This will serve as the home of all of my posts related to marathon and half marathon training.
Expect to read a lot of cursing and whining about how I did not run as far as I wanted today.
My Marathon Training Routines
If I'm training for a marathon I try to train for 18 weeks but 16 suffices. Nowadays I aim for at least 30 miles a week and run at least 4 times a week. I still have problems with my long run on the weekend. I tend to tense up when I think of the distance I've yet to cover. It's getting easier over time and eventually I hope to master it.
At my peak I try to run at least 50 miles in a week and go for between 18 and 20 miles as my longest single run. I find maintaining weekly mileage the easiest part of my routine. It's getting in enough long runs that I've had trouble with over the years.
Training Tips For Running A Half Marathon – My Half Marathon Training Routine
I try to keep myself in good enough physical condition that I can run a half marathon given a month's notice. If I'm training for a marathon, I'm always happy to trade in one of my long runs for a half. If I'm not training for anything in particular then I gradually ramp up my mileage from 6 miles to between 10-12 at the weekend.
Marathon Training Outdoors
Running outdoors can be quite hazardous if you aren't acquainted with it. Here are a few things I've learnt from the time I've spent jogging in the great outdoors
- I always run behind cars when I'm crossing the road. It's dangerous to run in front assuming that the driver sees you and is willing to stop.
- If I know that I'm running through undesirable neighbourhoods later in the run, I will run at a slower speed up until then and increase my pace accordingly.
- If I see another runner I will try to make eye contact and say hello. Positivity does wonders when you're on the run. I distinctly remember a fellow jogger yelling 'keep it going big lad' at me as he passed me in the opposite direction. I was 16 miles into an 18 mile run and it gave me a second wind.
- Don't get annoyed at pedestrians or motorists. Everyone is just trying to get somewhere in the end of the day. When I started out I would rage at everyone and everything. I'd hate on pedestrians for staring at me and motorists for driving like twats. This seriously impacted my pace. When I'm angry I run faster which leaves me exhausted later in the run. Anger quickly dissipates into sadness. Sadness leads to poor running form.
- I don't listen to music anymore whilst out running. I've had too many close encounters with cars whilst wearing headphones. If I have earphones in then I can't monitor my breathing properly. This can lead to serious fatigue if I'm running faster than I should.
- I got over my fear of hills by taking it easy on the downhill stretches as well as on the uphill ones. This time last year I'd sprint downhill and avoid the uphills stretches altogether in training. Now I downplay the significance of hills and keep an even pace. If I get tired, I drop back my pace.
My Half Marathon Pace
If you are running your first half marathon, then you'll have an idea of what time you're capable of in the event itself, going by your training run pace.
I typically run half marathons in 2 hours 15 minutes at a 10:18/min pace. Instead of running a steady 10:18 pace throughout, I start off on a 11:00/min mile pace and build on that mile by mile until I'm at roughly a 10:30/min mile.
If I have enough left in the last 5k I'll push and aim to run it in under 30 minutes. This will typically leave me in with a sub 2:15 half.
When it comes to increasing my pace, I'll keep the same strategy (i.e. aim for a negative split) but only aim to be at a 10:00/min mile by 6.6 miles and push on from there.