Half the distance, half the glory?




Yesterday the world half marathon record was broken in Valencia (in perfect sunny conditions - unlike the scenes at Venice marathon, where it looked for all the world like the course had accidentally gone down, rather than across, a canal ...) Yet who has read this morning about Abraham Kiptum's fantastic time? Aside from specialist running titles, I've yet to see something in print or online.

Why? Is it because he's Kenyan (I saw numerous "Who? Well I've never heard of him!" comments on Fast Running's post, as if that were somehow definitive proof that his record is dodgy). Or is it because it's a half marathon? It sounds ridiculous, but I do sometimes wonder if the word 'half' gives that particular distance a short shrift. What's a 'half' record, compared to a full? As Adharanand pointed out to me on Twitter this morning, the Great North Run has done a cunning thing indeed in omitting the word from its title - perhaps accounting for some of its astonishing popularity. Well, that and the blanket BBC coverage ...

It doesn't help that - as my coach Tom also pointed out - it's not a standard Olympic distance. Even though there is a world half marathon championship, can anyone - without googling - name this years male and female winners? (Actually, I could, but that probably just seals my status as athletics geek..)  And in turn because of that - at least in part - only a handful of elite runners could really be said to specialise in the distance. Like us, most are stepping up from a 10k, or perhaps are marathoners stepping down - or having a test.

As runners, I would reckon a huge proportion of us have completed a half marathon. It's one of the most popular distances for mass races these days. We know what a good time is - for us, for team mates, for friends. So to know that Kiptum ran one in 58:18 really should fill us with a sense of awe.

I think it was the Marathon Talk podcast who, some years ago, talked about rebranding the half. I mean, who calls a 5k a 'half 10k', right? Personally, I think if there was a longer race as part of the Olympic/ World Championships cycle - between the track 10k and the road marathon - a classic 10 miler would be great. It's a distance I much prefer to race. But at any rate, I'm in awe of anyone running 13.1 miles at an average mile pace of a whisker under 4 minutes 27 seconds a mile.

So, over to you. How was your weekend running? Anyone splashing around Venice, or hitting the roads of Frankfurt? As always, share your stories - and suggestions to rebrand the 13.1 - below the line.

Comments

  1. Running as therapy for me meant:
    6 days of running in the last week,
    33.4 miles covered (more than I've ever done in a week),
    2140 ft of elevation in those miles (again, another weekly record)
    And very tired legs, but a much calmer head.
    Today is a day off!

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    1. Sorry to hear about your mum, Pete, but I'm pleased to hear the running is doing a good job as therapy. Sounds like you've got some great runs in so I hope they continue to help you get through this tough time.

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    2. So glad to hear that running is proving to be a great source of healing for you Pete. Day off today is sensible, though!

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    3. I'm missing my bike and swimming pool leanmachine, so running has been my go to exercise. I can see how you specialist runners get off on it though, it has been enjoyable to only run for just over two weeks. It'll be quite interesting to see how fast I move when I get back to the flatter conditions of the Wirral!

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    4. That is quite a running week! Glad to hear it is helping you and that you're also making sure to get some rest.

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    5. What a lot of running Pete - still thinking of you.

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    6. Excellent efforts but more importantly glad to hear it's helping

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    7. So sorry to hear about your mum. Run I g is like therapy for me and many others. I really hope it helps

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  2. I feel very humbled reading this, having been so pleased with myself yesterday...
    This time last year, I'd not yet completed Couch to 5km, and my running has been erratic at best, as mentioned before mainly due to changing locations and the issues that brings. My recent running in the North York Moors and on the edge of Snowdonia tended to be short 5km to 9km distances due to the hills, but for one week only, I am in north Wales, near the flat-as-a-pancake Coast Path from Connah's Quay to Chester. So, having not done more than 9km in weeks, but with this course nearby and the sun shining but with a cool (read freezing if not running) breeze, I set off to do a half marathon yesterday! My aim was to finish it without walking in under 2.5 hours, and I managed that (about 2 hours 14 mins). It went against all the rules about 10% weekly increases but I return to hilly locations on Saturday, until the new year, so I had to make the most of it. It felt like the hilly runs have helped my fitness overall and I was really pleased with this, especially managing to not walk any of it. As I passed the two-hour mark, I did think pro runners would have run twice the distance, but Kiptum's time is immense! If/when I do my next half marathon, I'll try not to think of that as I have to spend more than twice as long running the same distance.

