My Half Marathon Training Plan

This is by far the strangest Monday I think I’ve ever had.

Two weeks “off” for exams were followed by one actual day off, work Thursday, and the first day of second semester on Friday. I then worked Saturday and Sunday, have school again today but am off tomorrow. So really, Friday was my Monday and today is my Friday. Did you follow that?


Anyway, on my day off I decided to cram in as many fun things as humanly possible before work that afternoon and the return to the grind today. So, what better thing to do than kill an amazing leg workout and bake?

leg workoutI did this one from It’s Progression and, no surprise, loved it! I highly reccomend Danica’s workouts – they are some of the most challenging and fun ones I’ve ever found! 

I only did deadlifts in the first circuit because they never fail to hurt my back. I know I’m not doing them properly but I just can’t figure out how!

Today’s post is not about strength work, however! It is about RUNNING. I have spent at least two months going back and forth and back and forth over which half marathon training plan I wanted to use. I considered myself a semi-experienced runner, so I was not thrilled by plans geared towards beginners. HOWEVER, I then realized that I am a total beginner when it comes to distance running – my longest run to date is 7.0 miles and I have only done that once. So, once I realized that, I decided that a program targeting novices was exactly what I needed. I am 110% committed to finishing my first half marathon injury-free, and have multiple goals in addition to following THIS training plan:


The Hal Higdon Novice 2 Half Marathon Training Plan! I won’t be following it 100%, however. After spending SO LONG searching for the “perfect” plan, I was forced to realize that it did not exist. I was hesitant to make any changes to the plans I found because I felt like they suddenly wouldn’t “work” anymore – totally untrue! I will be sticking to the distances set out by Hal Higdon, but running short distances three times per week plus one long is just a little bit too much running for me. I need to keep up my 2-3 strength training sessions per week, and have ideally 2 days off – but at LEAST one. I also shuffled around the running, cross training and off days based on my personal schedule. This is what I ultimately came up with!

half marathon plan

I didn’t like the 3 short runs in a row, so I nixed that and added in some circuit training and weight lifting to help me maintain my muscle mass! My weeks will look a little something like this:

Monday: 3.1 miles (5k): This day will alternate between speedwork and an easy run. It could be intervals, fartleks, repeats – whatever I am feeling, as long as I go fast!

Tuesday: Circuit training: This is the day to try out all of the circuits I LOVE to pin on Pinterest! They will ideally be full body workouts.

10-6They will likely look like this one from PB Fingers!

Wednesday: Mid-distance run: These are my favourite types of runs! I go for a challenging (for me) distance and just fast enough to feel fatigued at the end, but not dead. I kept them at 5 mile runs because I am not looking for an insanely fast time, and I just don’t need to do more than one long run per week. I will alternate my tempo runs with easy ones on the weeks that I do speedwork on Monday.

Thursday: Weights: This will not be a heavy lifting workout, since I hate that, but will incorporate more added weight than the circuits, which are likely to be mostly bodyweight.

Friday: OFF: Yay! I may actually do my long run on Fridays if I’m feeling up to it, and then take Saturday off before I work all afternoon/evening.

Satuday: Long run: I won’t be doing these at the recommended “90 seconds above goal race pace”, only because my goal race pace is very easy for me. I will, however, be doing them at a pace that allows me to finish comfortably and strong!

Sunday: Off/circuit training: I work every other Sunday, so the days that I do I will have a rest day! This will allow me to wake up semi-relaxed and get all my schoolwork done. The days that I’m off, I will still relax and do homework, but will get to break up my day with a circuit! I may also switch a long run for one of my Sundays off if I feel so inclined.

cats in a sinkI’m thinking I’ll be feeling a little like this after running 10+ miles.

So, as you can see, my half marathon plan involves a lot of “what I feel like”. I have absolutely learned the hard way that I need to listen to my body. I have chronic knee injuries that flare up at the drop of a hat and I will not allow them to ruin this training cycle for me! I have another post coming up with my recovery/nutrition plan since this one is already suuuuper long! My training starts on March 2nd and I could not be more excited!

Are you currently training for anything (running or otherwise)?


10 thoughts on “My Half Marathon Training Plan

  1. I’m training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll full Marathon in April. My last marathon, I did not feel strong at all, so I’m really being more diligent in my training. I had to scrape myself off the couch to run 10 yesterday, but I feel great today 🙂

  2. I am so glad that you made changes to the plan – I ended up not being able to run my half because I got injured because I wasn’t willing to take more rest days, even when I needed them. I can’t wait to hear about how your training is going!

  3. I just decided on a half marathon plan yesterday! I’m doing Hal’s intermediate plan – I start in a few weeks! We’ll almost be on the same schedule! Which half are you running? Also, I think it’s really cool that you made some changes to make it work for you. I need to do more circuit training!

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