Winter planning - up mileage OR develop speed

Hi all,

Some opinions welcomed. I have been running around 7/8 months, have run quite a few 5k races etc - average time about 28 minutes, and a couple of 10's (my last one last weekend Bupa Great Edinburgh Run was 61 minutes).

I am looking towards doing a half marathon next year, but I will also be running quite a few parkrun 5k's over the next 6 months or so.

The question is do I keep distances to around 10k-ish and do intervals, tempo runs and some distance work OR do I start working my way through a half marathon plan (which could include intervals etc) and build up my mileage gradually over the winter to half marathon distance?

I would be using the Garmin training plans on here but also have several books etc and open to all options...

What would you do?



  • Hi Brian,

    I would say you get quicker by doing quick runs (necessarily short) and gain endurance by doing long (and gradually longer) runs, so why not both.

     I've always done fine on 2 runs a week - one short (10k) pushing the speed all the way and one long (15-20k) trying to maintain the pace I set out on (which gets faster as you get fitter).  No serious injuries in 30 years of running because no overtraining.  And I guess my performance has been OK - best half M (on hills) in 1:30.  And the approach scales up - I did the London M in 3:30 on one short run (15k) and one long run starting at half M and getting longer up to almost the whole distance, every week, over about 6 months.

    If you're in this for life, then the only thing I can add is - new shoes every year, and run off-road as much as you can.  That way hopefully your knees won't quit on you in middle age.


  • Thanks Bob,

    Very useful advice. My last couple of sessions after the 10k have been a pushing the pace 5k, and a set of 12 x 30 second sprints with 1 minute recovery in between and 2x0.4km warm-up runs etc...

    Have multiple pairs of shoes I rotate, one for off road, one for training etc. I keep a paper log of my runs etc and mileage on shoes too.

    I am aiming for 3 sessions per week, plus some parkruns, and cross training sessions in the gym, stretching etc so hopefully can still make progress in the winter.

  • Winter, in my view, is about building mileage.Get good miles in, run the odd parkrun, even after a good week of training, and you will get fitter.

    Getting off-road regularly is very good advice.

    Recently started blog

    Latest post - 'Hadd' passes away

  • Thanks folks - looks like mileage increase it shall be...
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