Tag Archives: half marathon

Blagnac half marathon 2015

Just two weeks after an illness forced me to quit in the Seville marathon, I had the chance to test myself in competition again at the half marathon of Blagnac. This was the 3rd time I ran the race, after I took part in the 2012 and 2014 editions. In neither of those I made an especially good time, always slower the in the Toulouse half marathon, even if I think Blagnac’s one is a bit flatter. In those previous two occasions the morning of the race had been very sunny and I felt too hot during the race (in 2014 it was a bit too windy as well). Therefore, this time, being another sunny morning, I decided to run with a cap in order to cover my head from the heat of the sun. As part of the training for Seville marathon I had run by myself alone a half marathon in 1h39’17”, my second best time in the distance, without any support in the form of supplies or other runners around. This made me confident that I could beat my personal best time in the distance, 1h37’29”, achieved in Toulouse in September 2013 (then in the preparation towards Athens marathon). I would have liked to run behind a pacer for 1h35′, but  there wasn’t. There were only pacers for 1h30′, 1h45′ and 2h. I decided to pace myself from the start aiming at 1h35′, that is a pace of 4’30” per km. I managed to keep that pace until about the kilometres 13-14. From then on I was more on 4’40-45″. But I still was making numbers in my head knowing that I would be able to beat my best time. I just needed to be below 5′ per km on average. Therefore, only the margin by how much would I beat it was in question.

Final sprint at Blagnac half marathon.

Final sprint at Blagnac half marathon.

In the end I managed a time of 1h35’48” (net time), that is effectively a new PB or PR (personal best or record), a reduction of 1’41” in comparison to my previous PR. You can see below in the comparison of both performances that this time I was reducing some seconds kilometre per kilometre. In the end a global pace of 4’32” vs the previous record of 4’38”:

Comparison of Blagnac 2015 and Toulouse 2013 half marathon performances.

Comparison of Blagnac 2015 and Toulouse 2013 half marathon performances.

In fact, I passed the 10 kilometre mark in about 44’20”, practically my second best time in the distance. If I had been running a 10k race, I am sure would have been below 44′, beating my personal best in that distance. See below the evolution of the pace, compared with my initial target (4’30”) and the final average pace (4’32”):


Evolution of pace compared to initial target and average pace.

Another good thing of this race is that I get a good feeling after the bitter experience from Seville. 🙂


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Semi marathon Toulouse 2014

Yesterday, I took part in the half (semi) marathon of Toulouse, which is run in the neighbourhood of Sept Deniers. This was the 3rd time I ran the race. Last year, it was there where I set my PB in the distance.

Since a couple of weeks ago I had not been able to set a new PB in 10km in Colomiers, I knew I wasn’t in the fastest shape and thought it would be difficult to beat last year’s time in the 21.1km. I would nevertheless give it a try.

With Andrea before the start.

With Andrea before the start.

I started running at about 4’30” per km, completing the first 10km in about 45’30”. From then on, I was not able to keep that pace. I made some numbers and saw it would be difficult to beat my PB and I went for a plan B, clocking a time below 1h40′.

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At some point of the race, my running bib started to fall from the safety pins I used to hang it from the t-shirt. That might be the reason why, up to now, my time doesn’t appear in the classification, despite of having carried the chip and bib (even if not visible) through the end.

Final sprint.

Final sprint.

My Garmin watch recorded a net time of 1h39’34”, thus plan B accomplished! With that time, plus some more seconds to account for the official time, I would have placed about 237th out of 1257, or percentile 19%, not that bad for a tough morning run (under 20C and 80% humidity).

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Blagnac half marathon 2014

After 2 months without competing, I took part today in Blagnac’s half or semi marathon.

In this 2014, I am finding it hard to find the necessary consistency with the training. I go from fulfilling a week of training to just run 2 or 3 days the following week. It’s an issue of motivation, engagements and fatigue. That is why, today, I had not in mind pursuing any personal best time in the distance (1h37’29”). I rather checked beforehand the paces needed to achieve 1h40′ and 1h45′ and I targeted at the start line for 1h40′.

The day was sunny and windy. But it was way to sunny and hot, and a bit too windy for some of the long straight streets. Nevertheless, Blagnac’s half is completely flat. Thus, the main issue today was the lack of fitness.

