Cigna Wellington Round the Bays 2017

Hello Everyone, Thought I’d share something that I had written a few years ago leading upto the 2013 Round the Bays. If you are aiming to run a PB for the 21.1km (Half Marathon) you may find some useful information. I have done RTB half for a number of years and last year (2016) I volunteered as a Pacer for the 1:45 group.


Pacing 1:45 Half Marathon Group at Cigna Round the Bays in 2016
The following series of posts are written geared towards those of you who want to target a specific goal time on your half marathon and I hope you find this helpful. As a Wellington based runner I am always happy to help others.

All the best and good luck with your training!

Wellington Half Marathon 2014 recap

If you are looking for an entertaining recap of this race STOP right now and head over here to see what my yellow fancy pants wearing friend has to say. If you want something boring then read on – I have warned you.

Right – it’s been 7ish weeks since running the Rotorua Marathon. That was after a pretty good block of training and life circumstances. I was riding a wave of highs then. Also after Rotorua I dropped my mileage right back. Bought a mountain bike (did a total 3 grand rides) – probably not the best investment but nevertheless. Wellington Half was always on the plan but I was pretty much taking a break form high intensity and high mileage. Leading up to the event my base mileage had dropped to about 65kms per week average from a usual 85-100km average. So in fact I was well rested if anything. I had no expectations and mentally I was also at a low point probably because of the reduced mileage and some other life stuff that happened.

Anyways I went into this race with no expectations and decided I might as well get among the crowd and see what happens. I got to the race start at WestPac stadium in Central Wellington about 45mins before the start. I don’t usually bother with too much warm up other than walking jogging to the loo or talking with others whom I bump into. Then maybe a couple of strides at a minimum. This time I did no warm up apart from the usual last minute business. A stiff southerly breeze was blowing that pretty much chilled you to the bone. Before the race I had a couple of Icebreaker tops on to keep me warm. Underneath I had my Wellington Scottish singlet on and arm warmers and running gloves. Just before race start at 9am I ditched the Icebreaker tops with a mate and made my way to the start line. There was a bit of a jam going into the start area through the stadium doors. Eventually I made my way to where the 1hrs 30min pacer Huw another club/running mate was doing pacing duties. Since this was also doubling up as the NZ Half Marathon Champs the leading men’s and women’s runners were right at the front. Then I spotted my yellow fancy pants wearing friend Amanda. Since I had no particular interest in racing my guts out today I just though hmm I’ll just take it easy and hang with her. After the usual pre-race announcements, the gun/hooter can’t remember which exactly went, everyone surged off. The elites bolted.

Wellington Half Marathon Start

Wellington Half Marathon Start – Photo credit – Ben Terry

Me and Amanda got into an easy rhythm to stick to about 4.15mins/km. In actual fact we were a tad faster but pretty well in control and just taking it easy. It was easy running with not much effort. Pretty soon we were just ticking away the Kms as we passed familiar surroundings around the Wellington Bays.

Fast and Yellow..

Fast and Yellow.. – Photo by Ange


We also strategically shielded ourselves from the wind by using others as wind blockers and also did our own part by putting on a few surges just to keep a group going. Eventually we settled with another guy who seemed to be happy to stick with us. Just before we went through the half way point we saw all the 70min (fast) runners already heading back. We hit the half way point and started to up the tempo a little bit. We were hitting 4min K’s quite easily and kept on a good steady rhythm. The last 5km for me was a pretty good effort in hitting sub 4min kms to the finish (Felt great and didn’t blow up). Amanda did an amazing time – go read her race report. My net time was 1:27:37 which is a PB by about 3 mins with the least amount of build up I’ve had. Unexpected and pretty happy in the end.

Tina Harris (1:21:57) 4th Female, me (1:27:37) and Amanda (1:27:48)

Tina Harris (1:21:57) 4th Female, me (1:27:37) and Amanda (1:27:48) – Photo Ben Terry

Till later.. keep running.


5km Races and Running Improvements

A while back I wrote that I was struggling to break the 20min mark in my 5km races. Fast track to exactly a year and I am now quite comfortably running sub 20min 5km races. My initial frustration with not being able to break that mark is now rewarded with a series of sub 20 times in a number of 5km races since October 2013 through to January 2014.

