Over the past couple years the Marathon distance race has become increasingly sought after. Before you dive into the 26.2-mile journey, you should consider placing a half marathon on your race schedule. There are many benefits of running the half marathon distance. First, it’s a great stepping-stone to get you prepared to run the marathon. Secondly, training for a Half Marathon can increase your threshold and make running at a faster pace easier. If you’re looking to shake things up a bit and work on decreasing your threshold pace try signing up for a Half Marathon and join Freeplay Magazine the next 8 weeks as we give you some specific Half Marathon training sessions to follow. The following workouts are given with the expectation that you have been running consistently with a solid base and can run up to 8+ miles at a time. So let’s start building up for a half marathon.

Building up for a Half Marathon: Week 1

First we’ll start with the basics and do some hill work to boost strength, speed and form efficiency.

Warm up: Easy run for 15 minutes
Main set: Find a hill 400 meters long with a moderate incline- roughly with a 3-6% grade. Run 8-14 x 400 meters on hill at threshold or up to 10k pace. Focus on high knees and decreasing ground toe-off contact time. Include two downhill repeats if not completed on a treadmill if desired. Focus on high leg turnover and loading in the glutes. Form and power are key.
Cool Down: Easy run for 10+ minutes.

Check back next Tuesday for Key session # 2.

Mackenzie Madison Black White Profile Image Freeplay Women's Magazine building up for a half marathonMackenzie Madison is a professional triathlete and coach with multiple podium finishes at Ironman and Half Ironman races. Mackenzie has been competing in triathlon for over 16 years and coaching for over 8 years. Mackenzie also races as an elite cyclist and ran Division I Cross Country and Track during her undergraduate at Iowa State University. She has her Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Oregon in Eugene where she currently resides. Mackenzie coaches athletes who want professional guidance while taking their racing to the next level. Mackenzie has coached everyone from Junior elites, to masters to Nike professional runners and loves it. To learn more about Mackenzie visit www.kenzmadison.com.