Half Marathon training question

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Half Marathon training question

Postby mdawsonclarke » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:23 am

Hey guys hows it going :)

So, Ill get straight to the point. Im looking to run my fastest possible half marathon in 5 weeks time. This morning I ALMOST ran my first sub 20 minute 5km (in my defense, there was a bridge) which has got me thinking I can run a much faster half than I previously have. Now, Im fairly new to this whole running thing so I havnt got a lot of times to reference, but my very first race was a half and that was 2 months ago.. and I ran that in 1:49. But I think there is serious room for improvement there and am aiming for a sub 1:35.

The hard part is I only have 5 weeks to train for it.. 4 realistically with taper week at the end. Ive been following the Hal Higdon guides for my whole running experience and have grown rather fond of them. The guide to the half I will be following is linked below. The thing is, Ive been reading a bit about speed work (not intervals, but like.. sprint training or whatever youd call it) and feel like maybe incorporating more of that into my schedule will help me achieve the time reduction Im looking for?

So pretty much, I thought Id post here and see what everyone has to say about it :)

For MAXIMUM speed increase, how does this training plan stand up for the short period of time I have to actually use it? Also Id like not to injure myself (had a pretty close call on Monday) so.. theres that.

Anyway, heres the link http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51133 ... ng-Program

Thanks so much for your time everyone and I look forward to hearing your responses!
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Re: Half Marathon training question

Postby hakko » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:50 pm

In my experience, you can make some pretty quick improvements early on as a runner, but then it's more about consistency over a long period of time that makes for faster times. A couple of weeks of good training or a few intense workouts are great, but it's more important to turn that into a habit. I have no idea what shape you were in for your 1:49 HM, but 5:10 min/km race pace is a huge difference to 4:30 min/km.

Be gentle on yourself, put in as much effort as your everyday life allows (more training means you need more time for recovery, too). Don't push yourself too hard or you'll probably get injured. Set realistic goals, like putting in X exercises/week, X hours of training per week etc. Be proud and happy if you fulfill them. Don't start with a good-looking time limit (like 1:20, 1:30, 1:40 etc) for a certain upcoming race, that is totally out of your control. Use time limits as long term goals, and enjoy your small and large races leading up to eventually fulfilling them. You'll learn something from every race that will help you reach your long term goal.

Good luck with your half marathon!
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Re: Half Marathon training question

Postby ninearms » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:14 pm

I agree with hakko. You say you felt like there was more in the bag when you did your 1:49, but of course there always feels like there's more in the bag right up until the moment the wheels fall off. The difference between 5:10 pace and 4:30 pace is massive. Based on what you say about your 5k time you're essentially talking about holding not far off your 10k pace for 21k. I don't think 4 weeks is enough time to get to that level. You don't say how much training you're doing at the minute, but that schedule you linked to is a big load. 6-7 days a week, with a high % of hard workouts. Unless you've already been doing that amount of training for at least 6 months then it's a recipe for injury. Plus you'd only be doing the tail end of the program without the systematic buildup or years of banked fitness. In those circumstances it'd probably be a miserable experience too.

I also echo hakko's comments on enjoying some good long term and consistent training - there's no need to rush to hit an essentially arbitrary time. 1:48 is still faster than 1:49. Put in some consistent training (mostly easy), turn up to a race, see what happens. Then enjoy some more consistent training, race again, see what happens. If your training is good quality and sustainable then you'll likely be faster.
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end. Then stop.”
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