Jeffing is a purposeful run/walk technique that can be used for any distance. Races such as a half marathon or longer tend to be more thought of in terms of Jeffing, as a lot more runners do tend to walk at some point, than for shorter distances. I wanted a half marathon plan that was designed for a Jeffer. Plus I also had a time goal in mind.
However, when it comes to training for a half marathon I couldn’t find any Jeffing plans that fitted what I wanted. Jeff Galloway has Jeffing half marathon training plans, but he mainly suggests things based on how fast you can run now and not what you’d like to achieve. Other plans either seemed too basic or just too much. So I adapted a Jeff Galloway Jeffing Half Marathon Training Plan with some advice from my Elite runner friend.
The Jeffing Half Marathon Training Plan for Sub 2 hours
I wanted my The Jeffing Half Marathon Training Plan to be one that helped me to achieve a time of Sub 2 hours. I don’t know if this was a ridiculous idea as that’s around 14 minutes off my Jeffing Half Marathon PB. This was also my fastest half. I figured as I had never trained before, not properly, and I had been running a lot more miles since lockdown that it could be achievable. Just with a lot of hard work!
Everything I read tells me I am not fast enough. Starting right down to my 5K time. I wondered even if I should get that faster first. I started reading 80:20 Running to help with it all, but I was finding it all so boring. Plus I wanted to help our teen train to get round his first half marathon. I needed a plan which would help us both at the same time.
Working out my Ratio for a Half Marathon
First of all I needed to work out what ratio I was going to use to Jeff a Half Marathon in under 2 hours. Normally you run/walk depending on your magic mile. That is a mile run at your fastest, pacing yourself for each quarter, roughly speaking. This can then work out your jeffing ratios and possible target times.
However, mine still say I am not fast enough. So I found a website that calculates how fast you need to run to get the overall desired pace when factoring in the walking. I guessed I could walk at a 16 1/2 minute mile so had to put that in too. Then I played around with some ratios until I found one that I psychologically felt I may manage. This was a 90:30. Meaning I would need to run an 8:30 minute mile for just 90 seconds at a time.
Jeff suggests you need no more than 30 seconds walk (recovery time) and teen said if we train this way it will make us faster, and we will learn to recover quicker too.
Categories in The Jeffing Half Marathon Training Plan
The hardest thing I think about training for a half marathon is motivation. The little voice in your head that wants you to give up. Too much to do, too much pressure, too bad weather! So I wanted it to be achievable. Also, of course, I didn’t want any injuries.
With this in mind the plan only actually has 3 runs a week on it. I wanted the running to have a purpose, not just go out and run. Obviously there’s the long Sunday run. For this is literally marked as long run on our plan. It isn’t about getting so far, but helping to build up muscles and stamina. Nice and slowly and just seeing how we are feeling. It comes immediately after another run day.
However, the Saturday run day is a more difficult one, at a faster pace. Saturdays are about the build-up of miles over the weeks and months. Although, in true jeffing fashion, the miles go down as well as up. Some of the time when the miles go down it is because these actually Tempo runs (which are slightly faster than race pace).
The mid-week run is based on time. I think this also makes it easier to commit to. Here we focus on drills and only do a mile of race pace, sandwiched in-between. The drills include acceleration gliders and cadence drills. Any remaining time is used to jog. This is also when we are fitting in hills.
The Walking Days
Either side of the weekend are easy walking days. I think it just helps keep getting the body used to the mileage and gives the legs a good stretch. It also keeps the mind focused on staying active. I did not give these a time or distance either – because I wanted it to just be able to fit with life. I need to gage just how motivated the teen is. Sometimes walking further is easier an incentive – especially if there’s a reason behind the walking. This also gives the other boys chance to come out with us more too.
Strength and Cross-Training
The rest of the days are strength and cross-training. The former is something I have never done and the latter something I am working on. I have to admit we aren’t very organised on strength training and thought about joining a gym. Even with the offers it feels so expensive when even just doing squats would be a benefit to me. YouTube is currently our source of inspiration.
With the cross-training the rivers are better to swim in, this makes things easier to get it done. And the teen loves to go out and the bike too.
I have to admit that I really struggle with running around my time of the month so these have been plotted so that as such there is no Sunday long run when they coincide. I have also included the teen’s 18th birthday as an off day.
Adapting the The Jeffing Half Marathon Training Plan
Our Jeffing Half Marathon Plan is really loose, and not scientific at all. There’s most likely not enough slow miles in there. But what it does do is keep us going. We move things around to fit. I have sometimes added in just a few extra miles here and then, as it is really odd not doing so many miles.
I have been mindful not to do too many extra though as I want to keep up the plan long term and I feel that building everything up together slowly is the best way. We also had to be mindful of things like how hot it has been getting/will become. Running in the heat is a lot harder and you have to slow down. Teen has been good at getting up to run earlier, and we have run late at night too.
Other Things to Consider
Obviously I have been upping my water intake, but also both myself and the teen got new running shoes. Next the teen needs a running bag and better water bottle, or to see if he gets on with a bladder. We are also thinking about our diets and fuelling options. Any tips are gratefully received.
If you are interested how it went I have written about each week of training linked from week 1.