Couch to 5K
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4 runs a week

Hi. I graduated in March, and got to 10k in June and 13k a month ago (mid July). I struggled thereafter with the hot weather, lack of motivation and being on holiday so have only run about 37k in the last month.

I would really like to build myself up for a half marathon and there is one in early November about 40 miles away and another in my local town in December.

I've looked at training programmes and a lot of them call for 4 days of running a week.

I don't know if I can do back-to-back runs. I really need my rest day, and when I've tried running the next day I've only managed about 3km.

Any suggestions on how to achieve this. I understand that the 2nd running day needs to be a slow pace run and I tried that, but it wasn't good. I was just so sore. My comfortable usual running pace is about 6-6.15km/h. How much slower do I need to go?

Any other wisdom or advise from other half-marathon runners?

7 Replies

I run my first HM in 2 weeks time and I've only been running 3 times a week (most weeks, sometimes I've only managed two due to various circumstances) . I've done one long run, one recovery run (2 days after the long run and only 3 miles) and then either another easy run or some interval training for my 3rd. It's definitely doable it'll probably just take you longer (I've been increasing from 5k since end March and taken time out for birthdays, holidays etc.). I'd like to say I followed a plan but I've been on my own non plan plan, because I knew I had enough time I went with my body with a rough aim of increasing 0.5 miles a week. You're already at 13k which is a great start, as long as you can do 10miles before the big day all the literature says you'll be fine. Good luck with your training :)


Good luck, and I think I'll just carry on with my 3 weekly runs / alternative days training, thank you.


The plan lets you choose the number of running days then comes up with the plan based on that. I tried four runs a week and soon ran into trouble, so reduced it to 3 and I've been fine. You have enough time

Input three days a week and get a plan based on that, have a look at it and see what you think. At least it will give you a good idea of what you need to be doing. We can do too much if left to our own devices, over-run and get injured. I use the myasics plans but have used the Bupa Beginners and intermediate ones too

Good luck with it


Hadn't heard of the myasic programme - will have a look but will definitely stick to a 3 day / alternative days programme.


I've run three Half Marathons on only 3 training runs a week - or sometimes running every second day - and have managed just fine. I've still to crack the sub-2hr time though, but am not too bothered about my time. To replace one of the runs from the training plans, I usually do a cycle instead.


Thanks - so do you do 3 runs a week and 1 cycle (for example) or 2 runs and 1 cycle?


Three runs - 1 x intervals run (5 - 8 km); 1 x tempo run (6 - 8 km); 1 x long, slow run - plus 1 cycle (12 - 25 km)


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