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Best HM workouts (Read 281 times)

    A running pal of mine asked for some advice. Like I know something!?!    Does anyone have any good half-marathon workouts? I don't usually race this distance, generally just using it for training or to get miles in so I wasn't sure what would be useful. This individual recently ran a half marathon in 1:38. Apparently the race started out with 6:30s through about the 7 mile mark and then he died a slow painful death in the second half. Other than running more miles and pacing better which would obviously help, what sort of workout would help him?

     

    I was going to propose some mile repeats so he might learn to keep an even pace/ slightly slower for a longer time and then also be able to creep up on holding the faster pace for longer. But then I started wondering if this really was going to help any?   And how many repeats? I was hoping to propose some specific half-marathon oriented workout that could be applied to a small group in a 10-15 mile weekend jaunt.

    Running Goals ...

     

    "But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."  Robert Frost


    Right on Hereford...

      A running pal of mine asked for some advice. Like I know something!?!    Does anyone have any good half-marathon workouts? I don't usually race this distance, generally just using it for training or to get miles in so I wasn't sure what would be useful. This individual recently ran a half marathon in 1:38. Apparently the race started out with 6:30s through about the 7 mile mark and then he died a slow painful death in the second half. Other than running more miles and pacing better which would obviously help, what sort of workout would help him?

       

      I was going to propose some mile repeats so he might learn to keep an even pace/ slightly slower for a longer time and then also be able to creep up on holding the faster pace for longer. But then I started wondering if this really was going to help any?   And how many repeats? I was hoping to propose some specific half-marathon oriented workout that could be applied to a small group in a 10-15 mile weekend jaunt.

       

      I would recommend an actual training plan, preferably one developed for you personally by a coach, rather than any specific workout.

       

      Having said that, if there is one type of workout that's most applicable to the half marathon, it's the tempo run. I'll tell you a story from my past to illustrate. In 2008 I planned to run my first real half marathon. My training consisted of around 4 runs per week. Most runs were easy, but I did do one tempo run each week. The tempos were always the same: 20 minutes on the track at a "comfortably hard" pace. I didn't even do long runs, really. I had done just a handful of runs between 10 and 12 miles. Race day came and I surprised myself by (barely) breaking 90 minutes in the half marathon.

       

      Since tempos were really the only thing I could credit, I have always thought that they were the reason I was able to run well (for me) that day.

         6:30s through about the 7 mile mark and then he died a slow painful death in the second half. Other than running more miles and pacing better which would obviously help, what sort of workout would help him?

         

        I was going to propose some mile repeats so he might learn to keep an even pace/ slightly slower for a longer time and then also be able to creep up on holding the faster pace for longer. But then I started wondering if this really was going to help any?   And how many repeats? I was hoping to propose some specific half-marathon oriented workout that could be applied to a small group in a 10-15 mile weekend jaunt.

         

        That sounds like a spectacular blow up and your friend probably averaged over 10 minute miles for the last six!

         

        My first thought is exactly what Dakota said, tempos. BUT I always consider those tempos as icing on the cake to train my legs to run the at the correct intensity level AFTER I've laid the endurance groundwork to run the distance steady and strong in the first place. The best workout I've found to run the half steady and strong is to go out and run that distance regularly until it feels second nature and you know it like a good friend.

           

          That sounds like a spectacular blow up and your friend probably averaged over 10 minute miles for the last six!

            

          Yeah.  That is what I thought too.  Must have included some frustrated walking in there.  Anyway, thank you both for your comments.

          Running Goals ...

           

          "But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."  Robert Frost

            yeah, sounds like a painful race. Getting a real training plan would be a start! Without knowing what your friend's training looks like, its hard to say what would help him most. I'm going to guess that building endurance (I.e. More miles, slowly, & weekly long run) would help most, as you already said.  And as the others said, tempos are the best speedwork for the HM. But only if you've built your endurance first! I have found relatively short tempo runs - like 20-30 min/wk in the 4wks before the race - do a lot of good. But I know some people go longer or do 2x20min or whatever, everyone's different...

             

            Actually, you know what? Dude should totally just come here and read a bunch Big grin

             

            Yeah.  That is what I thought too.  Must have included some frustrated walking in there.  Anyway, thank you both for your comments.

              There's NO one workout, or several workouts, that's "best".  It's the flow of the training, balance of the entire program, that makes it successful.

               

              A running pal of mine asked for some advice. Like I know something!?!    Does anyone have any good half-marathon workouts? I don't usually race this distance, generally just using it for training or to get miles in so I wasn't sure what would be useful. This individual recently ran a half marathon in 1:38. Apparently the race started out with 6:30s through about the 7 mile mark and then he died a slow painful death in the second half. Other than running more miles and pacing better which would obviously help, what sort of workout would help him?

