Couch to 5K
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T4HM week 1

I've got 11 weeks to get from running 10k to running a half marathon (Birmingham, 19th October). Absolutely doable, I keep telling myself. This is my thoughts after week 1 of the journey.

Several people recommended the Asics training online website plan producer thingy ma jah. I had a look and plugged my numbers in. It suggested I should start by spending the next 5 days resting, and after that I should run 3 miles. This was when I had just told it that I had completed a 10k race. And forgive me for being blunt, but I want to train, not spend a week resting.

I then looked at BUPA's beginners training for a half marathon. They suggested I start with 30 minutes easy run, and end the week with a 40 minutes long run. When I have just spent 65 minutes completing my 10km. Again, I want to train to run longer, not shorter.

So I decided to make my own plan. Take the best from the various sources, listen what people on this forum have to suggested, and then blend it all together. May I present, for the first time ever in the history of running, Tomas' T4HM plan! (that'll be Training For Half Marathon, simplez!)

11 weeks, each with 4 runs. The last two weeks are for tapering.

- a recovery run of 7-8 km. BUPA suggests that recovery runs should be 30-40 mins, but I do want to get the mileage in.

- a tempo run. This will be intervals of jog / faster-than-jog-but-maintainable-for-a-longish-period run.

- a speed run. Short bursts of really fast and not really maintainable for any length of time runs with slow jogs in between.

- a long run.

Nothing revolutionary there.

Given that I've got 9 weeks to get up to speed plus 2 weeks taper, and since I start by being able to run 10km, the long runs will be

7 miles, 8 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 11 miles, 12 miles, 13 miles, 6 miles, race

I decided to put a reduction week in after the 10 miles to give my body a chance to catch up. The price to pay for that is that rather than increase by 10%, the first weeks see increases of 12%-14%. I don't think that represents any risk.

The tempo runs are trying to get me to run faster for a long period of time. I've started with 1 km slow / 1 km fast / 1 km slow / 1 km fast / 1 km slow, and am thinking of upping that during the course of the training period to 7 min / 7 min (repeat 3 times) -> 10 min / 5 min (x 2) -> 15 min / 5 min (x2) - 25 min / 5 min (x1). Let's see how it goes.

Not sure how far or how fast I can push the speed runs. Life got in the way this week, so I never got to run that one, but my plan was to start by 1 minute fast / 2 minutes slow (x 6).

Comments? Thoughts? Do people agree that this is a reasonable blend of other plans?

So how did week 1 go? Well, as I just said, life got in the way, but other than that I'm pleased.

Monday - cross training, cycled to the super market to do shopping and back, 18 km

Tuesday - Recovery run, 8 km

Wednesday - Tempo, 5 km

Thursday - cross training, 20 km cycling

Friday - this should have been speed training but I ended up working from 6 am to 8 pm and it was absolutely p*ssing down in the evening. So I treated myself to a day off

Saturday - long run, 11.5 km.

Sunday - rest.

It didn't feel like all run and no fun. Rather, it felt like the kind of effort I can (hopefully) maintain over the next two months.

2 Replies

Sounds sensible to me, although I've not got hm experience as I got an injury at just over 9 miles last time I tried to train for one. Only thing I can add from my experience is take your distance runs easy, don't worry about the times just get the distance in however long it takes you and that old favourite of these forums -always listen to your body.

I'll be reading your blogs with interest as I still have ambitions for an hm one day.


Hi Tomas,

It certainly looks like you’ve made a very good training plane for yourself. I'm not able to offer any suggestions / changes (I'm still a beginner myself; o) ). However, I'm looking forward to hearing how your training goes as I think I may be tempted to push for a HM after I've completed a few 10k races/runs etc. Good luck, Tomas ;o)


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