First HM pace when I’ve not run a race before?

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    I am on the HM plan level 0 and 3 weeks away from my HM.

    Yesterday my foundation run was average 6:18 per km pace but I feel like I am slowing myself down for these. My average HR was 129 for this, 83% zone 1. My Monday fartlek had an average paces of 5:54 per km with a fastest speed of 3:46 per km. I didn’t get into zone 5 but that was a short distance of faster running.

    As I have never done a flat out 5k or 10k. I still don’t really have an idea of what pace to run my HM at. I was thinking 5:30 per km but that’s a total guess. Because it’s my first HM or race I don’t have any real data to go by.

    I would like to get a sub 2 but without really knowing what I could run at, I feel a bit stressed and maybe putting too much pressure on myself.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation and if so, what did you do?


    Yes, been in the same boat. If you have a Stryd that gives race predictions that I was told here were accurate. That is what I used. My Garmin watch also has a race prediction.

    Also think about your race strategy, you will likley want to be a bit slower at the start to keep something in the tank for the end.

    Personally my main goals on my first race were to finish and not injure myself. I then used it as a benchmark.

    Leyla Porteous

    Hi TKZERO,

    That’s a good sign if you are feeling like you are slowing yourself down to an easier pace when indicated. That is the point of the foundation runs, that they are easy feeling. Have you done a recent 20min rest or talk test to confirm your zones and set them up in TrainingPeaks?

    Here is a resource that will walk you through that if not:

    Intensity Guidelines for 80/20 Running

    We also have our race pacing guide that will give you some considerations for pacing in your half marathon:

    Race Pacing

    I would suggest you create a process approach to your race, whereby you determine how you should be feeling throughout the race, dividing into 4 5kms can be a good strategy, working in starting feeling very good and steady, second 5km will start to be the tell, so you have to be patient here, 3rd 5km you will start to see your endurance, you will need to concentrate here to hold your form and stay relaxed, without slowing down, last 5km you now are in the race and if you have done the first 3 5kms at an effort that was appropriate you may be able to start to push yourself, you may also just be holding on to the effort. Last 1km drain the tank to the finish line!

    Hope thats helpful


    Apologies for the delay!

    I haven’t run a test recently but I have always kept my zones on Training Peaks updated using my lactate threshold and making changes if this drops down. The zones seem accurate.

    Last week I ran a 3×3 km at HM pace with a 2k warm up and 2 k cool down. The 3×3 K I ran at 5.20 per km and although it felt tough at first, I locked into it and could hold it for 9K. I had a lot of energy afterwards, so do you think I should aim for this pace for the half? I know 9k is a lot different from 21K but it seemed like a manageable pace then.

    My Garmin 945 watch gives me a predicted time of 1:45 with a speed of 5.01 per km but this seems too fast for me. My Lactate threshold is 5.03/ km at 171 bpm


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