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Dec 7, 2011

Train for full, run a half

3 miles on the schedule today.....done!


So now that I have committed to a couple races in the spring, even though they are half marathons, my perspective has changed.  I really like the fact that I have a race on the schedule so I feel like I am actually training for something.  My plan was to run the Hal Higdon Intermediate Marathon training plan even though I am running half marathons in the spring.  While I know he has a half marathon plan as well, I just feel that when I put in those extra miles, it helps me feel so much better on race day for the half.

It's kind of hard to explain but after running 20 miles a couple times in the program, 13 seems easy.  I'm not saying it is easy but it seems easy which helps me go faster.  I feel that doing these much longer runs really helps with my speed.  Yes, I could do speed work.  I sort of do it anyway.  But I feel the long run is what has really helped improve my times in the half marathon and gives me less of a chance to get hurt since I'm doing long runs on a slower pace.
Ok, maybe not win but better times!

Question of the day:  What do you do to improve your race times or does it not matter?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!!


  1. I totally agree -

    I'm still trying to decided if I do full or half this spring (I'm leaning towards a full) but either way, I'm following a full marathon training program.

    Last year I did a full in June and a half in early May - I had done several 16, 18 milers by the time the May half had rolled around and the 13 felt significantly 'easier' than other halfs had ever felt -- I even PR'ed that race.

    I think it's a smart strategy. I think there's nothing like the long run when it comes to building endurance.

  2. I agree with your angle. This year I found that my half-marathon training really helped my 10k races to seem quite short, and improved my performance in them (also notice considerable improvement in 5k times too). In 2012 I'm going to do as you mention above and train for a full marathon, I will not be running one in 2012 but do have a couple of halfs lined up.

  3. Get your butt on the track before the snow falls and fill that need for speed! The Tempo runs really help too.

  4. I agree... the 18-20 milers make 13 seem easy. But I don't find the distance improves my speed. For me, it's all about intervals. If I actually work my weekly speed intervals, the speed comes back.

  5. I agree that doing more than race distance is beneficial - especially in the confidence area, but if speed in the half is your then have to train for that. There is a big difference in training for a "fast" full and a "fast" half.

  6. I agree with Run w/Jess. Long runs don't make me faster but rather speedwork is what helps me. I don't do intervals like I used to but I like to knock out some tempo runs and try to run 3-5 miles at race pace during a 6-8 miler during the week. I would have finished with a good half time by doing that in a recent half but the course came up short (12.4 miles) but that sort of speedwork helped me build up to that race.

    I get what you're saying about how 18-20 makes 13 seem easy. It's funny how our perspectives change over time without us really realizing it or intending them to.

  7. I had several people suggest that I do more speedwork and for Philly I put a lot more in my training plan and knocked 3.5 mins off my time! So I'm planning to amp up the speedwork for my March half.

    I like your idea about going further than the race dist. - it would be a confidence booster.

  8. I will try and keep this short!!!

    Distance is great, and if I'm not doing 13+Miles on the weekend I feel it wasn't a long run, and what is a program without a long run on the weekends... So if your standard weekend long run is 13 miles, there is no reason that when you start to focus on a race you wouldn't put in a couple of longer runs. Now you have 6 other days in the week, so we want to use then to have a couple of easy runs and a couple of hard runs (maybe even a rest day!) Now for your hard runs just aim at running at a pace faster than race pace (what ever works for you, 1mile reps, 400m reps, hills (remember that for hills its not always about the speed, but are you running it faster than you would in your race!), tempo runs).

    Good luck

    ps I ran my 10km PR while doing 100mile weeks.