    As for a rebrand, shall we get a map out and find a place with a funky name 13.1 miles from a capital city and name the half marathon after that?

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    1. Great time for your first HM! Well done.

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    2. That's a great achievement, and I hope you were greeted at the end with plenty of refreshments! Especially good to have done that for the first time without being part of an event which can help sweep you along by keeping pace with others.

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    3. Well done! Massive sense of achievement, huh? I love the half marathon distance, it is so manageable in comparison to the marathon and yet it is SO FAR!

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    4. Fantastic effort. Well done

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  3. Well I for one heard about the new HM world record! (on Twitter, from someone called Kate Carter...) I think it would only get national interest if Mo had broken the record and I do think the race suffers in terms of press coverage/awareness more because it does not feature in the World Champs or Olympics.

    A great week of running for me, city break in Barcelona meant for some lovely tourist pace runs along the seafront and parks, a truly beautiful city to run in!

    First race in a while on Sunday at the Halloween themed inaugural Ashford & District 10 miler in Kent, a challenging course with lots of hills and a 1.5 mile section through the woods but a really fun race and very pleased to finish 9th but even more pleased with the abundance of free spooky themed cakes at the end!

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  4. I was also racing yesterday, although no records were going to be beaten in Hexham with 2 degree temperature and rain to boot. Just 10K which is unusual for me, but it was part of the club championships so we had a great turnout: 50 of the 250 entrees, 1st in the women's team, 1st in the men's team, 1st and 3rd in women's (Having Aly Dixion in your club seems a bit like cheating when it comes to these sorts of races, but hey, she was wearing the club vest). I managed a decent 41:48, should have been lower but my leg played up in the last KM and I haven't been able to train well on it the last few weeks, so happy with it really. Enjoyed it more as it was my first proper club outing, on the club bus, pre-race photos, cheering on those after, that sort of thing. Need to do it more often.
    On the down side, my niggle in the leg last week has become well and truly knackered off the race, so I might have my first full week off for 2 and a bit years now to try and recover. Although I would quite like to be out of the house on Wednesday, so we'll see.

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    1. See, though, this is one of the many fabulous things about Aly. Can you imagine Mo Farah turning out for his club in a race like this? Nope, me neither :)

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    2. @Kate Yeah, I didn't actually know she was doing it until I saw her fly past (out and back course) which says how little fuss she made of it. Not every day you can say you raced an Olympian I guess.

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  5. The half and full marathon distances seem very anachronistic to me. It would make more sense to go 5k, 10k, 20k and 40k.

    Anyway, running was back to normal for me after a winter of 10kms and two HMs. Parkrun on Saturday and my local 10k on Sunday. It felt great to be out in the warm Auckland spring air and not giving a toss about my times.

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    1. Now the rain has finally stopped?! Been hearing about the wet weather over there from rellies. It's always nice to run free, post training!

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    2. Hi KYD, yes, winter in Auckland is always a pretty wet affair! I enjoy this time of year before the humidity of summer.

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  6. Kiptum's run was extraordinary...that was not an easy record to break.

    As for the muted reaction, it's entirely expected because - as I point out to my bafflement every time this comes up - the vast, vast majority of runners are not fans of the sport of running. So unless it's an Olympics or a magical distance (marathon/mile) approaching a major milestone and picked up by the mainstream media, it will go unheralded. And I suspect the same would be true if someone cut the records for other Olympic distances.

    I've never raced 10 miles as it happens, unsurprisingly 15k gets the nod over here - I also find it a better distance to race than the half but I think the elite schedule is actually pretty good at the minute, alternating the world HM and cross country.

    Anyway, enough rambling, my own week was the lowest key in a while. I'd intended to train through last Sunday's half but the legs said 'naw' so I only went out twice. Into the last week of this training chunk, ending with 10.8k up and down and round and through Hasenheide on Sunday. It will take a minor miracle to even avoid finishing in the bottom half. I am very, very much looking forward to the feierabend beers signalling a two-week break - my motivation/current feeling is presently through the floor.

    Well done to those fighting the good fight with a better attitude than I at the minute!

