Intermediate 10k-Half Marathon

Intermediate 10k-Half Marathon

This a 12 week plan intended for runners doing 30-45 miles per week of training. If you do not know your 10k or half marathon race paces you can use this calculator to estimate your paces based on another recent race time. For any of the workouts with reps longer than 1000 meters I would suggest doing them on the roads or trails and not a track. It is important you learn to run hard on the roads if you want to race hard on the roads. I’ve only listed workout days and long runs. All other days should be 30-60 minutes of easy running. By easy running I mean running at a conversational pace, the best way to make sure you are going at an easy enough pace is to run with someone else and have a conversation with them.

Please see the notes below for more explanations and suggestions.

Week 1
6-8×1000 meters at 10k pace 2 minutes rest
strides at least 2 days
 Long Run 90+ minutes
Week 2
4-5×1 mile at 10k pace with 3 minutes rest
strides at least 2 days
 Long Run 90+ minutes
Week 3
6-8×1000 meters at 10k pace 90 seconds rest
strides at least 2 days
 Long Run 90+ minutes
Week 4
4×1.25 miles at half marathon pace with 3 minute rest
strides at least 2 days
 Long Run 90+ minutes
Week 5
3-4 miles at half marathon pace
6×800 at 5k pace 2 minutes rest
 Long Run 90+ minutes
Week 6: Down Week cut back overall mileage 20-30%
6×1000 at 10k pace with 90 seconds rest
strides at least 2 days
 Medium length long run no more than 90 minutes
Week 7
4-5 miles at half marathon pace
strides at least 2 days
 Long Run 90+ minutes
Week 8
2×800 meters 5k pace 2 minutes rest 2 miles half marathon pace 2 minutes rest 2×800 meters 5k pace 2 minutes rest
strides at least 2 days
 Long Run 90+ minutes
Week 9
4×1.25 miles at 10k pace with 3 minutes rest
5×1000 at 5k pace with 3 minutes rest
 Long Run 90+ minutes
Week 10
3×1.5 miles at half marathon pace 3 minutes rest
strides at least 2 days
 Long Run 90 minutes tops
Week 11
3×2 mile at half marathon pace 3 minutes rest (about 10 days out from goal race)
strides at least 2 days
 Long Run 90 minutes tops
Week 12: Race Week
 3×1 mile at goal pace 60 seconds rest (4-5 days out from race)
 Race

Week to Week:

You will notice that most weeks only have 1 speed workout. If you are running closer to 45 miles a week than 30 and are running at least 5 days a week you may want to add a second workout on a few more weeks. I would suggest making it a hill workout. Start with 6×60 seconds up a fairly steep hill with 2-3 minutes recovery (jog down the hill then rest for 90 seconds) build to 8×90 seconds with the same recovery.

Races:

It is a good idea to work some races into this training plan. Every few weeks find a 5k to 5 mile race to run. Make sure you tweak your weekly schedule enough to allow a 3-4 days of easier running after your race. I would recommend doing the planned workout the week of the race, just give yourself a few days to recovery from the workouts. For example do a Tuesday workout and a Saturday race not a Thursday workout Saturday race.

Strides:

Strides are a great way to work on your form and your top end speed. They teach you to run fast but relaxed. At least twice a week you should do 4-6 strides after an easy run or work them into the last mile or so of your easy run. Start slow and build speed for 5-8 seconds until you are near you top sprint speed, hold that speed for a few second then gradually slow down to a jog, jog for 30-60 seconds before starting your next stride. A stride should take about 15-20 seconds or about 100 meters.

Warm up/Cool down: 

You should establish a warm up and cool down routine and try to do it the same way every workout and every race. This will help prepare both your body and your mind for the hard effort. A proper warm up doesn’t just prepare your muscles but it also primes your cardiovascular system. While everyone has a slightly different routine I would suggest doing roughly the following.

40 minutes out: 15-20 minutes of easy running, start at a shuffle but end the last few minutes and your normal easy run pace or even slightly faster.

20 minutes out: Change into whatever you plan on racing in, bathroom break, final sips of water or sugar drink.

10 minutes out: Head to the starting line (or where ever you are going to start your workout). 4×20 seconds strides at 5k race pace with 1 minute between strides. Do any dynamic stretching (high knees, butt kicks etc) you prefer.

You should finish your warm up routine as soon as possible before the start of your race. Standing around for more than 3-4 minutes will negate much of the work you just did to get ready. For longer races you can do a shorter opening jog, but I still recommend doing at least 10 minutes even for a half marathon. I strongly encourage you not to do any static stretching before a race or workout as it robs your muscles of power and likely does nothing to prevent injury. Save the static stretching for after.

Cool down: 10 minutes of easy jogging followed by a good mix of carbs and protein.

Goal Race:

Try to keep things as familiar as you can on race day. Eat the same foods you would normally eat the night before and the morning of the race. You should have your warm up routine down pat by this point. If you plan on using the race provided sugar drink, find out what brand and flavor they are using and test it out in a couple training runs so you don’t have any surprises on race day. For races less than 1 hour I would suggest just water.

Final Thought:

Inevitably you will find yourself 4 miles into a half marathon paced training run thinking “how the hell am I supposed to hold this pace for 13.1 miles.”

dontpanicoldT1

This is totally normal and to be expected. If you are being honest about your goal pace based on recent shorter races it is normal to feel those long intervals and tempo runs are tough to get through. You aren’t ready to run your goal pace at week 7, otherwise it would be a 7 week plan not a 12 week plan. It is a process and when you get to the end of the plan you will be ready to run your goal time.

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