Half Marathon Training- Speed Work

17 Jan

Welcome to the first of many posts on my training, as I prepare for the 2012 race season

As I mentioned earlier this month, I have signed up for my first race for 2012- the half marathon at the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon which takes place on May 6th.

Thanks in large part to the December Run challenge, I’ve been in good shape to start training so I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll be ready when May 6th rolls around.  My official 12 week training program will not begin until mid-February, but that doesn’t mean I am going to slack off for the time being.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be incorporating more speed-work, simple weight routines and hot yoga to help build up my strength and cardio levels so I can shift into a solid 12 weeks of training.   Any runners out there will know the beauty and pain of doing speed-work to build up your endurance.  In the time leading up to my “official” training I’ll be doing speed training twice a week in the form of intervals and tempo runs.

Intervals hurt like a bitch, but they work wonders to build up your endurance to run harder and faster for longer.  Interval training involves doing repeats of bursts of high intensity running for a measure of time, followed by walking or light jogging.  I almost always use a treadmill for interval training because I find it way easier to track the speed and distance.

This week I’ll be doing the following:

1.5% incline

8 mph for 3 minutes

5.3 mph for 2 minutes

I’ll do this interval 5 times

Tempo runs, on the other hand, while not as painful as intervals are still very useful when building your endurance.  Starting off at a slow(er) pace in the beginning and then gradually building up to your peak endurance before dropping back to your starting pace, tempo runs are an essential part of your training.  As running guru Hal Higdon explains:  A Tempo Run can be as hard or easy as you want to make it, and it has nothing to do with how long (in time) you run or how far. In fact, the times prescribed for Tempo Runs serve mainly as rough guidelines. Feel free to improvise. Improvisation is the heart of doing a Tempo Run correctly.

I start my tempo runs off with on an incline of 1.5% at 5.3mph and increase my mileage every .5 miles.  Today’s went until I hit 7.2 mph and then gradually decrease back to 5.3 mph:

6 mph

6.5 mph

7 mph

7.2 mph

6.8 mph (2 minutes)

6.5 mph (3 minues)

6 mph (3 minutes)

This gave me 3 miles in just under 30 minutes.  I would have tried to go longer but I got so bored I was ready to scream.

Ah well, one day at a time right?




3 Responses to “Half Marathon Training- Speed Work”

  1. Tess and Jess January 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    (Tess) Wow, really comprehensive post, Jess! I’m excited to see how much time you shave off this year 🙂

    • Tess and Jess January 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

      (Jess) I’m excited to see if I can keep my food down post-race this year 😉

  2. lsfitness March 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    hey accidiently I came upon your blog.. my friend is also running the Toronto Goodlife, check out both my blog (http://lsfitness.wordpress.com) and our Facebook page(https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn&__adt=7#!/ReggaeRunnersHalfMarathonChallenge?bookmark_t=page), it explains the Reggae Runners Half Marathon Challenge we have undertaken.
    Good luck with your training,


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