half-marathon training: the week before the race

Half-marathon training. I’ve been running for about 40 years now.  Long-term wear and tear led me to an altered gait. Which in turn led to lots of pain when running.  Our PFP running coach, Jake Boyer, managed to correct my gait. My personal trainer and gym co-owner, Tom Duer, gave me exercises to strengthen my weak hip flexors.  Suddenly, running seemed possible again.  It was time to try training for a race!  I had run the Philly Marathon twice before and decided to give the half -marathon a go.

I want to share this PFP running training experience with you all. And I have asked Jake to create a half-marathon training program for me based on my goals (1:45 half, 8:39 min miles) and my estimated fitness level.  After using some fancy formula which I don’t understand, he created a schedule for me. For that schedule and the first few weeks of my training experience, click here.

Week of Nov 5th

* VDOT remains at 43

Monday: Off running

Tuesday: Light half marathon specific workout:

  • 10 minutes warm-up
  • 2×3200 at half marathon goal pace with 2 minutes rest (negative split if you’re going to go faster on either of these)
  • 6x strides
  • 10 minutes cool down

Wednesday:  Off running

Thursday: Off running

Friday: Final specific workout:

  • 10 minutes at E into 15 minutes @ half marathon goal pace, 5 minutes @ T, 15 minutes @ half marathon goal pace, 10 minutes @ E (this is a continuous tempo – be careful early on that you don’t go faster than goal pace, it is okay to run faster if you feel good the last mile)

Saturday: Off running

Sunday: 10 mile long run – very slow

The Final Countdown

It’s the week before the race!  Time to practice race pace.  My primary challenge for this race will be to stay restrained and not run too hard, too early.  I am fit!  Probably fitter than I have felt for a long time.

This week, my old legs had the challenge of recovering from a 5K race, then doing the half marathon specific work. The first workout was a challenge.  Went a bit too hard early then paid for it the second two-mile set.  The Friday workout was totally awesome, though!  Started slowly then built to a pace well under my goal and felt very strong. Even my slow 10-mile run felt good on Sunday.

Recovery is Key

Recovery will be key for race week.  Maintaining fitness but not working too hard.

One aspect of recovery that I’ve found to be invaluable is massage therapy.  In the past, I’d get a massage after the race so I could feel better .  Now, I’ve noticed the benefit of regular massages while I’m training.  My musculature is more balanced, and I have less soreness throughout the week if any.  It’s a service I plan to use as frequently as time will allow me in the future.

Looking forward to race week!

Interested in Running or Have Running Concerns?

If you would like to have a PFP running assessment to check your gait or just want to do strength training with a run coach/personal trainer, contact Jake Boyer at  jake@pittsburghfitnessproject.com.  It doesn’t matter your level of running either! Sure Jake can help you with half-marathon training. But he can also help you if you just want to learn to like running! Jake can provide a customized training schedule to help you meet your goals!


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