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    1. "vast, vast majority of runners are not fans of the sport of running"
      You are right. BUT WE CAN CHANGE THEM HD. TOGETHER WE WILL MAKE THEM FANS! *waves banner*

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    2. they dont want to change they run for the benefits it brings them theres nothing wrong with that. most probably dont know who kipchoge is or kamworor

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  7. As a relative veteran of 40 HMs, I don't feel the need for a rebrand but wouldn't object violently if there is a suitable alternative. Interestingly, half ironmans are commonly referred to as 70.3 events.

    As for the new WR, I only found out when a mate of mine posted something on a WhatsApp group just a couple of hours ago. Unbelievable performance that deserves more publicity.

    My running weekend only consisted of a solo cruisy 20km yesterday morning in cool but windy conditions. It was a sort-of elongated recovery run after 2 hard sessions mid-week in preparation for the Sydney edition of JPMCC this coming Wednesday night.

    But my absolute highlight was tracking my training partner and good friend who raced the Auckland marathon and won! I personally know how much dedication over many months she put into this venture and thankfully, she had a pretty much perfect race (a rarity for marathons, as many on this blog will testify). I'm still buzzing about her performance and I'm intending to use it as inspiration to strive for something next year which I can be proud of.

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  8. Nothing worth reporting about my running, but I'd really like to mention our friend. He lost his mum earlier this year, quite suddenly, and decided to enter yesterday's Dublin marathon to raise funds for the organisation who helped care for her. He'd never run or trained for one before. Then about a month ago he lost his dad. Nonetheless, he turned up at the start line. It took him over 6 hours, but he kept on going until he crossed the finish line. Brilliant achievement.

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    1. Great post MRM! Clearly, your friend is still going through a lot of emotional upheaval, so to complete his first marathon is a testament to his resolve and tenacity. Good on him!

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  9. More baby-steps for me but things are clearly improving as on Friday I combined a 'tempo run' (3k@4.07ish) with my longest effort to date (twelve whole kilometres in just over an hour)...rather stupid but it was raining outside and so I could not be arsed to leave the gym. Lovely warm gym.

    My back didnt really appreciate it, neither did my legs and both are still moaning but at the time it felt AMAZING.


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    1. Good to hear that you are slowly getting back to it Asta. Don't go crazy though, you've been relatively sensible up to now!

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    2. Fantastic progression Asta, I like Pete's synopsis though, so do please continue to be 'sensible'! Really good news though.

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    3. Sensible? I'm already looking forward to the December strava post of a 5-minute mile following 12 beers at the running club Xmas party!

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    4. If I could I definitely would!

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    5. Progress is progress, Asta!

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  10. I am writing this from Valencia having also run in the HM. I also ran a PB but yet the media was strangely quiet in reporting this also.

    I can confirm that the conditions for PB setting were absolutely perfect. Looking around at the start everyone looked fast, proper fast. The race also has a cut off of 2:30. Interestingly there were just over 300 British entrants in a field of over 15000, with more than half the field from Valencia itself.

    My aim was to try to go sub 1:45. And my plan was to try and run even pace keeping each mile under 8 min/miles. We were in the 1:35/1:46 pen so I was conscious not to go off too fast, but needn’t have worries as the first mile was fairly congested. Actually it stayed fairly congested for the whole race but after a mile or so you found more than enough space to run in.

    My race report is really rather boring. After a 8:02 first mile all my miles were then 7:45-7:55. Nothing happened, no calf cramps, no falling apart, no random aches and pains. It all was perfect. Finished in 1:43:57 and cried a little bit into my bag of oranges as there seemed to be an outpouring of Spanish emotion at the end that I got carried away with.

    It was just a happy running/weather/everything morning which will stay in my memory forever I’m sure. And for me the psychological barrier of running a half marathon averaging 7:xx miles has been overcome and I hope to build from here.

    I’d wholeheartedly recommend the event, easy travel, lovely city, very well organised race. I’ll definitely be back.

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    1. Brilliant stuff. 'Boring' race reports are a sign of superb training, planning and execution, so a major hat-tip.

      I loved Valencia, as a city and a (10k) race a couple of years ago. They seem to really embrace the running there. Part of me would love to go back, on the other hand I think I prefer ticking off more new venues...but if someone dragged me I certainly wouldn't object.

