I read an article in the latest Runner’s World about training with faster friends to run faster races. I completely agree with their take in the article–training with faster people is one of my 7 tips for increasing your running speed!
The article included a half marathon training plan and 2-3 runs a week are designated as “fast friends” days where you should run with people who are faster than you to push you. I typically don’t pay much attention to training plans in magazines since there are so many variables, but this one really caught my eye and I started following it this week.
I couldn’t find the training plan online but the general gist is this:
- M – 30 minute easy run with 5 strides
- T – speed work with fast friends
- W – 45-55 minute recovery run or rest
- Th – Tempo run with fast friends
- F – rest
- S – 40-60 minute easy run
- Su – long run, alternating weeks with easy and tempo runs with fast friends
Today’s tempo run and Tuesday’s interval session were tough, and not just because of the crazy humidity here. The workouts included 10-20 of minutes warm-up running and a 10-20 minute cool-down which ups the overall mileage I’m putting in.
Tuesday’s workout was 6×4 minute repeats at 10K pace (~6:55 for me) with 1:30 recovery in between plus a 20 minute warm-up and a 15 minute cool-down. I really enjoyed this workout, but I lost track and I’m not sure if I did 5 or 6 repeats! Whoops!
Today’s workout was a tempo run with 3 miles at goal half marathon pace. I was aiming for a 7 minute mile on the tempo but really struggled with pacing. I was either running 6:30 or 7:30. I kept surging and then backing off which drained me.
But, hey, at least I was rewarded with some amazing views! I love the morning fog all along Reynolda Road, Graylyn Estate and the Reynolda House.
I ran across the quad at Wake Forest University about half way through my run – it was so quiet and peaceful. It’s really a gorgeous campus.
I need to track down some fast friends to run with – the article recommends finding people who are no more than 5 minutes faster than you in a half. John is faster than that, but I think he can be talked into running with me. 😉
I’ll keep posting about my training but let me know if you have any specific questions! I’ve lost count of how many half marathons I’ve run, but I definitely remember what it was like approaching my very first one over 10 years ago. I ran it in 1:57, and my current PR is 1:34. I never ever, ever thought I’d run a half marathon faster than 1:55. If I can improve my PRs, anyone can.
My upcoming races:
Do you train with “fast friends”?
Do you like following training plans or do you wing it?