WEEK 11 HALF MARATHON + ‘SAINTS DAYS’ TRAINING PLAN STARTS
You should be settling into a rhythm by now. One recovery walk + 1 hill repeats session + 2 shorter distance runs + long run, each week. The types of shorter distance runs have not been specified up to this point and will remain so. However, their non-specific nature also allows runners to individualize one or both sessions at this point in the plan as work becomes focused on the half marathon.
Remember, this plan is for beginners or those getting back into running races who did not have one available to them for this distance. Advanced runners who wished to increase their speed to a faster pace and finish with an improved time will have scanned this plan and likely realized it was not going to help with that. They will have used a plan provided by event organizers if formally registered for a race, or found one online that promised to prepare runners for their “best finish time ever.”
So, for beginners there are 3 options for running the shorter distance sessions. #1 is for runners who only wish to “finish” the 13.1K distance and are not concerned with time. #2 is for those who wish to finish strong but aren’t focused on gaining speed. #3 is for runners who wish to push their limits a bit more, and test themselves in the upcoming event.
Jenny Hadfield offers 4 tempo runs for runners who are new to them in an article for Runnersworld.com, “Four Tempo Workouts for Runners”. Included are warm-ups and cool-downs, which are a must! You are roughly running 2-4 miles, because the exact distance will vary by running pace. With increased running intensity in certain segments, the swap with a 3 or 4 mile run would be fine, and suitable for the Thursday 3 mile run, or a 4 mile run especially if you're not running hill repeats.
If you are new to racing, the “high-five” tempo workout listed first might help you deal with one aspect of competition, the speed-ups and slow-downs normally experienced in a race. If you’re not a leader at the head of the pack. For example, you occasionally might wish to speed up and pass a group that has slowed down in front of you, then dial it back a bit after the harder work. Or tackle a long, low hill that requires more effort ,after which you take a little breather by easing up.
When you are training by yourself or with friends you control the pace. In a competition you will not always be in control, and if you’re not ready for it mentally and physically it could throw you off your race plan.
Have fun experimenting with these shorter runs soon. There’s enough time now, before the race, to try the negative split, the tempo run, or both, and revert to the old comfortable routine if the change-up doesn’t work for you.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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