Oddly enough, having run one marathon and trained for a further two (that unfortunately I never got to race), I’ve actually only ever run one half marathon. Ok, I’ve covered the distance a fair number of times, but as we all know a training run vs race atmosphere is a completely different thing.
After deciding that perhaps the marathon distance isn’t quite for me, I’ve turned my attention to 10ks and half marathons, for the time-being anyway. So when the lovely people at Promote PR (I made their “fabulous fitness bloggers” shortlist!) offered me a media place for the Reading Half marathon (you can still enter here) I snapped the chance right out of their kind hands.
So what’s the problem?
The trouble is, with having never trained specifically for a half marathon, I have no idea what time I’m actually capable of. I was running at my fastest when I was marathon training, and have set myself a PB for the half distance that I’m already pretty pleased with, but the competitive side of me is very interested in beating it. But based on a race with miles and miles of tarmac already underneath my feet, am I likely to be able to achieve the same?
It seems I’ve certainly chosen the right race to test it… the guys at the Vitality Reading Half have updated their route to make it faster and flatter than ever. That and the stadium finish will obviously inspire a sprint finish like no other. But motivation is clearly lacking. At this rate I’ll have to forget the time goals and just aim to get round and enjoy it.
Onto my “training plan”
Not wanting to be too caught up in a rigid plan, I thought I’d loosely set myself some goal runs to complete each week. A balance of three runs a week, combined with my favourite fitness past time of CrossFit, should hopefully be enough to get me to the start line bright-eyed and busy tailed. So I’ve decided to divvy it up as follows:
1 x #runcommute per week – either a #runcommute, or post-work run with friends.
1 x speedwork session per week – preferably with my local Running Club as I hate speedwork by myself!
1 x long run per week – the weekend is my friend here, and actual real-people friends are very welcome to join me!
Obviously there’ll be less volume than training for a marathon, and the speedwork won’t be quite as short and sharp as for a 10k training plan, but that’s as far as I’ve thought about it so far. But what is suddenly dawning on me from thinking about all of this is that really I’ve done it all the wrong way around. Surely you’re “supposed” to do 5ks, then 10ks, halfs and then marathons? There should be a certain order to all of this?
Has anyone else progressed to a longer distance and skipped a few rungs on the way up the ladder? Have I done it all wrong?! Or do you have any tips on training for a half marathon as opposed to a 10k or marathon?