Half, full-marathon training program: Focus on strength work, smart prep | other sports | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Aug 23, 2017-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Half, full-marathon training program: Focus on strength work, smart prep

This is not a beginner’s plan. It is to help you get to run the half marathon (21km) in under two hours in three months or the full marathon in under four hours and 10 minutes in five months.

other sports Updated: Oct 09, 2016 13:43 IST
If there happens to be an injury, one must take it easy for a week and then reassess the situation.
If there happens to be an injury, one must take it easy for a week and then reassess the situation.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is now six weeks away. The Bengaluru Marathon is just a week away and road races in Mumbai and Chennai are also getting closer.

Now is the time when one starts to see runners coming in with aches and pains. A focus on strength training and smart preparation, rather than excessive mileage and speed are the keys to ensure a good, injury-free run.

Here are my tips for the week:

Half and full marathon training programme: Week five

TIPS FOR THIS WEEK:1. It’s around now that I start seeing a lot of runners coming with aches and pains. Most of those injuries could have been prevented if strength training was done, so please focus on strength training.

2. The second reason for injuries among runners is excessive mileage and speed. Stick with the plan. Train smart, not too much.

3. If there happens to be an injury, take it easy for a week and reassess the situation in a week. At all times, remember that you have picked up an amazing hobby, think long term. Skipping a race or two is not a big deal, but I wouldn’t want you to pick up a long-term injury.

MONDAY Active Rest: no running.
30-40 min easy walk-jog.

SKIP: Skip or hop in the same spot very softly for 45-60 seconds. Repeat 6-10 times throughout the day. Remember to be as soft on your feet as you possibly can.
SQUATS (from 1st week): Do 30-50 repetitions. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
SINGLE LEG HEEL RAISES (from 2nd week): Do repeat 50-70 times with both legs. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
TOE CURLS (from 3rd week): 30-40 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day.
NORDIC HAMSTRINGS EXERCISE (from 4th week): Do 10-15 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS ACTIVATION: (See illustration)


  • Put your hands on yourbuttocks.
  • Bend your left knee to 90 degrees, i.e. lower leg vertical to the ground.
  • Lift your left thigh off the ground by 1-2 inches keeping your lower vertical to the ground at all times.
  • When you lift your thigh off the ground, you’ll feel your left buttock contracting.
  • Hold the thigh off the ground for 2-5 seconds.
  • Gradually bring the thigh back down.
  • Do 10 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.

TUESDAY Tempo Run

  • Run 3 km throughout maintaining a pace between 5min per km and 5min 10sec per km.
  • More than the pace, focus on your breathing. You should be able to converse in 4-5 word sentences at one go.
  • Rest for 2-3 min. Repeat quick 3km run again. Try to run second 3km as fast as the first 3km. If you can, try to run 30 seconds faster overall.

WEDNESDAY Active Rest

SKIP OR HOP: 45-60 seconds. Repeat 6-10 times throughout the day.
SQUATS: Do 30-50 repetitions. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
SINGLE LEG HEEL RAISES: Do repeat 50-70 times with both legs. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
TOE CURLS: 30-40 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day.
NORDIC HAMSTRINGS EXERCISE: Do 10-15 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS ACTIVATION: Do 10 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.

30-40 min easy walk-jog.

THURSDAY
Rest or maybe do 30-45 min easy walk. Don’t exert yourself.

FRIDAY Interval training
Start with an easy jog for 2-3 minutes. Now run 1.6 km (1 mile) in under 7:40. Remember that you’ll need to keep the same pace for even the last repeat, so don’t go too quick as you can’t maintain the same later.

Rest for 2-3 min, catch your breath and take a sip or two of water and get on with the next repeat. Do 4-6 repeats. There should not be a variation of more than 5 seconds in all these repeats. This discipline will be the game changer when you race.

SATURDAY Active Rest
SKIP OR HOP: 45-60 seconds. Repeat 6-10 times throughout the day.
SQUATS: Do 30-50 repetitions. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
SINGLE LEG HEEL RAISES: Do repeat 50-70 times with both legs. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
TOE CURLS: 30-40 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day.
NORDIC HAMSTRINGS EXERCISE: Do 10-15 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS ACTIVATION: Do 10 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.

30-40 min easy walk-jog.

SUNDAY

  • Slow easy run for 100-130 min at a slow comfortable pace. The focus is primarily on ‘time spent on feet’ and nothing else, not speed or distance.
  • Take walk breaks every 4-5 km to pick water and electrolytes to have a sip or two. Keep your breathing easy-comfortable throughout the run and stay soft on your feet.
  • At all times, keep a big smile on your face. It’ll help you to let go of half your pains.
Tweet in your queries to @HTSportsNews with the hashtag #GearingUpWithHT
Dr Chauhan will be available to take your questions live on Facebook every Thursday from 5pm.

Dr Rajat Chauhan is a student of running & pain and a Sports Medicine doctor. He has been organising La Ultra - The High, a 333km run in Leh-Ladakh for last 7 years now. Twitter: @drrajatchauhan