Half Marathon Training : Speed Intervals

By 13 June 2016Latest, Running

Last time we looked at a training plan for your long runs and in this post we are looking at interval training as the next stage in your half marathon training. The reason for using interval training as you train for your half marathon is to get your body used to running faster over longer periods of time or distance.

Incorporating Intervals within Your Long Runs

You should include interval runs within your longer training runs that we looked at in our previous post  so that you get used to having spells of running faster during a long distance training run.

For example, you may be on a 5-6 mile run and within this distance you could include 1-2 miles faster than your planned race pace e.g. take the first 2 miles slow and steady, then run the next two miles at the faster pace, finishing with a slow and steady last two miles. For this type of training you need to know what pace you are aiming for on race day of course; let’s say that your race day pace is going to be 8 min/mile then you need to aim for 7-7.5 min/mile for the speed interval.

You can split it up another way as well by running 1 mile slow and steady and then 1 mile at “faster than race pace” repeating this for 6 miles. So, the principle remains the same, you just set your pace according to where you are with your training.

If you don’t know what your fastest pace is you can very easily find out!

Find a fairly flat route around your local park or area and measure out 1 mile ( a lot of parks now have 100/200mtr posts or you can use a running app on your phone). Once you have warmed up, run that mile as fast as you can and I mean as fast as you can, so that you can barely breathe at the end!

Record the time and you now have your fastest mile time; you can work everything else out from this fastest time.

Specific Speed Interval Sessions

The best place to do your speed interval sessions is a running track and some running/athletic clubs will host track nights where you can pay a small fee and turn up to train with other members, alternatively check out your local park to see if they have the 100mtr marker posts. Another option is to measure out some distances using a phone running app.

So, for your speed interval sessions, as with all training sessions, you need to warm up correctly and then run to your park/running track so that when you start your speed intervals you are nicely warmed up. There are so many combinations to choose from for speed interval work we couldn’t possibly look at them all here but here a few simple ones you might like to try:

  • 1min/1min          

Run at pace for 1 min, 1 min jogged recovery x 10

  • 2 min/2min      

Run at pace for 2 min, 2 min jogged recovery x 8

  • 200m/200m

200mtrs running, 200mtrs  jogged recovery x 10

  • 400m/200m

400mtrs running, 200mtrs jogged recovery x 6

  • 800m/400m

800mtrs running, 400mtrs jogged recovery x 4

  • 200/400/600/800/1000m/800/600/400/200

 60 secs jogged recovery after each run.

Any questions?? Get in touch here and we can build you a specific training plan to get you towards your running goal.

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