by breno melo

Guide for a Half Marathon Training Plan

Comprehensive Guide to Half Marathon Training Schedule

Comprehensive Guide to Half Marathon Training Schedule: Merging Advanced Insights with Practical Strategy

Training for a half marathon involves a strategic blend of disciplines that optimize endurance, speed, and recovery. This guide combines detailed insights into Training Stress Score (TSS), various training modalities (heart rate, pace, and perceived effort), and the significance of customized training plans alongside a practical 12-week training schedule.

Weekly Training Structure

Each week of training is carefully structured to balance running, strength training, and yoga, ensuring comprehensive development and recovery:

  • Monday: Rest—critical for muscle recovery and overall well-being.
  • Tuesday: Begins with tempo runs or intense intervals to develop speed and endurance.
  • Wednesday & Friday: Easy runs to build aerobic capacity and promote recovery.
  • Thursday: Dedicated strength training to enhance muscular strength and endurance.
  • Saturday: Progressive long runs increase in distance, simulating race conditions.
  • Sunday: Yoga or mobility work to enhance flexibility and aid in post-week recovery.

Advanced Training Insights

  1. Understanding TSS:

    TSS quantifies the total stress of each workout based on its duration and intensity relative to your fitness level, helping you manage your weekly load and recovery needs.

  2. Training Modalities:
    • Heart Rate Training: Ensures training at the correct intensity for specific fitness improvements.
    • Pace Training: Tailored to help meet specific pace goals, useful for race day preparation.
    • Perceived Effort Training: Adapts to day-to-day variations in physical and mental state, useful for intuitive adjustments.

Workout Examples

  • Fartlek Workout: Incorporate spontaneous speed bursts based on feeling, suitable for perceived effort training.
  • Progressive Long Run: Begin at a comfortable pace, gradually increasing to race pace, ideal for pace training.
  • Hill Repeats: Focus on reaching high heart rate zones to boost power and endurance, perfect for heart rate training.

Customization vs. Cookie-Cutter Plans

  • Custom Training Plans: Tailored to individual needs, these plans adapt to personal progress and specific race goals, significantly enhancing effectiveness and satisfaction.
  • Static Plans: While they provide a basic structure, they lack the flexibility to adjust to the runner’s unique responses and improvements, potentially leading to plateau or injury.
Workout Examples with Pace and TSS Estimates (12 week half marathon training plan)

Workout Examples with Pace and TSS Estimates (12 week half marathon training plan)

Week 1, Tuesday: Tempo Run

  • Details: 3 miles at a Zone 2 pace.
  • Pace: Around 8:30 min/mile, depending on your threshold pace.
  • TSS Estimate: Assuming a threshold pace of 8:00 min/mile, IF would be around 0.85, leading to a TSS of about 31.

Week 2, Tuesday: Interval Training

  • Details: 4x400m at Zone 3 pace with 400m recovery jogs (Zone 1).
  • Pace: Hard intervals at 7:30 min/mile; recoveries at 9:30 min/mile.
  • TSS Estimate: This workout, totaling about 20 minutes of hard effort, would yield a TSS of around 27.

Peak Week, Saturday: Long Run

  • Details: 13 miles starting in Zone 1 and moving into Zone 2.
  • Pace: Starts at 10:00 min/mile, progressing to 9:00 min/mile.
  • TSS Estimate: Approximately 120, considering the increased effort and duration.

Workout Examples Across Different Training Modalities

Fartlek Workout (Perceived Effort)

  • Details: 45-minute run incorporating bursts of speed based on feeling, such as sprinting to a landmark and then jogging until recovery.
  • TSS Estimate: ~50, varying based on the intensity and duration of speed bursts.

Progressive Long Run (Pace Training)

  • Details: 10 miles, starting at 10:00 min/mile, decreasing to 8:00 min/mile.
  • TSS Estimate: ~80, reflecting increasing stress from the pace acceleration.

Hill Repeats (Heart Rate Training)

  • Details: 6x2 minutes uphill sprints aiming for Zone 3 heart rate, with downhill jogging recovery.
  • TSS Estimate: ~60, due to high intensity but shorter duration.

Conclusion: Tailored Approach for Optimal Performance

This comprehensive training plan, enhanced with insights into TSS and various training methods, is designed to prepare you comprehensively for your half marathon challenge. It balances cardiovascular conditioning with muscle strength and flexibility to reduce injury risk and improve fitness. Whether you're aiming for a personal best or your first long-distance race, a customized approach will help you meet your goals with confidence and health.

Remember, the key to successful half marathon training lies not just in following a plan but in adapting it to your evolving needs and responses. Embrace the journey with a tailored plan that respects your individuality and pushes you towards your personal best.