Round-the-Bays Half 2018

A number of people have mentioned that targeting some events as a group could be fun.  To start the ball rolling, I thought I’d aim for the 2018 Round-the-Bays half marathon and below is my 12 week training plan. 

This plan is for intermediate runners who want to beat 1:45.  I will try and stick to it as much as possible: I’m kayaking on the Whanganui just after Christmas, so that may all be Cross-training.  You may note a slight tendency for an easy week followed by a hard week – that’s deliberate on my part.

Happy to run with anyone else who wants to train for the Bays or even talk to others about it.

download-able PDF is here


  • Hills.  I have done repeats of 7*20s up then down again, but I find that a bit dull so tend to just run up a big hill like Mt Tinakori.  Push a bit on the uphill and cruise down.
  • Cross Train.  This means cycling for me, but others go swimming or do (shudder) gym work
  • Easy.  Well usually this is the long slow run on Sunday.  Theoretically I can converse with a fellow runner.
  • Fast.  95% of race pace.  Going for it!
  • Tempo run.  1km easy warm up, then a comfortably hard pace (say 85% of race pace), then 1km warm down.  During the faster parts I can’t hold a conversation but can get a few words out.
  • Fartlek. “Speed play” in Swedish.  This isn’t too structured, but I put in some faster and slower bits.  I think of this as interval training.
  • Rest.  This means no aerobic work at all, but stretches, or core work eg. pilates etc is a good idea.

How it went

18 Feb 2018

Windy and warm today.  The splits below show that my pace was faster at the start than I planned so I didn’t finish quite as fast as I wanted.  I did this run 4.5 minutes faster than previous years, so it seems that a dedicated training plan is worthwhile. 

km Time Cumulative
1 04:12.10 04:12.10
2 04:15.90 08:28.00
3 04:24.80 12:53:00
4 04:23.20 17:16:00
5 04:31.20 21:47:00
6 04:31.30 26:19:00
7 04:31.80 30:50:00
8 04:40.90 35:31:00
9 04:35.30 40:06:00
10 04:29.50 44:36:00
11 04:30.60 49:07:00
12 04:23.80 53:30:00
13 04:27.10 57:58:00
14 04:26.60 01:02:24
15 04:35.70 01:07:00
16 04:43.30 01:11:43
17 04:34.10 01:16:17
18 04:28.60 01:20:46
19 04:32.70 01:25:18
20 04:29.90 01:29:48
21 04:26.30 01:34:15
21.1 00:56.30 01:35:11

Training Log

10 Dec 2017

Three weeks of fine weather, with the last one pretty warm, has been excellent for getting outdoors.  There is a risk of overdoing things, so I skipped a run on Wednesday but went berserk on Thursday, in 27 degrees.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I really needed the rest on Friday!

The Sunday run went as planned, though BH encouraged me to go a bit further (24km) and quicker (5:08min/km) than intended.  Legs are OK though and it was lot’s of fun. 

The upcoming week has a few 7ish km runs – much better than epics.

23 Dec 2017

It’s still hot and running can feel like hard work.  So shout out to Susan who accompanied me on a couple of runs (she is so going to nail the RTB half in February).

Hardest run was a 7.5km interval run (fartlek) around the Botanic gardens – a real test of the hamstrings on the hills.

I’m out of town for Christmas, but will be taking my running shoes – maybe no gain in weight this time? 

2 Jan 2018

Christmas was nice (burp), the Wanganui River is magical, but the last week was a disaster for my adherence to the training program.  Never mind, some things are more important than others.

Back in Wellington I joined a few mates for a New Year’s day run.  Good to be out, but hard work (that’s me in the cap).  Average distance this year is 21.8km!

24 Jan 2018

I managed to keep up with the program in sunny Nelson.  The highlight was jogging on the Abel Tasman track, the lowlight was eating a bee (not fun).  There is always one type of run that seems harder than others, and for me that is fartlek.  I’m sure I benefited from those intervals, but I won’t miss them at all!

Hopefully we are all strong enough to do the 21km distance from the long, hilly and err… intervally training. Looking ahead is some faster stuff, with a “time trial” scheduled for this Sunday.  I will be running from the wind needle around the peninsula starting at 8:30am.  Anyone is welcome to join me.

The trick is not to worry about these things, just go out and do them, with a smile on your face. 

10 Feb 2018

One week to go.  The way to think about the taper period is – “I can’t get any fitter but I can improve my chances by resting enough and preparing mentally.”  So no late nights this week and I’m considering my race plan.  Since I’m feeling reasonably strong, that plan is to finish fast…

  • run at 90% for 16km (about 4:35 pace for me) and try and pick up a minute or so in the final 5km.  Target is 1:37. 
    • I will be “between” the pace runners, so will be looking at my GPS watch a lot
    • at 10km drink a cup of water (red mark)
    • at 16km have a gel and drink another cup of water (purple mark
    • Watch out when overtaking 10km runners (“traffic”) during the final 2km.  This could slow me down a bit.

Good Luck!



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