Description of terms
This is the speed to do your long runs and some others and the pace will vary depending on distance and how you feel. It should feel very comfortable (about 60% perceived effort) and you should be able to hold a conversation while running.
Practicing pace judgement at your expected race pace.
Warm up for 1 mile. Run appropriate intermediate distance at quicker than half marathon race pace. It should feel ‘comfortably hard’ at about 80% effort. Cool down for minimum of one mile.
Before any interval session warm up for at least one mile and afterwards cool down for at least one mile at an easy pace. Run each interval between 85% and 95% of your fastest speed for the distance of the interval; the shorter the interval the greater the percentage. Do jog recovery between each interval for half of the time taken to complete the interval e.g interval 4 mins, recovery 2 mins.
If you are unable to do intervals on a track or measured distance, run on a chosen route for an equivalent time and then keep running that route backwards and forwards. For safety reasons, choose a course with a minimum of road crossings.
Find a hill of a reasonable gradient but not one that you have to ‘survive’ rather than run. Warm up well before running the hill. Aim for consistency so you run the last hill at the same pace as the first. We suggest you find a hill that takes about 1 minute (or run part of a longer hill for 1 min) although more experienced runners might occasionally do longer hill intervals. Run down the hill at an easy pace in order to partially recover before the next effort.
Tip – Practice running hard over the brow of a hill because this is where many runners relax after running the hill and it is a good opportunity to open up a lead on other runners in a race.
The races indicated are for guidance only. It may not be possible to find a race to exactly fit the programme, in which case either find a race on an adjacent week and juggle the schedule or, alternatively, run a time trial instead. A time trial is a fast, sustained run to simulate the race and, while it will lack the atmosphere and adrenalin of a real race, is a reasonable substitute. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down before and after a race or time trial.