Sprints to Endurance: How Riley is Planning to Race his First Half Marathon

Learning a new sport can be thrilling. But it can also be intimidating, especially when all you know is its polar opposite…

Half Marathon Race

That’s the case with Riley, a runner in our Team Strength Running coaching program.

He was a triple-jumper and sprinter in high school and never focused on distance running. Instead, he was a speed and power athlete who never ran more than a few miles at a time (that was considered a “long” run!).

After college, he started getting interested in endurance running. So he signed up for a half marathon and hoped his talent and background as a sprinter would propel him over the finish line.

Alas, injury struck and he still has never raced anything longer than a 5k.

But where he failed last year, he’s determined to succeed this year. He knows that he struggles with long runs and endurance. And he’s willing to put in the work to make his first half marathon happen.

I recently sat down with Riley and had a long conversation about how he can accomplish his big goal.

You can listen to our discussion on the Strength Running Podcast.

Riley’s Revenge on the Half Marathon

After earning a ‘DNS’ (Did Not Start) at his first half marathon, Riley is adamant about training right to not only finish his first go at 13.1 miles, but to race it well.

Even without any experience racing over 5,000m, Riley has an ambitious stretch goal of running under 85:00 for the half later this fall. And based on his past performances and ability, I think he can get there… IF he stays healthy and trains smart.

Here’s how he described himself to me:

I want to experiment with longer distances, starting with the half marathon. But since a recent 5k race, I’ve struggled with a hip injury that’s made it tough to get back to running consistently (this is when I discovered Team SR).

I had to drop out of the Brooklyn half marathon because I knew I wouldn’t be in safe, healthy racing shape.

Now, for the first time in months, I’m healthy again and ready to hit the road better armed with the knowledge and training to prevent injury. I’m eyeing the Seattle Half Marathon this December (about 18 weeks away). It’s the 50th anniversary of the race – I really don’t want to miss out on this one!

My goal is to break 90 minutes, with a best-case-scenario being to run under 85 minutes.

What you’re about to listen to is a coaching call where we talk about:

  • Riley’s running background and how he started distance running
  • The enviable position he finds himself in right now
  • The types of training he has experience with in his short endurance career
  • Long runs and workouts that are appropriate for the half marathon distance
  • How he can structure the next 4 months of his running to run a fast half marathon

Subscribe to the Strength Running Podcast in iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or Google Play.

Links & Resources From the Show:

Riley is a member of Team Strength Running, the most affordable virtual coaching group you can join. These behind the scenes coaching call opportunities are only available to team members so if you’d like to learn more about the team, just sign up at the link above and I’ll send you more details. I think you’re really going to like it.

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