6 Week Half Marathon Training Program
Downhill can hurt if not adequately trained. As an RRCA Certified Running Coach we suggest training for the 9 miles of downhill for the half marathon by doing downhill repeats.
Find a hill that is .1 or .2 miles in length (preferably a 5-10% grade ). Estimate your race pace (this isn't an arbitrary time: Race predictor) and knowing that a 5-10% downhill should improve your race time @ 1:00 per mile then we suggest running the downhills slightly faster than that, @1:15-1:30. For instance if your pace is around 9:00/mile then run downhill at 7:30/mile or :45 for .1 or 1:30 for .2. Start out with a mile warm-up and do 6 sets, running hard on the downhill and then a slow jog back to the top. Finish with a one mile cool down. Do 1 or 2 times per week (make it a speed work day) and try to get to 12 sets in 3 to 4 weeks by adding 1 or 2 sets each time. This will help your quads handle the downhill so that 1. you can hold your race pace when the road flattens out and 2. you're not as sore as if you ran a marathon. Happy training!