Having signed up again for an end of Feb half marathon, its almost getting towards the right time to start doing some training. So, some thoughts on half training from today.
I’ve done three half marathons previous to this one; two of those somewhat ill-advisedly in the same week in 2007 (both 1:45) and one last year in 2016. My 2016 time was 1:43 -roughly 4:53 per km. Given I can barely run 5 k in 24 mins, or better than 4:45 per km, the question arises why I’m not very good at 5 ks, or equivalently why I’m surprisingly good at halfs.
The main reason for the 5 k problem is that I struggle to breathe enough. Don’t have accurate peak flow measurements, but the once or twice I have tried a flow measurement device I had a pretty low flow. Perhaps 200. I think this is why I find it difficult to run any faster than 4:45 per km, but may be able to maintain something only a little slower than that over a longer distance. I don’t take any medication, since the asthma/wheezing problem is only apparent when running close to 5 min per k.
Anyway, browsing online for Christmas presents I came across this:
The Powerbreathe2+, sold as being potentially helpful in training the lung/breathing muscles.
So, as I write this, I am trying to breathe past my Powerbreath2+. Breathing out is no problem. But getting any air past the P+ on the in-breath requires effort; even on its present easy setting. The idea is that this provides inhalation muscle training: it would be good to get past the throat constriction issue. Half conditioning might also require further direct action though – perhaps from other directions..
Last year, as well as one or two 5-8 km runs per week, I also did a 12-16 km run once a week over the last 5 or 6 weeks. Thus far in 2017, I haven’t run any longer runs. And my 5 k time today was a rather slow 25:30: I was likely moderately fitter this time last year, compared to this year. Though my weight always seems to be constantly within a kilo of 57.5. The current plan is to aim to run around four longer runs of say 16 k – once a week or so. But given the short training window, I’d be surprised if I don’t get badly beaten by my time of last year. Unless the P+ manages to somehow provide a rather magical training boost.
[Written Saturday 21st – but forgot to press publish.. one of these days..]