So you’ve been running for a while now. You have participated in multiple 5ks, a few 10ks, and all the miles in between. And like any natural competitor, you begin to look for the “next” big challenge. Maybe it’s a better time or faster speed… Or maybe it’s distance. The elusive half-marathon is a much sought after race distance but to be successful, you need to enter the race with a plan!
You need a Half-Marathon Training Plan!
To some, it may sound daunting. To others, a challenge. But to anyone who is considering taking on this distance, training is a must!
When I decided to sign-up for my first half-marathon last summer, I searched and searched for a half-marathon training plan that would fit my schedule. I work a full-time job, play volleyball during the week (twice), and want to travel/enjoy the summer weekends.
Needless to say, I couldn’t find a half-marathon training plan that fit my needs. Instead, I decided to create my own. The plan consisted of running 3-4 times a week with scheduled rest days and cross-training days.
The half-marathon training plan also had Michelle and I running 13 miles before the actual race day. Some training plans have you run 11-12 miles prior to race day and the first time that you are running the full distance is on the day of your half-marathon.
And although that works for some people, I am not a fan of that thought process. I like to know that I am capable of running the FULL distance before the day of the run. Plus, it’s an awesome feeling to have run a half-marathon — so much so that you will WANT to do it again come race day.
Our only goal for our first half-marathon was to run the entire distance. Michelle and I accomplished just that in 2 hours and 24 minutes.
Although I ran the whole distance, I believe that Michelle helped me SO much through the race. I struggled towards the end on race day — even though two weeks prior we ran the same distance and I felt great! Michelle motivated me to keep going. She supported me and the pace I needed to go throughout the run, which was awesome! I highly recommend running with a friend — you have a built in support system the entire way!
But because I struggled on race day, I am tweaking this half-marathon training plan to hopefully help make me a stronger runner. By including hills, intervals, strength training, and additional long distance runs, I hope to complete one of these half-marathons in under 2 hours and 15 minutes.
I also plan on trying different types of fuel during my long training runs to find what works best for me. I think not fueling properly is one of the reasons that I “crashed” during the actual half-marathon last year.
Definitely take the opportunity to experiment with different types of fuel while training during these long runs. I certainly plan to!
This half-marathon training plan is what I consider an “Intermediate Half-Marathon Training Plan”. This training plan requires you to be able to run at least 6 miles prior to starting the training. If you have followed my 10K Training Plan, that is a good “springboard” to this half-marathon training plan.
* Please remember, I am not a physician, athletic trainer, or running coach. I created a plan to fit my needs and abilities and wish to share it with others. Feel free to use it as you wish but make sure to check with your doctor before you begin any exercise regimen.
For those out there wishing to run a half-marathon, I say GO FOR IT! You will never know what you are capable of if you don’t push yourself! You just might surprise yourself!
- What are you currently training for?
- Do you create your own training plans or find one elsewhere?
- Have you ever thought about using a running coach?