Half Marathon advice

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by SamForrest, Nov 4, 2009.

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  1. Looking for some advice on Half Marathon training,Whilst trying to fit it in with circuits and tabs.

    My normal week consists of

    1 Tab
    1 Speed/Interval Session
    1 Long run
    1 Run in boots cross country/hills
    1 Short/Medium distance (eg 3miles fast)

    Ive got about 3 months until a local Half Marathon and im looking to get some miles in,without taking away too much focus on the tabbing and hill work

    Most programs ive looked at give too many miles,and im finding it hard to work out in what order its best to train,what days to put next to each other,what runs to treat as a hard session etc.

    Any advice from runners would be great
  2. Doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong in your training at the minute, mate. What kind of time are you aiming for?

    For any sort of distance race, the recommended weekly sessions are:

    1 Long session (building up gradually to just below the distance of the race) at a medium pace.
    1 Speed Session (fartlek, intervals, hill) - aim for quality of running; for example 8x400m with 45 secs rest, you should aim for a consistent time throughout each session i.e. first 400m takes 85 seconds, that's the time to aim for each time.
    1 Tempo run - 3-6 miles at your race speed - if you're aiming for a time of 1hr 30 mins, for example, you should run at the pace that will get you that time (around 7mins a mile)

    Anything after that is a bonus. You want to build in at least a day's rest between each run - circuits or strength work is usually fine. Maybe cut out the boot runs until after the race- you don't want to do any damage to yourself prior to it. 13 Miles may seem a daunting task initially, but the trick is to backward count at every mile point; you'll see the distance fly in.

    Good luck
  3. Training for a 10km run or above can be done in three ways (this is my opinion so take out what you want from this) I'm no coach.

    10km and above for the average joe is classed as the beginning zones for endurance running and there is a heavy switch to the mental side of the battle when lengthening the distance.

    Training can be done in one of three ways for these examples the distance of a half marathon are used as a guide.

    1. Less than the distance training - Over a period of 4 weeks gradually build distance by a rate not exeeding 10% per run. Start with 3 miles and run in heart rate zone 2 (about 10-12 minute miles) Train for a maximum of 3 days in week 1, 4 days in week 2 and 5 days in week 3. Week 4 is to include training on 3 days only and is tapered to 40% exertion rate over the 2/3rds of the distance.

    Effectively you are raising the bar to be able to comfortably (mentally and physically) run for a distance of 8-10 miles and still have juice in the tank.

    On race day you pace as you have trained and the final 3 miles is simply added on top - you are not going to be mentally trained to continue at this point so effectively you are 'hanging on' for the final 3 miles.

    2. Training over the distance - Same as above but over 2-3 months, start small and work up the distance by no more than 10% each time, with this amount of time try instead a 5-7% increase in distance per run. Keep to heart rate zone 2 and take it easy.

    When you are 2 weeks away from race day you want to be looking at comfortably running for 15 miles (use run/walk 5 to 1 ratio if this suits you better) use the last two weeks to taper your training, maintain distance but take it steady and stick to 3-4 runs a week max - Use your recovery time and listen to your body, if you are aching then rest and keep it slow.

    When it comes to race day you will be mentally buzzing knowing that you can p1ss all over this distance :)

    3. Training for time - forget distance all together and run a program of 3-4 runs a week whereby you only increase the time you are running, don't even bother worrying about distance at all. Run at a slow/steady pace and use the run/walk method if it works for you.

    Start training 2 months before the event with 30 minutes running and then, you guessed it....small percentage increase each time for 6 weeks and the last two weeks tapering down again. You want to be running for 2 hours by week 6 so work out a gradual increase.

    On race day, just run or run/walk until it's over, you will be mentally strong for the time you are on the course no nothing to worry about and you will easily finish a half marathon in under 2 hours.

    IMPORTANT ----- Listen to your body! Rest first, train later and don't over do it. Research nutrition!!! You should be taking on calories DURING the half marathon, train with the product you will use on race day (sports drinks/Energy Gel/Food).

    Not so important but valuable info ----- Look at your running form, research good form and imitate good form, good form means less wasting of energy and a more comfortable race. Wear a hat and glasses (squinting wastes energy) Learn as much as you can about nutrition :)

    ULTIMATE RULE - NEVER EVER EVER DO ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY!, don't wear new trainers, don't try a new drink, don't try a new pace of running until you are in the last 5th of the race.

    Have a good half :) and drink copious amounts of alchohol afterwards to reward yourself :)
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  6. mate it depends what your looking to do.

    half marathon to finish, to finish in a semi decent time, or to finish on the podium?

    take it from a avid cross country runner, if you can run 10 miles you can run 13.2 on race day.

    i would suggest just doing the age old:
    week 1: 8 miles
    week 2: 9 miles
    week 3:10 miles

    some people suggest you should do a long run once a week and a couple shorter faster to keep ticking over.

    iv never subscribed to that, and i ran a 1hr 25ish half marathon with little preparation (not the best but not exactly hanging out at the back with the jack waggon on my arrse)

    if your not a strong runner, your enemy will be your lactate threshold, which would probably be fairly low.
    you shouldnt run a race of that distance at a speed where you're sucking air through 'exit only' holes, so you will probably be more likely to stop from muscle fatigue or the like.

    not to mention, if you do all that, your cardio should be half decent.

    doing some speed work over long distances can be really beneficial to give you that finishing kick.
    400m, 800m, or even the dreaded and very howling 1600m repeats.

    intervals and fartlek help raise the lactate threshold in your muscles, as it teaches your body to become more efficient and lactic acid is the result of not having enough oxygen or water in the muscles.
    over long distances it accumulates slowly, so raising the tolerance of your muscles to it through speed work can help you avoid having to stop from muscle fatigue.

    other then that, hit the hill reps, and incorparate hills into all your runs, as well as off road sections like sand, grass etc (running on uneven ground helps develop ankle strength and balance, but not too much as you can do yourself a mischief).

    as you might be guaging there are about a million ways to train, if you let us know what level your at, what your aim is i might be able to offer some more useful advice for you specifically.
  7. No training, lots of pies and a heavy night on the beer the day before.

    Only kidding.

    I've always found that having a strict running regime plays havoc with my mind and that just quite simply mixing it up worked for me. A long run (8-12 miles) or tab once a week, a couple of medium distance (4-6 miles) runs and one hard (and I do mean hard) short distance run a week (1.5 - 3 miles). Don't forget substantial rest and proper hydration.

    It sounds to me like you're doing enough just try to prepare yourself mentally and you should be fine.

    Good luck, TBM.
  8. Last time I did a half my training consisted of precisely three runs, one 7km, and two of about 10km. The evening before the run I prepared by going to a party, having lots of beer and some dodgy mexican food.

    Needless to say, I didn't finish in the first three. My mate's training consisted of walking to the shops and buying running shoes the day before the race. He didn't finish in the first three either.

    If your sole goal is to run the whole way, half marathons are easy. Your training regime will get you round with no trouble at all.

    Do you have a goal time?