Half and Marathon Training

You all know my feelings towards distance running by now. No? Well, go read THIS before continuing please if you aren’t already aware. Or, let me sum up quickly:

  • distance running sucks
  • it’s unnatural, damaging to your body, and it sucks


However, I will not judge anyone that distance runs, and I’ll tell you why:

  1. Exercise can have a social component to it that many find beneficial.
  2. Distance running gets you outdoors and allows you to see vistas and landscapes you may never have seen otherwise.
  3. Running a half or full marathon or triathlon is about goal setting. There is great power in accomplishing goals.
  4. At least runners are out there doing something to try to improve their health.


I used to run with a group from The Running Room. It’s a very popular franchise for the casual runner. They run free clinics, have group runs, and it was a very positive experience for me. In fact, there may even be people from that group I ran with that still read this blog. I know I still creep them on Facebook.

It was after my first (and only) half-marathon that I realized something was up in regards to distance running. My nipples weren’t supposed to bleed from chafing were they? My feet weren’t supposed to deep and painful torn blisters, right? Are those simply battle scars? The cost of good health? That didn’t seem like something I wanted for myself and it was threatening to turn me off of exercise altogether. And why are there people fatter than me finishing with a better time? That’s discouraging.

I’m seriously digressing. That’s how strong my distaste for running is.


Onto the actual post already! How do I train for an event? The simple answer is you train hard. The reality of it is you don’t need to train at all. Seriously. Up above I mentioned fat people running half-marathons. I wasn’t kidding. Maybe they don’t get the same time as someone who trains very hard and finishes a half in under 1h30m, but the out of shape person can walk/jog their way through an event with ease and it still counts. Hmmm, I can’t recall the last time I ever saw an out of shape person do olympic sprints.

Ugh, I’m getting off topic already.

Training. Here. Follow it.

MONDAY – Speed training

TUESDAY – Full Body Workout

WEDNESDAY – Hill Training


FRIDAY – Sprint Training

SATURDAY – Full Body Workout

SUNDAY – Long, slow, run


Go to your local high school, or find a gym with an olympic track. Run laps at a pace that will exhaust you after 4 laps. Time each lap. Do not let yourself get slower as you progress. Run 2/3 lap, walk 1/3 lap if you require rest. Add 1 lap to your routine each week.


This one is easy. www.7-min.com. Do this for 3 circuits. Add 1 more circuit each week.


Find a hill with a grade of 30% – 50%. Run up and down the hill for 8 sets. Rest. Do this three times. Add one set each week and consider increasing the grade of your hill.


Run as fast as you can for as long as you can. Full out. Walk for 1 minute. Do this for ten minutes total. Add one more set each week.


Try to maintain a 6m30s – 7m pace. Start with a 10 km run. Add 1 km each week.


I’m making this up as I go. Why? Because despite what anyone will inevitably say in the comments below, distance running sucks when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. You simply should not put your body through something with that type of repeated negative impact to your system.

If you’re looking for a healthy lifestyle, try focusing on your nutrition. You can’t out-train a bad diet. Once you get a handle on your nutrition, try some olympic lifting, or dumb bell workouts, or TRX training, something far more useful than distance running. Hell, go for a swim.

Please just stop distance running once you’ve completed an event, gotten your medal and have a sense of accomplishment. Please.

5 responses to “Half and Marathon Training

  1. I don’t like sustained cardio much myself. But anything that punishes your heart and makes it pump harder, won’t that benefit even low rep intensity routines too? As for bruises and sores. Well. Don’t be a soft skinned cry baby! I haven’t shovelled dirt in a while, but those callouses – ain’t nobody born with ’em, Roc.

    • I’m not against cardio. I’m against Cardio. To me, Cardio is inefficient and actually causes more damage than it’s worth. When I was younger, sure, I’d run all day. Who cares about sore knees, hips and swollen ankles? That’s an old folks problem. And for those old folks like me that do run, hey, at least they’re doing something, right?

      But for me, it’s about maximum results in minimal time and bluntly put, jogging for two hours simply cannot produce the same results as something more high intensity. An example would be sprint interval training. I did some this morning. 8/12 split (8 seconds full sprint, 12 seconds walking rest) for 9 rounds. Rested 5 minutes. Did it again. There was more benefit to my heart and body than running a marathon and it took me 15 minutes.

  2. We share the same ideas of pulverizing ourselves in short order. I used to do Indian runs, sprinting and jogging. Nothing helps you shed weight faster than prolonged strain, especially so when you’ve past your limit. Your body will deal with all the excess skin if you give it time. I know people that have lost weight that fast cycling. You can spend well over a few hours doing that, but I agree, mass and brute strength won’t come by this way. I only recommend these exercises to people that have issue with snacking and junk food. After an ass kicking of one of these sessions the body wants what it only needs. Water. If someone tried to give me a big mac after a nice run, I’d probably puke if I tasted it. I used this method early on to determine what foods helped me maintain this clean feeling and which made me feel bloated, full, and gross. The best kind would leave me feeling still hungry even after a sufficient portion. That feeling is purely psychological, and besides, still feeling like you could move around and get things done always feels good too. Sure, eating could get boring seeing it like this, but like your nutrition posts, there’s always a way to mix things up. I eat a lot of peppers, so I don’t really have to change anything much. Just know that prolonged burn outs, like running, can also damage tissue to the point it tears and the regrowth is minimal. Don’t do pain. Do pressure. Don’t worry though, there’s a little pain there too.

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