General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Half Marathon Training "Plan" Rss Feed  
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2017-12-28 9:26 AM

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Subject: Half Marathon Training "Plan"
After some personal set backs, I have managed to get back into training in the past couple of months. Currently logging about 25 miles/week and will probably bump that up to 30 miles/week in January. I'm keeping the pace fairly slow because my prior problem was that I would push too hard and get injured and then really cut down training. To keep my pace in check, its a treadmill and HRM - boring to some, but I'm going to make the best of it.

By March, I hope to be able to run 40 miles/week, probably 4 (maybe 3) runs of 5-6 miles, 1 longer and maybe faster 6-8 miles and then 1 long run of 10+ miles. This is all pretty loosely scheduled right now. Basically I expect that my next month's training will increase, decrease or stay the same based on how the current month's heath and training went. My training pace is right around 10:30 min/mile, I hope to get that down to 10 min/mile, but I am in no rush to go faster right now. If my heart rate stays down, I'll slowly bump up my training speed

My first goal race is April 28 which will mostly be a test of how this training "plan" is going and be used to determine if a more formal training plan might be in order for my main goal race in October (both pretty flat half marathons).

I hope to finish the April half marathon at 2 hours, which is where I have finished most of my half marathons. My training logs in December are mostly current.

So: Does this sound reasonable? Any tweaks or suggestions?


2017-12-28 10:07 AM
in reply to: bwingate

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan"
I'm no expert. But, I don't like to add intensity and volume at the same time. If I were in your shoes and I was only running (no s/b), I'd run 5-6X/wk. and add in the intensity part in a couple months.

I did exactly what you're doing in 2010, foregoing s/b, to get ready for the only open HM I've run (I've run a few as the run leg of HIMs)....topping out at a little over 40 mpw. I hit my < 2hr. goal, fairly easily (at 190#s).

Good luck.
2017-12-28 10:52 AM
in reply to: bwingate

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan"

Originally posted by bwingate

After some personal set backs, I have managed to get back into training in the past couple of months. Currently logging about 25 miles/week and will probably bump that up to 30 miles/week in January. I'm keeping the pace fairly slow because my prior problem was that I would push too hard and get injured and then really cut down training. To keep my pace in check, its a treadmill and HRM - boring to some, but I'm going to make the best of it.

By March, I hope to be able to run 40 miles/week, probably 4 (maybe 3) runs of 5-6 miles, 1 longer and maybe faster 6-8 miles and then 1 long run of 10+ miles. This is all pretty loosely scheduled right now. Basically I expect that my next month's training will increase, decrease or stay the same based on how the current month's heath and training went. My training pace is right around 10:30 min/mile, I hope to get that down to 10 min/mile, but I am in no rush to go faster right now. If my heart rate stays down, I'll slowly bump up my training speed

My first goal race is April 28 which will mostly be a test of how this training "plan" is going and be used to determine if a more formal training plan might be in order for my main goal race in October (both pretty flat half marathons). I hope to finish the April half marathon at 2 hours, which is where I have finished most of my half marathons. My training logs in December are mostly current.

So: Does this sound reasonable? Any tweaks or suggestions?

You might consider the Barry P running plan.  Briefly, the plan consists of 6-runs per week.  One long run, two medium runs, and three short runs.  The long run is three times the short run, and the medium run is two times the short run.  For example, if your short run is 1-mile, you would do three one-mile runs, two two-mile runs and one three-mile run for a total weekly volume of 10-miles.  Obviously you can increase the short run length which would increase the medium and long runs as will as increase weekly volume.  As you build a sufficient base you can add speed/tempo work in place of a short/medium run.

Barry P is an excellent program because it keeps the long run in line with the weekly volume by focusing on frequency rather than cramming all the weekly mileage into the long run - thus helping to avoid injury.

For more information you can check out the program here.

2017-12-28 11:17 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan"
Originally posted by nc452010

I'm no expert. But, I don't like to add intensity and volume at the same time. If I were in your shoes and I was only running (no s/b), I'd run 5-6X/wk. and add in the intensity part in a couple months.

