My Half Marathon Training Plan

Let’s start out with a lil’ lunch…

Two egg whites + Roasted red pepper hummus + Spinach + Whole wheat sandwich thin

Egg Whites + Spinach

"Hummus, Hummus, I Got the Hummus!"

Along with my sandwich, I enjoyed fresh zucchini slices and a cold, crisp apple.


An Apple a Day...

Veggies: check! Protein: check! Fruit: check! Whole grains: check! 😀


My Half Marathon Training Plan

I am following a hodgepodge of training plans as I train for the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon on August 1.

Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

My plan is a hybrid of Hal Higdon’s intermediate half marathon plan (I’m only following his recommendations for the once-a-week long-run distances), a plan my friend Merri sent to me, and my own running desires.

The plan I’ve created for myself that I’ve been following looks like this:

  • M: Total-body strength training, 25 min. cross training (if desired)
  • Tu: 5 mile run
  • W: Total-body strength training, 25 min. cross training (if desired)
  • Th: 5 mile run
  • F: Total-body strength training, 25 min. cross training (if desired)
  • Sa: Long run (Increasing mileage by 1 mile a week)
  • Su: Off + Stretching

For now, this is the plan that works for me.

When I ran my first half in 2007, my goal was to run the whole thing (which I did… yay!). This time my goal is simply to finish and feel good (not dead) after the race.

I’m not incorporating any speed work or hills into my training because of the simplicity of my goal. I’m running the race at the tail-end of my bachelorette party, so simply finishing the race while still feeling energized would be a victory. 😀

Though I’ve created a plan I think is right for me, I still enjoy researching other plans and recently came across the SmartCoach free personalized training plan.

By using a recent race time and asking you questions like “how hard do you want to train” and “how many miles do you run per week,” this plan calculates a personalized plan to best meet your running goals. It’s pretty neat and I thought it might interest those of you who are training for various races as well as newbie runners who may want a more individualized plan.

Of Possible Interest

Question of the Afternoon

  • If you’ve run in a race before, did you follow a training plan? Any favorites?

24 Responses

  1. Sounds like a good plan! My friend ran the Chicago marathon, and LOVED it. Such a fun town to run in! (or, city I guess, ha!)

  2. I’ve kind of just done my own thing- I make sure I run the distance of the race at least a few times (or twice) before the actual race..that way it’s all a mind game to me. I just tell myself “you’ve done it before, you can SO do it again.”

  3. I’ve run two half marathons and a few 10 mile races, and for each one I had intentions of following the smart coach program, but just ended up doing my own thing during the week (usually 2 runs) and following their long runs, like you are doing. My mid-week runs ranged from 4-6 miles and I usually ran Wed, Fri, Sunday with other days for spinning and yoga. This last time around I definitely took more rest days (only yoga the day before a long run and the day after totally off). It worked well!

  4. I am running the RnR Chicago half, too. For my first half, I followed Hal Higdon’s beginner plan with slight modifications because I gave myself more time to train. For this half, I am modifying that plan to recognize a base, include a longer run midweek (~7 miles) and do some cutback weeks. Good luck!

  5. Thanks for that SmartCoach link! I’m planning on running Rock n Roll Philadelphia in September, but I can’t run a ton because of an old knee injury. Good luck with training!

  6. I have used runner’s world training plans before for a 10 mile race and I thought it worked great. They really cater to your experience as a runner and alter the plans based on how much you were running prior to training. I’m hoping to run my first half marathon in Oct. so I’m looking for some good training plans too. Good Luck!

  7. I always follow a race plan but don’t be afraid to change it a little. I use runners world

  8. I’ve only ran one “official” race, which was a 5k, and I didn’t follow any kind of plan. I was actually pretty darn shocked at that time that I was able to finish the race by running the entire thing! (I had just started getting into running and was persuaded to run with a group of girlfriends). As of yet, I don’t really have the desire to participate in any races longer than a 5k, but if I did, I’d probably try to follow some sort of plan.

  9. I’ve run a couple of half marathons and one full marathon. I didn’t really follow a set training plan, but I did research some for ideas. Then, I made one up for myself where I’d increase my mileage by about 10% each week. I incorporated tempo runs, interval runs, and one long run per week. The results were great so I like to think I did a good job! 🙂

  10. I followed Higdon’s intermediate plan for my last half, and cut almost ten minutes off my previous time. I’m following his novice marathon plan now, which is going well so far. I like that his plans can easily be tweaked to incorporate cross-training and strength training. And that they’re free!

  11. That smartcoach calculator is cool… but my 5k pace is around 8 minute/miles and it has me running all my runs at about a 10 minute mile…. except the speedwork at 8:30…

    Seems to slow for a 3 mile run…

    someone correct me if I’m wrong? (I put in that i was training for a 10k)

  12. I’m still so excited for that half- it’s not that far away! 🙂

    I didn’t work in speed training, either. I like running, but the interval training isn’t fun for me. So I just left it out. Because, like you, I just want to be able to finish and be happy with that for my first one!

  13. I always follow a training plan…I think it a SAFE way to condition your body for a races of substaintal distances!

  14. How long is your first long run?

  15. I like Run Less, Run Faster!

  16. I’m running the ING Miami Half-Marathon in January (Hahahahaha) and am already freakin’ out. Your training plan seems quite do-able! I’m going to be inspired by it 😉

    Oh, and thanks for the website links. I’ve been noticing a high-in-sugar quality of my breakfast foods and need to cut back on it (I’m freakin’ out – againa!!).

    Have a good one 🙂

  17. You are so cute! I’m really enjoying your blog, and sent it to my little sister who has recently embarked upon a marathon as well. I’m an official follower 🙂

  18. I just started running in February and completed 2 5k’s and a 10k this past weekend. I discovered “RUN LESS RUN FASTER” awesome book! it has training plans for 5k thru to marathon. I have to say that i used this only for three weeks for my 10k training and was able to run without a hitch. The advice in the book is great and it jsut works for anyone who wants to extend their runs or improve their time. I just signed up for a half marathon in septemeber, so i jsut started the half marathon training last night. you guys should check out the book.

  19. I ran a half marathon and I followed the Hal Higdon also actually, almost to a tee! I did miss one of my long runs at the end and definitely felt it once I hit the 10 mile point on race day! But I’d love to try again, incorporating more strength training and hill work this time.

  20. Good goals for your half marathon training. I always look at races as a celebration in a way. You get to party with a bunch of other folks who have worked hard.

  21. […] long run in three weeks! After being sidelined from a heel injury, I took some time off from my half marathon training plan to recover.My heel feels much better and I feel up to attempting to conquer a 10 mile run tomorrow! […]

  22. […] Marathon Game Plan Posted on July 29, 2010 by peanutbutterfingers The final run of my half marathon training plan is D-O-N-E! Ahhh! 5 Mile […]

  23. […] My Training Plan: I comprised my training plan using a hybrid of many plans and intended to follow the long run […]

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