Half marathon race pace training


January saw my monthly mileage hit 268 miles which is quiet a jump from Decemeber which came in at 179 and November was 139. It was a month of 60 miles a week and I've been really enjoying it. I have a routine now which is working well. 

Monday morning, I head out for 4 miles around a couple of different routes that I have mapped out. Some are loops, some are out and backs but always 4 miles. I could go out an do the same route every time but it's nice to change the scenery every now and again. In the evening I run home from the office, which is 8 miles. I've been running with my rucksack and it's not as bad as I thought it might have been. I use a Karrimor Wind rucksack, it holds plenty and doesn't move too much while running. I weighed it the other night and it was 12lbs of extra weight, no wonder I was tired when I got home! 
The runs in the morning and the run home are meant to be easy runs, nothing crazy and apart from one night when I clocked 6:39 min/mi average, with my rucksack, they have all been around the 7:30 - 8:00 minutes per mile pace. Some evenings have been 8:30s, it really depends on how my legs are feeling. 

Tuesday I head to Saughton athletics track and join the rest of the Edinburgh AC endurance squad for usually 10 km worth of effort. I run from the office to the track which is 2 miles, it makes for a good warm up. All in, a Tuesday tends to get me another 9 or 10 mile day. 

Wednesday morning is back to the early 4 mile run, this one really does tend to be at a nice slow pace. Not out of choice, it's just my legs are usually still tired from the previous night on the track. The evening again is a 8 mile run home with my rucksack. 
I've tried to find a couple of routes for running home but always seem to get drawn towards the cycle path. It's traffic free, apart from the crazy cyclists who sometimes think they own the path and treat it like a motorway, and it's non-stop running. No need to cross at traffic lights or junctions and it's also pretty sheltered if it is raining or windy or both! 

Thursday session tends to be at the Meadows in Edinburgh. This is a session with Edinburgh AC's coaches and changes from week to week but I tend to clock in another 10 miles with warm up and cool downs. 

Friday is rest day but I have started to go to RPM classes at Leith Victoria gym, just for a bit of cross training as I've mentioned in previous blogs. 

Saturday depends on what I plan on doing on the Sunday, if I am doing the 12 mile route on Sunday, I will add extra on Saturday and visaversa, if I am doing 16 on Sunday I will drop the miles on Saturday. The target is always to end the week on 60 or there abouts. 

So 6 weeks of 60 mile weeks has been good but now it's time to get some race pace training in. My track work on a Tuesday has been coming along nicely. My pace is improving and I feel like a runner! I've lost a bit of weight which I also think is helping things. 

Some of you may remember when I was training for Amsterdam I did a 5,4,3,2,1 session, 5 miles at pace, 5 minutes jog recovery, 4 miles at pace, 4 minutes jog recovery, well I'm doing the same again but this time at half marathon pace. 

It's going to kick off things tomorrow, start with a 3,2,1. Target pace, 6:00 minutes per mile. This will give me 4 weeks before Inverness half.

Week one: 3,2,1 (6 total)
Week two: 4,3,1 (8 total)
Week three: 4,3,2 (9 total)
Week four: 4,3,2,1 (10 total)

With a mile warm up and cool down. 

I'm planning on using a loop that I have close to my house which is undulating. This should prep me for Inverness half. I don't see the point on training at a set pace on a flat route when I know Inverness is going to have ups and downs. Mentally it should prepare me as a bit as well. 

I'm really looking forward to Inverness, I've never ran the half marathon route but I do know the first 3 miles and final 3 miles of the route since it's the final stretch of the marathon course. 

If I can manage to get to week four, I will then have a week taper and see how Inverness goes, but before then, I have the Devilla 15k trail race this weekend and then the National cross country race at Falkirk in 2 weeks time, so plenty to keep me busy!


Owain Williams

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