July 27 2015
Here's what the best times in the U.S. look like for our favorite distances—5K, 10K, half and full marathon.
Want a foolproof recipe for half marathon success? Mix running with walking! A run-walk plan can be used for a number of purposes. If you’re currently walking and want a little extra challenge, if you want to ease your body into long distance running or if you simply want to run longer and recover faster, this method is the perfect way to reach your dreams.
We’ve included two different half marathon plans, for you to choose from based on your current fitness level and personal goals. The first program (walk-run) is best for walkers who want to try running to improve fitness and muscle tone. The walk-run intervals in this plan remain consistent throughout (one minute of running and three minutes of walking) up until the race. The second program (run-walk) is for women who currently run-walk or who run shorter distances. Run-walk workouts are running-focused and intervals vary to help improve performance and speed.
Before you get started, look at “Week 1” of the plan you would like to follow. Does your current workout regimen match that first week? If you are not quite there yet, don’t sweat it. Simply invest in a four to six week build up base to get ready to start half marathon training. Jumping in before you’re ready increases your chances of injury and fatigue. Why risk it?
If you are all set to go, it’s time to get in touch with your perceived effort levels. This plan will ask you perform easy workouts, moderate workouts and hard workouts—and sometimes you’ll combine all three into one session. When we say “easy,” we mean it. This is an effort level where you feel great and can talk fluidly without stopping for air. A “moderate” effort level is slightly more challenging. You can hear your breathing, but you’re not gasping. A “hard” effort level is tough! When you’re in this zone, you can’t talk, your breathing is rapid and your body feels uncomfortable.
Jenny Hadfield is the co-author of Running for Mortals and Marathoning for Mortals. You can find more of her training programs, tips and running classes on coachjenny.com.