The last few weeks have been a bit odd really. I haven't adapted to not having something concrete to train for very well and consequently have faffed about a bit, doing the odd run, the odd bit of climbing and a thrown a kettlebell about a bit.
I'm intending to run Truro and Bournemouth half marathons though and wanted to get a good idea how fast I could expect to go. I've only run one official half marathon road race and since then everything has been about going further not faster.
Lots of resources seem to show me how fast I can go at one distance based on my performance on another but I'm really interested on what is a realistic goal pace, i.e. how much can I knock off my current (and only) 1:57:20 half marathon time?
I think I can knock about 10 minutes off, would like to get under 1:45 and maybe even go a bit quicker again. As with everything it depends on how much I'm prepared to put in.
That said, if I can't hit the right pace for the fast portions of my training runs then I don't stand a chance of achieving my goal.
So, in and unscientific test, I decided to run a mile as fast as I could and use this to extrapolate my current likely best achievement given 10 weeks or so of quality training.
Yesterday therefore I ran a mile along the industrial estate in 6 minutes and 49 seconds. Not very quick really. I started out faster than that, a little above 6 minute pace, but could no way keep it up. At the end of the mile I was floored. A sobering experience. Put simply I'm a bit crap. But then I've never tried to run this distance at any pace so what was I to expect?
Anyway, using McMillan running I found out that, with adequate training, a 6:49 mile equates to a 1:49 half. Good enough for starters. There are some caveats though, the bigger the gap between tested and goal distance, the less accurate the estimate, so I'd be better off timing a 10k. As I've never run a timed mile before I can almost certainly improve this time fairly quickly, especially since the ultra training meant so much long, slow distance. And, looking at the kind of training paces suggested I reckon I could perhaps aim a little higher for the half.
1:45 equates to 13 8 minute miles. This then will be my goal as its better to aim high and miss than aim low and be left wondering "what if?".
Now I just need to get a plan sorted out and get training.