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    2. I'm very jealous - I studied in Valencia a few years ago and it is a beautiful city. It's definitely on my list to return and do a half/full. What sort of temperature was it? Congrats on the PB too! Great time.

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    3. Excellent running riceandbananas! It was great to see your run come up on my Strava feed yesterday. It sounds like a really nice place to do a pb!

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    4. Thank you handsome, kind words. I know what you mean about running in new places cf rerunning in enjoyable places but I think I’m going to make an exception with Valencia.

      Lou, it was about 9 degrees c to start, I had two cotton long sleeve tops on at the start and could only take them off just before we started. By the end it was about 14. A little to warm when in the sun but I’m not complaining. It had been about 10 deg warmer the previous week so think we were lucky.

      Pete, your photos have brightened by strava feed no end over the last couple of weeks. Hope the transition back to ‘normal’ life is ok, sure your legs will have appreciated the extra miles.

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    5. What's a 1:35/1:46 pen? I once ran a 10km which had 51min and 54min pacers, but this too seems curious

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    6. Yes, all the pens had strange time ranges. I can only think that they have looked at previous results and worked out how to divide the runners up evenly. The sub 1:45 pacer also started right at the front of the pen so I couldn’t have followed them even if I wanted to.

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    7. Congratulations. The conditions may have been good but you still have to run well and it sounds like you did it superbly. I love Valencia, it's a great city to run in.

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    8. Congrats! Sounds like a cracking run! I loved Valencia when I did the half marathon in March! 🙂

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    9. Fantastic, effortless progression! and no sign of ITB for a while? Brilliant.

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    10. Wonderful race, well done!

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    11. Great report of a great performance! Well done!

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  11. Walking only at the weekend, but got in some more 5Ks in the week and slowly getting times down. Just 10 weeks off running was enough to add 3.5 minutes back onto my 5K time. The legs don't seem too bad, but the lungs just don't have it at the moment. I was pleased to run my first post crash 10K (actually 10.5) and get home in under an hour. Unfortunately that shook up my shoulder a bit and hence the walking rather than running over the weekend.

    I think the HM is considered by many as a stepping stone to the Marathon and in this it is different from how 5K and 10K are seen. I have occasionally done the HM distance and it has the advantage that I was able to run again after 2-3 days. The one time I got close to Marathon distance was a Yorkshire 3 Peaks run at just under 40K and I was broken for a week after that! I quite like the 16K or 10 mile distance, as it is longer than I usually run and therefore feels a challenge, but I can still run the next day!

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    1. Good to hear you're on the mend! I really like the 10k and HM distances because they are challenging without taking over your life. I just can't see the appeal of a marathon, although I have huge admiration for those that do.

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  12. I wonder if the half-marathon doesn't get as much attention because there's no 'magical 1-hour limit' to break anymore? A lot of the excitement around the marathon is seeing how close someone can get to 2-hours, 'sub-58' doesn't have the same ring to it.

    Ran a grand total of 5km this week at parkrun, in slightly less than half-the time it took Kiptum to cover more than 4 time that distance. An aching left quad after the full/half PBs has required rest, but is feeling much better and I'm hopeful for a return to proper training again soon.

    This weekend is the Ekiden de Paris, which I'll be running for the '.2' marathon of my 26.2 marathon challenge. Is anyone coming across the pond to run it?

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  13. Disaster klaxon, this way please!

    I had the worst racing experience of my running life on Friday night. I'd entered a local 5k that was part of a series of races hosted by a small running group. Usually the races have about 200 max and are fun, low-key affairs. This one had 1500 entries, something I found out when I was looking up the address as I was leaving the house.

    And it was raining. Not too cold but very wet. I decided to proceed anyway though this was not at all my cup of tea.

    Number pick-up took over 30 minutes - a long line in the rain - because organization was unusually convoluted. Ok, so no warm up. Run to the start and also wonder about all those people still waiting for numbers.

    I'd run this route before and it's a nice one but when we made the turn onto the main boulevard on the run up to the capitol building, there were police cars lining the road, with blue lights flashing all around in the nighttime darkness. Combined with the wet streets and rain, it was like an involuntary visit to the Bladerunner seizure disco.

    This particular stretch of road was concrete slabs, with cracked seams, which didn't help matters. I couldn't see where my feet were going at all and just tried to find a direction for my eyes to get relief from the flashes. My eyes are very light-sensitive; no way was I going to make it through 5k of this. I wish I'd brought my sunglasses.

