Sub-1hr run session: Race the half

Pre-exhaust your legs and master run efficiency 70.3-style with Joe Beer’s 60-minute workout for intermediate athletes


Want to improve your half marathon time? This 60min session for intermediate athletes is designed to pre-exhaust your legs and improve your run efficiency.


This is a perfect Sunday run after a long ride on Saturday. Or it’s the second session in a day that starts with a technique or steady stamina swim session.

For this session you’ll need: a turbo trainer or gym bike; snack 1-2hrs before; race shoes; visor; fuel belt; and calf/quad guards (if used on race day).

Race the half


Turbo: 15mins ‘ramp test’, rising from 100watts or 50% of your HRmax, increasing by 20watts to above threshold. 5mins easy ride, short jog.

Main session

20min run at 80% of HRmax. Take on race fuel at 3 & 18mins. 10mins as: 3mins easy; 7mins as 5 x 20sec 5km-paced efforts.


5mins light bike spin, stretch-out.

Main benefits

Performance benefits

The ramp test is short, hard and pre-fatigues the legs more than most warm-up routines. This makes efficient running a challenge, but will soon becomes second nature on race day.

Mental benefits

This session lets you know that on race day you have to be controlled on the bike, so you can give the run full gas.

Physiological benefits

The ramp test allows you to compare your heart rate against power/speed – a useful insight into your bike fitness. It also challenges many of your required energy systems.

Moving quickly onto the run demands the shunting of blood flow, muscle coordination and energy system use, helping you tolerate ‘change’ better and relaxing more as your run legs gradually emerge.

The accelerations get you moving at a greater turnover speed with some fatigue in your legs – a useful skill for a middle-distance race.

Adapt for Ironman

Increase the main session to a 40min core block with feeding of 15-20g of carbohydrate at 3, 18 and 33 mins.

(Image: Jonny Gawler)


For lots more running advice, head to our Training section