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When i first started doing halves i would check my time at every mile mark and work out the average, so that i could then estimate my finishing time. Over the years i have started to look less at my watch and plan the race in groups of miles.

For example if i was aiming at under 1hr 30 my plan would be to do the first 3 miles in 20 mins, repeating the process to get to mile 12 in 1 hr 20 leaving 10 mins for the last mile and a bit, giving me a margin of error of about 2 mins. I find that by thinking in groups of miles and having 4 targets in the race for 3, 6, 9, and 12 miles puts less pressure on each single mile and caters for the vagaries of the ups and downs better.

For other races i might set a target at 5 and 10 miles as i did at my last half. This depends on how long since my last half and appropriate fitness to be confident that i will run consistently.

So what do you do?
 

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Generally when doing a half I check my watch at distances I have raced before (e.g 5 miles, 10k, 10 miles). I'm familiar with my PB's at those distances so it gives me an idea of how I'm getting on.

If its an important race and I'm going for a specific time I'll work out mile splits and write them on my arm beforehand.
 

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I have a pacer setting on my watch so I can set my mile pace and it beeps at every mile. I occassionaly miss the odd mile but its a useful guide.
 

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I tend to stay with a runner or a group that is going at a good pace.
If I am going for position I may even go slightly faster than what I think I can do in the end (sometimes I've had nice surprises but others it has been a tragedy :d ).
If going for time I check the splits every km/mile but even if I am slightly ahead of schedule, I'd rather stay with company than to drop back and stay on my own.
 

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Do pace workouts on a measured course. Get used to race pace then race without the watch. You will run faster without having to hit split times.
Just watch Africans race....no watches there!
 

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steepler said:
Do pace workouts on a measured course. Get used to race pace then race without the watch. You will run faster without having to hit split times.
Just watch Africans race....no watches there!
Apart from the big clock on the scoreboard or the lead car or at most mile markers if they're at big road races!

For halves I tend to know what mile split I want for my desidered finish time. Then try to stick to as close to it as possible, I then look at my overall time at the different distances and work out what time I could well finish in if I keep going at the same pace etc.... But I think that's just mind games to keep myself from thinking how much I'm struggling. I'm still learning though.

My Dad's always told me to ignore my watch and just run to how I feel. He used to do this reasonably successfully, upto half marathon, but never had the guts to try it during a marathon, instead running conservatively early on so as not to blow up. He thinks if he had just run to how he felt he'd have broken 3hrs. His marathon PB is 3h 06, yet his half PB is 1h 17, so he should've really been able to convert that into a sub 3hr.
 

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Recently I've been planning my halves in two sections:
- steady to 10 miles at the pace I'd like to finish in.
- then go for whatever I can muster.

Coming back fom injury at Wokingham, I also added in a start section which was "real slow" - testing out the injury and giving me a chance to warm up and maybe pull out...
 

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Hammerite.
I have run 1.16 for a half and never broken 3 for the full 'thon!
I got too wrapped up in hitting time targets and screwed it up.
Fall marathon will be minus the watch i hope.
Also.....ran tonight after a week off due to crocked back. Lovely to click a nice 5 miler out.
 

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steepler said:
Hammerite.
I have run 1.16 for a half and never broken 3 for the full 'thon!
I got too wrapped up in hitting time targets and screwed it up.
Fall marathon will be minus the watch i hope.
Also.....ran tonight after a week off due to crocked back. Lovely to click a nice 5 miler out.
you aren't my dad are you??? :d Sounds like a familiar story.

Of course your not he's retired from running, although I've been trying to goad him out with promises of whooping his ass should he run and get fit again. Even though I know that if he gets back to it he'd eventually be a faster than me (even though he's nearly twice my age). I'd just like to see him running again!!
 
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