1/2 marathon training programme

I'm running in the Run to the Beat 1/2 in October and wanted to start Steve Smythe's sub 1:45 training programme this week but I'm a bit confused about what exactly it's suggesting.  Tomorrow I'm supposed to do "5 miles (inc. 4 x 800m, 200m jog) at 5km pace".  To make it easier for me (I don't "do" miles!) I converted to kms - so I think that for 4kms I'll be running at approx 5 min/km speed for 4 sets of 800m then recovery jogging for 200m after each 800m... but what do I do for the other 4.12kms??  Do I do 2km at 5km pace, the 4km of 800/200m sets, then another 2kms at 5km pace??  Anyone?  Thanks in advance...


  • welcome jogey
    2 k warm up and 2k warm down

    good luck with the training
  • great, thanks!  I'm assuming the warm up and warm down are at "easy" pace??

    Sorry, probably totally obvious to everyone else but just want to be sure....

  • Yup, not a problem
  • Another question from a relative beginner (been running for a long time, following a schedule for not long at all). This is the first time I've followed a schedule properly, and I've been finding that over the last 4 weeks my speedwork has been improving very rapidly. I started running intervals at 7:30ish for the first week, and I've just come back from the speedwork in week 4 having run the 4 intervals of .75 miles at a pace of just under 6:30 m/m. That was pretty hard work, though...

    My question is, should I intentionally be running well, well within myself for these intervals, and run the target pace, or should I go at it hard as I have been doing?

  • There doesn't seem to be any tapering in this schedule, or am i missing something?
  • GD - The intervals need to be at your target pace. If that is proving easy, lessen recovery or add reps.
  • i'm with Yellowmag on the metric front...anyway @gwilym...it's hard to tell without seeing your programme, but one key thing with intervals is that they should be conistent...ie your fourth interval should be as fast as your first (and pretty hard work).. to give you an example (in metric, sorry)...i can run a single kilometre in 3'50, but when I do or 4 or 5x1km (with recoveries), I can only do all of them at 4'15 to 4'20. the other point to make is that all the advice says to start speedwork cautiously...the mcmillian pace calculator is good at showing appropriate paces from a recent race time. good luck!

  • I'm looking at the 12 week training plan, my race in october is on a saturday, what should i be doing during that week? Is that week 13?!

  • Hi! 

    I've just completed Run To The Beat half marathon using this training programme and it worked - SPOT ON.

    Appreciate this plan may be used by people who've run a half marathon before but want to improve their time but I'd never run further than 10K before starting this programme. I found that the plan builds up the distances nicely. Come race day I also really appreciated the fact that I'd run not only the 13.1 mile distance but actually further in weeks nine and ten - really gives you the confidence that you can do it.

    I didn't stick to every single training day - life of course has a habit of getting in the way but by and large I stuck to an average of four days a week.

    A happy side effect of this programme is the improvement of your shorter distance times - my 10K PB before starting was 45:30 whereas my 10K time at the end of Week eleven was 42:30!

    Anyhoo, I finished the half marathon in 1:36:52 do all in all I'm delighted - thanks Runner's World!


    If I were you I wouldn't worry too much about Week 12. I would still count it as your final week - despite your run being on a Saturday. I didn't bother running on the Friday or Saturday before the race. 

    Up to you of course but I would just go through that week as normal and either make Thursday an additional rest day, run 3M on the Friday and then race on the Saturday OR just leave the plan as it is and run on the Saturday.

    Good luck!

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