Half marathon training
Well it looks like this year is a popular year for half marathons. We have a few members from the squad who are running their first half marathon ever! Here are a few tips for your training:
Number 1 - long runs. This is probably the most important run of the week. It is important to get that time on your feet. Remember - you're not out to set any record pace during your long run training - it is more about time on your feet. Your pace should be at least a minute (and preferably 1:30 - 2:00 minutes) per km easier than your current 5km pace. Gradually build up your long run distance. If you have a few 10km runs under your belt, maybe start with 11km one week, then 12km the next week, 14km the following week (in case you're superstitious!) - and then give yourself a break and go back down to 12km the following week
Number 2 - interval training. The track sessions available on Wednesdays and Thursdays
are perfect interval training. Most of the sessions are designed to improve VO2 max. The VO2 max is the amount of oxygen our body utilises per minute per kilogram of body weight. Interval sessions teach our bodies to utilise oxygen more efficiently. Optimal VO2 max sessions are multiple repetitions of 3-5 minutes running at 3-5km race pace with a good recovery. (Some of our interval sessions are shorter but will still assist VO2 max but are more designed to improve running technique
Number 3 - tempo runs. This is to improve your lactic threshold. Our bodies always produce lactic acid during running while at the same time clearing lactic acid. There comes a point where the amount of lactic acid produced is more than the lactic acid cleared and ther
e is a build up of lactic acid in the blood. This is the lactic threshold. The idea of a tempo run is to run at this point and teach our body to raise the lactic threshold. A tempo run is run at around the pace that you could run if you ran continuously for an hour, but over a shorter time (e.g. 30-40 minutes). I.e. it is not an all out run
Number 4 - easy / recovery runs. The idea of recovery runs is to run really really easy. This
really needs to be emphasised as most runners run their easy runs too hard which leads to the quality runs being run too easy. The easy / recovery runs should be at an enjoyable pace where you feel comfortable holding a conversation. Also, running at an easier pace is less stressful on our bodies - faster running should account for about 25% (or less) of our total weekly mileage.
Number 5 - sleep!! A lot of our training adaptations occur while we are sleeping so it is super important to get enough zzzzzzs (Yes I know I'm not a good example at present - some of you have seen my late night posts before an early morning - but I'm working on it!!!
Number 6 - don't get too wrapped up in running a pb at parkrun every week. parkrun is a good place to run a tempo run - which is really about 1-2 minutes easier than your pb. Maybe every 4-6 weeks have a hit out and see what you can do!
Happy running - see you at the track!