I did exactly what you're doing in 2010, foregoing s/b, to get ready for the only open HM I've run (I've run a few as the run leg of HIMs)....topping out at a little over 40 mpw. I hit my < 2hr. goal, fairly easily (at 190#s).

Good luck.


I understand what you are saying about the intensity. I expect that as I build my base that 10:30 miles will become very easy, like you said in a couple of months, so I might pick up the pace a little.

I'm trying to keep my growth in volume and intensity slow and trying not to think that "this could be going so much faster" because that's what brought on the nagging injuries before.
2017-12-28 11:20 AM
in reply to: k9car363

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan"
I've been reading a lot about total mileage vs. long runs, so I'll check out the Barry P plan. Thanks,
2018-01-03 5:18 AM
in reply to: bwingate

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan"
So, the first part of my plan is to get back into the swing of things - to get used to getting up, getting dressed and getting running.

Most of January will be used to build base and consistently running 5 and preferably 6 days a week and not skipping the long run (even though I missed Sunday's 9 miler)

My typical pace on a treadmill used to be around 9:00 to 9:15 min/mile - sometimes faster. Usually once I started running more at a sub-9 pace, injuries and longer recovery would follow. At a 10:30 pace, I'm keeping my heart rate mostly at or under 150 bpm. I'm going to keep my intensity down through January and if I keep below 150 bpm, I might use February to build my pace up to 10:15 or so.



2018-08-17 6:53 AM
in reply to: bwingate

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan" --> BarryP
Well, let's just say that life gets in the way.

After a couple of months without running and some research, I settled on the BarryP plan - running by time at 20/40/60 minutes at a 10:31 pace. I decided to break things up into 8-week blocks, a totally arbitrary time frame that I felt was long enough to see some results but not too long to lose interest.

The goal of my first 8-week block was to figure out my heart-rate and see where it should be and to get used to running 6 days a week. I have been able to keep my heart rate below or just over 150 bpm for most of my runs, so I think my pace is OK. (I'm 50, and one of the HR calculators puts my training heart rate at 136 or so - that just seems too low, but I'm keeping it in the 140's so I'm ok with that and it seems to be trending down.) I've had trouble with running 6 days a week - for whatever reason getting in more than 4 runs a week consistently is tough.

So I think for my next 8-week block I'm going to concentrate on getting six runs a week and keep all the other variables the same.
2018-08-17 9:40 AM
in reply to: bwingate

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan"
Consider you don't have to do all your training by running only.
Lots of benefits for cardio using other methods that have less impact on the body.
Planning training by mileage isn't exactly the best route.
2018-08-17 3:37 PM
in reply to: bwingate

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan" --> BarryP

Originally posted by bwingate Well, let's just say that life gets in the way. After a couple of months without running and some research, I settled on the BarryP plan - running by time at 20/40/60 minutes at a 10:31 pace. I decided to break things up into 8-week blocks, a totally arbitrary time frame that I felt was long enough to see some results but not too long to lose interest. The goal of my first 8-week block was to figure out my heart-rate and see where it should be and to get used to running 6 days a week. I have been able to keep my heart rate below or just over 150 bpm for most of my runs, so I think my pace is OK. (I'm 50, and one of the HR calculators puts my training heart rate at 136 or so - that just seems too low, but I'm keeping it in the 140's so I'm ok with that and it seems to be trending down.) I've had trouble with running 6 days a week - for whatever reason getting in more than 4 runs a week consistently is tough. So I think for my next 8-week block I'm going to concentrate on getting six runs a week and keep all the other variables the same.
The BPp works well, I just can't seem to do 6 days a week of running either!  I've settled on 4, sometimes 5, days and some biking here and there.

If you run by HR you really should check out Lactate Threshold HR.  I'm 53, started using LTHR in fall 2005 after this post was put up.  In all the years of using it and testing, my threshold (174-176) hasn't changed up to the last time I did it 3 or so years ago, zones don't have to change for age (to a point I guess!) but pace at a particular HR certainly can.  Everyone is different and this give you your threshold to work off of.  BT has a HR zone calculator (see My Zones in Training Log tab) for all the different methods.

