Half Marathon Training - Erin's Inside Job

Half Marathon Training

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I started today out with a 7 am run before work.  Generally in life I like to assume that I know everything and that I am always right, so when it comes to training for this half marathon, I GOT THIS.  Because of the consequences that that mentality have gotten me, however, I have come to accept in my (almost) 30 years that I do not know everything and I am not always right, as much as I would like to be.

So I decided to actually research training for a half marathon.  The first thing that popped up in my research was Hal Higdon’s training plans.  For anyone unfamiliar with Hal, check out his bio here.  From his site, he has been “running and writing for half a century.” He has written more articles for Runner’s World than any other contributor, authored 36 books, and has an incredible and prestigious running career.

He has 4 different training plans for a half marathon: novice 1, novice 2, intermediate, and advanced.  There is even a training plan for walking a half marathon if you’re interested.  Since I have been running for awhile, I felt that the novice 1 was a little too basic for me.  I settled on the novice 2 because once you get to intermediate there are a lot of tempo runs and serious pace work.  I run because I enjoy the way it makes me feel mentally and physically and I am not very interested in PRs or actual competitions.

The novice 2 plan is a very doable regimen for me and doesn’t involve much of a change in the way that I currently structure my runs.  The only main difference is the increasing length of the Saturday run.  For a complete breakdown of the program, visit his site.



The race is about 8 weeks away, which puts me at week 4 this week.  Two weeks ago my long run wound up being 6.6 miles (the benefits of running with a friend and losing track of time), and last Saturday I got in 7 miles.  I was a little ahead of myself those last two weeks, but my friend Carly and I have a 7 mile run planned this Saturday and an 8 mile one next week.

Looking ahead, August is filled with weddings that take up a lot of weekends, so I may have to get creative with my run structuring.  It took me two weeks to realize that Sunday says cross training, which I may do or I may eat.  I haven’t decided yet.



So that is my plan. This morning I did 3 miles and plan to run tomorrow and Thursday mornings as well.  You guys can keep me accountable so that I can rock this race.  Once I fine tune my fueling for this training, I will share that as well.  Have a great Tuesday!

Question of the day: Have you ever followed a training program? Did you find it helpful?

19 comments on “Half Marathon Training

  1. I have followed a few, but the one that made the difference for me was the Hanson Training Method. I pretty much followed it to a “T” for a half last fall and dropped 8 minutes. I tried to follow it for a full marathon right afterwards and was kind of close to the plan. The full marathon is just a beast and so is the training schedule. I did enjoy following a plan and will do it again as I ramp up for the fall running season. It saves having to think about what to run and when.

  2. I followed a training plan for my first marathon last year. I need the schedule of running even though it was pretty brutal. Training just takes time and most people don’t realize that. I used Hal too but I think I’m going to check out the hanson training method.

  3. I think you’ll do great by running before the weddings.

    I started running this year with Hal Higdon’s training programs. I 1st used his novice 10k, then I transitioned to his intermediate half. I think it’s great to have this type of guidance and with the right motivation, you’ll do great. I love the fact that, in some of his programs, you can continue weight training. I ran a 5k last September at 25:02 and last month I PR’d at 20:58.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. I followed the intermediate plans for my 10-miler and first half marathon. They worked great! I was challenged and felt so awesome throughout training. My next half marathon is more of a scenic kind of race so I’m deliberating between the novice and intermediate programs, but I’ll likely settle on intermediate again since I’ve already done it and liked it. Good luck with you training!

  5. My running partner and I have trained using Higdon’s plan for the full marathon twice. It got tough to stay motivated at times, but the fact that it was so structured made it seem like a given, less of a choice. I can tell you that we were both surprised at how well it worked! Stick with the plan. When your mind tells you that you’ve had enough, your legs will remember that you’ve been down that road before (well, very close to it), and they will keep on going. We are about to begin training for our next two marathons, which are only six weeks apart. Good luck- you’ve got this!

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