Looking to finally hit my goal of a sub 80 half this winter. Some background:
Male, early 30s. I ran competitively from age 13-18; PRs back then were 4:54 mile, 16:45 5km in XC. Used to train 50-60mpw, stayed pretty healthy with that. Ran only intermittently for several years, had some injuries and got into road cycling. Slowly built back into healthy running in the last 3-4 years, still alternate a lot with cycling.
Aimed to break 80 in early 2022, ran 1:21:15 on a warmup/qualifying half two weeks before my target race with a big negative split, running the last 10km in 37:0x. Ended up being sick of the week of the target race and work has been nuts in the past year.
After several big blocks of cycling this summer/early autumn, I refound my running legs quickly and have done around 40mpw for the last month. I‘m usually doing around 4 runs per week, other days are either rear days or cycling workouts, where I often hit VO2 work. Here are some example workouts from the past couple weeks:
11mi w/ 3x4km tempo @ 5:55-5:40/mi / 3:37-3:30/km, easy km between each.
14mi long run at 7:25/mi avg
10mi w/ ~5mi fartlek style alternating 500m @ 5:10-5:20/mi & 1000m @ 6:20/mi
12mi w/ 2x7km tempo @ 5:50-5:55/mi / 3:37-3:42/km, easy 500m jog between.
14mi long run w/ 6x2km @ 5:45-6:00/mi / 3:35-3:45/km, km between each @ normal long run pace.
I feel like I probably can’t, and maybe don’t need to, add much more volume to the tempo work — much longer and they’ll become very stressful. I feel like, based on the way workouts are going just 4 weeks in, sub 80 is maybe a bit pessimistic? Possible target races are in January, and I’ll aim to do a couple 10kms between then and now.
While I recognise that 40mpw isn’t much, particularly considering the length of my workout days, I’m unsure how much running 4-8mi on my easy days will really benefit me. I’d be more likely to do that if work — and frequent travel for work — didn’t make daily running difficult to schedule.
How much would adding more easy volume around my hard days help? Should I consider backing off some of the threshold work and adding a few more miles of easy running on those days? What about shorter pace work? Any advice?