If you are looking to test your training ahead of a spring half-marathon, we have the perfect workout for you. Whether you are experienced or running your first half, the distance isn’t easy, as it relies heavily on your endurance in comparison to the 5K or 10K distances. The strategy for a half-marathon is all about settling into your goal pace early and adjusting your pace around the 15-16 km mark, depending on how you’re feeling.
Most runners training for a half-marathon use long runs or tempos to get their bodies familiar with spending more than an hour or two on their feet. But what if you could get both speed and volume in the same workout?
Four to six reps of 2 km @ HM race pace/1K float rest
Start with a 15 to 20-minute warmup, then get into the first 2 km rep. Each 2 km rep should be done at your goal half-marathon pace, and the 1 km rest should be done at a float pace, which is about 30 to 40 seconds slower than your goal half-marathon pace.
For example: If you want to break 1:40:00 for the half, you’ll want to do the 2 km reps around 4:44/km or a little faster, hitting around 9:28 for each 2 km rep. This means your 1 km float should be around 5:15/km. It’s important to hit the paces on the first couple of reps, as going too fast early could ruin the workout.
The idea of this workout is to simulate a race-day experience and to get you comfortable with your goal pace over an extended period of time with fast rest. If you are unable to complete four reps at your goal pace, your goal pace may be too ambitious. If so, adjust the pace by three to five seconds per kilometre, then try the workout another time.
As the workout evolves, your body will rely on its aerobic endurance to pull you through the final few reps; similar to the final five kilometres of a half-marathon. When this workout is done, it will leave you feeling confident for race day.