Enigma Need for Speed - 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (week 1)?

This years focus is all about 10 milers, so far they haven't gone to plan. The idea was to train for less miles but increase the intensity. So far this year I've completed the Ferriby 10 (01:07:17), Snake Lane (01:06:07) and Vale of York 10 (01:05:13). Two of which are way off my PB of 01:05:10 set at Ferriby 10 last year when I was marathon training. Vale Of York 10 may have been better if it wasn't for falling ill just before the week before the race. However by that time I had started to increase my weekly volume while retaining the intensity of a couple of key sessions per week.

What's all that got to do with a half marathon? Read on to find out. My wife is doing the Enigma Need for Speed full marathon and myself the half on the 2nd July. After a slightly sub par start to the year the focus now shifts to that race and then later in the autumn, the Yorkshire 10 on the 9th October with the inaugural Manchester half marathon a week later on the 16th. For me the two distances are so close in distance that training does not have to be mutually exclusive. I can still try to bring my 10 mile time down while also targeting the half marathon in a couple of months and the two races later in the year.

Coincidentally I had purchased the Hansons Half Marathon Method Book by Luke Humphrey book, their philosophy of high volume with lots of easy running combined with some key sessions (speed, strength and the long run) sits well with my own thoughts on training anyway. The advanced plan tops out at just below 50 miles. As somebody who normally gets to that sort of volume and beyond I decided to loosely follow the elite training plan in the appendix. I don't have enough time for 100mile weeks plus I wouldn't want to ramp it up too quickly I have decided to do rolling three weeks over a 10 week period (the last week is race week) as follows:

  • Wk 1 - 60+ miles
  • Wk 2 - 60+ miles
  • Wk 3 - 50 miles
  • WK 4 - 70+ miles
  • WK 5 - 70+ miles
  • Wk 6 - 50 miles
  • Wk 7 - 80+ miles
  • Wk 8 - 80+ miles
  • Wk 9 - 60+ miles
  • Wk 10 - 30 to 40 miles inc. the half marathon

I'll then have a couple of easy weeks before doing another 12 week training block before the two races in October.

Week 1 - 62.6 mi (7h 57m)

  • Monday - rest day after getting back really late from London the day before
  • Tuesday -
    • AM: Easy 3 XC
    • PM: 10 mi tempo + 1.4 mi cool down
  • Wednesday - 12.3 mi midweek LSR
  • Thursday - Another rest day due to being Liverpool for work all day.
  • Friday - Easy 10 mi
  • Saturday - Strength workout - 11. 8 mi (3 mi warm up + 2 x 3 mi @ 5 k pace with 1 mi recover + 2 mi cool down). One of the repeats included ParkRun in a slightly disappointing 19:40. The other 3 miles done in 20:04. Both 3 mile repeats were much slower than I expected, I need to be hitting 18:00 to 18:30.
  • Sunday - 14 mi LSR

A good week's volume with three key sessions (Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday). I know I can run faster for 3 miles therefore I assume it was just fatigue from my first real big week for a while and a long day at work on Thursday. 9 weeks to go!

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