Training Help

I am looking at doing my first half marathon May/June this year. I play football (90mins) Saturdays and football train (90mins) Tuesdays. What I need is some guidance on what I can fit in between these to help me acheive my goal, not looking for any major record breaking just making it round in an acceptable time. I can get out twice maybe three times a week occasionally on top of my football commitments. Any ideas??


  • If you're serious about completing this half then twice a week running is not the best way to go around it - I'd say you need to do at least 4 days per week to do yourself even remote justice. While football training will have given you a base to work from they are both quite different sports!

    Unfortunately, I don't know anything else on your fitness background so to give advice is moot without knowing what you can firstly do. If you were to go out for a run tomorrow, how many miles do you think you would be able to cover? From football training it would be safe to imagine you aren't a run/walker?

  • It's difficult to say how many miles I could do tomorrow. With the fotball training I do and to be honest what I do on the pitch in the position I play it's more short sharp bursts, interval training basically. I appreciate this is much different to an endurance event. Unfortunatley with my footbal commitments, work and a young family it's difficult to commit much more time plus recovery time. I can probably cover a reasonable distance but it would be at a slow pace as it stands. I was thinking that with my basic fitness, speed work etc I do at football then doing a decent run at a good pace one day and then a longer run at a slower pace. How does this sound?? There may be other days when I can fit other runs in as well but just as a basic plan???
  • Hi Brian,

    It really depends on what time you want to do the half marathon in.

     If you are not to bothered about the time and just happy to get round, then 2 or 3 runs a week is ok, gradually increasing the distance.  If on the other hand you are looking for a quick time, then a more detailed plan is needed.

     In football training you do a lot of intervals, short sharp training.  That is certainly useful, but running a half marathon is a bit different and you need to have a different mentality.

    If you are prepared for that, that's good.

    Good luck


  • Steve

    Thanks, yes it's more of a case of just getting round and not embarrassing myself as it stands but depending on how the training goes you never know! Do you think it would be worth throwing in a 10K April time to give me an earlier target to hit as well ??

  • Brian - understandable that your time is limited, in which case you'll have to just to the most you can while balancing everything else, in which case I'd say three sessions a week.

    I would honestly say doing all your runs at an easy pace is the best option. Too many people get swept up in the "speedwork is essential" mindset which while is true to a certain extent for less experienced runners it's not necessary. If you feel good one day it's fine to do a few middle miles at a quicker pace but doing it judiciously and in low volumes is recommended.

    I wouldn't recommend HM training off of two runs a week but if that's all the time you can commit then so be it - nothing can be done about it. If you have the time I would say trying to add a third run each week but in this scenario missing a run is going to be quite a big deal (whereas for more experienced, frequent, higher mileage runners it is less of a problem).

    It's good that you can run and you're not starting from scratch. Basically you'd need to increase the length of one run to ~ 110 mins over the training period you have and take the second from ~25 to ~40 mins to supplement it.

    The problem is that there's such limited scope for runs in your situation. You're going to find the long run difficult because of a lack of other medium-distance runs to supplement it.

    The half will be very difficult off of two runs a week. Football training just isn't a substitute (which you accept yourself).

    Edit: In terms of targets, your endurance will be low enough that a 10k will give you a range but the pace drop-off between the two is such that it may not be a reliable indicator.

  • It sounds like you are pretty keen to get running races which is good, but a word of caution.  If you taking up running seriously, and I am not trying to patronise you, build up slowly to prevent injury and make sure you have the right shoes for you.

    My advice would be to train just for the half marathon so you can increase distance week on week, rather than training for two different types of races.  However I don't want to dampen your spirits, so if you are doing well and have remained injury free, then go for it.  But think of it more as a training run for the hhalf marathon rather than a 10k race.

    I think if you do 2 or 3 runs a week, that will be just fine, given the fact you do football training too.  I would suggest doing a bit of strength training too, to help with injury prevention.


  • Yes the 10k is nothing more than a training run more so for the mental side than the physical. Just want to get a feel for it.

  • Ok, good luck with the training Brian.  Just make sure you build up slowly.  Once you start building up the miles you will get more confident.
  • Brian, i think some of the advice in this thread is a bit doom laden and overly serious.

    You do two 90min sessions a week already, i'm guessing your young, and i'm guessing your not over weight.

    If these assumptions are true, i'd bet you could complete a half marathon without any training.

    But since you want to train, you could do your self justice by just adding just one run a week, gradually increasing to ~10 miles. Obviously the more runs a week you do the easier and faster the half will be. If you want to run it serious buy a book, if you just want to get round and not come last, go out and do a few miles on top of the football and enjoy yourself.

  • 1 hour 55 mins. Training ended up being once a week if I was lucky
  • I'm new to the forum and have chanced upon this thread.  I would be proud to run 1hour 55mins for a half marathon: well done!  If you're serious about training I reckon you could do a sub 1 hour 40mins, but either way take a pat upon the back.
  • Not happy with myself as I know I did not do myself justice, not on the day OK with that but the training I put in. Much more to give with even just a bit more training. Nine miles felt good, ten miles OK, 10.5 miles running on empty nothing left in the tank, always next year, sub 1'45" next year
  • Nessie73Nessie73 ✭✭✭
    Blimey I'm massively impressed. I've been running for well over two years, 3-4 times a week pretty religiously, and I ran my first HM recently in 2h 11 minutes. This was with a fairly structured training routine starting about 4 or 5 months beforehand. I know I'm a woman so not directly comparable but still....
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