In this month’s edition of the Run It Series, we are sharing with you our favorite marathon and half marathon workouts.
One of my favorite workouts for the marathon and half marathon (and the 10K, even) is two-mile repeats. This workout repeats itself over and over again in both my own training and the plans I write for my athletes – and for good reason. Two-mile repeats are versatile and adaptable. You can use them at various points in the training cycle for both the marathon and half marathon distance. As you progress, increase the pace, add more intervals, and shorten the recovery time.
Two-mile repeats are run at half marathon pace or slightly faster – an effort that feels comfortably hard and challenging without being exhausting. Chances are, the first interval will feel comfortable. Resist the temptation to speed up, because I promise you that the second and third intervals will feel harder. Do NOT run these at 5K race pace or try to set a new 10K PR in this workout – you will burn yourself out and completely miss the purpose of this workout.
This half marathon and marathon workout is simple. After warming up with dynamic stretches and 1-2 miles of easy running, you run 2-3 repeats of two miles at half marathon effort or slightly faster – a comfortably hard effort. You should be able to speak in just short phrases and your effort level should feel like a 6-7 on a scale of 1 (walking) to 10 (all-out sprint). Between each interval, jog at a very easy effort for 3 minutes. Once you have completed all intervals, cool down with 1-2 miles of easy running.
For marathoners, two-mile repeats provide threshold training without the wear-and-tear of a continuous tempo run. By adding in the short recovery break in between repeats, you can do more training at your threshold pace without tiring yourself out too much before your weekly long run. Give yourself either a rest day or a short easy run the day after this workout to let your body optimally recover.
For half-marathoners, two-mile repeats allow you to practice goal race pace without leaving your race in your training. The number of repetitions varies based on overall weekly mileage and fitness, but most runners will do 2-3 repetitions of 2 miles. Advanced runners can do up to 4 repeats in the middle of a long run as their peak workout. During half marathon training, you can do two-mile repeats as a mid-week workout or as part of your long run.
In addition to this workout, you can try these other marathon and half marathon workouts:
Angela of Happy Fit Mama trains you to finish fast with this interval workout:
Carly of Fine Fit Day shares her favorite half and full marathon workout:
Nellie at Brooklyn Active Mama has a workout that will get you in amazing shape for race day:
Allie of Vita Train 4 Life
kicks your butt prepares you for the marathon by having you run fast in a long run:
Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Coaches’ Corner!
What’s your favorite half marathon or marathon workout?
This looks like a tough but effective workout! I enjoy long intervals because you can really settle into the pace.
I agree – long intervals are so much easier to settle into pace during!
Oh yes, 2 mile repeats hurt so good and are effective without breaking you down for the half marathon distance! Great workout and I love this round up. My workout however, is a killer but, the more I have done it the better I feel going into my race, both mentally and physically!
Your workout looks so hard in a good way! Part of me wants to try it. Part of me is scared.
I like those 2 mile repeats too even when I’m not training for a race. they give my runs structure and let me work hard (whatever hard is for that day) and I really feel like I get stronger from those types of workouts.
They are an ultimate strength builder!
Two mile repeats kick my butt! When that happens, you know it’s an effective workout. 🙂
Exactly – a kick butt workout is an effective workout!
Oh repeats. They will kick your butt before you know it!
Exactly – and the run is done before you know it!
Looks like a great workout. I’ve only done workouts like this a few times; I do a lot of mile repeats or longer intervals on the track as well as continuous tempo runs (or race-outs: 5K or 10K race as a workout/tempo run).
Thank you! I find two-mile repeats to be a good balance between faster mile repeats and grinding continuous tempos.
Sounds like a great (and hard) workout! I’ve done mile repeats but not 2 mile. I’ll give it a try!
My favorite is probably the tempo run.
Thank you! If you like tempo runs, you will like these – very similar but just different enough!
Your 2 mile repeats are some of my favorites! I haven’t done them yet this year but I think they’re on the plan for next week. Some of these (Allie’s) look killer but an awesome challenge!
Thank you! I agree – Allie’s looks like an awesome challenge, but definitely intimidating!
Definitely pinning these workouts and giving them a try! 🙂
Thank you! I hope you enjoy them!
You have definitely given me lots of 2-mile repeats to do this training cycle! It has definitely been a challenge but I am hopeful that they help me with my speed for the half marathon!
You have developed your speed and endurance so well this training cycle – you are ready for a fast half!
I don’t think I’ve ever done 2-mile repeats…sounds like a great challenge (for the next time I’m in full-on training mode). Thanks for sharing!
I’ve done 2-mile repeats during 10K training and they were the best for feeling confident about holding race pace but not the best while actually running the workout. I think progression runs are probably my favorite for half marathon training.
I’ve always been caught in the “run for distance” mentality and just started incorporating different types of running workouts. It definitely helps with the boredom and is much more productive than “just running”!
This sounds like something I want to try… I have done intervals, but I haven’t done the 2-mile repeat workouts because they were not specific to the training plan I was following.
You should try them – if you plan allows 🙂 – They are a really effective workout!