How To Run A Fast Half Marathon With GCN’s Dan Lloyd

– Okay, so you’re done a 5k,
a 10k, maybe you’ve already done a half marathon. Well now, it’s time to
do a fast half marathon. – Well that’s what GCN’s
Dan Lloyd is after. Isn’t that right, Dan? – Yup. (upbeat music) Right, well Mark and Heather have roped me into doing my first half marathon, at quite short notice, I have to say. It is my first one, but at the same time, I want to do it as fast as I possibly can. – Whoa, is your plan to
go as fast as possible straight from the start? – Yeah, that’s how you do it. You start off fast,
then you go a bit faster in the middle, and then
you sprint at the end. That’s my plan for the day. – Ooh, I think we need to give you a little bit of a hand, here. So here’s some tips on how
to run a fast half marathon. (rock music) Before we even tackle race
day, there’s actually a lot of prep and training that
goes on in the months prior. And one of those is setting a
realistic target time or goal. Have you got one in mind? – Yeah, yeah, I’ve got
on in the back of my head that I want to achieve. What’s your target time, Heather? – I’m hoping for around 1:30. – Yeah, so the one I’ve
got in my head is 1:29.48. – (laughing) Oh. – About 12 seconds quicker than Heather. No, I’m joking of course, but 90 minutes is what I’ve got in mind
because that feels like you know, a nice round number
and a good goal to have. – Yeah, so now that you’ve
got that time in mind, you can work out the pacing
needed to make that time and obviously tailor your
training around that. So you’d be looking at 4:16 per kilometre or a 6:52 per mile. – Right, that’s a bit
faster than I thought it was, actually. – Well there’s no backing out now. But now, let’s look at
how you implement that into your training. (upbeat music) – [Heather] The type of training
we do is really important and so many runners fall into that trap of running everything kind of hard with no focus on a specific session. For half marathon
training, you really need to focus on doing long runs and threshold. Threshold runs will help your body be able to adapt to the lactic acid and long runs will help you
improve your aerobic capacity. – [Dan] So what about speed work? Because Mark had me doing some speed work for my fast 5k. – [Heather] Well, don’t worry
Dan, it’s not entirely wasted, but if you’ve only got
time for a few runs a week, then you’re better off focusing
on tempo and longer runs. But if you do have time
to fit in a few extra then it’ll just help you
improve that top end speed and also make your running more economic. – [Dan] So where then
does my pacing, so that 4 minute 16 per kilometre
fit into all this? – [Heather] Well that’s the
threshold run and conveniently, it’s roughly at around
your half marathon pace. So a good starting,
well you basically want to be running continuously
at threshold for around 10 to 20 minutes and
you can obviously build it up. But a good starting point
to be doing a session is two lots of 15 minutes with a few minutes of recovery in between. And that leads us nicely
onto you pacing for the race. (thumping music) – [Mike] So, running at this pace during your threshold runs, will really help you dial in for race day. But if you’re like me, it’s quite easy to get carried away on the day, especially on the start. – [Dan] Yeah, I’m not too
worried about that because I am a bit of a slave
to numbers riding a bike or when I’m running, and also, I know that it should feel easy at the start. I also know that I could really pay for it if I do go to fast at the start. – [Mike] Okay, well personally
what I like to do is know my pace per kilometre. Then also know what time
I need to go through 5k, 10k and so on. I’ll just double check that. Also, for a lot of races,
they do have pacers. These are people that run a set time, and you can just look out for them. They normally have a flag. – [Dan] Alright – [Mike] Just make sure you’re on track. But, I have heard a lot of
stories that they don’t quite run at the right pace. – [Dan] Oh okay. – [MikE] So do also check your own pace. – [Dan] Yeah, well what I
am slightly worried about is the last 5ks, because that,
for me, will be going into unknown territory. So, an easy 4:16 average,
do I start dead on that, and hope I can hold it or even raise it? Or, do I start like 4:10
for 5k and give ourselves a 30 second buffer. – [Mike] Well, it’s actually
a really good point. So, you know, you have
adrenaline on race day, and I usually say to utilise that. So, like say run a 4:10 per
kilometre to start off with, but cap it and make sure you don’t run it for any longer than a k or two. And then, after that,
just make sure you settle into your race pace. If you have anything in the last few k, you can up it and hopefully
get that time you’re after. (music) – Okay, let’s start talking a little bit about fueling strategy
for a half marathon. Let’s begin with breakfast. I presume that’s not
