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Please can someone help with some advice, i did my first ever half marathon last year in Bath, i was happy with 1hr 47 mins, i also did the Bristol 13 miler 6 months later, and again achieved 1hr 47 mins - i actually beat my first time by around 12 seconds - my question is, HOW DO I IMPROVE ON THIS? - i would love to do another one and finish below 1hr 40, but i can`t see how i can!, The trouble is that i seem to have just one speed which is comfortable to me, i run the same for the last few miles as i do for the first few- so i am very consistant. But how do i make the next step up? (without killing myself). Thanks for reading.
 

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Well this is a lil beyond me at the moment, BUT I've found that intervals have greatly increased my fitness really quickly... and that way maybe you'll get to know what different paces (ie easy vs hard) feel like.. that way you may learn to appreciate negative splits heh ie takin' it easier in the first half so you're really free to plough on through to the finishing line in the second half.

What kinda training are you doing at the mo? It's probably a good idea to have easy runs and then some hardcore speed runs - trust me, when you've done a really hard speed workout you'll really appreciate those easy runs!
 

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well this, i guess, is where i need to change - my pace doesn`t really ever differ, every training run is at the same pace, the same pace as my 2 half marathons have been, i tend to go out and run approx.8 min/miles whether i am training or at an event.
 

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Well... You can't really expect to improve if you're always doing the same - you have to challenge your body in order for it to change and your fitness to improve. You have to feel like you've really worked you cardiovascular system like once a week or so, or at least that's what I've read!

When they say consistency is key, I think they mean with the regularity at which you train, variation and steady increases in intensity/distance is key for improvement. In your speed workouts you don't have to cover a huge distance for it to make a big difference. Google fartleks, that might be your best bet at the moment. You'll probably find you enjoy the changes! I think i'd get really bored if I just did the same thing day in, day out.

Anyhoo, I am no where near anything of an expert on speed, so you'd best wait for someone else to reply heh.
 

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oliversam said:
Please can someone help with some advice, i did my first ever half marathon last year in Bath, i was happy with 1hr 47 mins, i also did the Bristol 13 miler 6 months later, and again achieved 1hr 47 mins - i actually beat my first time by around 12 seconds - my question is, HOW DO I IMPROVE ON THIS? - i would love to do another one and finish below 1hr 40, but i can`t see how i can!, The trouble is that i seem to have just one speed which is comfortable to me, i run the same for the last few miles as i do for the first few- so i am very consistant. But how do i make the next step up? (without killing myself). Thanks for reading.

I don't claim to be an expert, although I do have a lot of running experience on my side.
The replies from ANS are basically very sound: In order to race faster, you must learn to train faster. When I read your initial post, the one word that "leaped" off the screen at me was "comfortable". You can't really expect to improve if you never leave your "comfort zone". Improvement comes at a price, I'm afraid. :(

ANS suggested Googling "fartlek". If you haven't already, and are wondering what she's on about: Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning "speed play". Basically you go out for your normal run, but include some faster efforts within it. An easy example would be to use lamp-posts as a guide. Run as fast as you can from one post to the next; then jog from that one to the one after. Then repeat the hard effort/easy/hard/easy etc... So if you cover the same distance that you would on a normal run; some of it will have been faster than usual, and some slower. But you will eventually benefit from introducing the harder stints. It's really just an informal version of an interval session which conventionally uses pre-designated speeds/distances/rest periods/number of repetitions.

Give it a go. Get out of that comfort zone!
... And good luck. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pedestrian said:
I don't claim to be an expert, although I do have a lot of running experience on my side.
The replies from ANS are basically very sound: In order to race faster, you must learn to train faster. When I read your initial post, the one word that "leaped" off the screen at me was "comfortable". You can't really expect to improve if you never leave your "comfort zone". Improvement comes at a price, I'm afraid. :(

ANS suggested Googling "fartlek". If you haven't already, and are wondering what she's on about: Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning "speed play". Basically you go out for your normal run, but include some faster efforts within it. An easy example would be to use lamp-posts as a guide. Run as fast as you can from one post to the next; then jog from that one to the one after. Then repeat the hard effort/easy/hard/easy etc... So if you cover the same distance that you would on a normal run; some of it will have been faster than usual, and some slower. But you will eventually benefit from introducing the harder stints. It's really just an informal version of an interval session which conventionally uses pre-designated speeds/distances/rest periods/number of repetitions.

Give it a go. Get out of that comfort zone!
... And good luck. ;)
Pedestrian, thank you - very sound advice, put in a very simplified way that even i could relate to. cheers, i`ll start to introduce that into my runs and see how it goes.
 

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All that needs to be said has been I think! You just need to remind your body that it CAN go faster, perhaps not for the same duration, but eventually you'll be able to maintain short distance speed for longer and longer.

As ped says though, you need to come out of your comfort zone and push yourself to vary the pace :)
 

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thanks Richard, i have just got back from a run in which i included some short faster parts, and "came out of the comfort zone",and to be honest i can already see how this will help over time - as you said, i think your body does need reminding that it CAN go faster if pushed, i guess it`s all too easy to stay within the boundaries you set yourself. cheers again.
 
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