track workout for half marathon

Now that I have 2 weeks of base under me and realized I have a half marathon looming in 7.5 weeks I decided it was time to make a date with the oval.

what I DREAM I look like on the track :)

The workout I set out to do was based on Jack Daniels' training philosophy. The dude, not the drink. And to give credit where credit is due: Mama MacKay wrote it for me before my PR at the Eugene 1/2 marathon. Today I was able to complete 4 x 1 mile, 2 x 800 and some strides. It's my first time back on the track since mid April, so I let myself ease in. 


Track Workout for Half Marathon Training

4x1 mile at T pace, 1 min jog btw (T pace in Jack Daniels' speak is the equivalent of McMillan 'cruise interval' pace).
5 min rest.  
3x800 at I pace, equal time rest (I pace in Jack Daniels' speak is the equivalent of McMillan 'speed - endurance monster' pace).   
5 rest.   
4x200 at R pace, full recovery (R pace in Jack Daniels' speak is the equivalent of McMillan 'sprint - endurance monster' pace).

Total 6 miles of hard effort.  Warm up 1-2 miles, cool down 1 mile


You will notice the short rest and the pace letters. Basically this workout is designed to make you work on the high end of the aerobic line. There is an aerobic/anaerobic line. Anaerobic, is that quad burning speed. Working on the edge but not in that range is beneficial because you push the lactic threshold back. Eventually will be able to run faster just below the burn for longer. In this workout you have to let go of the impression that you should hurt a lot in every workout. Many people leave their best races out on the track during repeats.

An athlete this type of training worked for is one of Ireland's greatest runners, Marcus O'Sullivan, who almost quit before altering his training. He is now the coach at Villanova. You can see an interview with Marcus Sullivan discussing his training philosophy on Flotrack (also below).

What's your favorite track workout? I'd love to hear about your training philosophy!
Sidenote: If you follow me on Twitter you know I'm also complaining about what I self diagnosed (with the help of a PT friend) as chronic Achilles tendonitis. I listened to my body and I warmed up and cooled down with intention. I also took an ice bath after rolling out my calves. I'm being as careful as I can without overreacting. :)


  1. That looks like an amazing track workout. I might have to steal it!

  2. Up here for the stealing! It's a doozy. The key is slower reps and way less rest than normal.


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