• 10-Week Run to Remember Half Marathon Training Plan

    March 20, 2012

    Quick disclaimer: I created the half marathon training plan below for myself based on my goals and personal preferences.

    If you’re looking for a training plan, I suggest checking out Smart Coach from Runner’s World. It’s a great tool for designing customized plans.

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    In the comment section of yesterday’s “I Want a PR” post, a number of people mentioned having great success with Hal Hidgon’s Half Marathon Intermediate Training Program. It has a nice mix of speedwork, tempo runs, easy runs, and long runs, so I decided to use it as the basis of my training plan. I still plan to do CrossFit a few times a week, so I plan to run three days each week for my half marathon training. Here’s what I have planned!

    Week 1

    6 x 400 5-K pace
    3 m run
    6 m run

    Week 2

    35 min tempo
    3 m run
    7 m run

    Week 3

    7 x 400 5-K pace
    3 m run
    10k race

    Week 4

    40 min tempo
    4 m run
    8 m run

    Week 5

    8 x 400 5-K pace
    4 m run
    9 m run

    Week 6

    40 min tempo
    4 m run
    10 m run

    Week 7

    9 x 400 5-K pace
    5 m run
    9 m run

    Week 8

    45 min tempo
    5 m run
    11 m run

    Week 9

    10 x 400 5-K pace
    3 m run
    RTB

    Week 10

    30 min tempo
    4 m run
    Half Marathon

    Hopefully, I can stick to this plan and it’ll help me achieve my PR. I’m still struggling with how to incorporate running, CrossFit, and ample rest days, but I guess I’ll just feel it out and take days off as needed. No need to overdo it!

    Workout

    Mid-morning, I headed out to run 3 miles. My legs are still a little sore from Saturday’s half marathon, so I took it nice and easy. It felt great to loosen up my legs, and I finished in just under 30 minutes.

    Lunch

    By the time I stretched, showered, and got dressed, I was starving for lunch, so I scrambled up some eggs with mushrooms and feta mixed in.

    IMG_1764 (900x675)

    While I ate my eggs, I toasted an English muffin to which I added peanut butter. I knew I needed something more for lunch than just a couple of scrambled eggs.

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    I’m taking Murphy for a quick walk and then I’m off to my second NRT appointment. I’m so curious about the doctor is going to tell me!

    P.S. For those of you who are following along with my CNC Meal Plans, here’s what I bought at the grocery store this week!

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    { 55 comments… read them below or add one }

    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    That’s a lot of running – CrossFit should fit in nicely for cross training, though!

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    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    looks like a great plan! i am following hal higdon’s beginner half marathon training plan for my first half in june. i’ve only heard great things about it hal higdon’s plans too. i wish you the best of luck on your training! :)

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    Kerry @ Totes My Oats March 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Sounds like a great running plan. Those eggs look yummy. Good luck with your appointment!

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    Amy March 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    For the tempo runs, will you do the whole thing at a goal pace/faster pace or will you do a few tempo miles during a normal run?

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    Tina March 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    @Amy: I’ll warm-up first with a mile or so and then do a few miles at a faster pace.

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    Grace @ Healthy Dreaming March 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Good luck with the training!

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    Lauren March 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I’m following the FIRST marathon plan, which is 3 days of running a week too. I never get bored because each week is a long run, a speed run, and a tempo run. The speed workouts are really varied too!

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    Corrie Anne March 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Love that plan!! It’s a really good mix so you won’t get burnt out!! Good luck on your PR!! You can do it!!!

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    Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Your food looks great! I’ve been a bottomless pit today … maybe I need to stop looking at pictures of food! ;)

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    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I had great success with Hal Higdon’s Beginner and Intermediate plans. The guy knows his stuff!

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    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Looks like a good plan! I like that you only run 3 days a week. A lot of the plans I see and use incorporate 5 days, which is too much for me!

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    Elizabeth @ Chocolate Drops and Pearls March 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Hey Tina starting to plan for my first 5k…running and I are just becoming friends. Any tips for newbie runners like me?

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    Tina March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm
    Angela March 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I love designing training plans for myself too! Looks like you’ll be pretty strong and ready to race by the time the date rolls around. Can’t wait to hear about the results of your appointment!

