Monday, 7 March 2011

adidas Silverstone Half Marathon

I knew I wanted to do a half marathon as part of my training plan, and the adidas Silverstone Half Marathon is run by the same people as the London Marathon, so I thought it would be a pretty safe bet that it would be well run. The course is also fairly flat, so that also worked out well. I had a couple of different goals. The first was to finish without getting injured. Then I wanted to make sure I ran it at a fairly consistent pace, not starting out too fast, as I have been inclined to do in the past. I also wanted to get a negative split if possible (the second half quicker than the first). I aimed at 1 hour 50 mins, thinking I might go quicker if I felt good.

It was quite chilly in the wind at Silverstone, but luckily the sun came out which warmed it up a bit as we waited to start. In fact I managed to get a bit sunburned! They ended up delaying the start by ten minutes, I think because Katie Price wasn't there yet, but I managed not to get too cold. I ended up quite far back from the start, so the clock said 1:20 as I passed the start line. The support was really good at the start, and I saw Richard early on so that was a good positive boost.

It was a bit crowded for the first bit as everyone sorted themselves out. So many people start far too far forward for the pace that they are going to run, so there was a lot of overtaking at the beginning. I ran right on the outside for the first few miles, which allowed me to overtake pretty easily, but I'll need a different strategy for the Marathon as there will be barriers at the side of the road.

The course wound along lots of different parts of the track and the service roads, which meant that we never did the same bit twice in the same direction, so that kept it interesting. There were markers with a clock every mile, so it was easy to see how you were doing. I also had a pace band, courtesy of Lucozade, which meant I didn't have to do any sums in my head. There weren't quite enough water stations for me, and I skipped the first one not realising that the next one wasn't for about four miles! For the first time ever I used my iPod in a race, but actually I did not really need it, and I didn't even turn it on until about mile 9.

I was even feeling good enough to smile and wave at the camera! By the last couple of miles I was still feeling pretty good, and I was overtaking lots of people, which is always encouraging. I also knew I was going to beat my target time, but even so I was thrilled when I got my chip time of 1:47:09. That took nine minutes off my PB! I made sure to stretch afterwards, and am pleased that I don't feel too stiff.

Lots of people use Silverstone as a warm-up for London, and as well as Katie Price there were also these people who are going for the record of the most people completing a marathon while tied together.

Overall I am really pleased with how it went. I hit all of my goals, and got a huge PB on the back of a twenty mile week. I'm secretly finding a half in the autumn so I can see if I can do a 1:45!

Best run: See above. Best run ever I think

Worst run: Three miles fartlek. I um-ed and ah-ed for ages about whether to do this run, before forcing myself out of the door. I'm glad I did it, but didn't enjoy it much.

Motivational quote of the week: Pain is temporary, quitting is forever!


  1. Well done. I did this race last year, found it really hard going as it was extremely hot and windy that day. 3 minutes under your target time is no mean feat in a half.

  2. @The Duckinator - thanks. I wasn't looking at how fast I was going, I just wanted to run at a pace that felt comfortable. I'm quicker than I thought!