    My right foot went completely underwater and dragged through a very deep pothole. I was completely disoriented at this point and had no way to know where my feet were going. When I got past that line of police cars (this would have been around the first mile mark) I pulled over in a dark spot and waited for my eyes to get over the light spots and flashes. I felt like I had motion sickness, totally queasy.

    After some time passed, probably 7 minutes or so, I rejoined the race with the idea of going slowly and stopping whenever I felt worse. The main reason I did this is that I had no idea how to get back to my car and was not doubling back to go through the Bladerunner disco nightmare again.

    The later sections of the race lacked the intense police presence so went much better. But the motion sickness took several hours to go away and I even had to stop the car on the way home so I could get out and walk around to regain my equilibrium.

    The next morning, I awoke to a painful, deep bruise on the sole of my right foot and another one on the side of it. I won't be doing that race again.

    Changing topics, the half-marathon suffers from its name. It sounds half-assed and who cares about a WR for half-assery? It's also a bit of an awkward distance that bumps up against the 20k, which is more easily understandable, although rarely run.

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    1. That sounds like a horrendous experience jer/rt90's and I can see why you won't be repeating it! Hopefully your foot recovers quickly.

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    2. Thank you. It's annoying to be walking around on a ouchy bruise thinking 'why did I do that stupid race?'

      But after seeing what the Venice Marathon looked like, I have no business complaining!

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    3. Yuck! Rather you than me... Sounds horrible!

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    4. What a terrible experience. It's bad enough when the weather is against you at a race, but when the organisation isn't prepared to hand out the numbers quickly...

      Hope your foot makes a speedy recovery.

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  14. I raced this weekend, but failed to finish the 50 miles. I was going great guns, perhaps on track to finish in about 7h 30 mins, when my left knee suddenly gave up the ghost at mile 24. Every time I bent it, I was in agony. I tried walking it out to no avail, so I hobbled to marathon-distance (just to get another notch on the bed post), turned my watch off, and zombie-staggered for two miles to the next checkpoint, where I quit. Everything's pointing to an ITB issue as the pain is on the outside of my knee and is quite localised. I now have OK mobility in it, but I've already decided to not do the 80-miler in a few weeks' time. Irrespective of knee-issues, I've not been putting the miles in to do the distance, or myself, justice.

    But I was chatting to a fellow runner during the race, who was finding the going along the Thames quite tough. He told me that he ordinarily runs in the mountains of the Middle East and wasn't used to running for so long... nor on the flat. That has been my thinking since coming back from Spain. Constant mountain running does you the world of good, but it's quite hard to transition to non-existent gradients.

    I honestly think I've had a hex placed upon me for this particular weekend. Exactly a year ago, I DNF-ed a race in Spain... after falling down a mountain. No more late-October racing for me... ever!

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    1. Sorry to hear about the dnf! Hopefully it's just something in your head for this weekend, (and that you do crazy distances)!
      Look after yourself!

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    2. ITB issues are horrible - sounds like you have managed to diagnose it nice and early and hopefully you can get to work on rest/treatment.

      My brother - an ultra-runner like you - says the same thing about hills vs roads. The monotony of road running with every stride the same (even worse on treadmills) is apparently much worse for injury than trails.

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  15. My weekend running consisted of a whopping 6k! and very pleased and proud I am of that 6k. I tentatively went out for a 2k tester on my healing toe, and apart from it feeling a little delicate I had no pain at all (only stitch from the big Sunday Roast I had eaten a couple of hours before). I was so happy, I kept going on a loop to finish 6k, incident and consequence free. Oh the joys, I’m back in the game after 4 weeks! I’ll need to take it easy to begin with, and I promise I will. Big smile, huge in fact : )

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  16. You're right Kate. It's weird that the WR receives such little attention. I, too, heard via a WhatsApp group but haven't seen anything in the mainstream media. I love the half as a distance and I'd agree that if the event was in the Olympics and/or World championships it would get much more attention. No reason why it shouldn't be, there'd be plenty of takers for places.

    I'm still running easy and was off the road with a cold over the weekend. Having received my annual rejection from the London Marathon organisers (cheers guys) I've entered the Paris version. I'm not bitter (I am actually - 414,000 applicants? What chance has the ordinary punter got nowadays?).

