Run It – 6 Best Workouts for Half Marathon and Full Marathon

Half marathon and marathon workouts chosen by running coaches and bloggers for the Run It series. These are the workouts these coaches love for marathon and half marathon training!

Today on Run It, we’re sharing running tips in the way of our favorite workouts for the half and full marathon distance. These are the workouts we have personally found to be key elements in our own training, and for those of us who coach others, they are workouts we like to include in our clients’ training plans. Workouts are not just about building endurance and strength – they are also about building grit and mental stamina. These workouts dig into that grit that we need to tough out the hard parts of a longer distance race like 13.1 or 26.2 miles.

In case you’re new to Run It, every month a group of us running coaches and bloggers get together to share our tips and tricks on a monthly topic. Last year, we shared 12 months worth of workouts for runners – you can find all those workouts here. Below are our Run It posts for you to catch up on:

Mental Workouts for Runners

Rave Run

How to Beat the Heat

Hydration Tips and Tricks

Workouts for Running Injuries

Best and Worst Running Advice

Stay Sane on the Treadmill

Winter Running Tips

Read on and find out what we chose as our best half marathon and marathon workouts!

Half marathon and marathon workouts chosen by running coaches and bloggers for the Run It series. These are the workouts these coaches love for marathon and half marathon training!

The workout I chose to share with you guys today is one that I think is essential for building strength, as well as building up your mental toughness for the race ahead. It’s a hill workout (you can also find a round up of hills workouts we shared here last year).

Even if your race is not a hilly course (and if it’s not, more power to you and I wish you a big shiny PR as a result!), hill workouts are important for building strength. Hills are something I don’t relish seeing on a training program, but every time I’ve finished a hard hill workout – and let’s face it, they’re all hard – I’ve felt amazing for having accomplished such a tough effort.

Here’s a workout that works for both half marathon and marathon training:

WARM UP: 15 – 20 minutes running at conversational pace. If possible, keep your warm up on a relatively flat course, or if your whole route is hilly, ease back further and take it a little slower. 

REPEATS: On a steep hill, run 90 seconds hard uphill, and walk back downhill to your starting point. Do 10 repeats.

COOL DOWN: 15 – 20 minutes running at slightly slower than conversation pace. Again, if possible, try to keep this section relatively flat.

The recovery on the repeats is walking, not a slow run. This is because the repeats are quite long – a minute and a half of hard effort on a hill is taxing, so take your recovery seriously to get ready for each repeat. Because they’re long repeats, there is definitely a muscular strength building benefit to this workout as well. It’s a powerhouse workout that will train you to drive through hills, as well as tough out grueling parts of your race.

Remember, hard marathon workouts like speed intervals or hill repeats are a once-a-week undertaking. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that two hard workouts a week must be better than one! Your body needs rest – that’s when all the strengthening work is done, when your muscles have time to repair and recover.

Ready for some more half marathon and marathon workouts to incorporate into your next event training?

Allie is sharing a marathon workout that looks like a complete killer – this is a great way to get to know what certain paces feel like in your body:

Half marathon and marathon workouts chosen by running coaches and bloggers for the Run It series. These are the workouts these coaches love for marathon and half marathon training!

Laura is having you do 2 mile repeats –  another workout that teaches you how your body feels at a certain pace. 

Half marathon and marathon workouts chosen by running coaches and bloggers for the Run It series. These are the workouts these coaches love for marathon and half marathon training!

Angela’s workout is a great one for building speed. If you’re training for a PR, this is a hard, but important interval workout:

Hafl marathon and marathon workouts chosen by running coaches and bloggers for the Run It series. These are the workouts these coaches love for marathon and half marathon training!

Nellie has a lot of half marathon and marathon experience under her running belt – she’s not afraid to try new training techniques and this is an unexpected workout that’s super important for runners in training:

Half marathon and marathon workouts chosen by running coaches and bloggers for the Run It series. These are the workouts these coaches love for marathon and half marathon training!

We love hearing when our readers try our workouts! Let us know if you fit any of these into your training plans.

What’s the workout you love to hate?

What’s the most important workout for you for longer-distance races?

Comments

  1. I hate doing hill workouts. There are not many hills in VA. Beach so I don’t do them often. But when I do they are always a killer and I am definitely feeling my legs the next day.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…The Cat Burglar on the run?My Profile

  2. Thank you for your excellent article

  3. I couldn’t agree more about hill training! I attribute so much of my running and triathlon success to consistently doing hill work…even when I don’t want to since I live up a huge mountain!! Right now I’m training for the pancake flat Las Vegas RNR half by doing lots of hills. It definitely helps make the race feel that much smoother 🙂

    Love this roundup and YOU xoxo
    Allie recently posted…Favorite Marathon + Half Marathon Workouts #RunItWednesdayMy Profile

  4. I run on a lot of hills out here, but I need to incorporate more hill work! I get my a** handed to me every time, yet hill workouts feel so rewarding afterward. Great workout!

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