It’s no secret that the half-marathon is one of the most popular of all racing distances, and there are two major half-marathons right around the corner: The 3M Half Marathon set for 7:30 a.m. on January 21 (Stonegate Blvd. at the Gateway Shopping Center) and the Austin Half Marathon on February 18 at 7:00 a.m. (Downtown Austin at Congress Ave.).
Thousands of runners will be participating in these two events, and that includes a multitude of Central Texas runners who are training hard to set personal bests for 13.1 miles. And while the average runner can’t train at the same speeds as the elites, they can still model their workouts after those who are in contention to win.
With that in mind, here are some favorite half-marathon workouts from some of our local elites:
- Cate Barrett (2017 Orange Leaf Half Marathon Champ)
“I’d say favorite workout prepping for a half would be doing your long run with a 30-minutes of fast ‘close’ [tempo section close to race pace] at the end. That will simulate some of the race day mind games: pain in a safe way.” Racing 3M Half Marathon
- Allison Mendez-Cleaver (2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon champ)
“My favorite half marathon workout is three sets of 2 miles with three minutes of rest in between. The first two sets are a moderate/hard effort to get into rhythm type pace – about 5:40-5:45. The last set is as FAST as you can go. It’s tough but the goal is to see how your body responds with long intervals on tired legs. In a recent workout, I ran 11:30/11:21/11:07…” Racing the Chevron Houston Half Marathon and the Austin Half Marathon
- Jen Hall (2017 Capitol 10,000 champ)
“I’ve never run a half marathon before but my training the last few weeks has sort of been geared towards it. I would say my favorite workouts are eight to 10 X 1000m on the track with a one-minute jog rest or eight to 10 miles of Fartlek around Lady Bird Lake.” Racing 3M Half Marathon
- Bryan Morton (2015 3M Half Marathon 2nd in 1:07:16)
“My favorite and go-to workout ahead of a half is what we call the Aussie 5K. It’s done on the track as a continuous in/out workout of 400m at 5K pace with a 200m float. The float should/can be as hard as you want to make it so long as your 5K pace work is unaffected. This has always been a solid fitness indicator for me and one I look forward to throughout my training macros. Racing 3M as a tune-up and race prep for the Tokyo Marathon in late February.
- Mark Pinales (2017 3M Half Marathon champ)
“One of my favorite workouts is three times 2 miles at just faster than half-marathon goal pace with one to two minutes rest. I love training at a pace that’s faster than the race, so it makes it a little easier come race day.” Racing 3M Half Marathon
Upcoming Races: Sunday, December 31. Rockin’ Resolution Race 20M, 10M, 5K at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. Races start at 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Monday, January 1 at 9:00 a.m., Kickin’ It 5K at Wallace Middle School, 1500 Center Street in Kyle. Sunday, January 21 at 7:30 a.m., the 3M Half Marathon at Stonegate Blvd. at the Gateway Shopping Center.