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I'm curious to find out what are different peoples' approaches (if any) in running a fast half marathon (anywhere from low 1:20s to sub 1:20). As part of training for the marathon, I'll like to bring down my half marathon times to the low 1:20s by my 2nd half marathon of this year at the end of June and possibly (if I'm lucky!) down to sub 1:20 by the beginning of next year. My plan right now is to try to get the base mileage up significantly (to 80 mpw by the end of May). Currently most of my training week is mostly aerobic running with a progression run once a week. I alternate longer and shorter distance runs including 1-2 medium long runs and a long run on Saturdays. I won't add tempo runs until April but these will be the emphasis in most of my training buildup towards the marathon. At this level, would LT/tempo work be more important than just building up to high mileage or a combination be the most effective? What would be the key workouts? My best half time so far is 1:27...though I think it's a more like in the range between 1:25-1:28.

Thanks! :)

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sorry tim, you're out of my league - i got nuthin.
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I'd vote for high mileage first and foremost. It's way too easy to try and do too many things at once. If you're going to build mileage, then keep that as the focus. Don't try and put too much on your plate. Once you reach those 80-mi weeks in May, then plateau there for how ever long your schedule allows. Then, when you want to start a sharpening phase a month or two from your peak race, back off the high mileage and start using that pent up energy and pound out the LT/tempo work. That'd be my recommends...not throwing LT/tempo in during the high mileage phase, but after you reign it down some once the basebuilding is over.
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KUNG HEY FAT CHOI

Tim, I'm curious to know what mileage you are running at present.
I thought you would be on about 50 miles per week. That being the case jumping up to 80 Miles by May sounds a bit steep to me.
Not for one moment do I disagree with 'jrjo' a good base mileage is fundamental to running any race distance.
If I'm right about the 50MPW. I'd rather see a slower progression in your mileage build up, peaking at say 60MPW perhaps 65MPW and bring in some quality sessions 6 weeks out from the Half Marathon.

Don't lose sight of improving your 10km time. I think from memory you were around the 41 Min. mark.
A 41 Min. 10Km. will give you around 1 Hour 26min Half.
Even at this stage of your training I'd look at including some 4min. race pace efforts in your medium long runs and preferably on a natural and undulating surface.

4mins. on, 4mins off, say about 5 times then run AYF to compleat your run. You should be trying to run a 1km. with every effort, sometimes it will be shorter, sometimes longer. Try to learn even pacing on varied surfaces both up and down hill.

I've rabbited on a bit once again but hope this helps.
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KUNG HEY FAT CHOI

Tim, I'm curious to know what mileage you are running at present.
I thought you would be on about 50 miles per week. That being the case jumping up to 80 Miles by May sounds a bit steep to me.
Not for one moment do I disagree with 'jrjo' a good base mileage is fundamental to running any race distance.
If I'm right about the 50MPW. I'd rather see a slower progression in your mileage build up, peaking at say 60MPW perhaps 65MPW and bring in some quality sessions 6 weeks out from the Half Marathon.

Don't lose sight of improving your 10km time. I think from memory you were around the 41 Min. mark.
A 41 Min. 10Km. will give you around 1 Hour 26min Half.
Even at this stage of your training I'd look at including some 4min. race pace efforts in your medium long runs and preferably on a natural and undulating surface.

4mins. on, 4mins off, say about 5 times then run AYF to compleat your run. You should be trying to run a 1km. with every effort, sometimes it will be shorter, sometimes longer. Try to learn even pacing on varied surfaces both up and down hill.

I've rabbited on a bit once again but hope this helps.

My mileage at present is between 55-60 mpw. I started my buildup in the beginning of January at around 50 mpw. My 80 mpw goal probably won't happen until near the end of May. I'm running 2 halfs this year as part of my marathon buildup.
The earlier one is on May 1 and that is situated on a recovery week after a buildup to 75 mpw the week before and is mostly off base mileage with a tempo run once a week and a progression run (basically a medium long run with the last 25% of it ran at halfM race pace). I will call this race more like a training run.
My 2nd one is on June 27th (also at the end of a recovery week) when I'm a month or so into marathon-specific training..mileage then would be expected to be fairly high (70-80 mpw for that cycle, dropping to the 50s on the recovery week). Since I won't be running anymore halfs for the rest of the year after this one, I hope to hit my goal pace for a low 1:20 for this one (there's also a significant drop in elevation at the beginning of the race and it's flat and fast towards the finish).
As for 10ks, I won't be doing them until the summertime...my current estimated 10k time is now around 38-39 mins (that equates to a 1:25-1:27 half marathon is you take into account pace equivalency-my best half time is around 1:27) and I'll like to bring it down to 36 or if training goes well, 35 mins by year's end.
If you have any feedback, pls reply or PM me...thanks!
Cheers
Tim
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