Use this quiz to decide which half-marathon training program is best for you
By Sarah Lorge Butler
According to Terrence Mahon, who coached Ryan Hall to his breakthrough 13.1-mile debut, you can approach the half-marathon in one of two ways--extend a 10-K program or modify a marathon program. Whether you should use a short or long program depends on your strengths, preferences, and goals.
1. Which race scenario best describes you?
a) You struggle in the middle, but outkick other runners with a fast
final quarter-mile sprint
b) You pass a lot of people during the middle miles
Most runners know intuitively if they're geared toward speed or built for endurance, says Mahon. Your body responds to workouts in your strength area, meaning doing those runs enhances your training.
2. Which workout are you more psyched for?
a) Fast 400-meter intervals
b) A two-hour easy run or a long tempo workout
Doing what you like increases your motivation.
3. Which workout leaves you feeling more beat up the next day?
a) Long tempo runs
b) Short sprints
"If I give short, hard intervals for Ryan, he fatigues and it takes a couple days to recover," says Mahon. Needing more recovery time can affect the quality of your other key workouts.
4. What races are on your calendar this summer and fall?
a) 5-Ks and 10-Ks
b) A full marathon
Like Hall, who knew he'd run the London Marathon just three months after his half, your goals should factor into your decision on whether to use the short or long training program.
If the majority of your answers were "a," the short program is best for you; if "b," go with the long program.