Will Austin finish his half marathon in under 1:44:00?
resolved Mar 17

Austin has signed up to run a half marathon on March 17th. His training has been lacking so far: the farthest he’s run recently is about 4 miles. But he’s been more consistent about training for the last week, so perhaps things are looking up.

He said his goal would be an 8 minute mile pace, which comes out to about 1:44 total.

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Final time 1:48:02 - close but no cigar. My splits were pretty good til the last 2 miles (where I started walking); I didn't quite realize how ahead I'd been for most of the run and could have paced myself better.

Great experience, anyways - thanks everyone who bet for or against me!

@Austin well done! 👏

@Austin Wow, so close! Good job

@Austin Do you know why you tracked 13.8 miles rather than 13.1? Seems like you should have hit sub1:44 for 13.1

@Austin I'm really impressed and surprised by your time given you had never run mpre than 6 miles a month ago! Very well done!

@WilliamKielythanks everyone for the support!

@EliLifland I think my GPS is a bit bugged, the race chip thing is probably a better measure.

Also - I failed at math (or specifically, failed to account for the fact that an 8 min mile comes out to 1:44:53-ish, since it's 13.1 not 13 miles). Goals for a hypothetical next time!

@EliLifland Watches, in addition to not being perfectly precise, almost always record more distance than the official course. Courses are measured on the tangents and assuming perfect efficiency. Runners zig zag, take big swerves, stop at aid stations, etc.

That’s why, if you’re aiming for a certain time, you should aim for a faster pace on your watch than your actual target pace for the race, or aim for certain splits at the intermediate checkpoints. If you have a target pace and only go by what your watch is telling you, chances are you’re running more slowly according to the official race metrics.

1:48 according to website. Good effort @Austin !

bought Ṁ50 YES

He’s 8 miles in at 7:45 pace!

bought Ṁ30 YES from 49% to 54%

@rachel woosh that's nice pace

Last two training runs

bought Ṁ40 YES from 36% to 43%

@Austin your splits are fairly consistent for 5k, goodluck!

Good luck this weekend!

I think this is on the my pareto frontier of distance/speed! Also not included, another 3min/0.4mi in the beginning due to another Google Fit glitch

@Austin can you keep that up for 13 miles?

@kenmichaels Unclear! I was quite tired by the end of this ~quarter marathon, but it was also a bit uphill at the end.

Short run today

Longest run yet! About 9.8 miles in 87 minutes.

Unfortunately Google fit conked out on me and only started after about 4 mi/30 min

@Austin That’s a nice long run. You don’t need to run further before the race and while you should keep running during the tapering phase don’t overdo it. Good luck!

@NicoDelon haha I'm pretty unfamiliar with the theory of race running and kinda feel like "more running = better" - is it already time to start tapering?

I guess things like https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/half-marathon-training/intermediate-1-half-marathon/ seem to indicate so, but I've only started training in the last few weeks and feel like I have many more noob gains to go through

@Austin You’re less than two weeks away from race day? You can’t gain much fitness by now but you can maintain it, which requires a delicate balance. I just wouldn’t try to cram too much. You’d risk accumulating fatigue for not much marginal improvement. But tapering doesn’t mean full rest. Typically the rule of thumb is maintain frequency but reduce volume. So, cut down roughly 20-30% from your peak volume this week, then 50% next week (frankly, just doing one or two easy runs next week is fine).

Hit race pace (8min mile) over 6 miles!

bought Ṁ50 YES from 51% to 62%

@Austin plausibly, the light breakfast helped, so thanks everyone for suggestions

Shorter run today (I'd intended to go for 4mi but ran out of juice; maybe try eating something first next time)

@Austin Certainly don’t start the race without a good breakfast (2 hours beforehand).

@NicoDelon I think I only had an apple or banana morning of my marathon, if I ate too much before races I would always get cramps

I did have Gu during the race though

@EliLifland Right, but Austin just told us he bonked. Making inferences based on anecdotes and outliers is a terrible idea and I’m surprised that’s how people—on here of all places—are approaching the predictions for this market. Most people need to fuel up several hours before a marathon and a little bit during the race. Some people don’t need to, but most do! Likewise, some people do well on race day having never done a single targeted workout but only easy runs. Good for them! But maximizing your chances of doing well on race day requires some workouts for most people. Not knowing more about Austin, the prediction has to be based on a model of the average inexperienced runner and the general rules of distance running. None of that entails that one cannot run a half marathon under 8:00 while fasting. But it’s a little silly to try based merely on anecdotes.

@NicoDelon Sorry if wasn’t clear, I was just contributing a personal anecdote and not trying to make a general claim about what most people should do :)