I ran a marathon less than 72 hours ago, but I’m already thinking about my next race. Typical, right?
What’s next is the National Half Marathon at the end of March. I’m taking this week and next week completely off from running, but I plan to start exercising again tomorrow. I’m already itching to get back!
In the past few weeks, I’ve received a few questions about which plan I used to train for my marathon and half marathon . For both, I used Team In Training’s marathon milage schedule, which can be found on my Running page .
Now that the marathon is over and done with, I’m in the market for a new training plan. I searched the internet (Hal Higdon, Runner’s World, etc.) and a bunch of running blogs for a half marathon training plan, but I couldn’t find one that fit my needs perfectly, so I made my own. Here’s what I wanted in my training schedule:
Not too much running. Sounds counterproductive, right? Many of the training plans online have you running four or more days a week. I know my body and it typically can’t handle more than three days of running. And when it comes to really long runs, two days of running each week is plenty.
More than one day of strength training per week. I missed Body Pump so much! I also missed my muscles! Team In Training has a great marathon training schedule, but it didn’t leave much time for strength training workouts– there’s only so much time in one week! So, my new half marathon plan has two days of strength training worked in.
Speedwork. My goal is to increase my half marathon pace, so one day of speedwork each week is definitely necessary.
At least one yoga day. Yoga is necessary for me to stay healthy. Over and over again, I learn this lesson the hard way. As soon as I stop practicing yoga, I get hurt, so I’m fitting in at least one yoga session each week.
At least one rest day. Rest days are also necessary for me to stay healthy.
Once I figured out what I wanted in my training schedule, I grabbed a calendar and worked back from race day. It turns out that I have nine weeks to train.
The first thing that I did was plan my long runs. I went back three weeks from race day and scheduled my longest run, which is 14 miles. The following two weeks will be my taper.
Then, I looked at the Body Pump schedule at the gym. (Yes, I have an obsession.) My gym offers at least one class each day, so I picked one day that gives me ample recovery time before and after my long run. I will occasionally add a second class or take another strength training class (e.g. Step & Strength) each week.
Adding speedwork (Track Workouts) to my schedule came next. Most of these will be done on a treadmill, so I made sure to include all four of the workouts that I used during my marathon training to keep things interesting:
Finally, I plugged in one day for yoga and one (easy) cardio day, which will be a shorter run (3-4 miles), step aerobics, or time on the elliptical. It might even become a rest day at times.
I don’t have any hills planned into my schedule yet, but I think I probably should? If the runners out there have suggestions, please let me know! I’m still figuring it all out myself.
Ok, so here’s a typical half marathon training week for me:
Sunday: Track Workout Monday: Step & Strength or Body Pump Tuesday: Yoga Wednesday: Body Pump Thursday: Cardio (easy) Friday: Long run Saturday: Off
I’m sure this schedule will change slightly from week-to-week, but here’s my training plan for now:
There was a lot of interest in a Virtual Training Group for upcoming half marathon this spring. I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out how to organize it for those who are interested, but I’m stumped. I thought about creating a public Google Document to track our progress, but I thought people might lose interest after a couple of weeks. Any other ideas?
Question of the Day
Have you ever created your own training plan? Would you rather find one online?