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Half Marathon Training Plan

January 24, 2012

Hey, hey! Happy Tuesday everyone! In case you didn’t see, check out my 11 Things survey to learn WAY more about me than you ever wanted to know.

Yesterday was a VERY long day for me. First of all, I didn’t sleep. I literally woke up at least every hour and barely slept at all. I dragged myself out of bed at 5am so I would be at the gym when it opened at 5:30… Yay. Haha, I wouldn’t get home to have dinner until 7, and at that point, I’d be hitting the gym at 8:30-9pm, so I knew I needed to get my workout in early.

But despite the early hour, I still didn’t get my whole workout done before I had to leave! Yesterday’s workout included a 3 mile run and then Workout B from Stage 2 of the New Rules of Lifting for Women.

I’m actually starting to warm up to the book right now. Since I better understand the moves, I’ve added to my weights so it’s more challenging and I’ve definitely felt sore! I also figured out the most efficient way to get the workouts done, without having to run back and forth around different areas of my gym to do free vs. machine weights.

By the time I got home, showered and dressed, I had 20 minutes to eat breakfast and get myself out the door. Good thing I made some overnight oats! (sorry about the awful photo… I was in a hurry!)

These were DELICIOUS. I used the same Dough Boy oat recipe that I used a week ago, but this time I also added a bunch of cinnamon, and then rather than eating them cold, I chopped up half a banana, mixed it in with some water to thin it out, and then microwaved for 2 minutes.

The bananas tasted so good, and I really love the flavor my Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder gives to the oats!


So I realize that I keep mentioning my half marathon training plan, but I haven’t really given you all any kind of details about my plan and how I’m going about preparing for my half.

The race I’ve signed up for is the Chi-Town Half on April 1st. If anyone in the area is racing, let me know, I’d love to say hi!

chi town half marathon

For my 10K in September, I was just getting back into running, so I used Hal Higdon’s 10K training plan. However, I didn’t follow his strength and cross training suggestions, but just went with any type of cross training that I was enjoying at the time and taking 1 rest day a week. I didn’t choose to use his half training plan because I felt like I fell in-between Novice 2 and Intermediate, as well as the fact that at the time I started (and still now but working up to it), I get injured much more easily running back to back days, and he has three back to back days, then two back to back days.

For my 10 mile run in November, I followed a training plan that I set up through Runners World on their free, SmartCoach program. I put in my time from the 10K and it automatically set up a training plan based on my time and the mileage I run per week. I really liked this plan, especially since it incorporated speed training as well as didn’t have as many back to back days.

Here’s the first month that they gave me (this is actually missing the first week because I had to re-start the plan online a week in)


Thus, I ended up going with Runners World again for my half-marathon, however I tweaked it a bit to fit my needs.

The SmartCoach plan started out having me run 15 miles a week but when I began I was already at about 2o miles a week, so I added a couple miles here and there. Now, however, I will have to continue to do so throughout my training to keep increasing my mileage per week by 10%. One of my goals is to increase my weekly mileage because I want to be able to 8 mile runs regularly. I LOVE long runs much more than shorter or speed training runs, but I want to get to that point without injuring myself! Hence the 10% increase per week rule.

Finally, one of my January goals was to run 11 miles because it would be a PDR for me. However, my plan had me hitting 11 miles on March 10th… Not cool with me. I changed my next three long runs to be 9, 10, and then 11 miles so this weekend is the big 1-1 run! So excited!

So here is my adjusted marathon training plan for the next four weeks:









3 miles


6 mile tempo

2 miles


11 miles


3 miles


6 miles

4 miles


6 miles


3 miles


7 mile speedwork

4 miles


11 miles


4 miles


7 mile tempo

4 miles


12 miles

XT Rest


Since I’m getting up to 11 miles so early in my training, my goal is going to be upping my weekly mileage as well as working on speed. I also added in a cutback week next week because I feel like I’m going to need it with all the mileage I’ve been adding in.


What kinds of training plans have you used? Any good ones you suggest?

Also, if you have any thoughts on what I’m doing, please weigh in!

