Training for Half Marathon – Week 9.. Last Long Run

With the Half marathon due on the Sunday of next week, I wanted to do my last long run in the middle of this week. And since this is my first half marathon, I wanted to be know what I would be facing no the day of the run,  so I tried to simulate as many of the race conditions as possible. I started a little late, increased my water break intervals and increased my pace after 5 kms.

The result? After 10kms, I was exhausted. The conditions were overcast and it was a little more humid than normal so that didn’t help me. I started slow and maintained a slow pace for the first 3 kms. Any more than that would affect my race timing. After 3 kms I felt pretty strong so I increased my speed to match my normal runs. Then after 5 kms, I still felt strong so I thought.. why not go a little faster a try to set a better time.

All this while I had increased the intervals between my water breaks. I would usually stop after each km and take a sip from my bottle. Then I’d walk a little and start my run again. Yesterday I increased the intervals to 2 kms. I don’t know if it was the increased pace or the increase in intervals but after 10 kms I ran out of petrol. I completed the 10 in 1 hr so I was doing a very good time. But at that point it I didn’t think I would reach my target which was 18 kms.

So I dropped my pace, steeled myself to the pain and pushed on. After 14 I could still feel some energy in me so I continued the run and reached my target of 18 kms. I was pretty strong at the finish and my recovery was excellent but the run itself was taxing and hard. Moral of the story? Don’t try anything on the day of the run that you haven’t practiced before. My run took 1hr 53 mins. My dream of doing the half marathon under 2 hrs will remain a dream for now but since its only my first attempt and my training hasn’t been perfect, I think its acceptable.

At my current pace, I estimate that it will take me about 2 hrs 10 minutes to do the run. I can do a time lesser than that but I will have to plan the run carefully. Going express pace after 5 kms didn’t work yesterday. I think I’ll approach the run in phases depending on how my body holds up. I could divide the run into 3 phases of 10, 5 and 6 kms. The first 10 kms I use to get into the groove and lay the foundation.

I plan to complete 10kms in 1hr 5 minutes. If I feel strong after 10, I can slowly increase my pace for the next 5 kms. This phase I plan to complete in 21-22 minutes, provided everything goes well. I don’t think I’ll feel strong after 15kms. The last phase will be difficult and I have to be mentally prepared for that. 6 minutes on average per km in the last phase will get me to the finish line in 2hrs and 2 minutes. I’ll give myself a 3 minute cover so my target for the run is about 2 hrs 5 minutes.

Should be an interesting run..

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