Sunday Half Marathon Training

Sunday Morning meeting at 9am at Martock Rec, is our Half Marathon Training Sessions, our plan is designed for beginners/intermediates who have not completed a half marathon before (or at least for a year) with the aim of completing your chosen race (the timetable is built around Yeovil Half) in between 2hrs and 2hrs 45mins.

For some this will be achieved with relative ease, for others more of a struggle. The key is not to get frustrated by your lack of speed, or others abundance of it, commit to the programme, begin the race confident that you can complete the distance and most importantly enjoy the atmosphere and cheering crowds on the day, which will help to push you on for that extra mile or so.

The programme involves running on several days a week, this is built around our Sunday sessions, Monday Club nights and optional parkrun. You don’t have to stick to these exactly, but be sure to give yourself rest days and cross training days. These give your body time to recover so you’re ready for the next training session.

How it Works

All the training programmes have three key elements, which alter as you progress. These are ‘FIT’ which stands for:

• F – frequency (how often)
• I – intensity or pace (how hard)
• T – time (how long)

Exercising regularly and gradually increasing how much you do is key to improving your health and fitness.

As you get fitter, you’ll be able to train more often and for longer in each session. As a beginner, this will mean that gradually you can run more and so need to walk less. At an intermediate level, you should find that you’re able to run distances faster.

It’s hard to define ‘intensity’ (or pace) because it depends on your individual level of fitness, which will increase as your training progresses.

The training programme involves different ‘TYPES’ of run and these correspond to your ‘PERCEIVED EFFORT SCALE’. The scale runs from 1 to 10, where 1 is standing still, and 10 is your maximum effort.


To get the best from the effort scale, listen to your whole body and think about how it feels. So consider your breathing, heart rate and how your arms and legs feel.


The training programme involves long runs and easy (recovery) runs, and some occasional faster runs (tempo and speed).

Easy runs

These allow your legs to recover from hard effort and prepare you for the next day of training. Take them at an easy pace, effort level of 5 to 6, and no longer than 40 minutes. You should be able to enjoy running without feeling tired.

Long runs

These should be your longest run of the week. They are for increasing your distance and aim to build up your aerobic fitness, efficiency and endurance. Your long run should be at a steady pace, effort level 6 to 7, so you can hold a conversation as you run. This will become your race pace.

Tempo runs

Constant speed running is sometimes referred to as tempo running. This improves your running pace.
Although the true definition of tempo running varies, aim to run at a constant speed that feels ‘comfortably hard’. This should be about an 8 on the effort scale. Stick to about 20 to 30 minutes at this pace and always include at least five minutes of warming up and cooling down.

Speed work

Speed work, either using intervals or hills, builds your aerobic fitness, strength and speed. Interval training involves running fast, but not sprinting, over a set distance or time at an effort level of 10. Hill running involves keeping your pace roughly constant, but increasing intensity to effort level 10 by changing the gradient that you’re running up. Follow each hard run with an easy one of at least the same length, then repeat. Try using a treadmill to help you get the distances, times or gradients right.

Cross training

This helps you to keep up your fitness but reduces the strain on the muscles you use for running. Take one session a week to do an activity such as swimming, cycling or using a cross trainer in the gym. This will work your muscle groups in different ways and help to stop you from getting bored of just running.


The majority of the words in this document and the plan have been ‘borrowed’ from elsewhere, based on plans I have used myself, or know others have used. For some these will not be enough, for others two difficult. If you need help adapting the plan to suit, then please ask.