Advice please....

Hi all, I'm training to do a half marathon in march. I think I'm on track, I regularly run 11.5 k in under an hour which I think is okay. This will be going up to 14k over the next few weeks. I went to a running shop at the weekend and when I spoke to him about my training which consists of running 11.5k at least twice a week, I suggested that I should mix it up a bit and do a 5k run instead of one of the longer runs. He said that I should do 5k a bit faster as this would help me. I did that today, my question is why would this help me? Surely I just need to keep running farther and farther more comfortably. Thanks Paul.



    Hope the above advice helps.

    There are too many theories and tons of information regarding training that it's best just to keep it simple.

    As you have plenty of time to train before your half marathon, a good plan would be to build up your base mileage with 3 or 4 runs over the week. Once you are comfortable with your base mileage you can start doing some speed work. There are a number of different speed sessions that you can do. All involve running shorter or much shorter distances at faster paces. You'll find phrases like tempo, fartlek, intervals, HITT bandied about.

    Generally you would be running one long run per week at a slow pace. This run would take you upto and possibly beyond your race distance. You would also do one other run at a similar pace of about half to 2 thirds the distance of your long run. A third run of a similar distance to your second run, either at a faster but steady pace or as a tempo run. Then speed work - fartlek; intervals; hill reps; HITT etc. All manner of speed sessions.

    Your long run helps build stamina. You need more than stamina to race, you need to be able to run at a faster than training pace for the distance of the race. The speed work helps you do this.

    So yes, in the first instance you are right, you need a good base mileage upon which to work. However there comes apoint where you can not do a long run every time you head out the door. At this point in order to gain most benefit from your training you need to add some speed work.

    One long run a week is enough to build endurance.

  • Thanks.

    So at the moment I'm on 11.5k for my long run, so I should do that, then maybe 2 more runs of 8k?  Then when I increase my longer run the other two runs should increase too?

    So i guess the longer run will build up my stamina and the other two runs will build a core fitness and help with the speed.


  • A short, fast run might help keep interest levels up in case you start to flag and get bored - it can happen so easily. It might feel like you should be running longer and longer, but a short quick blast once a week will keep things fresh and fun.

  • Half marathon next march is a long way away. You are well on track.

    On 3 runs a week I would keep one long, increase the distance of that one each week but every 4th week just repeat the following weeks distance.

    The other 2 runs I would use one for speed work like intervals or tempo running and the other one a slightly faster shorter run.

    Pretty much what your shop assistant told you.

    The long run will build your endurance while the other help to increase your speed.
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