Training for the Royal Parks Half in six weeks: a VERY easy week

"Week four of my race to complete a six-week half marathon training programme has come and gone," writes our National Events Fundraiser Henry. "Now I’m staring down the barrel of the last two weeks of preparations for the race." Find out how prepared he's feeling in the latest instalment in our blog series.

Henry taking on the Royal Parks Half 2016,

Week four of my race to complete a six-week half marathon training programme has come and gone. Now I’m staring down the barrel of the last two weeks of preparations for the race and feeling relatively settled, despite the fact that I didn’t do a whole lot of running this week.

For those of you who are reading this for the first time and don’t know what I’m talking about; I decided to sign up for the Royal Parks Half (a truly beautiful race) at the very last minute. I then went on a boozy holiday and had a birthday in quick succession, leaving me very little time indeed to get race ready.

In fact, I was probably in the middle of my biggest exercise slump since I started running a few years ago. Take a look over the previous few blogs (links below) and you’ll be quickly up to speed on what I’m doing.

To give blood or not to give blood?

I’ve been giving blood for years now; it’s a great thing to do. However, it does really negatively affect my running ability.

Even when I’ve been at the peak of my fitness (not in general – just the fittest I’ve ever been!), it’s managed to make me feel like I’ve never run before and barely able to get a 5K under my belt for around a week after I make a donation.

That's definitely not something I want in the middle of a mad dash to get half marathon ready! Despite all this, though, I knew I had a donation booked for this time of year when I first considered running the Royal Parks, and I know how important donating blood is (I’ve got fancy O-negative blood), so I decided to stick to it.

The upshot is that this week I’ve taken it VERY easy.

Resting and ready to taper

I’m a firm believer in not overdoing training anyway – I used to run a couple of times a week – but, particularly when building up distance so quickly, it becomes incredibly important to give your muscles the time to rest. We’ve done whole videos packed with tips like this on training and you can check them out in our training section.

I’ve got a couple of short runs under my belt, kept my legs loose and made sure I stretched well. I’ve started to mentally prepare for the long run that I’ll have to do next week. I’m aiming for 16 to 18km, hopefully along a nice flat route by the river, and then I can taper (i.e. reduce the amount I run) from there – all being well! I’m not quite sure I’ll have enough time to get another long run in before race day.

Getting ready for your own race?

Check out our training advice, plans and videos


Henry Fleming

National Events Fundraiser

Henry Fleming

I've been at Sue Ryder since June 2013, and my role is to make sure that you have the best experience possible as a member of Team Sue Ryder. I started running at the beginning of 2016 to improve my fitness, and now regularly take part in races, often alongside Team Sue Ryder runners!

Follow me on Twitter @HenryFEvents or email