What is your favorite overnight oat recipe? If you haven’t tried them, what is your favorite quick breakfast recipe?

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Smore permalink
    January 24, 2012 8:05 am

    I’ve never used smartcoach before but your plans sounds pretty good! I used Hal Higdon’s plan for my marathon and loved it I just had to incorporate more xtraining into the schedule.

    Anddd I’ve never tried overnight oats! What?! I know! It’s on my to do list!

    • January 24, 2012 10:04 am

      Ahhhh you have to try overnight oats! The hardest part is remembering to make them the night before!

  2. January 24, 2012 9:28 am

    I’ve been following Hal Higdon’s half-marathon novice plan, but I’m finding that I’m crossing a little bit of his novice and intermediate together. I’ve never run a half-marathon before, so I thought the novice was a good way to get used to actual scheduled training. So far it’s been pretty easy. I’ve done more speed work and weights than is indicated, and my cross training involves some intense spinning — but I feel good and strong. I’m sure as the miles add up (8,9,10 miles long runs) I’m going to have to pull back on the intensity to avoid injury. I think it’s a “see how you feel” sort of thing. If I’m sore, I back off.

    • January 24, 2012 10:04 am

      That’s definitely something I’ve learned with following training plans, you have to listen to your body and change things up if you’re starting to get injured!

  3. January 24, 2012 9:43 am

    I always make my own training plans too, every runner is different and there’s no one-size fits all training plan that will work for us all. Just remember to listen to your body and be flexible. The worst thing you can do while training is hurt yourself so pay attention to warning signs. I’m excited for you though and I totally understand you wanting to hit a PDR early on in training :). Runner’s high is the best!

    And for overnight oats I never follow a specific recipe but I love to mix crunchy things like almonds or cashews in with the oats overnight. The texture the next morning is great. Oh and cinnamon, lots and lots of cinnamon 😛

    • January 24, 2012 10:05 am

      I always add my nuts the next morning, but I should try doing it the night before! Good idea!

  4. January 24, 2012 9:58 am

    I’ve heard such good things from the New Rules of Lifting for Women book. I totally need to check this out for myself! My little muscles aren’t strong! haha

    • January 24, 2012 10:06 am

      I think it’s a great way to start from the beginning and build up! And you can use any weight so you can tailor it to yourself!

  5. January 24, 2012 10:17 am

    Looks like a fantastic plan! I tend to have chia seed puddings rather than overnight oats but I should really get back on the wagon with them, so good!

  6. January 24, 2012 10:22 am

    i haven’t heard of this race… is it new? i’m definitely interested! april is such a perfect time for a half marathon.

    i have always used hal higdon’s plans (novice for a couple races and then intermediate for my 2nd marathon). overall they’ve been great. my times have improved and, fingers crossed, injuries have been minimal. good luck!!

  7. January 24, 2012 11:42 am

    Good luck with your training! I know I would die before making it to the finish line so I definitely admire you!

    • January 24, 2012 12:41 pm

      Thanks! I’m sure you could do it if you put in the time! I’ve been training since august! lol

  8. January 24, 2012 12:12 pm

    Looks like a good one to me! Honestly, I’ve never used “a training plan” –I look at some and then I design my own. I guess I am very independant?! I run pretty fast, but not speedy. So I just go with it 🙂

    I love longer mileage best–i feel like I can do my best running then. Weird, huh?

  9. January 24, 2012 12:34 pm

    I always change plans around based on what I think will work best with my schedule!

  10. January 24, 2012 12:53 pm

    I used the Hal Higon’s training plans for when I have a long distance run coming up. His plan got me more than ready for my marathon last fall!

  11. January 24, 2012 1:10 pm

    looks like a great plan!! i plan to use one of hal higdon’s half marathon training plans i think for my half in the summer… i’ve only heard good things about them!

  12. January 24, 2012 9:41 pm

    I usually do some variation of an HH plan.
    Yours looks great! 🙂

  13. Lauren permalink
    February 1, 2012 12:36 pm

    I’m registered for Chi Town Half. Right now I’m trying to decide what plan I want to use. The last times I’ve use the Higdon intermediate half plan. I might try something else this time.

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