dissimilar to when I was racing a bike and that you’d
have it two to three hours before you start competing. – Yeah, I mean you’re
pretty spot on with that, and obviously it just need to be something that your stomach can handle,
so practise that before hand. But the fueling comes a
few days earlier really when you start to up the
carbs, but nothing too crazy. You’re not going to start
eating bowls and bowls of pasta, and just be bloated. It’s making sure you have a
decent meal the night before, and you’re well hydrated before the race. – Yeah. And then in terms of
during the half marathon, I mean all my runs so far have
been about an hour or less. So, I’ve never even
taken water out let alone anything to eat or a gel or anything. Since it’s going to be
longer, 90 minutes, is that something I should consider on the day? – Definitely, I mean your
energy will get depleted over that length of time. So, again, you need to
practise this in training, but take with you a gel
or some other carb source, and have your own with you
so that you’re used to that. Then, take it at around halfway. I personally take it at about 10 miles, because I like that incentive. You got at 10 miles, and I have my gel, and then it’s only three
miles to the finish. So, it’s just whatever works for you. – Yeah, and then the fluids,
so I’m not really carrying a bottle with me the whole way around. There are fueling stations around. How much do you– – Yeah, there will be
energy drinks and water, so normally like the
Lucozade or something, or water. If you’ve got gel, you
probably only need the water. But don’t take the bottle and think like, oh I’ve got this bottle
and I’ve got to finish it. Take a few sips and run with it for a bit, if you feel comfortable,
and then throw it away. Make sure it’s in the bin
area or just take a sip and wait until the next station. – I think it’s definitely
something I’m going to practise, because eat on the bike, when
it’s a bit easier in a race, is quite easy, but I’m
starting to think how I’m going to do drinking and eating. – The drinking can get a
bit messy, and your trying– – Yeah, because you’re going
hard and you’re kind of jogging up and down, but yeah, I’m going to practise that before the day. – Good idea. – Before we finish this
video about half marathons, I’ve got one last question
that’s on my mind. That is about warmups, which
I know are really important from my days time trialling, etc. My worry is, I’ve only got
a certain amount of energy and I don’t want to use too
much of that in the warmup. – Well, yeah, it’s actually
really commonly neglected, which is crazy really
because considering how much hard work and training you’ve
put into the half marathon. Then just to kind of ruin it
or potentially ruin it all at the final hurdle. Actually, a lot of racers kind of make it quite hard for you, because
it’s not like you can just run anywhere. You actually get penned in
quite often from a certain time before the race. – Like my early days as a mountain biker, so you’d warm up, and then you’d freeze in the last 15 minutes before the start. – Exactly, so I normally
suggest trying to go for a 10 to 20 minute jog just
before you do get penned in. It doesn’t have to be
hard, just nice and easy, and then just finish with a few strides. So, just accelerations
where you’re kind of opening up the legs and
getting ready for the race. Then, when you do get
penned in, it does depend on the conditions you’re
gonna be racing in, or the start line, the
temperatures and everything. You can wear an extra bit of clothing, and perhaps, give that to
a spectator or a friend. Or maybe even just wear like a bin bag with some armholes cut in. Then just chuck that in a bin. – I’m not giving my (mumbles)
to spectators (mumbles). (music) – Thank you to both
Mark, and to you Heather, for those tips. I kind of feel ready for
it now, and actually, I was just thinking,
this is the first time, since I retired from cycling
that I’ve given myself a sporting target, and I
already feel motivated for it. – Well, that’s great,
it’s great you feel ready, because it’s just over a week away for us. – Yeah, so it’s all about
the taper now isn’t it? – It is, well we look forward
to bringing you the results from the half marathon. – I don’t think that they’re
going to be that bold about where we place. I think they’re gonna be
bold about who beats who. I mean, Mark is gonna be
about one minute per kilometre quicker than us. – We’ll forget about him. – But we could be, I think
it could be neck and neck, couldn’t it? Sprinting for the line. – Could get competitive here. – Yeah. – Well, it’s getting to
that time of year where there quite a lot of half marathons. So, if you’re entering any, do let us know how you get on, and any other
tips that you might have, that you’ve learned along the way. And if you haven’t done this already, subscribe to GTN by clicking on the globe. If you want to watch a
video with Dan and Mark running a fast 5k, click over here.

