Fitness instructor - half marathon training question

Hi all,

I am a fitness instructor and I am about to start training for a half marathon. I teach 8-9 classes Sun-Wed and am looking to train whilst teaching - obviously looking to fit the training in around teaching. My question is - would 1 long run and 1 speed work run, be enough to improve my speed as a runner and give me good half marathon fitness? My base fitness level is very good - looking to transfer that to a run fitness level!

Any thoughts/comments/advice appreciated!!


  • In short no.

    have you run before? If so how far? 

    You'd be surprised by how 'fit' you think you are when you say your a fitness instructor. Running's totally different to gym based classes.  image

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    As Ja5on says, general fitness and running fitness are very different.

    I came into running from a background of rugby.

    I found getting up to 10 miles relatively easy but really struggled after that due to a lack of specific running fitness.

    I would say that you would need to aim for a minimum of 3 runs a week.

    I wouldn't worry about speed sessions just get used to running the miles at an easy pace.
  • I can't imagine "good HM fitness" on less than 3 runs a week regardless of your fitness background if it is not running.  I remember a thread on here a few weeks back from someone who did gym/climbing and other sports *a lot* with their other half and thought they were *really* fit,  but were really surprised how slow their first HM effort was.  No substitute to running for running really i think.

  • Improve? Yes if have come from nothing. Depends where you were in the first place.

  • I would suggest the best approach here is to drop speed work and build up the easy running around your work. Easy running will develop your running physiology, in a fairly safe way. Consider a speed session when you are running 4 or 5 runs per week.

    while your work may help improve stroke/volume of the heart muscle which is great, you have to target the other end of the aerobic chain, and conditioning the muscles & tendons through plenty of specific training. Build a decent running base and speed will some from this. 

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    To be fair a fitness instructor is no running coach. They don't teach the science of running in fitness instructor or personal trainer courses, both of which are very short and specific. Therefore unless a PT has a personal interest or aptitude to running they have no basis to know anymore about it than any Joe public!

  • Thanks for the responses. Definitely lots to think about. Will try to fit 3 x runs per week - don't want to over do it twitch my classes though! I have ran a half marathon before with long runs but mostly off the classes - not something I'd do again as the last part was not fun and it was not well thought out. Want to do it properly this time. As a poster above said, being a fitness instructor is very different to being a running coach and it is not the same thing as being a PT either - that's a different qualification too.

    Many thanks all!
  • Hey Fitchick2 did you start your training yet?  I also teach group fitness as well as work a 40 hour workweek aside from that.  I was able to juggle it all for a few half marathons but never on less than 3 runs a week and ran best when running 4 times a week.  It is very difficult to fit it all in without overtraining (for me)  I am always interested to hear how other fitness instructors do it!  Let me know how you made out / are making out!

    Luckily I have a very good friend who is a run coach, fitness instructor, personal trainer, and experienced racer.  So she really did help me, I had her do me a training plan.  She told me when I needed to get a fitness class covered in peak training weeks or recovery weeks, etc.  Helped me decide what type of running was best. 

    Good luck it's not easy to figure out.

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