UltimeFit, La plateforme d'entrainement en ligne Find a gym Promotions Preventives measures FR
Log in
User icon
Free trial
Register
Icone abonnement
MENU

Make an Appointment

Running – Half marathon preparation

Course à pied

Summer is just around the corner and with the arrival of the warm weather, you can challenge yourself to run your first half marathon, despite the current pandemic. No need to register for an event to set this goal! But where do you start?

With numerous resources available, it has become very easy to find generic training programs, but are they actually adapted to your reality?

In an ideal situation, you will need to start by assessing your physical condition as to ensure that you are training at the proper intensity, effectively progressing in your workouts and, most importantly, preventing the occurrence of injuries. The current context can make it difficult to get a professional assessment, so here are a few pro tips to keep in mind:

Running frequency

Start by managing your training frequency. It is the most important determinant to help improve your cardiovascular capacity, endurance and overall performance. The ideal training frequency when preparing for a half marathon is between 3 and 5 times a week, so as to prevent the risk of injury. It is, therefore, preferable to run 4 times a week for 30 minutes instead of running twice for an hour.

Training specificity

The second important element is specificity. To successfully complete a half marathon in the desired time, it is essential to include in your program, sessions that are specific to the distance chosen, both in terms of speed and elevation. In your training, make sure to include runs at the pace you are targeting. It is during your interval training running workouts that you can test your pace, however, beware as not all of your workouts need to contain interval training. To avoid the risk of injury and overtraining, you will need to vary your workouts by alternating between continuous and interval training sessions. The ideal proportion is 1/3 intervals to 2/3 continuous.

Varying running intensity

The third important factor to consider is intensity. To see improvements, it will, in fact, be important to train at various intensity levels. 80% of your training sessions must be completed at low intensity, thus allowing you to improve your basic endurance. The remaining 20% should be done at high intensity and include interval training. During these sessions, you will primarily develop your cardiovascular capacity. To start, opt for intervals where the duration is less than 20 seconds and the recovery period is either equal or double in time. Consequently, you will have the advantage of gaining long periods of work at a high intensity, without the degree of difficulty being particularly high (Thibault, 2009).

Over the months, you will be able to increase the duration of each interval and decrease your recovery periods.

Progression to reduce injury risk

In addition to the various elements listed above, progression is a determining factor in your success. During the preparatory phase of any endurance activity, it is important to respect the idea of progression so as to reduce the risk of injuries which may jeopardize your season and your project’s success. Gradually increasing your training volume is a key element. Many experts in the field of running recommend an increase of 10% per week. It is important to keep in mind that increasing your training volume may not always be possible, and that, on occasion, it will be necessary to decrease it so that your body may recover. In any case, listen to your body, always think quality before quantity and above all, do not hesitate to adapt your training if you feel the need. In the case of fatigue or injury, do not hesitate to replace a run with a cross training activity, such as biking, elliptical workout, strength or weight training. These sessions offer low impact while maintaining or increasing your training volume.

Planning is key

Always remember that an ambitious running goal like a marathon or a half marathon cannot be achieved without proper planning. You cannot expect to become a long-distance runner overnight; it requires discipline and hard work. Do not hesitate to consult a kinesiologist to assess your initial physical condition and assist you through your preparation.

 

Here is an example of a training program for the first month of preparation towards your half marathon. Note that you should be able to run 30 minutes continuously at least 4 times a week before using this program. Much success on your preparation!

 

Running program

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 IT :

15 min SE

6 x 15 sec

30 sec RS

15 min SE

CT :

35 min SE

 

CT :

25 min SE

CT :

45 min SE

Week 2 IT :

15 min SE

 

8 x 15 sec

30 sec RS

 

15 min SE

CT :

40 min SE

CT :

30 min SE

CT :

50 min SE

 

Week 3 IT :

15 min SE

10 x 15 sec

30 sec RS

15 min SE

IT:

15 min SE

6 x 1 min

2 min RS

12 min SE

CT :

30 min SE

CT :

55 min SE

Week 4 IT :

15 min SE

5 x 15 sec

15 sec RS

5 x 15 sec

30 sec RS

15 min SE

IT:

15 min SE

8 x 1min

1min RS

15 min SE

CT :

30 min SE

CT :

60 min SE

 

Legend :

CT: Continuous Training

IT : Interval Training

RS: Recovery speed

SE : Speed Endurance

 

Sources:

Dubois, Blaise and Berg, Frédéric. La clinique du coureur, la santé par la course à pied. Éditions Mons, Angoulême, 2019.

Harvey, Jean-François. Courir mieux. Les Éditions de l’homme, Montréal, 2013.

Thibault, Guy. Entraînement cardio, sport d’endurance et performance. Éditions Vélo, Québec, 2009.

 

Author
Rosanne Charland

Nautilus Plus club manager and Level 3 personal trainer, Rosanne is specialized in endurance sports training which provides maximum performance results for running and triathlon enthusiasts. Over the past several years, she has accompanied many clients in their physical and lifestyle transformations. Rosanne also took part in the television programs S.O.S. Santé and Caféine. Rosanne is also a training instructor for l’Association Nationale des Intervenants en Entraînement (ANIE).


Running - Half marathon preparationis a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
Copyright © I'm taking charge 2020

I'm Taking Charge - Blog