Just over 5 weeks to go until the Cambridge Half Marathon, now seems a good time to write down where I have got to in my preparations.

Before Christmas I was up to 8 miles and increasing a mile a week, which would have meant I would have been up to about 12-13 miles by now. This unfortunately did not happen and I spent a large chunk of the festive period feeling very unfestive. However since the New Year things have (touch wood) gone pretty well, 3 long runs of 8, 9, and 10 miles in addition to six 5k+ runs. This has put me behind my original plan by 2 weeks , but still within the right ball park. The downside is my pace is some 30 seconds a mile slower than this time last year. I have also had a couple of small niggles with my knee and left shin, which I am hoping by not doing too much speedwork will ease off.

My (revised) plan has been to do the following:

Part 1 – Push – Initial push to increase distance:

05/01 6.2 Miles
09/01 8 Miles
16/01 9 Miles
23/01 10 Miles

Part 2 – Easy week scaling back milage

30/01 8 Miles (also first run in new shoes, short runs have been in new shoes for 2 weeks)

Part 3 – Push to race distance

06/02 12 Miles
13/02 13.1 Miles

Part 4 – Taper

20/02 and 27/02 – Taper weeks, 10k max.
I have been trying to keep my speed and heart rate lower than than I would normally, around 162 bpm is a good figure for me, I can sustain that for a long time and recover well. Anything higher then recovery is slower. When running to Heart Rate your pace can go down as you tire, and I am averaging around 11:30 minute miles. Which would mean my final long run will be approximately 2:30 for the Half Marathon.

I have found that during a race, I go quicker and therefore 13 Training Miles = 11 Race Miles. I will still struggle slightly towards the end. I see Cambridge more as fun than a competitive event, I love the city. My result last year was 2:26, and I think that’s achievable this year too.

Fingers crossed.