Gonzo Half Marathon Training Runs

By Rick Morris

Your half marathon race pace is very close to your tempo pace. That makes tempo training or half marathon goal pace training a very efficient training run. Add in long endurance runs, some interval workouts, a few strength building hill runs and your ready to go. Sounds easy, and in theory it is, but would you like to take your half marathon training to new levels? These gonzo half marathon training runs are much more difficult and challenging than your typical training runs. Yep, they’re hard but if you’re looking for a stiff challenge to spice up your training routine, these gonzo workouts fit the bill.

Gonzo Half Marathon Long Run

When training for a marathon you usually extend your long run to no more than 23 or 24 miles because of the stress that 26 plus miles pace on your mind and body. With the half marathon you have more wiggle room. Here is a gonzo half marathon long run that will help you reach new levels of half marathon fitness.

  • Description: Run 20 miles at progressively faster paces.
  • Pace: Run the first 12 miles at an easy endurance pace, the next 5 miles at goal half marathon pace and the final 3 miles at 10K pace.
  • Recovery: None

Gonzo Progressive Run

This gonzo half marathon workout combines the benefits of goal pace training, progressive running and lactate turn point training into one brutal workout.

  • Description: A 13 mile progressive run.
  • Pace: Start your workout with 4 miles at easy endurance pace. Speed up to marathon pace for the next 4 miles and then increase your pace to half marathon goal pace for the following 4 miles. Finish this gonzo training run with 1 mile at 5K pace.
  • Recovery: None

1200/400 Meter Compound Sets

What’s a gonzo training schedule without a challenging track workout? Here is a gonzo interval session for the half marathon.

  • Description: 13 x 1200/400 meter compound sets.
  • Pace: Run the 1200 meter segments at goal half marathon pace and the 400 meter segments at 5K pace.
  • Recovery. Take no recovery within each compound set. Recover between each compound set with 2 minutes of complete passive rest.

Half Marathon Hill Repeats

I love hill training. I love it because it’s challenging. I love it because it improves my strength and power. I love it because it I know my fellow competitors are probably not doing much of it. This half marathon hill climb will make your half marathon race feel easy. If you don’t have an appropriate hill in your area, do this one on your treadmill.

Description: Run 6 x One Mile Hill Repeats.

  • Pace: Run up the hill at half marathon pace and down the hill at an easy pace for recovery.
  • Incline: Try to find a hill that has a moderate to moderately steep incline or about 8% incline on your treadmill.
  • Recovery: None, other than the downhill recovery portions. If you are using a treadmill recover with 1 mile at an easy pace and at 0% incline.