Half Marathon Finishing Kick Workouts

By Rick Morris

Your half marathon running pace is a bit like being in no man’s land. Half marathon pace isn’t one that challenges your vVO2 max like 5K running. It doesn’t place a lot of stress on your stamina and lactate threshold like 10K racing. Half marathon race speed is harder than your fairly moderate race pace. Half marathon race pace is a bit of a “tweener”. It isn’t a hard pace nor is it an easy pace. It is relatively close to your tempo pace. Since your half marathon race pace is close to your moderately hard tempo pace it’s easy to forget that you still need to work on your top speed. You will need that speed training to improve your ability to both surge and accelerate to your finishing kick speed. Here are some finishing kick workouts that are great for improving your half marathon finishing kick ability as well as helping with your surging skills.

Fast Finish Tempo Run

You’ve probably done many tempo training runs. Those moderately hard, steady state workouts have become a staple workout for distance runners. This one add a fast finish to build your finishing kick ability. Run 8 miles. Run the first 6 miles at tempo pace or very close to your half marathon race pace. Accelerate to 10K race pace for the next mile before speeding up to 5K pace for the following half mile. Finish this workout with a half mile at the fastest pace you can maintain.

5 x 2 Mile Fast Finish Repeats

Do this half marathon finishing kick workout on the road, trail or track.  After your warm up run 2 miles. Run the first 1.5 miles of each repeat at half marathon goal pace. Speed up to the fastest pace you can maintain for the final half mile. Repeat this 4 more times for a total of 5 repeats. Recover between each repeat with 3 minutes of rest.

Half Marathon Long Run

Long runs aren’t just for marathons. You should be performing goal specific long runs for all race distances. Run 16 miles. Run the first 6 miles at easy endurance pace. Speed up to half marathon goal pace for the next 8 miles. Now accelerate to 10K pace for 1.5 miles before finishing with half mile at your sprint or finishing kick pace.

Change of Pace Half Marathon Finishing Kick Workout

Here is a fartlek type half marathon finishing kick workout that you can do on the road or track. Run for between 45 and 60 minutes alternating your pace between 5 minutes at half marathon pace and 1 minute at sprint or finishing kick pace.

2000/600/200 Meter Compound Sets

This finishing kick workout is most easily done on the track but you can also do it on the road or trail if you have a way to estimate the distance of your runs. After a warm up run 2000 meters at goal half marathon pace. Now speed up to 5K pace for 400 meters before finishing your first compound set with 200 meters at sprint pace. Take no recovery within the compound set. Repeat this 3 to 5 more times for a total of 4 to 6 compound sets. Recover between each compound set with 3 minutes of rest.