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    1. I'm doing the Paris marathon too spiller! 🙂

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    2. Yeah it's mental. Most applied for marathon in the world?! Paris seems good - I'd also consider Barcelona or Amsterdam. But I'm not doing another marathon for at LEAST two years so kudos to you...

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  17. I did actually hear about the world record but agree it was poorly reported on... i think JuliaM is probably right that the magic 2hr for marathon is much more inviting that 58 mins... i also think the breaking 2 project itself has a lot to thank for raising the general profile of the marathon. I think 21.1km is probably my favourite distance at the moment - enough to be a test and have to work towards but not so far that i can't recover fairly quickly.

    My weekend running was a bit hurried as had my parents visiting us in Paris. The weather has also changed rather drastically over the week, we went from t-shirt weather last weekend to needing full winter coats this weekend so i headed out for the first long sleeve tshirt run this weekend but too early for my liking. One bonus for running in the cold in Paris is that the streets normally have tables and chairs outside cafes and restaurants but these were very quiet which meant i didn't have as many people to dodge round on the way to the Bois de Boulogne (biggest park in Paris). It was freezing wind though which was not so much fun... sign of things to come i guess, hopefully it's just the sudden change in temperature but i really hope my body gets used to the cold quickly. This weekend coming i'm doing the Paris Ekiden relay with JuliaM from these lovely pages :)

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    1. Is the Paris Ekiden anything to do with the Japanese half marathons/Ekidens?

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  18. Is it possible to get broody about racing? I've spent much of the past week crowing for a suitable spring race. I'm in limbo coming off the end of a marathon and needing to exercise caution and also being driven demented by wanting to go for every PB; hell for leather. I can see that there is a Hillingdon Half Marathon with my name on it and I might opt for Manchester or Liverpool full marathons in Spring 2019 but apart from that I'm quite enjoying ticking along but also wondering what to do with this new-found free time.

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    1. It is definitely possible to get broody!

      I don't race as frequently as many on this blog seem to (with club runs/XCs/etc) - I do a couple of half marathons, a couple of marathons, and a couple of other races (usually a 10 miler and a 10k) each year. But in between I get very fidgety. There's the balance between training to run faster and just getting out there and racing!

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    2. I'm glad it's not just me. My goal for 2019 is definitely to have a year more akin to what you mention above.

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    3. Yeah it's definitely possible to get broody - we all do. After London in April I shifted my focus to getting parkrun PB's which I am still really enjoying, you can get quite competitive with it. I grew tired of running long distances but I do get jealous when I see everyone's half marathons or marathon races come up on Strava!

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  19. I love Run Rosie Run's rebranding idea! This is pretty niche, but I believe it's about half-marathon distance from Pennant Hills to North Sydney. We could call it the Pennant. Hmm... might need work.

    I've had a bit of pain in my left hamstring and have been worrying about what I should do about it. My coach's advice is to focus on rolling out my glutes. She also had me skip my Sunday run last weekend. I am also anxiously self-treating with glute and core strengthening exercises from here: https://www.pogophysio.com.au/blog/exercises-for-proximal-hamstring-tendinopathy/

    I hope the two approaches to treatment aren't contradictory. Certainly neither is making it feel worse. Missing that long run was a good move, though I was grumpy about it at the time. I wonder if that extra rest helped the other things I'm doing to be more effective.

    In that spirit, I ran the "Halloween 13km" this Saturday as a training run rather than a race. Glad I did, because there is a nasty hill and winding road at the end. It was a pleasure to be able to take it easy at that point! Everyone else in my age group was either taking it easy too or stayed at home, and I managed to get a prize for third place in age. It's a fun event, with lots of people running in costume, and a good fundraiser for people affected by Prader-Willi Syndrome (see https://www.pwsausa.org/).

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  20. Saturday was Half Marathon* day!

