Progressive Training for a Half Marathon

By Rick Morris

Progressive workouts are training runs that are performed at a gradually increasing pace with the majority of the run in your tempo pace range. That makes progressive training for a half marathon a very efficient training tool for the half marathon which is also performed at a tempo pace. There are an almost unlimited number of possibilities when it comes to half marathon progressive training runs. Here are just a few examples to get you started.

Classic Progressive Run Training for a Half Marathon

Here is a classic progressive run specifically designed for the half marathon.

  • Description: Run for 45 to 90 minutes at progressively faster paces.
  • Pace: Begin at an easy endurance pace. Gradually increase your pace throughout the workout so that you are running the final 15 to 20 minutes at goal half marathon pace.
  • Recovery: None

Half Marathon Long Run Progression

This progressive run is a long run that has been adapted to your half marathon and includes a fast finish.

  • Description: 18 mile long run
  • Pace: Run the first 10 miles at easy endurance pace, the second 5 miles at marathon pace and the final 3 miles at goal half marathon pace. Finish with 400 to 800 meters at the fastest pace you can maintain.
  • Recovery: None

Half Marathon Training Step Ups

This a more structured form of fartlek training for the half marathon

  • Description: 13 miles at progressively stepped up paces with some recovery intervals.
  • Pace: Run the first 3 miles at easy endurance pace, the second 3 miles at marathon pace, miles 7 and 8 at goal half marathon pace, mile 9 at 10K pace, miles 10, 11 and 12 at goal half marathon pace and mile 13 at 5K pace.
  • Recovery: None

Half Marathon Hill Climb

Hill training is one of the best ways to improve your running strength, power and stamina. Here is a long half marathon hill climb that is progressive in nature. You will probably need to do this one on your treadmill because of the hill requirements.

  • Description: 6 mile hill climb at progressively steeper inclines.
  • Pace: Goal half marathon pace
  • Incline: Begin at 3% incline and increase the incline by 1% each mile.
  • Recovery: None

Half Marathon Compound Sets

Compound set training is typically used for shorter 5K and 10K training but can also be used effectively for longer distance training. This workout is designed for the track but you can also estimate your distance and do this on the road or trail.

  • Description:  2 x 4800/3200/1600 meter compound sets.
  • Pace: Run the 4800 meter segment at half marathon pace, the 3200 meter segment at 10K pace and the 1600 meter segment  at 5K pace.
  • Recovery: None within each set. Recover between the two repeats with 5 minutes of rest.