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Up For the Challenge ? Training For a half marathon.

"So...What Are The Key Elements When Training For a Half Marathon ?"

Training for a half marathonWell, if you look at the very best half marathon runners in the world you see two things in the statistics : they have fantastic times in both the 10k as well as the marathon.

They are very simply excellent runners.

Both in the distances over the half and under the half marathon.

For instance, the world record marathon holder Haile Gebrselassie is the second fastest ever in the 10k and second fastest in the half marathon.

This is different than in the marathon ; you can be a marathon specialist but still have relatively modest times in the 10k and even the half marathon.

What does that tell you ?

Like I said in the overview of building a half marathon training schedule, you need a combination of high end marathon endurance work and 5/10 k training.

A Key Element Here Is Sound Periodization. When And How To Run the Workouts. The 20 Week Plan.

How to split the 20 weeks of training before a half marathon.

Say you have 20 weeks up until your half marathon and it is not parts of a marathon plan. If it is parts of a plan for the marathon then always keep in mind the marathon down the road.

Marathon is specific. It is special.

In the marathon, the aim would be to start with under-distance-work. With that I mean 5k/10k type workouts and then gradually build into marathon work later in the training cycle.

The half marathon is different.

You can split it into parts.

Roughly 4 parts,

  • Base-building
  • 5k/10k endurance type training
  • 5k-speed training
  • Tapering

First Up : Build A Firm Base Of Running.

What you want to do here is to first build a firm base of running, say you take 5-8 of those 20 weeks to do that. In that base of running, you will have plenty of half and marathon type running.

Then you start mixing that up.

Second Part : Gradual Endurance Type 5k And 10k Training Sessions.

About half and half. 5k, 10k training and half marathon, marathon training. You can read much more about this the 5k training section - that you find on the navigation menu on the right hand side.

After those two initial periods, you follow with two more periods :

Short 1-2 Weeks Of 5k Training. That is 5k Speed Training.

Before a short period 1 or 2 weeks of speed-type-5k training. To peak the shape. In reality this means shorter repeats but at the same time with short recoveries. So you are involving an endurance component here as you keep the recoveries short. At the same time, the speed is quite high as the length of the runs is short.

You want this period to be short to avoid injuries and over-use.

At this time you are 3 to 4 weeks before your half marathon. And...

Time To Taper And Increase The Fitness By Increased Energy

Tapering is very, very easy. The hard thing is to actually have the courage to do it. It is about resting just enough before races. To gain that extra energy.

We all know the feeling. Even after two Olympics under my belt I had to discipline myself to cut back on training before races.

It felt so good to keep on training. A lot. Even though I knew that tapering is the key to maximum performance.

The tapering period should be for the last three to four weeks, even when you are training for a half marathon. And the training should be decreased with between 30 and 50 % of normal workload...

But not necessarily the number of workouts. But rather the type of work you are doing.

You can knock off minutes in the marathon with the right tapering, just for the last few weeks. A 4 hour marathoner can suddenly become a 3.30-3.45 guy within weeks.

I will write a piece about this later because it is so important to perform your best.

Well, this was a suggested thinking for the best half marathon training results.

I wish you success.

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