar would probably be more beneficial.

    Maybe do Saturday's run at recovery pace in preparation for making the most out of Sunday. During the Sunday run you could also try doing the final 1/4 or 1/3 at 10k pace, just to make it really hurt and give you some additional confidence!

    The Tuesday session should give you plenty speed.

    How did your legs feel today after your long run yesterday?

    Allan's session sounds a little bit gruesome and may require more than one 24 hours recovery if done at 10k & 5k race pace.
  • Mike,

    In terms of estimating your time, my current form is 39.30 for 10k and I ran about 1.32 for a half in training (measured using a car though so give or take 5%) - from that I reckon your target time is doable.

    My target for a half a week Sunday is sub 90 minutes which I am a bit doubtful about but on a good day with a following wind and a short course I might get close to!
  • Thanks for the responses everyone.
    Am struggling to reply at the moment as it's q busy at work - also I'm offline at home as PC World are investigating (again) why their install of a second (40Gb) hard drive on my PC resulted in it failing a scandisk test within 2 weeks.

    Drew - my legs actually didn't feel too bad yesterday - certainly nowhere near as bad as I expect them too feel tomorrow! Having said that, there wasn't much left in the tank from about 50 minutes onwards on Sunday (highest point on the course coming back) and the last mile took about 7:30 - even with a following wind.
    The prospect of doing 2 or 3 15-milers is intimidating - that would be a 1hr 50 min+ outing I would guess. If I can find the time and the stamina over Xmas, then fine - though I must admit I'd envisaged a maximum length run of around 90 mins in terms of duration.
    So far as Friday is concerned - I'll try hitting 6:30 pace or faster from the start and see how long I can maintain it. Only complication is that the longer runs I'm doing are taking in some significant hill climbs (50-60m is significant enough to me anyway), so that's making them more difficult anyway. I suspect that will then make any sort of "brisk" outing on Saturday impossible anyway!

    The entry was posted off first class this morning - so I'm committed now!
  • I wouldn't touch PC world with a bargepole after the crap they sold me.
  • Mike - I'm sure you'll storm it.

    And your 1.24 looks on the long side - you are a good 2 or 3 minutes faster than me over 10k and I did a 1.26 at Chester this year.

    Might see you there (bust leg at the moment so everything is kinda on hold)
  • Cougie,

    Missed this thru being offline at home. When you say "bust leg" do you mean broken?

    After tonight's session, 1.24 looks optimistic.....
  • Fraiod so Mike - broke it 3 weeks ago when I went over on my ankle on a wine bottle when running. I broke about a centimetre off the bottom of my leg bone - I think the ligaments did that, but hopefully that avoided worse ligament damage ? I'm walking on it now though, but movement is very restricted. Going to the gym later to go on the exercise bikes !
  • Nasty!
    What's the prognosis - how long are you out for?
  • Doctors aren't being very specific about it.
    Missed the gym yesterday, but did see Harry Potter though !

    I'll get my bike set up on the Turbo in the garage - that should give me some movement - I can do that and hopefully get out for a long road ride weekend after next.
    I think I'll work my way up to using the ski machines at the gym and see how I go. Probably nothing until into December running wise though.
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