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Exercise to support half marathon training?

(18 Posts)
JeanGenie23 Sat 14-Jan-17 07:15:19

I just wanted to ask if anyone does any additional exercise when training for a half marathon. I am following a plan I found via my chosen charity and it is going really well, but I wandered if I could do more to boost my fitness, perhaps something like HIIT or Zumba?
I do an odd bit of yoga before and after a run but I'm no expert. I just found some videos online blush
Any advice is gratefully received!

Fridayschild Sat 14-Jan-17 07:21:00

I have an app called Yoga For Runners which has a pre run and post run routine - great to make sure I stretch. The post run sequence is 15 minutes long. It's by a Canadian called Tania. Her free app doesn't have the sequences so you need to shell out 69p for it.

MakingMerry Sat 14-Jan-17 07:35:40


You don't want high intensity, you will be putting enough pressure on your joints from the mileage. The most likely problem you will have with longer distance running is injury from over-training, so don't increase that risk. If you want to improve your speed then interval training, in one or more of your existing sessions, is the way to go.

Swimming is a good, low impact, weight bearing exercise. Cycling is the classic cross-training for running, as it exercises the same muscle groups but with much less impact. Yoga, if you know what you're doing, can be useful, but I don't overdo it. In the past I've put myself out of running for eighteen months through a knee injury created by running, but exacerbated by yoga (and this was in a class with an experienced teacher.)

In general, I would suggest you're better off slightly under-trained and making it to the start line, than going all out in training and hurting yourself, especially if this is your first half.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sat 14-Jan-17 11:24:54

I'd say strength or flexibility over extra cardio. How many runs do you do per week? I prefer 3 runs with cross training over more runs and less variation.

HalfaFishFingerAndTwoPeas Sat 14-Jan-17 11:56:13

Yoga and lifting weights helped me smile

JeanGenie23 Sat 14-Jan-17 13:45:54

Thank you for all your replies.

It isn't my first half marathon, it's my second. However with my first one I left my training to last minute and have since enjoyed running much more and so do it much more frequently.

I run 3 times a week. Two of those are short 30minute runs, I average just 5k in that time. I also swim once a week for an hour. I have done a tiny bit of yoga but nothing much, just a few cool down stretches.

JeanGenie23 Sat 14-Jan-17 13:47:12

Sorry posted too soon.

I think i was looking for additional exercises because my runs don't seem to be getting any quicker, so wondered if I could boost my training with something

PunjanaTea Sat 14-Jan-17 13:48:51

Pilates or other type of exercise which strengthens your core.

MakingMerry Sat 14-Jan-17 16:26:34

If you want speed, I would suggest cycling for cross training and/or making one of your 5ks an interval training session. The runner's world uk forums are a good resource for suggesting possible session plans.

KittyandTeal Sun 15-Jan-17 07:48:15

I do yoga and Pilates for runners plus a strength yoga session.

I also do Zumba once a week, mainly because I enjoy it and my friend instructs. I like the different directions of movement. I really rate it as a cardio cross train.

I also so some own body weight strength exercise. Only around 20mins though

JeanGenie23 Sun 15-Jan-17 08:31:43

Wow ok thank you, some good ideas to take on board.
Can I ask what's the difference between yoga and Pilates? Sorry if stupid question! blush

I will also check out the runners world forums.

I have a very sick toddler today, we have been up since 5am and I think I have changed the bed sheets three times, so I won't be running as planned today! 🙁

KittyandTeal Sun 15-Jan-17 16:18:09

Ummm, Pilates is harder and it feels like it works specific muscle groups. Yoga involves more stretching and deep muscle work I think.

It's really hard to explain, they feel different when you do them. Sorry,I can't explain any better!

chutneypig Mon 16-Jan-17 07:08:38

If I had to pick one class I'd go for Pilates, I can feel the difference the core strength made to my running last year. But I'd also love to be able to fit in a yoga class too. A class with a good instructor is important for Pilates I think though, good technique is key.

I did a circuits class which I think helped, mostly the body weight exercises. I can't do that any more and am struggling to find something to fill the gap, I'm hunting for a short home routine on that front.

KittyandTeal Mon 16-Jan-17 12:59:57

I agree with chutney. You can easily do yoga classes at home on YouTube or from and app.

I do Pilates classes on YouTube as I can't get put to a class but I think I would get even more from it if I was being properly instructed.

JeanGenie23 Mon 16-Jan-17 21:00:19

Thank you all 👍🏻

I have been to a yoga class tonight, I really enjoyed it!

BloodSweatTears Wed 18-Jan-17 23:21:24

I tend to pick and choose my exercise on my non running days to suit my mood, but I use a combination of body weight hiit circuits, swimming and yoga. Keeps my routine fresh and my body fairly balanced.

Chutneypig - will change your life!

chutneypig Thu 19-Jan-17 06:39:56

You're right BloodSweatTears, I ought to look more at fitnessblender, I've dabbled but not really taken advantage. How long sessions do you do? I struggle a bit to find any length of time routinely at home, I did my class at lunchtime.

shakemysilliesout Thu 19-Jan-17 07:04:50

Do some core work. But to run faster you need to train faster, does your plan have any speed work in it?

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