So far in 6 of my 5km races since October 2013 I have being consistent at running under sub 20minutes as follows:

Event Date Time
Lower Hutt parkrun 25/01/2014 19:36 Current PB
Hamilton Lake parkrun 28/12/2013 19:53
Porirua parkrun 30/11/2013 19:59
Wellington 5k 19/11/2013 19:55
Wellington 5k 29/10/2013 19:41
Lower Hutt parkrun 19/10/2013 19:39

With the net improvement my goal is to now be comfortable at running this pace at other distances. My next goal is to break 90mins in the half marathon distance. Key to this is being able to sustain 4:15min per KM splits for the net distance and pass the 5km mark in a comfortable time of 19:59 in a half marathon race. This will also mean that my current 10km personal best time will have an improvement. Well that’s the theory anyway.

Overall I am now doing some specific speed work sessions every week and working at my threshold pace. This has resulted in a few things:

  • I am able to run faster over longer distances with less effort. This is compared to the distances I used to run and my variances in heart rate. I can be in zone 2 with a HR variance of 143-155 and still run @ 5:00min pace. Previously I would be in Zone 3 or Zone 4 at that pace.
    HRZones2 HRZones
  • I can add distance to my weekly mileage but still be ‘fresh’ for key workouts such as speed sessions of intervals and tempos. Typically I will do an Interval session on a Wednesday and a Tempo on a Saturday so there is enough recovery time between them. I have been able to increase my weekly mileage to 100km per week with a peak of 120km as mentioned in my previous post.
    Weekly100kmIncidentally January has also been the month where I have gone over 400km for the month!

With these gradual increases I am hoping that I can continue my training and improving my running for this year. Main goal being the Rotorua marathon in May.

Happy running!

Road to Rotorua Marathon

Happy 2014 everyone!

With a new year come new running plans, well actually not really ‘new’ but goals for the year nonetheless and events that I am looking forward to. Unlike last year I won’t be planning on doing a lot of events but will choose a few key running events as the year goes on. After my first successful marathon attempt in June 2013 I already had added Rotorua marathon as my second marathon attempt. For the Rotorua marathon it is a significant year as it is going to be the 50th anniversary event. I am currently in a build up phase and it will be 16 weeks to Rotorua (3rd May 2014) from next week. Ideal time to start focusing and get into training mode.

Before Rotorua I am also going to be aiming to run at the Wellington Round the Bays half marathon. This is the local Wellington event that I have done for the last three years so it is only logical that this was in the running schedule for the year. It’s roughly about 6 weeks and then 10 weeks to Rotorua after that.I actually love doing half marathon events, in fact I am probably going to stick mostly with races that are 20-30km in distance apart from the odd marathon maybe once a year.

Goal for Rotorua are to beat my current PB of 3:25 for the marathon. So my training goal is 3:15-3:20 but the Rotorua course is a bit harder than other courses so I will need to keep that in perspective. In any case I will aim to train well and be ready as much as I can be. Beyond Rotorua marathon I have another significant overseas marathon event planned but at the moment I will keep myself focused on Rotorua first.

thanks for stopping by.

Wellington Marathon Training Update

Been a while since I last made an update of my Marathon training progress which was in April after finishing the 34km Makara loop. Since then I’ve done two more 30k + runs and the most recent was a 36km run along part of the Marathon course in Wellington which also was my last ‘long’ run before the Marathon on 23rd June (In 21 Days).

Brooklyn Bays Loop 36km

Brooklyn then Bays Loop 36km – 2nd June 2013

Before I go any further if you haven’t already entered my giveaway please head over to the post and get in the draw.

So after 13 weeks I think I’ve done the most that I can do to prepare for the Marathon. It has not been easy the last few weeks with colder weather and getting dark early my routine hasn’t really been up to what I’d hope it would be. Nonetheless I’ve been able to keep my core mileage consistent with my plan. I had to adjust some of the workouts to suit my work/life balance. Overall I have definitely improved my endurance and also gained a few seconds on speed. Last Saturday I ran a 5km PB at Lower Hutt Park run in 20:19. Which was a net 9 seconds faster than my previous time. Still a few seconds short of going into 19min range. I have a feeling that I’ll be able to hit that in the next few months.

With just another 3 weeks to go I’m officially into the ‘taper’ phase from next week onwards.

So that’s it for the time being, next weekend is Xterra Race 4 which I’m looking forward to.

Again if you haven’t entered my giveaway head over and have a random guess – it will help me keep motivated whilst running the Marathon 🙂

Happy running!