Why I Missed Out On My Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Race Target Again
I’ve had time to think about my performance at the Edinburgh Rock N Roll half marathon and have come up with the following conclusions as to why I fell short of the sub 2 hour mark again.
- I haven’t trained at the 9:09 average minute mile pace enough (or at all) in training – In order to complete a half marathon in sub two hours I need to be running consistently at that pace. The closest I’ve got to that pace in the last 6 weeks was at the start of March (9.01 miles at a 9:12 min/mile average). I’m not that far away from reaching my goal!
- I expect too much of myself at the end of the race – I’m convinced that if I get to 10 miles at a slower pace than I set out to run then I’ll have huge amounts of energy in the last 5k and finish it in sub 25-minutes. By 10 miles I’m always exhausted and I’m focused on finishing rather than pulling anything spectacular off. It’s better to run at a more consistent pace throughout the race than to leave yourself with too much to do.
- Too much too soon after the 26.2 – The Sunday before Edinburgh I was lining up for the Paris Marathon. It was ridiculous to expect an exceptional performance from myself. It was a miracle to have even finished in 2:03:16 (which is over 7 minutes faster than last year’s run at Edinburgh and only 40 seconds off my personal best in Liverpool).
- I was not dressed for success at Edinburgh –I was planning to replace my kit to stop the chaffing from my trousers. Unfortunately I did not have enough money to run Edinburgh and buy new clothes so I just opted for the former. Throughout the race the fabric was digging into my legs and it was difficult to maintain concentration. After 3,000 mile of usage this is how my trousers are looking now. They need to go into the bin as soon as fucking possible.
- I hadn’t planned the race day out enough – I was late for my bus to the start line meaning I had to run 2 miles before the race began. Those 2 miles led to fatigue and stopped me from getting close to the pace necessary for a 2 hour sub half marathon.
- I want to break the 2 hour sub half marathon time a too much – This means that I overthink the race and end up bottling it. I feel like I’m not the sort of runner who can break that target. I feel like I’ll always be slow and that I won’t have the resolve to break it. This is nonsense. I remember thinking back in 2010 that I’d never be able to run 10k on the treadmill. I’d stop at 9.9k exhausted and think “I’ve come as far as I possible can, the 10k is just not for me”. I’d already travelled most of the way but over thought the effort required to get to 10k. A 9:09 min/mile average over 13.1 miles is all that is required. If I can run a 9:19 min/mile average like in Liverpool, then there’s nothing stopping me hitting 9:09 min/mile but the mental limitations I impose upon myself.