Home > Training

3 key workouts to PB your next marathon

Switch up your routine and dial in your pace with these fun training sessions

Marathon runners Photo by: Photo: Unsplash/Martins Zemlickis

Mastering the art of a half-marathon or marathon can take many years of consistent training. These diverse workouts should be added to your repertoire–they’ll help you nail pacing, build speed for hilly courses (that also translates to strength on the flats) and boost your confidence. If you have an area you need to work on, you’ll notice it after running these sessions, and can make it a focus. Consistency (and fun) are essential.

pair of runners on road
Photo: Unsplash/chanan-greenblatt

3K-2K-1K ladders

A great workout to pop into your training regime when your legs are feeling slow or sluggish, these ladders will inject some speed and help you tune in efficiency and race-day pacing.

Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running and some drills and strides.

2 x 3K at half marathon pace, 2K at 10K pace, 1K at 5K pace, with 2 minutes of recovery between reps and 4 minutes of recovery between sets.

Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running.

Man running along a road
Photo: Unsplash/Isaac Wendland

Marathon to half-marathon pace progression repeats

This session is all about the negative splits. Start slightly slower than you marathon pace and increase your speed each repetition, working down to half-marathon pace. You’ll boost confidence with each repetition and practise pushing harder toward the end of your race.

Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running.

3 x 10 minutes at half-marathon pace, with 3 minutes of easy recovery between reps.

Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running.

hill workout

 3-minute hill repetitions

Warm up with 10-15 minutes of easy running.

8 x 3-minute hills at marathon pace (moderate grade hill of 4-6 per cent), then run easily down the hill for recovery.

Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running.

This workout is a great confidence booster and can be done near the end of your marathon training cycle. A three-minute hill is a long one–you won’t be running full-out, and will gain strength and endurance by powering through. Work on maintaining a steady pace up the hill, and embrace the discomfort of this workout–it’s a great reminder of how uncomfortable the marathon can be!

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

Running gear deals for the long weekend

The holiday weekend might be long, but these hot deals are only on for a short time