I am running my second half marathon in just under seven weeks. It’s about that time to start training for it, no?
The first time I started training for a half marathon, I documented the entire process with a ten-week plan, followed by a check-in of how every run went along with what I learned that week.
You can view all of my training week recaps under the Half Marathon Training section on the Fitness page. (Please excuse the weird fonts and formats in the early weeks, as they are back from when I used Blogger!)
This time, I am sharing my own six-week plan along with a weekly check-in.
What made me go from ten down to six weeks of training?
After I crossed the finish line of my first long distance race, I knew I wanted to complete more of them. I kept a mental note in the back of my mind that there would be a time I would need to train again, and the last thing I wanted to do was start from square one.
Over the past two and a half years, I have kept up the habit of being able to run a 10K (or 6.2 miles) without struggle. For those of you who aren’t familiar with races, that is half the distance of a half marathon. So, as long as I feel good about running six miles, I feel confident in starting a little before the halfway mark of last time.
Before any length of half-marathon training, however, it is important to pre-train. Go on a few weeks worth of leisure runs where you aren’t necessarily watching your pace or distance, but get in the habit of running for at least thirty minutes at a time without stopping. Once you complete a couple of runs this way, you are ready to start training!
Before I trained for any race, I could barely run for thirty minutes at a time. Slowly, I built that up to four miles, then five, and now I can run seven or eight if I have my head in the right place without training whatsoever. Running really has become a sport I have learned to love and wouldn’t be so determined to race if I didn’t!
Without dragging my explanations on further, below you will see how I plan to train for my half coming up in mid-October. Here we go!
Six Week Half-Marathon Training Plan (Intermediate)
• Strength Training can be anything that involves lifting weights to circuit workouts like HIIT or Fitness Pilates. Some weeks will include more cross training or bodyweight workouts barre or cardio (other than running) and core circuits, and others will take me back to the weight room. It all just depends on how my body is feeling!
• Tempo Runs are “comfortably hard” runs, according to Runner’s World.
They always include a 10-15 minute warm-up, a steady and challenging pace at an assigned mileage in the middle, followed by a 10-15 minute cool-down. While some plans suggest certain paces and longer distances for race training, I am going to take it easier and start with what I charted.
• Easy Pace runs mean I will go for the distance but keep a slower pace I could easily hold a conversation at. I will go faster than a jog, but won’t even look at my pace. They are mainly there to log in the miles.
• REST days are meant for muscle recovery and are important to prevent injuries. On rest days, I make sure to complete an extra long stretch or even take a yoga class to help me from soreness. Also, foam rolling will most likely take place here as well as after all of the longer weekend runs!
*Please keep in mind that this is what I plan to do for my personal training. I consider myself to be a pretty decent runner and if I couldn’t run the distance I can now, I would start right back where I did last time with a longer training plan.
If you are looking to train for your very first race, there are plenty of beginner training plans out there to guide you along the way. I would recommend starting small with a 5K (3.1 miles) and even go for a 10K to get you in the groove before going for a half distance, but the choice is completely up to you.
Here are a handful of half plans that look great:
• Half Marathon Training for Beginners via MarathonRookie.com
(What I used the first time around.)
• Half Marathon Training for Beginners via Runner’s World
• Step-By-Step Half-Marathon Training Schedule via Shape.com
• 4 Month Beginner Half Marathon Training Schedule via FitSugar
I plan to get in a couple of runs this week, but won’t start my official training until next Monday.
I am looking forward to sharing my progress with you!
Questions of the Day
• Have you ever trained for a long distance race?
• What is one race you have yet to complete on your bucket list?