Training Advice

Hi all,

I am looking for some advice on increasing my distances/strength with the goal to run a 1:30 half marathon. (ref: ran a dissapointing 1:52 in the Wolverhamton 1/2 Marathon this year - really struggled in the last three miles)

Been running on and off for 2 years however recently became very addicted. On average, I am now running about 30miles per week (4/5 sessions), however I have just hit a sticking point with my stamina. Tend to feel strong upto 7 miles or so, then physically weaken.

I have decided to follow the 1/2 Marathon training plan of this site. Does anyone have any experience of this, or comments to help me.

Thankyou very much.


  • Kaine- My PB 1/2m is 1h31 so maybe we are similar speeds.
    30 miles week is good.
    I guess the common sense thing is to increase the long run at weekend to give you stamina at end of a 1/2m race. E.g. if you could build up to 14-16 mile long run it would give you great confidence for a 1/2m attempt.
    ALso a good speed session would help- maybe some reps/intervals- e/g warm up 10 mins0 then 1/2 mile reps- fast at near max pace/ then recover next 4-5 mins- and repeat up to about 6 miles or so- then warm down again. This would increase your lactate theshold and allow the muscles to get used to working hard. OR try hill reps as alternative- dont do more than one of ither seesion in one week as may get injured. Also one day cross training /weights could help strength to build up

    I have learnt hard way in past in 1/2m race DONT START TO QUICK- start easy and pass others later on !

    good Luck
  • I think the advice to train over distance for the 1/2M is good. I usually go up to about 15-17 miles on my long runs. The last 3 miles of a half are the hardest. I suspect this is when your body starts to run out of readily available energy supplies.
    As Hubcap says - start slowly and pick off the tired runners later on.
    Aiming to knock 20 minutes off your PB is very ambitious. Why not try another half marathon aiming for a 1.40-45 is time, then really go for it for a 1.30? Choose a flat half with plenty of runners who can pace you and protect you from bad weather.
    Good luck.
  • Agree with Dangly. Nothing wrong with setting your sights high but the difference between a 1.52 and a 1.30 is a great deal. It's about three miles in distance terms.
    You'll need the long runs as prescribed but a bit of speed as well. Hubcap's advice is pretty sound
  • Thanks for your comments.
    Dangly : To be honest, 1.30 is my like my long term target. As you indicated, I think a 1.40-45 time will be my next 1/2M target.
    Need to do some research on flat halfs in the Midlands. Any ideas?
  • Apparently the Belvoir half is very flat but I've been unable to find out if it is going ahead this year.

    Of the 3 I ran - Nottm, Leicester and Keyworth none are flat but I found Keyworth the fastest course and Leicester the toughest.

    Are you a man or a woman Kaine? I only ask because you would be fairly high up the field if you were a female clocking 1.30 and possibly there might be a need to up your mileage - I am guessing you are female?

    Looking at your training if you are doing 5 sessions that averages 6 miles a session - I think that is short for a half marathon and fits in with running out of steam. Even if you are doing one long run of say 10 miles that means you are doing several of a fairly short distance in half marathon terms. Maybe cut your training to 3/4 session but maintain 30 miles per week.

    Also what are your short distance times - you say it is stamina that is your problem - to run a 1.30 half you should be able to clock sub 40 for 10k (roughly).

    Other than that assuming your strategy is Ok - not going out too fast, not over training close to the race, making sure you eat properly in the days before etc etc I agree with the others.
  • Hi Popsider,

    Male!!! Made me laugh!!

    10k PB is 39.25, however average is around 41/42 mins. Your comments on upping my distance seems to make sense and match everything I have read recently, including the other posts. My new training plan basically leads up to a long run every Sunday starting from 10 miles in week 1.

    Just need to get out a do it now. See how I get on over the next few months.



  • u definetly need more long runs.your 10k time is a few secs quicker than mine but i ran 1.26 in wolverhampton 1/2 this year.i would say wolverhampton was quite a hard race not flat, i'd hoped to be a bit quicker.
  • speedynut.

    Distance seems to be the answer. Went out yesterday and did a fraction over 10mile in 79mins. Took it steady at the start (3miles), pushed in the middle and actually felt fairly good at the end (I wouldn't say strong). This assumes a 1.40 1/2M. Very happy with that at this stage.
    When I did the Carver, it was the first time I had ever ran 13miles non stop. Going to build up to a regular 13miler every Sunday to build up my stamina.

    Cheers for your comments

  • Hi Kaine

    I also have a goal of sub 1:30 for a half. but mine is to do it before I am 40, so time is running out. I found, as well as milage, changing my running style really helped. ie. running lighter and more on my toes. It has improves my efficiency quite a bit so more energy later on.
  • This is one of the best threads I have read for a while , good advice etc.
    I am 46 and have been running for just a year and last year did 5 half marathons,so have an interest in people's views on that distance.
    The first was two weeks after the FLM(4h24m) and I struggled with a painful knee for the last half of the race and mananged 1 hr 58.Obviously that was too soon to be taking on that distance after London.
    Later in the summer I did the New Forest(1hr 47) , a multi terraine half at Blandford (1hr 56),Harley near Southampton (1hr 47 again)and Salisbury in 1hr 49.All actually within about a 6 week period.
    In my first year my 10k times have gone from 48 mins to 44 mins and my 5K from 24m30s to 21m19s.
    The advice about the long runs being 15 plus I would agree and also with starting carefully and overtaking later , something I did not do. But from my point of view,to get better times I think I really need to get into the habit of speed work / hill reps more , as my times at all distances are only gradually coming down.
    A 42 min 10K is a target of mine for 2003 and 1 hr 40 for half though I think I shoudl be capable of 40min 10k and 1.30 half if I put enough effort into my training.At the moment it is about three times a week= two club runs , 5m on Tues and 8/9 on Thurs then maybe a long 10-15 at the weeknend if not racing.
    Is this boring?
  • Brian

    Are you doing any intervals or tempo runs? I have found that simple intervals (change them each week e.g. 8 x 1 minute, 3 x 4minutes, variable recovery jogs) really do help to improve the pace of your easier runs. When I include some speed work my easy run improves to 8 minute mile pace and feels like a doddle. When I "just run" my steady runs are at 8 minute mile pace and I am often glad to get back!

    Nothing wrong with "just running" but if you have PB targets maybe you could try some speed work here and there. Make sure you start and finsh the speed sessions really slowly so they don't become a chore. The cross-country training schedule (?September/October RW) gives good interval and tempo runs if you need a starting point.
  • Runner Bean ,
    thanks for the advice. I suppose I just feel that speed work/tempo running sounds confusing to me and we don't actually do that on club nights so would have to descipline myself to do on my own, probably around the streets near my home many of which are unlit as semi countryside.
    But to be honest I think it is no more than as you say interval running,and I have on a few occassions done that when out on a Sat or Sunday morning but probably did the intervals wrong , eg did 7mins ( about one mile) then one minute jog/easy and did this about 4 times, so ran about 5/6 miles in total, but probably my pace for the 7 mins was only just a min or two better than my normal pace , so not enough of a difference. I think I therefore need to make them shorter , as you say 1 min to 4mins with recovery jogs , but maybe not covering so many miles in total.
    I feel 100% sure that this will improve my times/speed on the range of runs from 5k upwards. I just need to start making it a regular pattern to my weekly running and now I have put that in writing ,no more excuses! , I will start this weekend after tonights Club run which will probably be 8 miles steady pace - about one hour.
    I am supposed to be working now but can't get motivated for that at the moment!
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