10-Week Run to Remember Half Marathon Training Plan

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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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.

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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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64 Comments

  1. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

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

    1. 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.

  9. 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!!

  10. 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…..

  11. 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

    1. 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.”

  12. 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. 🙂

  13. 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.))

    1. @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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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 🙂

    1. @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!

  16. 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!

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