What I learned from the Rotorua Half Marathon

At the Rotorua half marathon on Saturday May 04th I had a goal of running close to 1:35 which I figured was a good target given my previous half marathon times. I wanted to see if I’ve improved based on the training I’ve been doing. Now the fact is my training in the previous 8 weeks was purely focused on my upcoming marathon on 23rd of June. So I was 8 weeks into a 16 weeks marathon program and just the previous week I had just finished a massive week with a 34km run on the weekend.

So the lessons learned in no particular order:

  • Don’t run a 35km (20miler) as your long run before a half marathon if you want to run a PB – in fact a few people told me this when they heard I was running Rotorua half the week after (yeah listening to others is a good thing, sometimes)
  • If your legs are tired and half dead they are tired – no amount of Gels, Sugar, Carbs, Electrolytes aint gonna help!
  • It will hurt bad after 12kms when you think you can sustain a faster km split when your legs are tired and you will want to just stop and lie down and quit
  • Following a Marathon Training plan does not help you prepare for a fast half marathon time – in fact there were no half marathon pace speed sessions apart from a couple of tempos and an interval session in the previous 3 week build up – in contrast when I was training for the round the bays half I had plenty of ‘fast’ runs in my schedule at my HM goal pace
  • Trust your gut when you feel ‘off’ don’t try and run negative splits, just relax and enjoy the run and forget about trying to run fast

Despite all that I enjoyed the Rotorua event. And my final finish time was 1:37:47 which in the grand scheme of things was just around the 4:30-35 per KM pace mark and I am happy with that. (Well just maybe..). The encouragement I got after the event was very helpful and some of the more experienced runners quite rightly pointed out that I am doing well in my Marathon training and should not be disappointed of this result.

Overall the 49th Rotorua Marathon Event was well organised with the event starting and finishing in the Government Gardens next to the Energy Events Centre. Inside the Events Centre was an expo with various vendors advertising and selling running related products. After registration you could wander through the hall and have a look around. What drew most people’s attention was an area where a series of posters highlighted the 49 years of the event with past winners and records. There were some names that I recognized from Wellington Scottish Athletics who have been part of Rotorua for many years. After the event there was a prize giving ceremony in the same hall. Here are some photos.

Registration - Rotorua Half Marathon

Registration – Rotorua Half Marathon

Prize Giving - Rotorua Half Marathon

Prize Giving – Rotorua Half Marathon

49 Years of the Event - Rotorua Marathon

49 Years of the Event – Rotorua Marathon

Rotorua Marathon - Start and Finish

Rotorua Marathon – Start and Finish

I have another 6 weeks to go in my training for the Wellington Marathon and I’ll focus purely on that. Also I’m running a small competition so go check it out here and enter to win an awesome prize!

happy running!

4 thoughts on “What I learned from the Rotorua Half Marathon

  1. Lots of good lessons learned here. Go easy on yourself- Take it as a great workout toward your marathon, which you are going to be well prepared for.
    I had to laugh at this part, “If your legs are tired and half dead they are tired – no amount of Gels, Sugar, Carbs, Electrolytes aint gonna help!”
    The photos of the government building were interesting. I would love to race in NZ some day!

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