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Try this speedwork sandwich workout to prepare for the half-marathon

Use this workout to simulate the end of a half-marathon and practice pushing through late-race fatigue

It can often be difficult to simulate the fatigue you’re going to feel at the end of a half-marathon in your training, but practicing pushing through that late-race fatigue is what will get you to the finish line in a new personal best. This speedwork sandwich workout will prepare you for exactly that so you can run your best half yet.

Whistler half-marathon
Whistler half-marathon Photo: Christopher Thorn.

The speedwork sandwich

The idea behind this workout is that you’re asking your body to run at a sustained pace after you’ve already accumulated fatigue, which is exactly what you have to do at the end of your half-marathon. It’s very important to pace the first part of the workout correctly, or else you risk being unable to maintain your pace at the end (which is often a problem for runners who are new to the half-marathon and who go out too hard).

The first section of the workout should be comfortably hard. You’re still moving at a good pace, but you should feel as though you could keep going by the end of the interval. In the five-minute intervals, you can speed up a little, to approximately 10K pace. Finally, the last section will be tough, but the goal is to run half-marathon pace (or a bit quicker) to simulate the end of your race.

The workout

Warmup: 15-20 minute warmup, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 3km at half-marathon pace/3 min rest/3 x 5 min at 10K pace with 2 min rest between each/3 min rest/3km at half-marathon pace

Cooldown: 10-15 minutes followed by light stretching