21,1 km is a popular distance, but it is not easy to run it perfectly. This works well if you follow the race plan and keep your start line emotions under control.
Half-marathon can be divided into 4 phases 5 km (pace), 8–14 km (position), 15–20 km (drive), and 1.1 km (kick). We recommend that you build a plan based on your HR (effort) rather than on absolute pace in min/km. This will ensure your performance.
The first 5 km are very important. Settle yourself into a planned pace. It’s really easy to get swept up in the excitement and start too fast. Keep in mind the total distance, stay calm and run your own race.
6–14 km is about running economy. Stay relaxed and focused. Look around you. If there are people running at your pace, join the group to reduce mental burden and share pacemaking. This will save you a lot of energy for the next phase. Runners with good speed may choose the “sit-and-kick” strategy by staying behind the leader and speeding past them at the end. If you prefer to stay on the safe side just sit and enjoy. Watch your HR, try to keep it around the lactate threshold level.
15–20 km is where you feel fatigued after ~1 hour of speedy run. Try to focus on the positive by practicing self-talk. But get ready to dig deep into your energy reserves. Push yourself for your personal best. This part of the distance is a test of your mental strength. That’s where you should sustain and endure.
Adrenalin and motivation will help you in final 1,1 km. Run as fast as you can when you reach the last 500 m.
The patterns described above are general and should be individually adapted for you. Based on your HR, pace, endurance capabilities and eating habits etc.
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