Halfs on the Horizon – Am I improving?

Ealing Half 2016 Finish

As ever, I’ve let things slide. Races (at which I’m excellent at booking) are quickly rushing up on the horizon.

There are 8 weeks until the Great North Run and 10 weeks until the Ealing Half.

I’ve been running and training regularly, so there’s some work in the tank. I have no idea where I’m currently at fitness or speed wise, as I have not raced or parkrun’d in a while. Sometimes, when I run, I feel good, and sometimes, I have a shocker.

I recently read an article by Peter Bromka in which he said….

….because a runner who “hopes to find time for a workout later in the week” isn’t a runner who’s improving.

To which I thought….

Oh, that’s me. That’s me exactly. There is always the next training session 2 days away, parkrun on Saturday and there is definitely always Sunday to fall back on. I’m not improving. I’m just holding on to what I have.

Following the London Marathon, the Great North Run has always been the next “big” one I wanted to do. I had a place last year and had to defer to this year, so this one’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. The one where I have all the time in the world to slowly build and prepare. Not overdo it, so I can go there confidently and do myself justice.

Now it looks like I have to put a sensible plan together to get myself there in the best possible shape.

The Great North Run and Newcastle are a long way away from London. I’ll have to stay overnight. It’s not a hop, skip and a jump away and getting back home for a late breakfast. Will I get a chance to do it again? I don’t want to regret that I got a chance to do it, and I let myself down.

Are times important?

I know times and personal bests are not the be all and end all and maybe I should just take my time, go up there and enjoy it. But I would be lying if I said that’s what I want to do. There’s the flip side, that I set myself an ambitious time, go all the way up there, miss my time, feel like crap and my Great North Run experience is ruined.

My currently PB for a half was at the Ealing Half last year – 1:43:11 secs. That’s about 7:50-mile pace.

8:00-mile pace would get me under 1:45:00. Pretty do-able!

7.37-mile pace would get me under 1:40:00. Pretty ambitious!

Like I said at the top, I have had a good couple of weeks of “unstructured” training. I have been pushing in my interval training at BMF Running club and feel progress is being made. I did a 3.5-mile run this morning and comfortably held an 8:00-mile pace. But can I do it another 2.75 times?

There’s some trepidation saying what my target time for the Great North Run is going to be at this current moment. Hopefully, I’m in a good place training wise and can strongly build on top of this. Maybe it’s just the visibility of where I’m at, that I lack.

So with that, I’m ploughing head long into a structured training plan, with a big nod to maintaining a healthy diet and looking after my recovery. Maybe some 10km race sharpeners! I will keep you updated on how things are going, if there is anything of interest that crops up and whether I’m flying or dying.

If you what to know what it takes to run a 2:30 marathon, check out Peter Bronka’s post called 9000 seconds about the Boston Marathon. It’s fantastic!

 

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