‘That sounds pretty’ I thought as I happily clicked to enter a half marathon that is routed around the Northumberland castles.
A couple of weeks later I realised that being beautiful doesn’t detract from it being 13.1 miles.
I do run regularly, a few short runs during the week, but my maximum distance is usually around 6miles; An hour seeming to be a justifiable time for Mummy to be off duty.
More sensible I looked for a bit of spare time in my mornings (Really?? getting up voluntarily before the children?), Lunchtimes (not really a discrete entity in my job) and evenings (full of bedtimes, household jobs and not infrequently work but realistically most practical for my training).
Time still feels in fairly short supply. So I started researching half marathon training plans in the hope of finding the most time efficient way of training for a half marathon.
- There are a huge variety of plans easily found on the internet. These range from schedules aimed at someone who has never run before; To more serious plans for runners aiming to complete a half marathon in under 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Half marathon training schedules recommend running anywhere from 3 to 6 times a week depending on the experience and aim of the runner.
- Most schedules suggest training for a minimum of 8 weeks, more usually around 12 weeks (phew just starting in time!)
- Most half marathon training plans involve one longer run that gets progressively longer week by week. So you might start running 3miles the first week and add a mile or two each week up to around 12 miles a couple of weeks before the race.
- The last long run or two before the race should be a shorter distance. So realistically over the course of 3 months, you probably only need around 5 runs of longer than an hour.
- There are many running training techniques designed to improve running fitness and speed without spending hours running at a consistent pace.
TEMPO RUNNING: This refers to running at a constant speed at a ‘comfortably hard’ pace or ‘8 out of 10’ on the effort scale for a defined set of time.
SPEED WORK: For example hill repeats, track work or fartleck training.
I am still by no means an expert but I realise that it should be possible to train for a half marathon by running 2 or 3 times in the week for 30-45 minutes with one longer run at the weekend.
I’ve made a collection of schedules of Pinterest and then picked one of my favourites. I have now simplified it into something that looks achievable for me; three shortish runs in the week and a longer weekend run, with ideally a bit of Pilates thrown in at some point:
|WEEK||Day 1 (30-60 min)||Day 2 (30 min)||Day 3 (30 min)||Bonus (30-60min)||Long Run|
|1||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||3 miles|
|2||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||5 miles|
|3||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||6 miles|
|4||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||6 miles|
|5||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||8 miles|
|6||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||8 miles|
|7||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||9 miles|
|8||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||10 miles|
|9||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||12 miles|
|10||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||12 miles|
|11||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||6 miles|
|12||Easy Run||Tempo Run||Speed work||Pilates/Cycle||
I’m currently two weeks into training and needless to say my weekly running has not been quite as structured as this schedule; it has still provided a realistic framework and more importantly plenty of motivation.
If you are busy and wondering about training for a half marathon I hope this might give you some ideas for fitting training around a packed shedule. Do have a look at my Pinterest site for lots more inspiration.
I’d love to hear from you if you have any half marathon training tips; especially any for fitting training amongst the chaos of a busy life.
Happy to be linking this post here;