If you've never run a half marathon before, or if it has been a long time since you have run that distance, it can be tempting to endlessly put in the long runs to make sure you can do the distance.
It can be easy to rule out the benefit of doing shorter runs in your training plan in preference to the 10 mile + runs.
Well, a couple of things can go wrong if long runs are the only elements of your routine.
First of all, if you are new to running or have had a long time off, your fitness and strength for running may not be high.
You will suffer more fatigue from a long run than an experienced runner would. If you create fatigue, you need to manage your rest and recovery to come back strong at the right point and to be in top condition on race day.
If you train hard again when already suffering fatigue, then you invite injury and a loss of general 'get up and go'.
A good training plan for a half marathon will include some runs of over 10 miles, but not necessarily as long as 13.1 miles and maybe not every week.
It will mix in some shorter, slow 'recovery' runs as well as some runs that last 45-60 minutes and perhaps involve some interval training of some sort.
Interval training basically means within the same workout you have periods where your effort is high, mixed together with times when you recover by working more easily.
Coaches often include 'Tempo' runs in an athletes routine.
These are runs where you will work harder (perhaps 85% effort, only able to utter around 4-5 syllables between deep breaths) constantly for around only 30-45 minutes for example.
Intervals and Tempo runs play an important part in building your fitness in preparation for a half marathon.
If you would like to contact me for some advice, please feel free to do so. Enjoy your running!"
If you are unsure of how to plan your training weeks ahead of the Maidenhead Half Marathon then have a look at some training plans that have been prepared by Chris Donald of Purple Patch Running.
This week is the fifth of eight ahead of the race - so you should be about half way through now!
This particular plan is for runners looking to finish the 13.1 mile course in less than two hours and 30 minutes.
Rest – Either have a complete rest from physical activity or do something non-weight bearing such as swimming or cycling
Easy – nice relaxed run at the pace indicated in the appropriate column. Could probably chat away if running with someone
Run/walk – short bursts of slow running mixed with walking – don’t run until you are exhausted and then have to walk the whole way home. Jog or walk the whole time or distance.
The sub-1:30 and sub 2:00 schedules can be found on the Pharmalink Maidenhead Half Marathon race page.
If you have any doubts about your level of fitness it is advisable to check with your doctor before you undertake any programme of physical activity.
Most importantly, enjoy your training and have a great race!
Download a Race entry form here.
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