2018-08-18 10:21 AM
in reply to: bwingate

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan" --> BarryP

Originally posted by bwingate  I've had trouble with running 6 days a week - for whatever reason getting in more than 4 runs a week consistently is tough. So I think for my next 8-week block I'm going to concentrate on getting six runs a week and keep all the other variables the same.

Is the issue that you can't find the time, or are you too tired or getting injured?

If the latter, just slow down.  It makes a huge difference.  I know it's hard though.  When I'm trying to build (and I'm doing that right now as well) I always think about tomorrow's run while I'm doing today's run.  It helps me keep things under control and not wreck myself, and generally I'm able to do the next day's run without trouble.  I'm far from perfect at it though (dealign with a minor shin splint right now...).

I definitely agree with Donto that you should determine your LTHR if you are going to train by HR.

Training by RPE (rate of perceived effort) can also be a good way to go, in my experience, especially if I am just trying to get mileage and consistency up.  (If I'm training for a specific race with a specific goal I'm more likely to use HR.)

2018-08-18 7:00 PM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan" --> BarryP
Originally posted by Donto

Originally posted by bwingate Well, let's just say that life gets in the way. After a couple of months without running and some research, I settled on the BarryP plan - running by time at 20/40/60 minutes at a 10:31 pace. I decided to break things up into 8-week blocks, a totally arbitrary time frame that I felt was long enough to see some results but not too long to lose interest. The goal of my first 8-week block was to figure out my heart-rate and see where it should be and to get used to running 6 days a week. I have been able to keep my heart rate below or just over 150 bpm for most of my runs, so I think my pace is OK. (I'm 50, and one of the HR calculators puts my training heart rate at 136 or so - that just seems too low, but I'm keeping it in the 140's so I'm ok with that and it seems to be trending down.) I've had trouble with running 6 days a week - for whatever reason getting in more than 4 runs a week consistently is tough. So I think for my next 8-week block I'm going to concentrate on getting six runs a week and keep all the other variables the same.
The BPp works well, I just can't seem to do 6 days a week of running either!  I've settled on 4, sometimes 5, days and some biking here and there.

If you run by HR you really should check out Lactate Threshold HR.  I'm 53, started using LTHR in fall 2005 after this post was put up.  In all the years of using it and testing, my threshold (174-176) hasn't changed up to the last time I did it 3 or so years ago, zones don't have to change for age (to a point I guess!) but pace at a particular HR certainly can.  Everyone is different and this give you your threshold to work off of.  BT has a HR zone calculator (see My Zones in Training Log tab) for all the different methods.




I have never actually run a field test in all these years. I'm keeping my running inside for a while for a variety of reasons and I'm in a new neighborhood so I don't have any outdoor loops set up yet either. There's a local 10k coming up in a that I might use though. I'm in the right ballpark right now though because I feel pretty good after my runs.


2018-08-18 7:04 PM
in reply to: Experior

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan" --> BarryP
Originally posted by Experior

Is the issue that you can't find the time, or are you too tired or getting injured?

If the latter, just slow down.  It makes a huge difference.  I know it's hard though.  When I'm trying to build (and I'm doing that right now as well) I always think about tomorrow's run while I'm doing today's run.  It helps me keep things under control and not wreck myself, and generally I'm able to do the next day's run without trouble.  I'm far from perfect at it though (dealign with a minor shin splint right now...).

I definitely agree with Donto that you should determine your LTHR if you are going to train by HR.

Training by RPE (rate of perceived effort) can also be a good way to go, in my experience, especially if I am just trying to get mileage and consistency up.  (If I'm training for a specific race with a specific goal I'm more likely to use HR.)




Its not that I'm getting injured - its moreso a combination of lack of time and being tired from work and life in general. This is pretty much why I gave myself 8 weeks to just get used to regular workouts and now 8 more weeks to get used to a 6-day-a-week routine.

2018-08-19 5:44 PM
in reply to: bwingate

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Subject: RE: Half Marathon Training "Plan" --> BarryP

Got it.  Good luck!

One thing that helps me is to put my runs on my schedule, like meetings.  If I say "well I'll get a run in some time today" then it is less likely to happen.  But if I get up and see on my calendar for the day "4:00:  Run 5 miles", then it is much more likely to happen.  (Just my way of getting it done.)

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