13.1 miles or 21 kilometres
These half marathon plans aim to build your endurance so that you can go longer distances, you should be able to run 5km without walking and have completed a couple of 10k runs as well. There are 3 plans, one is a "get me round" plan so this can be used if life suddenly throws something up at you that prevents you getting out and doing your long runs. The basic plan is for runner's who are doing their first half marathon and the intermediate is for runners who wish to push themselves a little bit further and have experienced the GSR and a couple of half marathons before. There will be opportunities to run more miles on some Wednesday evening sessions after the group session and there will be planned longer runs once the GSR training plans are available.
These plans are not set in stone, they are recipes, see what works for you, you can combine a bit of one with another, take each week as it comes and please ask me if you are in any doubt. The main focus is arriving at the start line ready and injury free. The long runs should be run at a very easy pace, so a chit chat pace, the tempo runs are runs where you run the middle section at a slightly faster pace than the start and finish and your first run of the week should be a recovery run, again at an easy pace. I haven't included any speed work in these plans as they are basic, but coming along to a Thursday speed/hill session will really benefit you if you have the time.
Please read the following notes I have written about the basic principles of starting and following a training plan.
Base training When you construct a house, you start with the base and build on that, the same is true of running, first build the base of aerobic endurance, slowly increase the mileage, recover and rebuild your miles. Build your weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week, so if you run 5km in a week, run 5.5km the next and about 6km the next and so on. There may be times when even a 10% increase proves too much so use it as a guideline and not a rule. Do not run more than twice a week to start off with, this will ensure you have a good base. Stay with twice a week until you feel strong enough that you know what your body can tolerate, then you can increase to 3 times a week when you have developed a sense of your limits.
Don’t overtrain If you overstress your body it will break down, you will lose form and you could get injured. As your fitness improves your body will adapt to handle the training load, you will learn to feel when you have over done it…so listen to your body. Avoid the terrible too’s…doing too much, too soon and too fast is the number one cause of running injuries. If you rush the process you could break down rather than build up. The body needs time to adapt..see below
Recovery Make sure you recover, don’t do too much too soon ;) have easy days and rest days, Easy days are runs at conversational pace and don’t forget what might be easy for you may not be easy for someone else. Eat well and eat for the run you are going to do so that you get optimal results from the run, don’t skip meals, so eat carbs before a run and protein after the run.
Consistency Consistency is key to successful running, run when it’s hot or cold, when you are high or low. Small amounts of training on a regular basis is better than sporadic running followed by days of inactivity. If you run consistently you will grow stronger and stronger.
Patience Success is measured in months and years, not days and weeks, with experience you will become a wiser runner, each day you put more miles in the bank you build for the future. You need to experience important lessons so you can learn from every run that you do, no matter how far or how fast you go.
Get good shoes Your goal should be to find a shoe that offers the best support and fit for you and you should replace your shoes every 300-500 miles so note the date that you bought your shoes. Always visit a specialist running shop.
Respect the miles each person has their own limit, don’t compare yourself to others and respect the miles, whether it is 1 mile or 10 miles, respect each one and run the mile that you are in.
I have uploaded the basic training plan for the Gosport half and based it on people who were using the GSR training plan so it tighes in with this
For those who have been following the GSR training plan, please now follow the get round half training plan.
Race Day for Half Marathon
Mainly think calm as race day approaches, focus on staying relax and trust that you are ready as you may be feeling fidgety. You may not sleep on Saturday but that’s ok, wake up early and eat what you would normally eat and have a banana an hour before the start of the race. Don’t drink too much, you should be really hydrated anyway. Check the weather and if sunny, wear sunscreen and walk through drink stations and drink plenty, don’t under estimate the impact of the sun especially as you have trained in winter.
Arrive at the race early as it will be busy, take extra clothing that you don’t mind throwing away once you have given your bag into the baggage area or to your support crew so that you don’t get cold on the start line. Make sure you know where the start line is and get there as soon as you can after you have been to the toilet a million times! Try not to waste too much energy with a running warm up but don’t get stiff just standing still so just keep moving really, chat to the person next to you or just focus your mind on the task ahead, tell yourself that you are ready and picture the finish and how you are going to run over the line. Put your hands on your hips in a superman pose and tell your self that you are amazing for getting this far. Mental training is just as important as physical.
Don’t go too fast in the first half, if you do you risk producing lactate quicker than your body can clear it which will slow you down. You have trained at a pace that is sustainable for the distance so remember this, it is better to run the second half faster than the first half. Make sure you replenish your energy stores throughout the run but don’t try anything new.
Test the water for the first few miles, ease into the race both in terms of your running pace and emotional involvement. Look at the first few miles as a warm up run, shortening your race to 24 miles. Slow down gradually and remain calm if you find your first mile or two are too quick. Emotionally, stay as calm as possible, save your mental energy for the second half of the race when you will need to convince your boy to keep going. Bymile 5 you should be into good flow so from here to 7 miles is a good test to see if you feel comfortable at this pace.
Halfway is a good point to see where you are, how do you feel? If you feel good it will give you a mental boost, if you feel a bit iffy, slow the pace down and don’t panic. The second half is where you need to concentrate on your pace, your good form and keep relaxed and remain confident. When you hit a bad patch, hang in there, they will pass and have faith in your training. Think about all the hard work and accept the discomfort, it does hurt but keep moving.
The next key marker is when you have 5k to go, this is a familiar distance for you so you need willpower that got you round all your training runs when you wanted to give up, dig deep and pump those arms and pick your feet up, you will keep moving forward if you keep your arms and legs moving. And it will end, remember this, it will end, enjoy the carnival atmosphere and try to distract yourself thinking of all the friends you have met on your running journey who have helped you get to this point.
As you cross the 13 mile point you only have less than a quarter of a mile to go, use the crowd and the spirit of the runners around you to energise that last push, don’t surge too quickly though just keep your head up and shoulders relaxed. As you cross the line, stop your watch and congratulate all the runners around you.