Half Marathon Training

Steve’s Half Marathon Training: WEEK 4

Hello fellow runners and welcome,

Its been a quick four weeks of training. It’s great to have got to this point, with no injuries, no sickness and with minimal training disruption, due to air pollution.

This week was my recovery or “down” week of training. It was a difficult week for fitting in workouts. I was teaching at an English immersion camp in a remote countryside area. The days were 12 to 13 hours of work, which didn’t leave much time for me to train. I managed to get two runs done and an indoor fitness workout. The air on Monday was terrible so I decided to do an indoor workout instead of an outdoor run. Saturday was also a forced rest day, again due to air conditions.

The forgotten art of recovery:

As a runner the last thing we want to do is take an unscheduled rest day, or skip a running workout. The truth is, we are at our fittest and strongest when we’re fully rested. I usually adopt the approach of three high weeks followed by one down or recovery week. For me it’s as much mental as physical. The decrease in volume or intensity freshens my approach and sets me up nicely for the next phase of training. A good range is usually 30-50% of the previous weeks volume or intensity. For me this week was closer to 50%, having aimed for 35-40%.  Drop the volume to a level where you feel you will be challenged, but you will feel rested by the end of the week.

Muscle glycogen is the fuel in the muscles at any one time. Muscle glycogen levels have a vital role in how rested or fatigued your muscles feel. The benefit of recovery is that it allows the glycogen stores in the muscles to fill up again after a tough workout. Most injuries or niggles can be traced back to an overuse issue. If you over work the body to the point it can’t recovery fast enough, muscles or bone will start to experience more stress than normal. Be cautious and smart with your training. The body will adapt better to gradual training increases, rather than hard sustained efforts. The more experience you have running, the faster you will lose your fitness from a prolonged break. For both beginners and experienced runners, 2-3 days of rest will not require major modification of your training plan.

Recovery tip: Take a recovery day on your busiest day of the week or a day on which you will enjoy your rest the most. Try to avoid 2+ rest days in a row, instead spreading them across the week is ideal.


Change of scenery

Being away from home this week brought about a nice break from the usual running routes. Don’t get me wrong the river trails are amazing in Gwangju, but a change of scenery always makes a difference. Running in new surroundings always makes me excited to explore what the area has to offer. The first thing I will do once arriving in a new place, is run. As a wise man once said “A change is as good as rest,” based on that I had a very satisfactory recovery week!


Week overview:

Monday: rest day, after the long run in Seoul (see previous post) it was much needed.

Tuesday: Indoor workout (due to air pollution), sets of 2 minutes on 20 seconds off of skipping and various bodyweight exercises, followed by stair climbs.

Wednesday: 30 easy run first thing in the morning on the mountain trails….5.5km|5.20/km average

Thursday: speed endurance workout, 10×200 metres with 200 easy jog recovery.       9.5km overall.

200m splits: 35,36,36,36,36,36,36,36,36,35

Strava link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1201777622

Friday: 6.2km easy| 4.46/km|4.46/km avg pace

followed by weights workout

Deadlift 40kg +Bar 6 reps X2

push press: Bar 10 reps X2

bent over row: 20kg| 10 reps X2

chin ups/pull ups combo: Assisted 8 reps X2

                                        Overall 10 minutes of weights, 2 sets in total.

Saturday: Unscheduled rest day due to terrible air pollution!

Sunday: Indoor longish run with half marathon pace intervals. 40 minutes steady run with  2x 1mile efforts at 15.5km/h to 16km/h average, extremely hot on the treadmill.

56 minutes| average pace 4.10-4.30/km|11.6km overall


Overall distance: 34 – 36km

Overall cross training duration: 30 minutes

Next week will bring the first of two weeks of the quality phase of training. After those two weeks, the taper will begin for my first half marathon of two, on the last week in October.

What are you currently training for? What role does recovery play in your training?

Thanks for reading. Until next time..

Happy running,

Steve 🙂

The Health Heads

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