Thursday, 1 December 2011


Thanks to everyone's comments about my optimal running volume hysteria. The consensus was that I probably don't need to run 50-60 miles a week just to break 2:00 in the half....but that running more should still help me to improve. So while I still have the goal of increasing how much I run every week, I'm going to do it slowly and responsibly as I move towards the Edinburgh Marathon in May.


...the bottom line is I still haven't been able to run under 2 hours yet. So I've decided to do something different and use the Level 2 Half Marathon training plan from the book 'Run Faster' by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald. This program will peak at about 45-50 miles per week which feels achievable. It also focuses on getting used to running half marathon goal pace.

To avoid any copyright issues I'm not reproducing the plan in full here, but sharing the plan for 1 week. Essentially all the weeks are structured the same way:

Monday  - Easy + Hill sprints
Tuesday - Hard run (fartlek, intervals, hill repetitions, threshold, progression)
Wednesday - Easy
Thursday - Easy
Friday - Hard run (fartlek, intervals, hill repetitions, threshold, progression)
Saturday - Rest or Easy
Sunday - Long run (usually progression)

Here is one of the hardest weeks:

My aim is not to overdo it on the easy days even if I'm feeling good, and to really hit goal paces on the hard days. Sounds simple but I've always struggled with this. The hills scare me a bit but I hear they are really good for you!

This plan is meant to be adaptive (ie you make adjustments as you need to along the way--more on this when I review the book) so hopefully it will evolve into a training plan that works really well for me. I can't wait to see how it goes the next few weeks!

Are you trying out a new training plan for your next race?


  1. Hope you dont mind me saying but sunday monday tuesday just looks like too much to me! what time are you doing for your 5k,s

  2. @Anonymous

    Hi there--

    I appreciate you taking the time to share your views! To be honest this is the first training program I've used where I didn't have a rest day (or recovery run then rest day) after a long run. But I've already been running 6 days a week so I'll see how it goes...and move things around if I struggle with it.

    I don't know what my 5K time is actually! I've never run one! :)

  3. Oh right, just to confuse things some more lol, if I want to improve any of my times be it 5k 10k 10m+ then i always aim to improve my speed over 5k which in turn improves my vo2 max. And the quicker you get over the shorter distances in turn make you faster over the longer ones.So if i want to improve I run fast intervals once maybe twice a week, say 6x800,s or 5x1k repeats at 5k pace, and for endurance the long sunday run with 5m at half marathon pace in the middle.Sorry if I have added to much to the mix.

  4. @Anonymous

    Speed is definitely the issue for me (not enough of it!) so these are great suggestions. There are some speed session in this plan so I'm hoping they will help. Getting used to running at HM pace is important....this plan has similar long runs to the one that you've suggested. Fingers crossed!

    Sounds like you've been running for a long time! :)

  5. Just now discovered your blog! Good stuff... The book you mention here is great, I took their plans and adapted them for several distances including 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon and full marathon. I combined their ideas with another book that may interest you, "Brain Training For Runners" (Fitzgerald if I'm not mistaken). This one offers a strong argument for running a significant workout the day after your long run, teaching your muscles to operate more efficiently and recover more quickly. For what it's worth I went from 4:39 to 3:53 using this combination of methods (marathon), and from 1:52 to 1:46 (half marathon). Remains to be seen how my adaptation will work for 10 in 10!
    Oh, one more thing - no need to run more than 30-40 miles per week for half marathon training. But do include speed intervals and negative splits as a systematic part of your training, they will make you faster!

    1. Will definitely check out the other book--sounds like it has worked really well for you. I usually do recovery runs as I find they really make a difference...but maybe I should make them a little more challenging.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!