Q+A: I’m doing a half marathon but I also play football. How can I train to improve both?

Q. I’m doing a half marathon but I also play football. How can I train to improve both? Ian Thomas, South Yorkshire

A. ‘A few tweaks to your weekly schedule will help you gain crossover fitness while limiting fatigue,’ says personal trainer
Craig O’Toole. ‘Assuming your match is on Saturday or Sunday, schedule your long run in midweek and substitute
a shorter recovery run at the weekend. If you are football training you might be doing shuttles and small-sided games, which act as forms of interval training, in which case you don’t need additional running intervals. Also consider doing lower-body strength work such as three sets of 10 reps of squats, deadlifts, and walking and lateral lunges, or adding plyometric drills [hopping, jumping and bounding].’

Your week might look like this:

  • Monday Weights (am) + four-to six-mile tempo run (pm)
  • Tuesday Football training
  • Wednesday Eight- to 10-mile long run
  • Thursday Weights (am) + football training (pm)
  • Friday Stretching session
  • Saturday Football match
  • Sunday Two- to three-mile recovery run and stretch