Improve your running – half marathon preparation
This is all about half marathon preparation. It is aimed at steady and medium paced runners, including people who are looking forward to running their first half. It is written during lockdown, so assumes that you won’t be training with the club at least for a while. We may be able to train in groups of 6 from 29 March. Your coaching team plans to set up virtual half marathons for the weekends 1 & 2 May and 19 & 20 June.
If you can run 10k (6 miles) you should be able to complete a half marathon, after following a 16 week programme that gradually increases in intensity. If you can already run a half marathon, you should be able to improve your time. You will see from the schedule that the minimum distances suggested start pretty low: you can of course run longer distances if, at the start of the programme, you are running further than the advice given here. It is important to build variety into your sessions, partly to increase your flexibility and stamina, partly to stave off boredom. It is also important to take care of yourself: if you have an injury, or a very busy week, or just a case of lead legs, ease up on the training. You are more likely to catch up if you listen to your body.
|Week beginning||Tuesday intervals||Wed/Thurs (min. dist.)||Sat/Sun (min. dist.)||Notes|
|1 1/3||5k speed trial||5k/3m tempo||6k/4m||Cross train at least 2 other days each week. Build ABC drills into your warmups once or twice each week|
|2 8/3||Flying 30s||5k/3m tempo||8k/5m|
|3 15/3||Hill pyramids||6k/4m tempo||10k/6m|
|4 22/3||50m sprints||6k/4m tempo||10k/6m|
|5 29/3||Long hill efforts||7k/4.5m tempo||11k/7m|
|6 5/4||100m sprints||7k/4.5m tempo||11k/7m|
|7 12/4||Fun & fartlek||8k/5m tempo||13k/8m|
|8 19/4||200m sprints||8k/5m tempo||13k/8m|
|9 26/4||5k speed trial repeat||9-10k/5.5-6m tempo||14k/9m Prog||Virtual Half #1 Set your target race pace (coaches will help – just ask)|
|10 3/5||Hill pyramids||9-10k/5.5-6m tempo||14k/9m Prog|
|11 10/5||400m sprints||10k/6m tempo||16k/10m prog|
|12 17/5||1k flat efforts||10k/6m tempo||16k/10m prog|
|13 24/5||600 m sprints||11k/7m tempo||17k/10.5m prog|
|14 31/5||Long hill efforts||11k/7m tempo||19k/12m prog|
|15 7/6||800m sprints||8k/5m tempo||10k/6m|
|16 14/6||Fun & fartlek||8k/5m tempo||Race 21k/13.1m||Virtual Half #2|
Tempo: running at a pace where you can only just exchange a few words with your running partner.
ABC: Agility – Balance – Coordination; week by week we will give you ideas.
Prog: Progression runs. Pace most of your run 1.5 – 2 k (about 1m) slower than your goal pace.
Steady pace runners: run last 1.5k (last mile) at your half marathon goal pace.
Medium pace runners: run last 3k (last 2 miles) at your half marathon goal pace.
- Details of Tuesday intervals follow this link. The first 8 weeks are already there and the second 8 weeks will follow.
- Be honest with yourself. Build a training schedule that you know will fit into your life. Set realistic speed and pace targets.
- Be kind to yourself. Listen to your body, and don’t overdo things. Especially don’t go on training if you are injured. Remember you are already wonderful just to be planning to run a half marathon!
- Build variety into your training .It’s not just about preventing boredom – although that is important. Varying the intensity of your running and including cross training work different bits of your body, helping to increase your fitness, flexibility and resilience.
- Train with others. Yes, I know it’s impossible to run with the club right now but do find ways of building your support group. Even in the depths of lockdown we can run with one other person. Sharing runs on FaceBook or a platform such as Strava can be very supportive. We hope that club sessions will be back at the end of March.
- Keep records. Do keep a log of your exercise, not just distance, pace and elevation gain but how you were feeling and what the weather was doing. Keeping records helps you learn more about yourself as a runner.
Please get in touch if you have questions
Val Kirby firstname.lastname@example.org 07969 789938