Interval Work - Yes or No?

by Matt

I ran my first half marathon in February and haven't been on a training routine since. I would go on spurts of trying to get back into it over summer, but it was just very sporadic. Some weeks- no running at all, and other weeks would run 3 or 4 days of the week.

My question is if I'm now starting training for a half in Feb (the same one), should I classify myself as a "Beginner" and not do interval training? Or more of an intermediate runner, and do the speed work as a part of my training? Thanks!

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your question about your interval running training plans.

I think you are a bit in between. You are not an absolute beginner, but you have not been running constantly, so can't classify you as an intermediate runner as well.

Since you don't have a well-developed base (see my base running drills page) you would benefit from base running drills and tempo running alone.

Given there are about three months till your half marathon, that's probably what I would stick with.

If you do want to integrate some interval running into your workout plan, then make sure you follow the following guidelines:

  • Get used to running 3-4 times a week again for at least six weeks

  • Start off easily, e.g. 1 minute fast, 3 minutes slow. Don't throw yourself into tough interval sessions as that will lead to injury.

  • Don't build up intensity and mileage at the same time. If you still need to increase the length of your runs, then I would stay away from the faster stuff. Again, you risk injuries if you put too much stress on your body.

  • I hope this help.
    Enjoy your half marathon and best of luck with the running training!
    Kind regards,

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