    I ran the Lee Valley VeloPark half marathon on Saturday morning. It was a chilly day in London, but being from the north of Scotland meant that I was in my element! My plan for the race was to run at 8 minute/mile pace, as this is my target pace for the Valencia marathon at the start of December. I was a little nervous that I was going to find out that my target was not going to be achievable in the Spanish sun, but if you don't give it a go you'll never know! So I set off from the start line of the half marathon, with my watch set to half mile laps to keep a close eye on my pace, and found myself running comfortably just under the target pace. The race itself was 13 and a bit laps of the 1 mile velopark outside the velodrome, so I phased out and listened to my audiobook to pass the time. It was during the second lap I became aware of the fact I was running at the same pace as another runner and that gave me a little bit more focus, before being joined by a 3rd 8 min/miler. The three of us, with the beauty of an unspoken nod to the fact we were in it together at this pace, let the laps tick away. My right hamstring felt a smidge tight after 10 laps, but at the start of mile 11 my competitive edge took over and I started to open up for the last two miles. The increase in pace felt great after the steadiness that preceded it, and I completed the last two miles at 7:33 and 7:19 respectively. I finished in 1:43'09 which is my second fastest effort at the distance (1:39’51 PB) and felt great in the knowledge that I had executed a comfortable run at a target pace. My unspoken bond with one of the runners was sealed with a handshake on his completion of the race and I made a move to head inside to the warmth! Now 3 more hard training weeks before tapering for the Valencia marathon, and with this race in the books I am excited to try and execute a similar race over the longer distance, roll on December.

    *Insert new catchy name here.

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    1. Nice work! You're in great shape for the marathon! Well done!

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  21. Kiptum time and wr was reported on letsrun. that really is the only website to get running news from not that a lot of runners care about professionals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed...good read here: http://www.letsrun.com/news/2018/10/new-half-marathon-world-record-holder-abraham-kiptum-run-fast-valencia/

      Delete
  22. I had a very gentle week after Abingdon's excitement the previous weekend - just a couple of 5k runs to shake out the legs. Thinking forward to winter racing season - probably the Fred Hughes 10 miler in January, then the Big Half in March and then Manchester in April. Plenty of time to get the miles in the legs before then, assuming the body is willing. And I'm now in a new age category!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Quite a bit on at work this week but wanted to stop by quickly and say hello. Not so much running this weekend as I was in Prague with friends: did fit in some miles when I got back but not quite what I had planned.

    Wanted to say thanks for everyone's thoughts last week on the subject of feeling slow compared to others. I think I might concentrate on some shorter distances in the early part of next year as I do think I have improved quite a bit but it's not that visible because I keep stepping up in distance. But I do agree with you all, it's all about focusing on doing the best you can with what you have a sod what others can do.

    Speaking of stepping up distance, next on the docket is a 61k this weekend. No big time goals, but will be an interesting way to close out the year. And also most likely a little bittersweet, as it's my last race/event here in Austria before moving on to other shores. Anyway, I'm a bit intimidated but also looking forward to this weekend, and also looking forward to the enforced running break I will take afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nothing to report, hampered as I was by a sore left foot (metatarsalitis, perhaps?) and a blister on the right foot from walking the dog in my riding boots. That'll teach me for not taking the 10 seconds needed to change into more appropriate footwear.

    So no kms, miles or PBs to report, but it was good to read others' much more energetic tales!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very late to the debrief this week. I had a chance to run some old routes and discover some new ones last week while on holiday. A local running club gave me a guided tour of the flat and not-so-flat parts of a nearby town - I now have 1-mile and 2-mile routes available for rep work next time I'm down there. I also did my first solo hill session voluntarily - I must be coming down with something.

    I read about the HM WR on twitter and letsrun - I'm not particularly excited about it tbh - the short running history and the progression leave question marks for me.

    Racing HMs is interesting though - when one of my friends described his HM PB run as feeling like he was sprinting the entire distance it changed my perception of what it might feel like to run on the HM red line - resulting in a 2 minute improvement in my times.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi there all. Could anybody recommend a good spring UK marathon? I have run London twice but would appreciate some great recommendations. I’ve heard positive things about Manchester - thoughts? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Manchester is terrific. Have run it twice. Well organised, not too crowded, fast, well supported.

      Brighton has a great reputation.

      Would avoid Milton Keynes. Not in general. But for the marathon.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much- I’m
      glad to hear you enjoyed Manchester as it has a good rep

      Delete
  27. squirblej - Why avoid MK marathon? (I'm thinking of doing the half) Is the route dull or event badly managed?

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    Replies
    1. Event was managed just fine - I found it quite a boring course, that’s all. Not much support, some slightly strange and narrow paths...

      Delete

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