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Apr 29, 2013

Half marathon analysis

Well I've now done 13 half marathons since I started running in 2010 and I thought it would be interesting to see how I've performed in these.

I really feel it's difficult to compare the races for several reasons.  First, a lot of factors go into having a great race besides just being fit and these are some of the things I feel effect my results:
  1. My current fitness level - frankly, I've run most of the half marathons while training for a full marathon so I think that gives me an advantage.  Sometimes the half just feels easier because of all the other mileage I'm doing already for the marathon.
  2. Weather - this really is a big factor.  I've run in almost 70 degrees to start and I've run in 30 degrees.  That should make for a huge difference in the results although I'm not sure it really does given the times below.
  3. Elevation - of course, the hillier courses are tougher courses, yet, surprisingly I've run some hilly courses better than the lesser elevations.
  4. Distance - while I've used 13.1 in all the distances, these have been slightly more or slightly less in actuality based on my Garmin.
With these assumptions, here my chart of my half marathons:

Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of it.  First, I'll explain some things.  The first thing you will notice is that I have one race, North County, that is over the two hour mark.  It's hard to include these in my results of half marathons because this is a trail half marathon which is always much harder to run so I kind of separate this result.  Second is the Rock CF race on March 2013 that I helped pace a buddy to a PR.  I'm sure I would have run faster but I really enjoyed the race and helping him.  From what's left, I've got half marathons from 1:39:18(my PR) to 1:53:27 (Back to the beach which is part trails)

What' interesting is that Brooksie Way is probably my hardest half marathon in this entire bunch yet, I almost PR'd at this race in 2012.  On top of that, I ran 10 miles the day before it.  It seems I was really in my peak of marathon training for marathon #4.  Same holds true of the Capital City half where I have a PR.  I was also near the end of marathon training.  My conclusion is that in order to improve my times on the half, I need to be in marathon training.  Haha, yeah right!  Of course, I could probably just train harder for the half marathons and NOT be in marathon training but the extra distance had apparently helped improve my race times.

It also seems that regardless of what I'm doing, the temperatures or whatnot, the mid 1:40's appears to be my comfort level for the half distance.  I've always had a goal to get to 1:35 and that goal remains today.  At this point, I've got seven more chances this year to meet that goal.  Can I do it?  I'm not sure. I guess we'll see what the future holds.  Regardless, my goal always remains to stay sub 2 for every half I do which I'm confident looking at this chart will not be an issue(except for trail halfs)


5 miles on the schedule today.  Ran the neighborhood this morning.  Nice a warm in the mid 50's - finally I think spring is here.  It's supposed to be in the 70's today and the 80's tomorrow!


Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. More Miles is good, More Speed work is good... The top Boys are running 100+miles in training for a 10km!!! so were should a guy like you be?

    Now you don't run twice a day so don't even think as a joke I'm going to run a 100 mile week, but think like this:
    3 x 5miles
    2 x 6-7 miles with a bit of work (hills/session)
    weekend long up 13-15 mile every week (will get longer in marathon training.)
    1 day rest.

    So that would give us 40+ miles without trying.

    I always say: if you are not running 90-120min on the weekend that half is going to feel like a long way and how can you hope to run fast if you are scared of the distance...

    Good Luck

    PS I've done 192 halfs

  2. Thanks coach. I like the plan. I'm not scared of the distance, I'm scared of that much training. Lol. Perhaps I will try to build up to that for later in the year. I'm running 10 regular on weekends which is about 1 1/2 hours right now but agree I should be at the higher miles especially on long runs. 192 halfs? You're crazy!