Half Marathon #2 Training Plan

This is week one of my 12-week training program for Half Marathon #2.  Last time around, I sort of cobbled together a training plan of my own, because I wanted to include plenty of rest days, and I didn’t want to be running 5-6 times per week.  This time around is no different.  I started with Hal Higdon’s intermediate half marathon training plan, and fiddled with it to make it work a little better for me.

The original intermediate plan calls for running 4 times per week, with only one rest day, and speed work every week.  While I believe that speed work is important, I also really like my hill repeats, so I wanted to incorporate those, too.  And I wanted 2 rest days per week.  Maybe I’m lazy, but I just CAN’T commit to working out 6 days a week.  I just can’t.  I also had to move the 5k race to make my September Color Run fit.

So basically, this is what the plan looks like:


Running:  Tuesdays will be alternating 400s, hill repeats, and tempo runs.  Thursdays will be easy runs, and Saturdays will be long, slow distance.  The 5k race will be the Color Run, and the 10k race will most likely be Jost Running’s Oktoberfest–the medal is a bottle opener!  So fun!

Cross-Training:  Mondays and Wednesdays will be cross-training (hopefully Body Pump and Yoga, respectively), with rest days on Fridays and Sundays.  I may throw in yoga on Sundays every once in a while too, to help sore legs after long runs.  I would also like to keep up with daily push ups, squats, and hip strengthening exercises.

Obviously, things may change depending on what we’ve got going on, but I’m hoping to stick to this schedule more closely than I did with my last one.  My last training cycle was a lot longer, so I had more wiggle room for skipping long runs and making them up later.

I’m a little nervous about this training cycle because for most of it, we’ll be living in Underhill with Ben’s parents.  The area where they live is not exactly conducive to outdoor running (although, they do have hill repeats covered–Harvey Road is a BEAST!)  This means that most of my running will likely be done on a treadmill or indoor track, which is a surefire recipe for boredom.  I’m hoping that my hunger for a sub-2:30 half will keep me motivated and help me push through.

How do you train for a race?  Do you pick an existing plan, or make your own?

21 thoughts on “Half Marathon #2 Training Plan

  1. Kimberley@Black Dog Runs Disney says:

    First, I had a GREAT Wine and Dine last year with running only 3 days a week. Anything more than that and I start catching colds all the time. This plan is ambitious but completely doable. If you want, we can always start a daily check in to help keep you on track with the training and maybe giving you that little push when you just don’t want to do it. With the times you’ve been posting, that sub 2:30 will be a piece of cake. Oops, sorry. Piece of lettice. Yeah, that’s it, lettuce! 🙂

  2. kebe51 says:

    I’ve used (and attempted to use) Run Less Run Faster. 3 days a week of running, 1 speed intervals, 1 tempo and 1 long, I found it helped to break up the monotony. Don’t stress it, you’ve got this! You know you can do it! Oh, and I have a “low mileage” weekend at the same time, so maybe I’ll 10K race with you 🙂

  3. prairieprincessrunners says:

    I think this looks great, especially if you make your three main runs really count, then you will be laughing. I ran three times a week for the longest time when doing half marathons and it kept me from breaking down. 🙂 Go Rae Go!

  4. SuzLyfe says:

    HIgdon’s plans are fantastic, and you are in good hands! It is always good to have some idea of where you are going when training, but as I said recently in my guest post for Heather, and as I’ve said again and again, be realistic, be prepared to modify as you need to, but keep those long runs right there and stick to them as best you can, and you will be good!

  5. charissarunning says:

    This plan looks great for you! (yay yoga for cross training!)

    Also, I do tons of treadmill running (especially in the summer/winter cuz I’m a wimp with weather) so I’ve got some tricks that have helped me and make my treadmill runs go by faster 🙂

    The most important factor for me is changing my speed constantly – it gives me something to do while I’m watching the numbers go by. If I’m aiming for a certain average speed for my workout (say 6.7 mph), I’ll start the treadmill at around 6.5 and every minute, I’ll increase it by 0.1 until I get to 7.0. Then I’ll go back down to 6.5 in 0.1 increments. If you’re still getting bored, vary it up even more by increasing the speed for a longer time and when you need a break, recover at a slower pace. When I break it up minute my minute (or by certain intervals like 1/4 mile or so), it keeps my mind busy. Plus, the constant change in speed keeps your legs going and is more similar to what you do running outside because if you think about it, when you run outside, you can stay around the same pace, but it’s rather difficult to run the exact same pace for the entire run. You’re constantly speeding up and slowing down.

    The other thing is that if you’re doing a longer run, you could even set your iPad (or tablet,etc.) on the treadmill and watch a movie or TV show as you run so as to occupy your mind and not get bored. I’ve watched movies while doing 14 and 16- milers on the treadmill 🙂

    It can get boring and maybe my tricks won’t work for you, but come up with your own ways to make time go by! The great thing about the treadmill is that you have so much control over it.

    Sorry this got so long! Haha. I hope all the best for your treadmill endeavors!

  6. runsaltrun says:

    I’m messing around with the same plan! 🙂 For my full I stuck to his Novice 2 pretty closely because I was coming off an injury. For this half I’m sort of doing a cross between the Novice 2 and the Intermediate depending on what my foot can handle. The biggest difference is that I don’t really want to run 5 days right now so my mileage is bumped up by a mile on the days that I am running (currently 4).

  7. dgobs says:

    Ooh, I like this plan. I may have to steal/borrow parts of it as I get closer to my own half (yikes!!) 🙂
    I’ve only just recently started training for races… kind of. I threw my own together based on run club workouts (speed work and tempo runs) and adding long runs and cross-training (that I never did). Injuries keep getting in the way so I’m not sure I’ll be able to see this plan out for my 10K, but I’m hoping I can make a plan work for my half!

  8. Amy says:

    I like to have a plan, but I like to mess around with them so they work for me. For my last half, I altered the same plan you’re using this time. I followed this plan exactly once before, but it worked better for me when I altered it. After trying out a bunch of different plans, I’m better at telling what works and what doesn’t for me.

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