In this month’s edition of the Run It Series, we are sharing with you our favorite marathon and half marathon workouts.
One of my favorite workouts for the marathon and half marathon (and the 10K, even) is two-mile repeats. This workout repeats itself over and over again in both my own training and the plans I write for my athletes – and for good reason. Two-mile repeats are versatile and adaptable. You can use them at various points in the training cycle for both the marathon and half marathon distance. As you progress, increase the pace, add more intervals, and shorten the recovery time.
Two-mile repeats are run at half marathon pace or slightly faster – an effort that feels comfortably hard and challenging without being exhausting. Chances are, the first interval will feel comfortable. Resist the temptation to speed up, because I promise you that the second and third intervals will feel harder. Do NOT run these at 5K race pace or try to set a new 10K PR in this workout – you will burn yourself out and completely miss the purpose of this workout.
This half marathon and marathon workout is simple. After warming up with dynamic stretches and 1-2 miles of easy running, you run 2-3 repeats of two miles at half marathon effort or slightly faster – a comfortably hard effort. You should be able to speak in just short phrases and your effort level should feel like a 6-7 on a scale of 1 (walking) to 10 (all-out sprint). Between each interval, jog at a very easy effort for 3 minutes. Once you have completed all intervals, cool down with 1-2 miles of easy running.
For marathoners, two-mile repeats provide threshold training without the wear-and-tear of a continuous tempo run. By adding in the short recovery break in between repeats, you can do more training at your threshold pace without tiring yourself out too much before your weekly long run. Give yourself either a rest day or a short easy run the day after this workout to let your body optimally recover.
For half-marathoners, two-mile repeats allow you to practice goal race pace without leaving your race in your training. The number of repetitions varies based on overall weekly mileage and fitness, but most runners will do 2-3 repetitions of 2 miles. Advanced runners can do up to 4 repeats in the middle of a long run as their peak workout. During half marathon training, you can do two-mile repeats as a mid-week workout or as part of your long run.
In addition to this workout, you can try these other marathon and half marathon workouts:
What’s your favorite half marathon or marathon workout?