My Half Marathon Training Plan

Whelp, it’s official.

Once an Excel spreadsheet enters the picture, there’s just no turning back.  In my world, transforming an idea, plan, or goal to a glorious (preferably multi-tabbed) spreadsheet is like signing my name in wet cement.  It took a lot of thought and research, googling and binging, reading and pondering, but I finally got my half marathon training plan together!

Some key considerations:

  1. I have a history of running-related knee issues.  I seem to be able to avoid knee pain (or most of it, anyway) when I wear proper footwear (duh) and avoid running two days in a row.
  2. I walk to work (almost) every day, and my daily round-trip commute is 2.5 miles.  That’s and extra 12.5 miles per week on the ole’ knees.
  3. MY GOAL is simple:  to complete the race injury-free.  I’m not worried about total time, looking glamorous, or avoiding feeling like I’m going to pass out at the end of the race.  I just want to finish all 13.1 miles… and be able to walk to the car afterward.

During my research, I found this 3-Day Half Marathon Training Plan on, which I used as the base model for my plan:


Click here to download my excel file.

“CT” stands for Cross Training, and for me this will come in the form of Body Pump.

Speed work will include bursts of speed followed by a slower recovery pace. Hitting a certain race time is not a goal for this first half marathon, but if I finish it in under 2 hours I will be frickin ecstatic.

Tempo runs will be run at a “comfortably hard” pace, ideally at 30 seconds faster than half-marathon pace (HMP).

Long runs will be run slow and steady to help build up my endurance, ideally at 30 seconds slower than HMP.

Since I’m running every other day and not running crazy total mileage per week, I am not taking rest weeks.  However, exercising 6 days a week for 16 weeks is seriously hardcore, and I know it won’t always be possible.  If anything needs to be missed, it will have to be CT days.  Runs are non-negotiable.

I plan to keep track of everything–miles ran & time it took, miles walked to work, Body Pump classes, etc–so that I can use the data to improve the time on my *fingers crossed* second half marathon.



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  1. You know I have to put my two cents in “you are fn crazy!!” lol but seriously good for you! My goal this year is a 5k 🙂 you’ve inspired me!

  2. get yourself some sport beans and kill it. and come run the winter classic in January (

    the best part of your training regimen will be the fact that you can eat more carbs!!

  3. You go, girl!! 🙂 One of my dreams is to run a half marathon, but since I’ve yet to do even a 5k, I figured that I’d start off slow… Ha, ha. That’s awesome, and you’ll totally do great!

    1. Thank you! This is the first time I’ve set up any sort of running plan. I usually just go outside and run till I can’t take it anymore. So this should be interesting!

  4. Haha…I love that you made a spreadsheet. Must be the CPA in you 😉

    Seriously, though, congrats on making a plan to achieve your goal. Too many of my goals die for lack of a plan to achieve them, and too many of my plans die for lack of execution. Go do this! Can’t wait to follow along!

  5. Great job! Not many people can say they ran under 2 hours for their first half marathon! Loved reading your blog! I’m training for a half right now and would love to have the same time!!! Will follow your plan!