Kirkintilloch to host half-marathon

As announced last week in the Herald, in October a major new half-marathon will be held in Kirkintilloch.

The Neil McCover memorial race will take runners over the 13.1 mile course from Kirkintilloch to Milton of Campsie, Lennoxtown, Torrance, Bishopbriggs and Lenzie.

To encourage local runners to take part in this event and achieve the goal of completing a race of this distance, the Herald in conjunction with the Olympians, is providing a weekly column of training tips and advice. This week we explain the schedule and get you started.

General tip for the week: Keep a training log, where you record the time running, the distance run and a few comments on the route you have taken. This will allow you to note progress over the coming weeks – and impress friends and colleagues!

WEEK 1 – The training schedule

The focus here is on getting started and preparing for the next 10 weeks of training. The advice is tailored to your own running ability and background.

BASIC - If this is the first half marathon and you have completed a 10k race or run 2 or 3 sessions a week, the Basic schedule is for you. You will run 4 sessions per week, with rest days (i.e. no running) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

INTERMEDIATE - If you have already completed a half marathon or run at least 25 miles a week, then the Intermediate schedule is more appropriate. This includes 4 or 5 sessions per week, with rest days on Monday, some Wednesdays and Friday.

Some health warnings!

1. Remember that everyone is different in their running ability but we all need rest and recovery. If you are injured or feel overly tired after training, then take extra time away from running, perhaps doing some swimming or cycling. The schedules include rest days when you should not run.

2.Before starting each training session, you should warm up properly with at least 10-15 minutes of gentle jogging and some light stretching. Complete each session with a 10 minute cool down jog.

The different training sessions

Each training schedule is made up of four elements, which you will be working at in rotation over the coming 10 weeks leading to the race in October.

Each session aims to improve a different aspect of your running. However, we all have our own areas of strengths and weaknesses.

This week’s schedule is designed to allow you to find out which aspects you feel good at, and which need improvement.

Running a half marathon is not about running very fast – it is about being able to balance speed with the ability to keep going (stamina) and to make the most of opportunities to recover from hard effort.

The training schedule builds in each of these elements. Let’s look at each session.

STAMINA

The Long Run - this is main training session of the week and is designed to build up your stamina, and will be the last session of the week. By the end of the long run you should be tired but not exhausted.

This run can be on or off road; trying running on the canal towpath or old railway line paths as a change from running on pavements.

The Hard Run - this session aims to push you harder to the point where you feel tired at the end. Sometime it will include running on a hilly route; other times it will running more much quickly on a gentle undulating route. Normally the distance should be about half the Long Run distance.

SPEED

The Quality Run is about developing speed and ideally be done on level roads or paths where you can run consistently without too many junctions. The aim is to run at the same speed throughout the session.

RECOVERY

The Easy Run is a recovery run but still putting miles in the legs. It should be used to concentrate on how you are running and to ensure that you can continue to run (albeit more slowly) even if tired.

Basic training schedule:

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

Hard run - 3 miles - include a few hills in the route

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

Quality run - 3 miles. Find a level route where you can hold this session each week

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Easy run - 3 miles. No faster than 2/3 of the pace of the quality run.

Sunday

Long run - 5 miles. Go at a comfortable pace; you should be able to talk and run!

Intermediate training schedule:

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

Hard run - 4 miles. Choose a route with hills and flat sessions

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

Quality run - 5 miles. On a level route, concentrate on keeping a steady pace each mile

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Easy run - 3 miles. No faster than 2/3 of the pace of the quality run.

Sunday

Long run - 6 miles. Find your comfortable pace; you should be able to talk and run!