10k to half Marathon in 8 weeks

running club plymouth

I am in the fortunate position of being heavily involved in 2 running groups at present. I have my own running group attached to my Boot Camps, made up a hardcore bunch who like to do running as part of their training and some who are already accomplished runners. I’m also the official running coach for the Radio Plymouth half marathon team. Members from both groups are now at a point where training needs to be a bit more structured to prepare for Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon. My own group of boot campers have been preparing for the Tamar 10K which takes place on 24th March.

Many of the runners in both groups are already running 10 miles+ once or twice per week, so they are already on their way to smashing the half! However, some runners are yet to run further than 10k and once the finish line is crossed at the Tamar 10K this week, it’s 8 weeks to go!

So, this is a training plan aimed at the runners who are yet to run further than 10K…

Week 1

Sunday-10K run (10K race for many local runners)

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Rest for the runners who ran a 10K race on Sunday at best effort and are suffering with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Otherwise, Interval Training Sprints/bootcamp/HIIT/FARTLEK. Interval training to be made up of a pulse raising activity to push the HR to around 70/80/90% of Max. Heart rate (MHR) followed by recovery period to bring HR back down to 40/50/60% MHR. This will improve all round cardio fitness levels and allow you the aerobic system to function more effectively during running distance.

Weds-Short gentle run of around 40 minutes at a gentle jog pace. Leave the watch at home and don’t concern yourself with pace and even distance. Its about pounding the tarmac

Thursday-Interval Training. If you don’t do Boot camp or HIIT sessions, ensure you try to incorporate active recovery/strengthening exercises in the intervals. For example, run-squats-run-squats etc. Leg strengthening for endurance is key so don’t worry about squatting 100KG for 6 reps in the gym, doing 100 body weight squats throughout the session will add more benefit. Add core work too such as planks, torso twists, hip thrusts and dorsal raises.

Friday- Rest

Sat- Short Gentle run for 25 minutes. Again, leave the watch at home.

Week 2

Sunday- Long Run for 1 hour 20 mins. Go for time now and not distance but still be looking at a best effort. Now is about getting past that 10k time outside and looking at endurance. Endurance running is not always about the distance, it’s about using the legs past the hour. Muscles are tired, carb stores are depleted and they have to get used to pounding the tarmac.

Monday-Rest

TuesdayInterval training

Weds-Short gentle run of around 40 minutes at a gentle jog pace.

Thursday-Interval Training.

Friday- Rest

Sat- Short Gentle run for 25 minutes. Again, leave the watch at home.

Week 3

Sunday- Long Run for 1 hour 30mins. Go for time still and not distance.

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Interval Training

Weds-Short gentle run of around 50 minutes at a gentle jog pace.

Thursday-Interval Training.

Friday- Rest

Sat- Short Gentle run for 25 minutes. Again, leave the watch at home

Week 4

Sunday- Long Run for 1 hour 40 mins. Go for time now and not distance. Still be running for time but start checking what sort of distance you’re now covering at the end so the following week you can make a conscious effort to better your pace

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Interval training

Weds-Short gentle run of around 50 minutes at a gentle jog pace

Thursday-Interval Training.

Friday- Rest

Sat- Short Gentle run for 30 minutes. Upon returning home, do some light core work such as Planks and dorsal raises. 3 sets of bodyweight squats followed by 4 sets of press ups will add core work too with some strengthening and conditioning work too.

Week 5

Sunday- Long Run for 1 hour 50 mins. Out running for time now but really be pushing that distance along too and be conscious to run further than you did the previous week

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Interval training

Weds-Short gentle run of around 60 minutes at a gentle jog pace

Thursday-Interval Training.

Friday- Rest

Sat- Short Gentle run for 30 minutes. Upon returning home, do some light core work such as Planks and dorsal raises. 3 sets of bodyweight squats followed by 4 sets of press ups will add core work too with some strengthening and conditioning work too.

Week 6

Sunday- Long Run for 11 miles. Run for 11 miles and if you’re coming in under 2 hours push for the 2 hour mark of running. At this point 11 miles should be achievable, even if it takes 2 hours 10/20/30.

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Interval training

Weds-Short gentle run of around 60 minutes at a gentle jog pace

Thursday-Interval Training.

Friday- Rest

Sat- Short Gentle run for 30 minutes. Upon returning home, do some light core work such as Planks and dorsal raises. 3 sets of bodyweight squats followed by 4 sets of press ups will add core work too with some strengthening and conditioning work too.

Week 7

Sunday- Long Run for 11 or 12 miles. This could take 2 hours 30+ but still aim for these miles now

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Interval training

Weds-Short gentle run of around 60 minutes at a gentle jog pace

Thursday-Interval Training.

Friday- Rest

Sat- Start of tapering, Complete a 9 mile run best effort. Tapering is where you start to decrease your training efforts and don’t hammer it as hard. Race day is in one week and nearly all training has finished. Only recovery now should be on the cards to ensure you perform your very best on race day with the freshest of legs. Most amateur runners ignore this advice and will run as far, as fast and as hard as close to race day as possible.

Week 8

Sunday- Rest

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Interval training but avoid heavy leg workouts with lots of squats

Weds-Short gentle run of around 45 minutes at a gentle jog pace. Leave the watch at home and don’t concern yourself with pace and even distance.

Thursday-Interval Training. Again, leave the heavy leg work

Friday- Gentle 5k run

Sat- Rest

Sunday-RACE DAY!

Many people out there may not be able to train to the above suggestion. The above is the perfect training pattern for the best possible outcome in my experience. As long as you get in a minimum of 2 runs per week with 1 being a best effort long distance that gradually gets to 10/11/12 miles you’ll be winning. Add at least 1 interval session to boost CV system, endurance and aid recovery and you’re off to a good start. Include the tapering at the last week and this will pay off in dividends… don’t add it and you will not be as fresh come race day. The magic happens during recovery only and never during performance…