What speed work can I add for HM training

Hi, I've read so many running books but I need a human!

For my first HM I did 4 runs per week including intervals and hills. Got nasty ITB and knee niggles about 6 weeks before race and the rest of my training was pretty light. I got thru the race (after massage, rest and long taper) at 2h22m. I really feel I overtrained with speed and long runs. For my second HM (on 7 Oct) I've taken it down to 3 runs per week, no real speed work - only a tempo run or a bit of half-hearted fartlek each week - and I've been feeling really really good, much less wiped out than last time. However I tried a teeny little interval thingy last weekend and bingo OUCH achilles calves and quads. They're ok now but my question is....

I'm glad to have got this far without injury but I do feel my HM time needs o come down. I think I can do 2h10 or less (my 10k time is 53m43s). So is there ANY speed work I can do that will not kill my achilles, calves and quads? It seems to give me an injury whenever I add it into my programme. Any advice or experience on nice speedwork that does not hurt! 


  • My guess (and it may not be a very good one) is that you are trying to run too fast whenever you add anything a little quicker.  Maybe even too far at that speed.

    Whenever i train to run a half marathon (pb 1hr24) a lot of my quicker sessions will only be 30ses per mile quicker than what i intend to run in the race and only for 800m with 400m SLOW recoveries inbetween.  Main reason if i run to quick my knee or plantar dont like it.

    Try running 10-20secs per mile quicker for short periods. Then have a couple of mins at well below race pace before repeating maybe 6-8 times to start.

  • You can definitely get your HM time down just by doing lactate threshold runs, where you run for a consistent period of time at your current 15km / HM pace (or more accurately, at 80-92% of your max heart rate), and or by doing lactate threshold intervals (e.g. 2 x 1500 metres at 15km / HM pace broken up by 1000 metre jogs). If that doesn't hurt then I'd be tempted to stick with that for the time being rather than going on to the track for VO2 workouts. Also: maybe see a physio?

    I obviously can't be sure if you're going too fast when you do your speed workouts, but remember for lactate threshold workouts you should run at the pace suggested above. If you don't know this figure or own a heart rate monitor, you could use McMillan Calculator (http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/calculator) to work out your splits. Based on your 10km time, you probably want to do your lactate threshold runs in around 5:41 per km.

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