Training Schedules

Guidelines for Tempo and Interval Training Days

  • Tempo Run: 10 min warm up building from Zone 1 to the middle of Zone 2 (5 min spent in Zone 1, 5 min continued into Zone 2). Main work set is steady Zone 3 at threshold (above race pace – see Zone Chart), followed by a 10 minute cool down from Zone 2 to Zone 1
  • Interval Run: 10 minute run building from Zone 1 to Zone 2.Main work set is steady in top of Zone 2 for 3 minutes, followed by top of Zone 3 for 2 minutes and then repeat as necessary for desired time, followed by a 10 minute cooldown from Zone 2 to Zone 1

Guidelines for Zone Training

  • Zone 1 is a very easy zone used for recovery workout (walking).
  • Zone 2 is the zone where you build aerobic capacity.  This is your endurance/long run pace and is a comfortable pace.  You should be able to sustain the entire length of the run.  COMFORT is the key!
  • Zone 3 is a faster pace.  This is an uncomfortable pace.  Zone 3 is where you work on speed.  You should be able to sustain this “tempo pace” for a portion of your run.  Some of you will be able to race the 10 mi at a “tempo pace”.
  • Zone 4 is the hardest of all zones.  It is a very uncomfortable pace that can leave you breathless.  Zone 4 can be done by repeatedly sprinting for a short burst of time followed by recovery.

Training Definitions

  • Warm‐up: walking 5 minutes at an easy pace prior to every run workout to gradually increase circulation to working muscles, heart and breathing rates.
  • Cool‐down: walking 5 minutes at an easy pace after to every run workout to gradually bring heart rate and breathing back to normal levels.
  • Flexibility: Stretch after every workout when the muscles are warm to maintain or improve flexibility and prevent injuries.
  • Heart Rate: Use a heart monitor to maintain a range between the prescribed percentages…65‐75% of estimated maximum heart rate.
  • I‐Rate: Rate of perceived exertion. Rate your level of intensity by how you feel 1‐10. When using this scale, 1 is equal to being at rest and 10 being an all-out level.  Use this system to stay in the smart training range while training (i.e. 6‐7).
  • Conversational Pace: Conversational pace should be at a slow, and comfortable‐conversational pace. You should be at a pace where you can hold a conversation easily.
  • Easy Pace: Easy to moderate pace at 65‐75% of maximum heart rate or an iRate level of 6‐7. A pace you could go at for a long time easily.
  • Moderate Pace: Moderate pace at 70‐80% of maximum heart rate or an iRate level of 7+. At this pace, you can hear your breathing, but not breathing hard.
  • Endurance Run: The Endurance Run should be at a slow pace, you should be easily able to hold a conversation.  If you wear a heart rate monitor maintain a heart rate zone of 65‐75% of maximum or I‐Rate of 6‐7.
  • Race Pace Run: Run the first half of the scheduled miles at your easy, endurance pace and then gradually increase the speed to planned half marathon pace for the second half. This is a great way to train mentally for the race and teach your body the pace needed on race day. The key is to run AT race pace and no faster.
  • Fartlek \ Speed Work: It’s a workout where an athlete varies his or her training pace in order to increase speed and endurance. The easiest way to do a fartlek workout is with a watch. Vary the amount of time you speed up (30 seconds to 1 minute is a good start) and push yourself to your limit. Then recover (1 to 2 minutes). Continue varying your speed throughout the workout. If this is difficult for you, make your overall workout shorter, rather than cutting out the sprints. Make sure you remember to add in a warm up and cool down no matter the goal of the workout.
  • Pick‐ups: Run the workout at an easy pace and include 3‐4 short, 30‐60 second “pick‐ups” within the run. Pick up your pace to a challenging pace where you can hear your breathing and it feels just outside your comfort zone. This is NOT at all out gut‐wrenching pace, simply one more notch up from where you were running.  Your effort level should be at an I‐Rate scale of 8 or heart rate of 80% of maximum.
  • Hill Training: There are a variety of ways to prepare for the hills on race day. Running a random hill course on the treadmill, hill repeats on one longish hill that takes you at least 30 seconds to climb, running a hilly route in your neighborhood, or even parking lot ramps (be careful). If you are new to hills, start with one hill workout per week on Mondays (or an easy run day) and 4 weeks later add a second hill workout. If you run hills frequently, run your easy run on Mondays and the long run on the weekend on a hilly course. Watch the video How to Make Friends with Hills ‐ to learn how to train and race a hilly course ‐ it’s not as hard as you may think!
  • Cross‐Training: Include activities that are non-running or walking. Cycling, swimming, Pilates/yoga, strength training, elliptical trainer, spinning are great cross training modes for half marathon training. Cross‐training allows you to rest your running muscles while training opposing muscle groups and reducing the risk of overtraining and injury. It helps speed recovery and reduces burnout.
  • Strength‐Training (ST): Strength train with machines, weights, resistance tubes/bands or classes like Pilates, toning or yoga. Include strength training exercises for your upper body, core (abdominal and trunk) and lower body twice per week. This will increase the lean muscle tissue, boost metabolism at rest and prevent the dreaded muscle loss with age. The more muscle we lose, the lower our metabolism sinks. Start the Strength Training session by warming up with 10 minutes of cardio activity [i.e. cycling, elliptical trainer, or Stairmaster] or strength train after walking or running. If you are new to strength training, begin with 1 set per exercise for 12‐15 repetitions. The goal is to fatigue the muscle as you reach the repetition range or until you can no longer perform the exercise with good, controlled form. Stick with this program for at least 4 weeks and then progress to 2‐3 sets per exercise for 8‐12 repetitions. Another option for your strength workout is to take a class at your gym, work with a personal trainer or using the machine circuit at your gym.