THE ANATOMY OF A HM
The half marathon is a serious distance in its own right. Though, it can serve as a springboard for faster marathon performances.
HM marathon race intensity
- 50% of your maximal speed
- 85% of your VO2max
- 3.5mmol/L blood lactate (LT = 4mmol/L)
HM energy supply
- 98% aerobic
- 2% anaerobic
HM muscle fiber recruitment
- 100% of your slow-twitch fibers
- 52% of your intermediate fast-twitch fibers
- 2% of your super fast-twitch fibers
The HM requires a unique combination of physiological factors.
+ = somewhat important
++ = important
+++ = very important
++++ = crucially important
Maximal Aerobic Capacity (VO2max) +++
Lactate Threshold +++
Maximal Running Speed +
Resistance to Fatigue +++
Running Economy ++
TRAINING ZONES & WORKOUTS
In order to maximize HM race ability, you will need to carry out your training in different training zones. About 80% of your weekly mileage should be below lactate threshold and not all of the below-mentioned training zones are emphasized in HM training.
Zone 1 = Active Recovery
Recovery runs of 20 – 40min.
Zone 2 = General Endurance
Easy runs & long runs of 45 – 120min.
Zone 3 = High-End Aerobic
Tempo runs of 30 – 60min.
Zone 4 = Threshold
Threshold runs/intervals of 15 – 30min total.
Zone 5a = VO2max
VO2max intervals of 2 – 6min repeatedly.
Zone 5b = Anaerobic Power
Sub-maximal sprint repetitions of 30 – 90sec.
Zone 5c = Neuromuscular power
All-out sprint repetitions of 5 – 15sec.
Free Download: 5+ Training Zones
Peak performance training requires a logical sequence where one adaptation piggybacks on another. I’m an advocate of non-linear periodization (multi-pace training) where the emphasis transitions from general to HM-specific intensities.
Focus Block 1 = Twin-Base
Highly polarized training with a focus on the extreme ends of the pace spectrum.
>>> General Endurance + Maximal Speed
Focus Block 2 = Max-Conditioning
The inclusion of middle-paces that develop your fitness to maximal levels.
>>> Lactate Threshold + VO2max
Focus Block 3 = Race-Specific
Emphasis on HM-specific training while all other variables are maintained.
>>> HM Race-Specific Endurance + Economy