Workout 1: The Fast Finish Long Run1 of 6
If you're training for 13.1, you'll want to run at least 11-12 miles before race day (perhaps even more if you're an advanced runner). However, every 3-4 weeks, you should cut your mileage and run a "fast finish" long run instead. Here's how: For a run that totals about eight miles, run the first half easy, then gradually increase the pace until you're running half marathon pace by the final mile. For example, if you're aiming for a two-hour half marathon, run the first four miles around a 10-minute pace, then run the next four miles at approximately 9:45, 9:30, 9:15 and 9-minute pace. You don't have to be exact, just aim to finish faster than you start!
Workout 2: The Traditional Tempo2 of 6
There are many definitions of a tempo run, but generally it's a "comfortably hard" effort, somewhere between 10k and 10-mile pace. When you run hard, your body produces lactic acid, and tempos work by increasing your ability to clear lactic acid from your blood stream. The better your body is at clearing lactic acid, the longer you'll be able to maintain a fast pace. A traditional tempo is usually about 15-20 minutes long, so aim for that (2-3 miles) and as you progress, start thinking about a longer tempo run.
Workout 3: The Long Tempo3 of 6
As your training cycle progresses, you can try a longer tempo. Running race pace specific miles will really help you hone in on the correct effort during the half marathon. Try three miles at marathon pace (approximately 30 seconds slower than half marathon pace) followed by three miles at half marathon pace. No rest! Later, you can build up to four miles at marathon pace followed by four miles at half marathon pace.
Workout 4: Long Intervals4 of 6
On weeks when you don't run a tempo, try long intervals with a short break in between. Try 2 x 2 miles at 10k pace with 2-4 minutes jog recovery. The faster pace will increase your speed and promote leg turnover, but the shorter length and jog recovery make this workout a bit less mentally taxing than a long tempo.
Workout 5: Mile Repeats5 of 6
If you have access to a track, mile repeats are one of the most tried and true speed workouts. Aim for 3-mile repeats at 5k pace with a one-minute jog recovery in between. The short rest (keep it to an honest minute) makes this a really tough workout, but a shiny new PR on race day will make all the sweat worth it! Long runs and tempos should be the bread and butter of your half marathon training, but don't be afraid to mix it up with shorter intervals. Workout variety will help keep your training fresh.