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    Katie March 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    For my first half I followed a very similar plan. 3 days a week of running…one tempo, one sprint work-out and one long run each week. Then on the other days I would either do CrossFit or some other sort of cardio (bike or hike). Running only 3 times a week kept me interested and allowed for variety in my exercising. It worked out great…my first half time was 1:44 and I totally exceeded my own expectations. I firmly believe that the sprints and tempo runs help me run much faster. Good luck!! You will do great especially if you don’t put too much pressure on yourself and have fun!

    Reply

    Charliss March 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I think that looks great. I had never tried speed work (for running’s sake, I’d used it as training for other sports) and so that made this a refreshing change of pace for me.

    I hope it works for you!

    Reply

    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio March 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I also love designing training plans… it helps my commitment a lot.

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    michelle kim March 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Wow! That plan looks really great and reasonable! It allows for other fitness activities while still incorporating all the essential running workouts (400’s, tempo, long run, etc.).
    The only ones I’m really bad at doing are the “speed” ones, such as the 400’s. I’m excited to see the training pay off with a PR in 10 weeks!

    Reply

    Amanda March 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I have used Hal’s training plan as well. I wish I had more options for XT, but I am limited on my little island. Best of luck!

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    Scott March 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    That’s a nice looking plan. I’m confident that if you really challenge yourself in the speed workouts (x400s and tempos) and run the suggested paces, you will find yourself crossing the finish line in Boston with a new PR. The speed work will help you run faster, longer. Good luck!

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    Tina March 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    @Scott: Thanks for the plan recommendation! :)

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    Serena March 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Looks like a good plan. Good luck.

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    GreenGirlRunning March 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I was thinking of using Hal’s plan, too… it’s nice to see how you’ve modified it.

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    Cait's Plate March 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Mmm – that lunch looks so incredibly delicious!

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    Taylor @ Nuts for Apples March 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Good luck training! I’m sure you’ll kill it :) I’m currently doing the FIRST training program & I love it!

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    Sarah @ Fresh Living March 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Adding mushrooms and feta to eggs is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

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    Eva @TheHealthyParty March 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I am new to carrots N’ cake, lovin this blog! I’m not a runner though but maybe I will give it a go again ;)

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    jane March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    If you do crossfit twice a week then you’d still have 2 days of rest per week, which should suffice, right?

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    Tina March 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Yes, some weeks I’ll probably go twice a week, but I plan to go 3 times most weeks. It’ll just depend on the WODs and training plan.

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    Beth @ DiningAndDishing March 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I really like Hal Hidgon’s training plans. I’ve used them for both of my half-marathons. He seems to take a realistic approach – train regularly but don’t burn out!

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    Debbie March 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I ran this race in 2005/2006 and they held it in March, it was so much nicer in the Spring. Not sure if I could do it in the heat! Good Luck!!

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    Michelle (Better with Berries) March 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I’m following Hal’s intermediate plan for the half right now and am loving it!

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    Megs March 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    You can do this, girl!! Heck you can also climb a rope and do burpees for 7 mins!! Try to hit CF on the heavy lifting days v “metcons” Also talk to the coaches about modifying metcons to achieve more of a strength wod.

    For example one day the wod was 50 dead (@95 for women) and 400m run for 5 rounds. I chose to do 25 reps at 135 instead…..

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    Tina March 21, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Good call! Thanks for the suggestion! :)

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    Angela @ The Chicken Scoop March 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Good plan! I am struggling to find/make a good plan for my first marathon in October. I want to incorporate strength training and/or Insanity (or Cross Fit) along with speed work and all that running stuff. Haha. Most running plans just have running and nothing else! Nothing out there for those with multiple interests! Good luck with your training!
    ~Ang

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    Charissa March 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Yummers…looks like a terrific breaky! I love eggs in the morning!

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    Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana March 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I used the Hal Higdon novice training plan for my first half marathon and loved it! Your english muffin with peanut butter looked so good, I’m making one for myself right now :)

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    Luv What You Do March 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing!
    Must get myself in gear to hit that PR.

    Can you define a tempo run?

