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Half Marathon Training Plan

<<Printable version>> 

Developing a Half Marathon programme that works for you with Clark Ellice - 12 week build

Clark Ellice 4xNational Elite Triathlon Champion, Double Diploma Graduate in Fitness and Business Studies, TRINZ Affiliated Triathlon coach, Reps registered Personal Trainer. 'Strive for excellence relentlessly' Www.clarkellice.com 

It’s important to lay down some basic goals and fundamentals when training for your first half marathon PB.

I write this programme for those who have done a half but this time want to run well, injury free with ambitions of completing their first marathon in the future. After all, running a half is great for your learning but everyone should make it a goal in life to complete their first marathon one day. It takes a lot of discipline and understanding your body to cross the finish line in a marathon.

Completing my first ironman this year was very much fueled from simply running my first marathon at the Lydiard in 2015.

Running under 3hours on a very tough course first up made me pursue a new lofty goal for the following year, to a point where I ran three marathons last year, before I finally stepped up to the big one, Ironman New Zealand. I finished in 9 hrs 35, first Taupo local home and 5th overall in my age group, respectfully. In summary, have goals, aim high and you will achieve big things in no time!

This 12 Week Build

Goals and objectives:

Week

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

1 & 2

Rest or other training.

45 mins max.

Swim, spin class or gym

Basic Run

35 - 40 mins

Run 5 mins, walk 1 min. Build every 5 minute effort and record your pace.

10 - 15 mins warm down 

Rest

Half Marathon Pace

45 mins /6 - 8 kms Warm up, 20 minutes at half marathon pace, warm down. Work between 145 160bpm HR.

Rest

Full Body Stretch

Focus on legs, calves, hamstrings, hip flexor and piriformis

Long Run

45 mins

Aim to build to one hour for week 3

3

Rest or other training.

45 mins max.

Swim, spin class or gym

Basic Run

35- 40 mins

Run 5 mins, walk 1 min. Build every 5 minute effort and record your pace.

10 - 15 mins warm down

Rest

Half Marathon Pace

1 hour

Warm up, 35-40 minutes at half marathon pace, warm down.

Rest

Rest

Long Run

1 hour

Aim to run continously for the hour. Be mindful of pace and tyr to run the last 3 - 4 kms at half marathon pace or faster.

 

Week 4, 8 and 12 compensation week.

Important to factor in basic training week, simply because you can’t sustain 12 weeks of continuous running and building without allow time to absorb a new work load in your muscles.

Think of it as 3 weeks build, 1 week back off, recoup and then three weeks build again.

 

Example of compensation week (week 4 & 8) 

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

Rest

Speed Run

40 - 45 mins

10 - 15 mins warm up.  Main Set: 3 x 1 km efforts on flat at half marathon pace or faster. 2 mins rest between efforts

Rest or massage

Basic Run

25 - 30mins

Easy pace with 3 x stride outs (80 - 100m sprint and walk back) at the end of run.

Rest

Other

1 hour max Easy swim or bike to develop strength with no gravity.

Basic Run or Hike

1 hour

Hike or mountain-type run. Hills are great for leg development and getting you off the pavement.

 

The Rest Day

Can be taken any day of the week really but I’m a big believer in a rest day. For more active people, you sometimes need a massage or something similar like hot pools to force you to slow down and take some time out. We all have weekends for time off work, so you need time off training just as importantly. Weeks 5 - 8 focuses more on your kms per week instead of time. Pace needs to be more of a focus now you’re 5 weeks into your programme to get used to the pace your aiming for on race day.

WEEK

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

5

Rest or Stretch

10 - 15 mins

Hill Run

45 - 60 mins 10km goal

Feel good run with 3-4 hills mid run 4-500 m long

 

Rest

Pace Run

1 hour

Run at half marathon pace with 30 mins build to hard running. Aim to get 5 - 10 secs faster every 5 mins

Rest

Rest

Long Run

1 hour 15 mins

10 - 15 kms

Run the last 1 - 2 kms at half marathon pace

6

Rest or Stretch

10 - 15 mins

Hill Run

45 - 60 mins 10km goal

Feel good run with 3-4 hills mid run 4-500 m long

 

Rest

Feel Good Run

1 hour   120 - 130bpm

10 - 11 kms

Run basic, ticking over in prep for next weeks harder 5k run, perhaps look for a decent 5k circuit you can run well and uniterrupted.

Rest

Rest

Long Run

1 hour 20 mins

15 - 20 kms

Run the last 3 - 4 kms at half marathon pace

7

Rest or Stretch

10 - 15 mins

Hill Run

45 - 60 mins 10km goal

Feel good run with 3-4 hills mid run 4-500 m long

Rest

Pace Run

1 hour 

10 -15mins warm up then 5kms flat and fast. Record time and heart rate at end. This is your threshold pace, aim to run 10-15 seconds slower than this per km on half marathon day.

10 - 15 mins warm down

 

 

Long Run

1 hour 30 mins

18 - 21 kms

Run the last 5 kms at half marathon pace

Week 8 - Compensation Week

Long Run

Point to take into consideration, do your long runs on forgiving surfaces. Flatter trail running is always going to allow for faster recovery after a long run. Simply think 70% trail, 30% road towards end of run for better form running towards end of long runs. With Friday as a rest day, long runs can be done Saturday or Sunday respectfully to the time you have in the weekend.

Final four weeks: Sharpening

week

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

9

Rest or Stretch

10 - 15 mins

Hill Run

45 - 60 mins 10km goal

Feel good run with 3-4 hills mid run 4-500 m long. Run the hills hard.

Rest

Build Run

1 hour   10 kms

Feel good pace. Run the last  2 kms at 5 k threshold pace. Include a good 5-10minutes easy at the end of the run and stretching warm down.

Rest

Rest

Long Run

Up to 1 hour 45 mins

Run with a real focus on half marathon pace for the last 15 - 20 mins.

10

Rest or Stretch

10 - 15 mins

Hill Run

1 hour 15 mins max

12 km

Feel good run with 3-4 hills mid run 3 - 400 m long.

 

Rest

Build Run

1 hour 10 - 15 mins  12  kms

Build this run from basic warm up pace to last 6-7kms at half marathon pace or close to your 5k threshold.

Do on flat but include a good 5-10minutes easy at end of run including stretching warm down.

Rest

Rest

Long Run

1 hour 30 mins

Run the last 10 - 15 mins at half marathon pace.

11

Rest or Stretch

10 - 15 mins

Hill Run

1 hour

Feel good run with 20 mins mid run at 5k threshold pace.

Rest

Basic Run

1 hour   10 kms

Stick to trail if possible today, start to freshen legs for next weekend.

Rest

Rest

Long Run

1 hour max

Feel good running today.

12

Massage day

Basic Run

25 - 30 mins   5 kms

A few strides at the end of run.

Rest

Basic Run

25 - 30 mins   5 kms

 

Rest

RACE DAY

Recovery

Basic bike or swim for active recovery.