I started with 2 kilometres at about 4’30” and then adapted the pace to try to continue at about 4’45” in order to be under 1h40′. However, in the second half of the race I felt that I wasn’t going to make it. It was hard for me to keep the pace.  Thus, I just tried to maintain a rhythm which was not painful and at the same time would permit to clock a time below 1h45′ and so I did. That is the good thing of having a plan B, or making it (making up the numbers in your head) on the fly (or rather run).

In the end, I finished in 1h44’19” net time as recorded by my Garmin. Definitely not the best half I have done (I haven’t done so many). I take it as a training and a test for Rotterdam Marathon, in about a month (April 13th). I will need to get more serious in the remaining weeks of training prior to that date if I don’t want that marathon to be a nightmare.

After finishing Blagnac's half marathon.

After finishing Blagnac’s half marathon.

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Toulouse half marathon 2013

Today I took part in the Semi Marathon de Toulouse. I had run this race already in 2011, where I achieved my personal best time in the distance (1h42’30”). The race is quite flat and runs two laps at a circuit of almost 10 kilometres, with some variations at the beginning and the end to reach the 21.1km.

I am now in the middle of the training period following a plan towards Athens Classic Marathon in November. Despite of not focusing the training on this race, and due to the PB in 10k obtained two weeks ago I was looking forward to beat my half marathon PB, aiming at clocking a time at least below 1h40′.

I went to Sept Derniers, the neighbourhood where the race is starting together with Luca and Andrea. There we met my colleague Manuel and together we did some warming up.

The race started about 15 minutes late. Manuel is lately in great shape so he wanted to start at the front of the pack, thus, I accompanied him there. This made me run the first kilometre much faster than I wanted to. From then on I slowed a bit until I just came to be running just a few seconds under 4’40” per km, that would ensure me to finish below 1h39′.

I could pace myself well until the km 14, from that moment I found it hard to keep a pace under 4’40”. I guess I paid the extra effort of the first 2-3 kilometres. Nevertheless, I made the numbers in my head and saw that even clocking times around 4’44”-4’48” I would be well under 1h39′ if I didn’t have any further problem (which almost had at the km 17, when I almost fell after bending the left ankle).

Just before entering the athletics track in the Airbus’ sports facilities, TOAC, I checked the watch and knew that I would be under 1h38′, as I would accomplish that final 400m lap in under 2 minutes.

I finally beat my best time in half marathon by 5 minutes! For which I am quite happy. I ended in 1h37’29” as per my Garmin (a couple of seconds more as per the official timing – no net time provided by the organization). I came in the 241th out of 1080, not being that especially important I made it to the top 23% percentile for the second race in a row (in Colomiers I came in 226th out of 990).

Thus, in 2 weeks I have beaten 2 PBs (10k & 21k)! Let’s hope that the health keeps going well with the training besides the small inflammation I have now in the right knee.

Enjoy some pictures of me running today (most of them taken by Luca):

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Mid-year running recap

At the beginning of the year I had just a few objectives in relation to running:

  • Reach 2,000km run along the year.
  • Reach personal best times in 10k, half marathon and marathon.
  • Run 2 marathons.

Now, just one week after mid-year it’s a good moment to take a look at how these months have gone regarding the running part:

I have already run 2 marathons (Rome and San Diego) though in none of them I was under 3 hours 45 minutes. In Rome I was close to it (a minute slower) but didn’t reach it. I will even run a 3rd marathon this year in Athens next November (health permitting).

So far, even if I have run more races in 6 months than ever (10 races), I only attempted one half-marathon, in La Latina district (Madrid) which is not the best circuit to attempt a PB; I didn’t achieve it.  I clocked 1:44:49 vs. the 1:42:30 I did in Toulouse in 2011.

I have run 3 races of 10 kilometres. In the first one of the year I was short of only 6 seconds to beat my PB (46:14) clocking 46:20. One of the other two was a cross and the third one was the Corrida Pedestre de Toulouse, where the distance is not even 10k but 9.64km and despite of that I was not in the rhythm to do any PB.

In relation to the mileage: in the first 6 months I ran 920 km, a bit less than 1,000km, but not a difference that I can’t make up for in the second half of the year.

Some stats to close the post:

  • 920 km run from January 1st to June 30th.
  • 206 km run in races in this time (22.4% of the distance).
  • 86 hours and 58 minutes running in this 6 months.
  • 19 hours and 46 minutes running in races in this time (22.7% of the time –> long trails).
  • Over 80,000 Calories burnt.

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