Monday, January 2, 2012

My Half Marathon Training Schedule

I thought I would post our half marathon training schedule so that anyone who would like to, can offer some feedback, or suggestions, or other comments.  Please feel free to be brutally honest.  I am  new at this and we are preparing for our first half marathon race.  It is on May 13th and I think I have given us ample time to prepare.

It is a schedule I made up after having looked at a few others.  I felt I had to draw up my own because I only want to run 3 times a week and I couldn't find one that met that requirement.  Because it is my first half, my goal is to complete it.

I have scheduled our long runs on Saturdays, with the thought that they could be done Fridays or Saturdays, depending up on the weather conditions at the time. 

And I have built a couple of fall-back weeks into it, as well.

I have been advised by someone who has run several halfs and who is a coach, that there is no need to run longer than 11 miles, for a first-timer.  Apparently running more than that leads more readily to injury or illness.  Who wants that?

Sundays will be planned REST days.  We can do anything for fun, or nothing at all, if that is what we choose... and during the week we will be doing CROSS-TRAINING... which means WALKING, STRENGTH TRAINING, CORE/PILATES and perhaps some BIKING or HIKING.  There could also be some GOLF thrown in for good measure... and yard work which means raking and shovelling.

I am pretty excited about it all and want to give a huge THANK YOU to Sara who writes Words to Run By for all the advice she has given me and all the hand-holding she has already done.

So, in keeping with that... today I did a strength workout that also involved some core work:
  • 30 Day Shred, level 1- 20 minutes
  • 30 Day Shred cool/stretch - 5 minutes
  • Biggest Loser 2, womens' sculpt - 10 minutes
  • Biggest Loser 2, men's sculpt - 10 minutes
  • Biggest Loser 2, cool/stretch - 5 minutes
  • walk outdoors 1.5 miles
All in all I think we are off to a good start!


  1. I am training for my first half marathon as well. My longest run is 20km (about 12.5 miles) because I worry that if I don't hit at least 20 km before the actual event I will hit a mental block during the race like I did during my first 5km. Even at 20km I have 1.1km to go before finishing the half marathon. I can understand the reasoning behind not going that far during training though, and I know if I can hit 11 miles (17.5 km) I can definitely hit 13.1 miles (21.1 km). We've all got to do what works for us I think.

    Good luck with your first half!!

  2. With my (admittedly quite limited) experience, I would say that it looks great if you the goal of just finishing. Like Jennie said, you might want the mental boost of running closer to the full distance - I personally did. BUT - if you can run 11 in training, then I'm certain you can run 13.1 in a race!

  3. I think your plan looks good! I myself, who runs many half marathons, only run 3 days week. I run 3 miles on Tuesdays, 3 miles on Thursdays, and a long run on Saturdays. I think that you should do at least 3 10-milers before the race, which you have. Doing a 12 is good, but really, the 11 is just fine. If you can run 10 or 11, you can do 13. Cross training is essential too. Good luck! Which half are you doing?

  4. I have never run a half marathon but this looks like a GREAT plan. You can always switch it up if you find you need/want to run more or less as you go.

    I have also read that there is no need to run the full 13.3 or whatever it is miles to;'ll do fine! I like having cross training and core and strength in my training plans too!

  5. Looks good. 3 running days a week should be good to prevent overuse injuries. Enjoy your training!

  6. I think this plan looks great! Like others, I would think about running closer to the full distance, especially for a half, but I think you will definitely finish either way :) I also think it is important to be disciplined and structured about your cross-training and I would think about adding it to the schedule so your not tempted to "wing it"! Good luck, can't wait to follow your training!

  7. Looks like a great plan. My longest run before my half was 11 and it worked out totally fine! Cant wait to watch and I think its great to be adding in your strength, that is super important!

  8. Awesome plan! You are going to do great!

  9. 11 miles is absolutely enough for your first, the adrenaline will push you after that :)

    great job with cross training!

  10. Awesome Elle! I think you have a solid plan that will get you to the START and FINISH line! That is the goal! It's still my goal most of the time! ;)

    As you know, I stand by not running more than 11 miles 100%, but it is always a source of debate with our group. Some people feel they do need the mental assurance that they can do it by running 12 miles, but there is no way (unless you get really hurt) that you will just stop at 11 miles in a race and not be able to finish. If nothing else, adrenaline and pure determination will pull you through to the end.

    For me and the person that coached me, it is more important to build up a base - which you have done very well with your plan. With marathon training, our plans only go to 20 or 22 miles because of the stress on your body. Even with my Goofy plan, my longest run was "only" 20 miles. And that was modified by a true coach! ;)

    I KNOW you can and will do this no matter how many miles you decide to run at most. I CANNOT WAIT TO "SEE" you cross that finish line!

    I am more than happy to help because you are an inspiration to me, as much as you say I am to you. Believe me, without my club, I wouldn't have know how to train AT ALL, and I want to help others have the power to run their best race. This one, is YOURS!

  11. P.S. - SO glad you posted this too because I love reading the different thoughts on training and miles to run!!

  12. I think it looks like a smart plan to me. I mentally had to run a 13 before I raced it, but I am a little crazy like that. I have heard multiple times it is okay to run less than that though.

  13. Your plan looks great! I'm trying 3 run days/week for training this year for the first time. Mentally I feel like I need to run 4 but I've read so much in support of 3 days and considering the time it seemed like a no brainer to at least try.

    Good luck and enjoy the training!

  14. That plan looks very doable Elle and it seems to incorporate a lot of different workouts, while still keeping with enough miles! I can't wait to see you progress through this! Killer workout as well - keep it up!

  15. Found you thru Courtney-- congrats on running your first half! Your plan looks great--it can def be done on 3 days, esp when you're adding in cross training. And giving yourself the Fri or Sat flexibility will ensure that it happens. I look forward to following along!

  16. i agree with everything that has been said so far. for me having a plan as a guide has always been great. i usually end up following at least the LRs and then tweaking as I go during the week depending on what is going on. Prior to my first half I did not run the full distance and similarly had the goal of finishing which was exactly what I did :) it was a great experience! excited to follow you through your training! you will do great!

  17. woohoo, YOU GO GIRL :)

    some great workouts!

  18. The plan looks good, if you stick with your cross training on off days. I personally, prefer running more days leading up to a half, but the plans I followed were for 5 days a week of running. For my first half, I ran 20k before on the actual course which made a WORLD of difference to my mental state on race day. I knew where I was the entire time and I was very confident while running. For my second half, I did a 22k run as my longest run, but I had an agressive plan to break the 2hr mark. I'm positive you'll do fine!

  19. Happy New Year, Elle!! I'm so happy you tried those pancakes :)

    When I ran my first half I never ran the full distance during training. I think I got to 11 miles and I was completely fine. I ran a second half on almost no training - except the weekend before I ran just under 13 miles just to see if I would be able to still do it. I didn't plan on running that far, I just kept going! My legs were really well-rested because I wasn't training very hard at all and I had like a 15 minute PR. Sometimes it's better to not push yourself so hard and crazy! When I do, that's when I get tired and injured! I personally like going with the flow and having fun with my runs and races :)

    Good luck with training! Your plan looks great!

  20. I think it looks great! You already have a good running base (which is what I'm trying to build now) and you seem to have a sensible plan. You definitely don't have to run the whole 13 miles beforehand. I think people sometimes choose to because it increases their confidence, but it's not necessary :)

  21. Your plan looks great! I think it's great the mileage from week to week increases very slowly and steadily. You're going to love the 13.1!!


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