½ marathon novice asks: what to do?

Still trying to follow my ½-marathon training schedule. Although I'm being forced to the conclusion that 84 minutes will probably be beyond me, I'm still looking for a time in the mid 80s.

Had a fairly easy 5 mies at 7 minute pace yesterday; problems with shin & hamstring reported yesterday (see yesterday's training thread) don't feel too bad now.
But Hilly was right yesterday; I am feeling q weary. Then again, I have been ever since I started this "3 key sessions a week" regime in the build up to Helsby. Maybe I should expect this; or maybe in hindsight I underestimated the effect of doing 2 significantly longer runs a week, having not done anything of this length for the best part of 20 years.

Helsby is now 2½ weeks away. With the schedule I've been following, tonight I would be aiming to do something short & relatively lively, but not too onerous (e.g. 3 miles at 6:20 pace); keeping something back for tomorrow's key session. That, and other sessions planned for the next few days are:

Fri: Attempt at 10 mile tempo run in 65 mins (though prepared to cut short at 8 or 9 if it doesn't go well)
Sun: Last "over the distance" run (will exceed 100 mins in time)
Tue: Session with the Wirral AC runners (I fear the dreaded hill reps session is overdue - but I probably need it).

Rest days Sat & Mon; recovery run Wed.

Each of the key sessions will take a fair amount out of me & this takes us to within a week and a half of race day, so subsequent to that, I want to start tapering down (8 miles max next Fri; 10-11 Sun, and play the following Tuesday by ear).

Is this reasonable? I'm minded to do nothing this evening as well, as I want to have the best possible crack at tomorrow night's planned 10 miler - if I can hit 65 mins, that will give me a lot of confidence - and I reckon this is my last chance to do so.
But this means basically I'm now down to 4 sessions a week (3 key sessions & 1 recovery run) - can I get away with this?

Oh - and in addition, there are bugs going through the family, and colleagues at work also. Thus far the echinacea seems to be keeping them at bay, but for how long...?


  • No advise from me Mike as you're out of my class. All the best though
  • 17 days ????? How can this be ? It was months away when I filled my form out !

    Sorry - I can't help you Mike - I'm only up to 6 miles at the moment so I need to do some decent runs beforehand !

    Hope all goes well with the 10 miler.
  • Mike, sorry I too can't offer advice on your level of training.

    However, if your weariness is preventing you achieving quality sessions on those days then maybe you've set yourself too hard a task and need to back off a little. If on the other hand you are weary, but can still produce the quality sessions, then hang on in there, not long to go now anyhow and you'll be tapering.

    I think You'll be just fine Mike, I just picked up your weariness in your last few training threads, but hey the hard works mostly done. Go for it and best of luck!!

  • Wow Mike S you're really speedy !

    As a completely crap runner myself can't really give you any qualified advice but as everyone is humbled by your schedule....

    ...I'd just say make sure you taper enough. Read somewhere in Runner's World that the work you put in today you benefit from in 2 weeks time. So you've nearly run out of time for putting stuff "In the bank". Don't do anything this evening (listen to that instinctive voice inside) and go for it tomorrow night. And from then on I'd ease back, congratulate yourself on having done some serious training, have a few enjoyable runs over the next two weeks and then have a really good half at Helsby.

    Good luck. Do post your time and let's know how you got on.
  • Glad you've asked the question Mike as it gives me a chance to compare my plans with yours, albeit with completely different targets. I'm also planning a 10 mile tempo run, probably Saturday, with a long run on Monday, having got everything out of synch this week. I did wonder about combining it, and adding 2-3 slow recovery miles at the end to get the distance as well, and doing away with the second long run this week.

    Just thinking back there are several good runners on here, Marmite Master springs to mind, who run 3-4 times a week but make those quality sessions. I would have thought your plans were plenty hard enough, especially if you've only started upping the distances you run in the past few months.
    I'm sure you'll find it easier on the day regardless, don't you normally do your long runs as multiples of a loop? I guess this is personal to the individual runner but that must take more concentration that on the day you can put into the race instead.
    I'm hoping I started my long runs early enough to have developed the endurance by mid-Jan; at the moment I find them pretty tiring.
    Look forward to seeing how you get on with your 10 mile tempo run!
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