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2474 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 21, 2011 5:15 AM by LisaFens
LisaFens Rookie 5 posts since
Mar 20, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 20, 2011 12:54 PM

How should I pace for my first half marathon?

I am running my first half marathon in three weeks. I've been running my long training runs at about 8:30/min mile. This is not quite conversational pace for me, I'm breathing a little hard. I would like to run the half at 8:00/min miles but don't know if this is realistic. If I go out at my goal pace and bonk I will be so disappointed. How much faster is race pace than training pace usually?

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  • aj01 Pro 143 posts since
    Jul 8, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 20, 2011 3:21 PM (in response to LisaFens)
    Re: How should I pace for my first half marathon?

    I think it really depends on your priority of finishing vs. 8 min. pace.  If you're training properly, stay healthy, and well rested by race day, I think you can probably do both.  I would recommend starting a little slower than 8 min./mile just to see how it feels.  Chances are, with the excitement of the race, you'll have to hold yourself back.  After a few miles, if you find that you're pretty comfortable and can go faster, then bump it up a little.  If you're struggling, then slow down a little.  You don't have to be perfectly consistent on pace.  Just keep asking yourself, do I feel like I can maintain this for X miles.  Even if you average just a little over 8 min/mile through most of the race, you probably will have some adrenaline kicking in near the end to help you finish strong and make your goal.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Mar 20, 2011 4:38 PM (in response to LisaFens)
    Re: How should I pace for my first half marathon?

    aj01's advice sounds pretty good.  It's hard to say much more because we don't have a good idea of just how fast that 8:30 pace is for you.  Do you do any intervals or tempo runs?  Do you have any recenr race times?  When I ran a couple half-marathons at 1:45:xx (18 years ago), I was doing much of my training at 9:00 to 9:30 pace.




  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Mar 20, 2011 6:43 PM (in response to LisaFens)
    Re: How should I pace for my first half marathon?

    In my opinion it's a lot easier to crank it up a little in the second half if all cylinders are firing well and the weather and the stars are aligning nicley.  If you feel like keeping it conservative, that's fine too.  If you burn yourself out in the first half, it's hard to enjoy anything in the second half.  Hey!  It's your first race.  Set yourself a beatable goal for your next one and enjoy the whole experience.


    On the other side of things, it is way too easy to over think the whole thing,  Relax as best you can and just plan to have a great run and not to kill any dragons.

    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

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