100 thoughts on “How To Run A Fast Half Marathon With GCN’s Dan Lloyd

  1. For the first time in several years I won't be running a spring half marathon, postponing it in May. I like to kickstart my season with these though. In terms of clothing it's often quite cold at this time of year, you might want to wear thin gloves especially if it gets humid. Never run a race with brand new shoes either, break them in. Since your running nutrition isn't dialed in here are a couple of things to do/avoid: make sure you never eat chocolate because these will make you super thirsty. Why they distribute this at half marathons around here is something I don't understand. Slices of apple is good. Gels aren't always provided so you might want to bring your own if you can. Also drink while taking little sips at a time rather than drinking a lot at aid stations. What I like to do is having a little bottle and fuel it with whatever liquid they provide at aid-stations, or if they give little bottles I drink from it every now and then and give it back at the next aid station (or whenever there's a dedicated area for waste). If your watch beeps every kilometer it could be a good time to remind you of this.

  2. Did my first half marathon last year as a 17year old in 1:56 (target of 2hours) raising £500 for Cancer Research…. didn’t think that was too bad considering I hated running back then!!

  3. dan could wear his old cervelo team kit to run in. 3 sizes too small would make him a lot more aero. tbh though, i think heather will be faster. she has been running for longer and was an ex olympian. good luck though dan. you are faster than me. i tend to focus more on distance than speed

  4. Actually, Dan brings up an idea for two GTN videos: "What to do before, at, and after a Bike Aid Station" and the same at a Run Aid station. Focusing on how to get ready, take the hand up, and how to drop the stuff. You can do a video for the athletes and another for the volunteers.

    The big thing at the run is to pinch the cup to reduce its width so more water ends up in your mouth and not on your shirt. I found this works well for paper cups. I did one race that had plastic cups and thy exploded when I tried it.

  5. Oh my gosh! So excited for half marathon coverage with gtn and gcn! Love this. Definitely getting me amped for my marathon and Ironman 70.3!!!

  6. Did a 1:46:49 on short notice this morning (too late for the 10k check-in). Hope to get below 1:40 in two weeks (and set a PB). Aimed for 1:30 initially, but I had to realize that it is not the best time of the year to focus on speed (outdoors). If Dan does it, I'll try again later this year.

  7. Why are you calling 21k a "half marathon". Completing marathon is more than two times harder than its "half", which is basically a normal distance for under two hours steady training.

  8. So, is Dan Lloyd a surprise registration for a next weekend HM and he didn't run more than 1 hour until now? In any case, rooting for you, Dan. Have a fun time and a good finish time. 90 minutes is a good target.

  9. I'm planning on doing a 10 miles in September, first one in a couple of years. The one I did was very hilly and I finished just over 1:30. This one's gonna be fast and flat, so definitely looking to improve on that. It's 2 weeks after my main triathlon this year (Embrunman OD), so the shape should be good.

  10. Dan is the man ! Never ran more than 15km, wants to outrace Heather on half. No ordinary man could dream of this. Fortunately or unfortunately, Dan is no ordinary man.

  11. After a quite a few halfs, my suggestion for drinking water is to just slow down. It's much more important to get that water in quick and get your breathing back in check, if you get small cups of water, not bottles. You can easily make up the time you lost, as it's gonna be just a few seconds.

    This is what I do and tbh I've never lost a place I couldn't get back because of drinking water and felt better afterwards. Good luck! 😀

  12. Definitely a GCN _ GTN challenge I think a Duathlon now Emma is here. Certainly be a good one to watch. What about it guys?

  13. Best decisions I ever made for 1/2 marathon prep was buying a treadmill and getting on Zwift. Without the consistency, I've been mostly training to finish. Now I am training to win.

  14. Heather looks so natural that she makes Dan's form look a bit awkward. Maybe I need to video myself to see how weird I look!
    Edit: Just to be clear, I meant no disrespect to Dan. I was just pointing out how it's more visible when they're side-by-side.

  15. Warming up? When the sun rises, I let the sun shine in my face. This is my regular warming up before a marathon.

    Would warming up be an issue for a video? 🙂

  16. Did my first Half Marathon on the same day this video was posted. I missed going under 2 hrs by just a minute. I should have given myself more buffer in the first half but I was more concerned with just finishing.

  17. Lot's of VERY sloppy form in this video. Before trying to run 13 miles fast you should clean up your form before you develop injuries.

  18. I’m going to be running the Sheffield Half Marathon which basically has a big hill for the first 9km, so trying to pace km splits is basically out of the window.

    My plan is to rely on RPE / HR to help me pace to the top, and then push on when I hit the downhill

  19. I know what he really wants. Go to the Tour, force a mechanical on froome's bike and the run in front of him to say he has dropped him twice

  20. Please consider training all the GCN presenters up for a Triathlon (starting from Sprints and probably progress to ironman distance. It would be a great lessons where we all (as trainers and trainees) could learn along the way!