               

              I was going to propose some mile repeats so he might learn to keep an even pace/ slightly slower for a longer time and then also be able to creep up on holding the faster pace for longer. But then I started wondering if this really was going to help any?   And how many repeats? I was hoping to propose some specific half-marathon oriented workout that could be applied to a small group in a 10-15 mile weekend jaunt.

                There's NO one workout, or several workouts, that's "best".  It's the flow of the training, balance of the entire program, that makes it successful.

                 

                 

                This.

                 

                But I will say that the half marathon is the distance I (and most people) can race best off of base training. That's because the pace approximates what we do in tempo runs all the time anyway. So if your'e doing a lot of mileage and tempos, you usually don't need a whole lot else to sharpen for a half marathon.

                Runners run.

                  ...

                   

                  ...The best workout I've found to run the half steady and strong is to go out and run that distance regularly until it feels second nature and you know it like a good friend.

                   

                  +1 to this.

                  While we all know that a well-rounded training program is "best", if there is one single workout that stands above all others when training for a half, for me it is to go run a 13.12 mile time trial, and repeat this several times at weekly to bi-weekly intervals, depending on needed recovery time. Once I've got some base miles on my legs, this one workout by itself makes me faster each time I do it, up to a point. And it's the best confidence boosting workout for the half, vastly decreasing my race-day anxiety at the starting line.


                  Right on Hereford...

                     

                    +1 to this.

                    While we all know that a well-rounded training program is "best", if there is one single workout that stands above all others when training for a half, for me it is to go run a 13.12 mile time trial, and repeat this several times at weekly to bi-weekly intervals, depending on needed recovery time. Once I've got some base miles on my legs, this one workout by itself makes me faster each time I do it, up to a point. And it's the best confidence boosting workout for the half, vastly decreasing my race-day anxiety at the starting line.

                     

                    There is a huge difference between doing a 13.1 mile long run, which Xhristopher suggested, and racing a half marathon every week or two, which is what you are saying. Recovery time after racing 13.1 miles is way too long for this to work.

                       

                      There is a huge difference between doing a 13.1 mile long run, which Xhristopher suggested, and racing a half marathon every week or two, which is what you are saying. Recovery time after racing 13.1 miles is way too long for this to work.

                       

                      This works, and works well, for me; I've done it a number of years now for my early spring HM training when winter weather makes for few good running days outdoors, and we have to make the best of them when they happen. I know from doing this workout what my personal recovery time is before I can run it again at a faster pace for the same effort level. 7-10 days. I know this won't work for every runner, but I'm more of a fast twitch type guy, and "racing" a HM time trial at 2-3 minutes slower than what my actual race pace might be is not all that difficult. When the weather cooperates and if a person was looking for just one "best" workout for a half marathon, based on my personal experience, this is it. 


                      Right on Hereford...

                         

                        This works, and works well, for me

                         

                        Cecil, I looked at your training log, and you are a machine. But, I'm going to say that based on what you're able to do in training, you are racing WAY under your potential. So, I respectfully disagree that your half-marathon-time-trial-every-week training method works for you. With your fitness, you should be racing a half marathon in about 1:20 or faster, not 1:26.

                          Well in terms of specificity a 13.1-mile TT would be about as good as it gets. But I'm not sure I could come within 2-3 minutes of current half marathon race time in a solo time trial if my life depended on it.

                           

                          Whatever works.

                          Runners run.

                            All I can say is; I'm so glad you're not coaching me for a full marathon...or 800m!  As logical it may sound, that's as illogical an approach as it can get as far as I'm concerned.

                             

                            +1 to this.

                            While we all know that a well-rounded training program is "best", if there is one single workout that stands above all others when training for a half, for me it is to go run a 13.12 mile time trial, and repeat this several times at weekly to bi-weekly intervals, depending on needed recovery time. Once I've got some base miles on my legs, this one workout by itself makes me faster each time I do it, up to a point. And it's the best confidence boosting workout for the half, vastly decreasing my race-day anxiety at the starting line.

                              Well in terms of specificity a 13.1-mile TT would be about as good as it gets. But I'm not sure I could come within 2-3 minutes of current half marathon race time in a solo time trial if my life depended on it.

                               

                              Whatever works.

                               

                              I was about to write the same "if my life depended on it" words. If I'm expending that kind of energy I'd rather just race. In the last year my fastest half in training was about 6 minutes slower than my fastest half raced. Usually they are 15-20 minutes slower.

                                Holy crap, Cecil! I just took a look at your log. You are a machine! Your training paces would kill me fast.

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