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3 tempo workouts for half-marathon training

Planning to run 21.1 this spring? Use these workouts to help you go the distance

If you’ve got a half-marathon on your calendar, tempo runs are going to be your bread and butter. Training your anaerobic threshold is key to running a successful half, and these three workouts will do exactly that. Ideal for the intermediate runner looking to run a fast time, nail these sessions and you’ll be ready to cruise to a new PB come race day.

Copenhagen Half-Marathon
Photo: Copenhagen Half-Marathon.

Half-marathon tempos

These three tempo runs are designed for intermediate runners who either already have a couple of half-marathons under their belts, or who have been reasonably competitive in the 10K distance and are looking to do the same over 21K. Beginners will likely find them too advanced, and should refer to this training plan instead.

There are three paces for these workouts: your goal pace, 95 per cent of that pace, and 105 per cent of that pace. That means if your goal pace is 5:00/km, some of the intervals you should run five per cent slower (5:15/km) and some you should run five per cent faster (4:45/km).

Workout 1

Warmup: 10-15 minutes easy run, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 15 minutes at 95 per cent of your goal pace/ 12 minutes at goal pace/ 8 minutes at 105 per cent of your goal pace // 3 minute jog rest between each interval

Cooldown: 10-15 minutes easy jog, followed by light stretching

Workout 2

Warmup: 10-15 minutes easy run, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 2 x 20 minutes at goal pace with 2 minutes jog recovery

Cooldown: 10-15 minutes easy jog, followed by light stretching

Workout 3

Warmup: 10-15 minutes easy run, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 6 x 6 minutes at 105 per cent of your goal pace with 3 minutes jog recovery between each interval

Cooldown: 10-15 minutes easy jog, followed by light stretching