  21. 6 weeks to my first half marathon as preparation for IM 70.3 Zell am See this summer. Thank you GTN for all the interesting 'How to's' and other videos.

  22. You guys hilarious, love that. I'm going to train for a fast half-marathon for two months from now and I'll take your advises, thank you.

  23. 10-15 minute jog before running a half? That's 2 miles that's going to derail a number of amateurs for the last mile.

  24. Your guys need to work on your audio mastering. Volume in the voice sections of the video is way too low compared to the loud music.
    Great Video though! Keep up the good work!

  25. So important to set a realistic goal time
    Nothing wrong with setting a good challenge as long as you do the training to back it up
    A lesson ive learned over the years
    Ive run hundreds of training runs over 21k over the years and run quite a few organised 1/2 marathons and full marathons
    Ill never be in their league
    Im a 1:50 1/2 runner and 4:00 marathon runner with a
    My realistic goals are 1:45 and 3:45
    Ill get there one day

  26. I never ran long distance in my life and I wanna do a half marathon in October with training starting 1. of August. If you are experienced can you pls tell me if its possible to prepare by then and give me some tips pls. (Im 17 years old, 5 foot 8 inches, 158 lbs and I did powerlifting a lil bit but never ran long distance before )

  27. Thanks for the tips guys. I am too aiming for a 1:30 time and kind of had a half cocked approach to it. Going to take on your advice and go for it

  28. I love if you pace yourself in the beginning; how (at least I am) your able to go faster at the end, with the cheering of the crowd and racing who ever is able to keep your pace to win 😏

  29. I like these kinda video. But can we have a normal goal like under 2 hours or 2 hours 30 (for one of them?) I did 15km in 1hr25m and you guys make me feel slow. Haha

  30. First remarks on the running footage:- Dan's running looks very well. He just could use a slightly higher cadence to be more efficient (I know what I'm talking of – I'm 6 feet 2 inches (1.9 m) myself and took me years to accept a higher cadence beats a wide stride. I have done my PB 1:26:11 for HMT with a cadence of 182 but 190 would have been better though).- Heather shows a lot of bouncing compared to Dan especially in the slo-mo. Check with a smart sports watch or video footage.- Mark' running style reminds me of Lionel Sanders in Kona 2017 (I hope Mark was not injured when this video was recorded)My remarks are not intended to be offensive – I'm just occupied a lot with running style and efficiency these days.My comments on training:- 3 x 3 k intervals slightly below race pace will increase confidence to tolerate race pace. Shorter and faster intervals will help with lactacte processing.My comments on nutrition:- eat few/some carbonhydrates (porridge, bread with honey/ jam) for breakfast; eat a gel with some water to compensate any warm-up / physical exercise before going to the start block. Also drink exhaustively for breakfast and at the event's venue (and get rid of excess water before warming up)- don't eat during the HMT – under 90 minutes, the muscular glycogen should be fine. What you eat during the race might not get in the muscles where it is needed during but might get you some trouble in the race- don't dring during the race. If it is very hot – pour water above your head and Body for cooling. Water that you drink during the race will not arrive in these body parts where it is needed during the race. For runners slower than 90 min, disregard these comments. For half distance triathletes – do the nutrition work on the bike. It is just easier.

  31. Really cool video I've done my first half maraton at 15 with small time put into training so i ended up with time 1:49 And now at 16 on asphalt course finished with time 1:37
    Between this races/runs i strarted doing MTB and after that road cycling which i starting to like more and more
    So for the next season I am planning to start triathlon need just to swim often
    ❤️ GTN lots of helpful video and how to's

  32. I offered this marathon training “Zοrοtοn Axy” (Google it) to my running-addicted brother a couple of years ago, and he`s been using the training guide ever since. He was the 4th placer in a Nationals-level 12k race in this age group last week. You need to opt for this training program when you`re preparing for marathons and other distance training courses. .

  33. I had been training for my first marathon using this marathon training program “Zοrοtοn Axy” (Google it). This book has a fantastic training schedule and idea. I absolutely suggest this for any person wanting to run their first marathon. I have been running 5ks, 10k and half marathons and decided to make the next huge step to the marathon. .

  34. My brother was a running enthusiast and I introduced him this marathon training courses “Zοrοtοn Axy” (Google it) a couple years ago, and since that time, he`s been following the guide. Last week, he took Fourth place in his age group in a Nationals-level 12k race. You should opt for this training when you`re get yourself ready for marathons and other distance training courses. .

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