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    Tina March 21, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Here’s what Hal Higdon says: “Tempo Runs: This is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace. A Tempo Run of 30 to 45 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, build to 15-20 minutes near the middle, then 5-10 minutes easy toward the end. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout. Hold that peak only for a minute or two. I consider Tempo Runs to be the “Thinking Runner’s Workout.” A Tempo Run can be as hard or easy as you want to make it, and it has nothing to do with how long (in time) you run or how far. In fact, the times prescribed for Tempo Runs serve mainly as rough guidelines. Feel free to improvise. Improvisation is the heart of doing a Tempo Run correctly.”

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    Luv What You Do March 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you!!!
    I have heard them mentioned and definitely interested in spicing up my running schedule.

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    Alaina March 21, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Hal Higdon’s intermediate plan really helped me with my half marathon in February. I’ll probably try it again if I end up signing up for the Maine half in September. :-)

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    Rebecca March 21, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Looks like a good plan! One caution, though — you might rethink a 12-mile run a week out from your half. Maybe do it in place of the 11 the week before, or just top out at 11. Doing a run nearly the length of the race one week beforehand might be counterproductive. (A 6-miler that day would be more prudent.) It won’t add to your fitness, and at worst you could overtire yourself and not perform your best on race day. (My only credentials for giving obnoxious advice are 16 years of pretty solid racing and injuries that have taught me what’s not a good idea. (When in doubt, DECREASE mileage! Always sacrifice mileage to intensity.))

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    Anne P. March 21, 2012 at 9:44 am

    @Rebecca: I agree – I’ve started doing an 11 or 12 miler two weeks before my races, and then having a “step down” week the weekend right before the race, doing 7 miles max as my long run. I think it really helps to prepare your body!

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    Tina March 22, 2012 at 7:53 am

    @Anne P.: @Rebecca: Good call! I’ll probably make that change. 12 miles the week before did seem like a lot! Thanks! :)

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    Khushboo March 21, 2012 at 1:37 am

    That sounds like a great plan- realistic yet effective!

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    Anne P. March 21, 2012 at 9:43 am

    That sounds like a great plan – very similar to how I train. The only thing I’d recommend is that your second run of the week (the middle run) is a hilly run. I always did one day of speedwork, one super hilly run, and one long run, which was maybe hilly, maybe not. I really think all that hill training is how I crushed my PR!

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    Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe March 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    This looks like a great plan – I’m trying to up my distance, but also do some hills/speed training too – good luck!

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    jen veak March 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    question for you…I started a CrossFit type training in December (5 days a week)…it is more of all over functional fitness, lasts for about an hour…I am a triathlete and am going to start my training in April (2-3X a week for each sport)…I also teach Boot Camp 2X a week and Yoga 4X a week…I’m not finding a day off…I want to do it all, but am tired :) oh, and I commute on my bike most days…any advice would be helpful :)

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    Tina March 22, 2012 at 7:52 am

    @jen veak: I feel your pain! Unfortunately, I don’t have much advice since I can’t seem to fit it all in either! I tried to the 2-workouts-per-day thing, but it was just too much, so now I’m running 3 days a week with 3 days of CrossFit. Hopefully, one rest day will be enough, but, if not, I’ll probably throw in a second rest day based on my workouts that week. Sorry I’m not more help!

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    jen veak March 22, 2012 at 10:53 am

    @Tina: thanks for the info :) I’ll see what happens :)

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    Hannah March 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I’m doing this race! It’s my first half marathon and I’m so excited!!!

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    Tina March 22, 2012 at 7:52 am

    @Hannah: Woohoo! Good luck!

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    Ivory March 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I am running my first half in June the Rock n’ Roll Seattle and Smart Coach is awesome. Love to visit your blog for work out and recipe ideas, it has been so helpful! Good luck to you!

    Reply

    Al September 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Hello. I came across your blog while looking for a half marathon training plan. I’ll be running such race in 5 weeks, I’m currently on week 6 of your plan and to my surprise, it has been very easy to stick with it, even though I’m still having a hard time doing tempo runs the right way.

    Thank you for your blog and in particular for this training plan.

    Pardon my ignorance but I’d like to ask you what does RTB (which appears on week 9), stand for? What distance do you suggest I should run the week before the actual half marathon?

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    Reply

    Tina September 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    RTB stands for Reach the Beach! :)

    Reply

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