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Striving for a New PB

May 27, 2016 | Running | 4 comments

Speed training New Balance

I haven’t run a half marathon PB since October 2013 – the 1.52 I accidentally set at the Royal Parks Half marathon whilst training of the New York City Marathon that year.

This year my four main running goals are;

  • Run a Half Marathon PB
  • Run a Marathon PB
  • Love my training
  • Stay injury free


So, with 5 months until the New York City Marathon, this is how I’m going to achieve these goals.

Speed training for New Balance

Firstly, I’m turning to my old fave coach Kerry to work on the plan. He’s running NYCM too (although strangely he’s not so down with pacing me as he actually has his own running goals to work towards!), but I’m hoping we can do some of our training runs together.

This year I’m doing something a little different, and instead of running 3 times a week, as I have for pretty much all of my previous marathons. This time I’m running four; speed, tempo, long and EASY.

As in previous years SPEED is key to running faster. Running Yasso 800s on a near weekly basis for both Berlin and Chicago training improved my average pace. It was also great seeing the improvements week on week with my 800m times. I would often shoot myself in the foot by running faster than the splits on my training plan meaning the splits for the following week would be lower.

I’ll be including speed work each week, mixing it up with 800m repeats, ladders, 400m repeats, mile repeats – repetition is key for improvement, right?

Speed Training New Balance

Awkward lines on my legs…clearly NOT a model. 

As part of my New Balance collaboration, I shared some of my speed training tips with Runner’s World and Women’s Health;

Why Speed Training will Transform your Long Distance Running Time 

3 Moves to Up Your Speed Workouts 

Ultimate 10K Speed Training Plan 

I wrote previously about my Marathon shoe, the very cushioned Fresh Foam 1080 but I wear a lighter, faster shoe when I do my speed training. I find that my running style changes when I run faster, and I land more on the forefoot than mid or heel, meaning I need less cushioning. I’ve been wearing the Vazee Prism which still provide support but are much more lightweight.

New Balance trainers

Vazee Prism New Balance

Secondly, I am going to strength train, yoga, and physio religiously. This isn’t my favourite part of marathon training, but I have hated being injured for the last few months and I know this will make all the difference. Last summer Barre made such a difference to my strength, flexibility and body, so there will definitely be some Barrecore on the schedule.

Thirdly, I’m going to take the pressure off without putting a specific time on the cards. As I’ve said I’m aiming for a PB – which will be faster than 1.52 in a half, and 3.49 in a full. I think having such a hard, specific time goal for Chicago meant that when I failed, I failed big (read about what happened here). This time I just want to run faster. Whatever pace that may be…

Speed Training New Balance

In other news, now that my exams are over (YAY!) I’ve decided that i’m going to be blogging every day in June – so follow me on Bloglovin if you haven’t already and subscribe on the bottom right of the blog to ensure you don’t miss anything! It’s a travel packed month which I can’t wait to share with you.


  1. Laura

    Good luck with your training. You’ve plenty of time to achieve a couple of PBs. Ease yourself back into it.

  2. runslikeadog

    Hi Charlie,

    Firstly, really, really good luck with your training over the next few months.

    However… I would question the idea that speed is key. I don’t think it is for the marathon. In fact, I think that speed work proper (ie balls out fast) should be a minor part of the whole picture. Whilst I do agree that there is a place for it, the real emphasis (if you want to PB at marathon distance) should be around sustaining marathon pace and going SLOWLY too. i.e. plenty of easy miles during the week (or biking/swimming if you’re worried about injury) and long periods of marathon pace running, upto 10 – 13 miles. The speed work should, in my opinion, also be longer than maxing out at a mile… I’d go right up to 2 x 3 miles to really see results. I think you’re also more likely to get injured if you’re trying to run FAST too often.

    This is just all my opinion, of course, but training this way has really worked for me.

    Like I say – really good luck with all your training, and your exams too!

    Cathy x

    • charlotte

      Thank you! I tend to do 2 X 3 mile type longer, faster paced runs as my tempo runs. You are definitely right about injury though – definitely going to have to ease back into my speed work! Personally I do find that the speed work does improve my casual pace, but I do agree that I need to add easy runs into my plan. They were definitely missing from my Chicago plan! Thanks Cathy! xx

  3. healthyhappierbear

    Good luck with your training. I’ll be following from across the pond. I’m also curious how you balance the 4 days of running with strength, yoga etc.


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