Happy wellness wednesday friends! How are ya? Ready for some half marathon training routines? I am currently undergoing my second official week of rotations for the dietetic internship while also managing to injure my right hand. GO ME. More on the later. Let’s get back to fitness!
My workout routine and training schedule are the most requested topics I get asked about. Aside from meal plans and supplements but we won’t touch on that yet. Needless to say this post is long overdue and I have always found it helpful in the past to reference other runners’ routines or ideas when planning out my own.
I do want to preface that I am no running expert, professional or coach. It’s been apart of my life for a long time and holds a special place in my heart as you all know. Take my ideas with a grain of salt! My “training” is not perfect by any means and each week doesn’t always pan out the same.
When not training for a marathon or getting pumped for some kind of endurance race, I am more involved in strength training and other forms of fitness (4-5 times per week) + a long run once per week for the mental benefits. It all depends on my current season of life and what my TNK body is craving. With the Fall weather approaching here in New England I wanted to take advantage of outdoor fitness because #winteriscoming. SO a November half marathon in New Hampshire is going down! I thought it would be a great time to share my endurance routine while balancing a busy schedule!
I will say when training for a half, I am a lot more laid back compared to full marathons. It’s more of a friends with benefits type of relationship versus the full blown commitment that comes with marathon prep. I provided a general breakdown of how I split my running days, strength days and recovery/mobility days. Running about 3 times a week works best for my body when going for a half but some prefer more.
The layout each week is based on my internship rotations so life has to get factored in but I am a strong believer in making time for things that are of value to you and your health. Without this outlet it would be really difficult for me to function or feel my best self. I suggest making a list of your top 5 priorities and see how they relate to your core values. This can be a great visualization for staying motivated with yourself each week. And always remember to listen to your body! Sometimes my long run days are shorter than planned or I’m too physically drained and need extra rest. Our bodies are smarter than us so always remember that 🙂
I found a routine that works for me based on years of trial + error, my dad’s insight and lots of research from professionals like Hal Higdon and Rich Roll. Becky from Becky Lives Healthy is also a huge inspiration to me right now!
Half Marathon Training Outline
Main Running Days: 3x per week
- Medium Length Run: Medium-Fast Pace
- HIIT Style Sprint Run: Alternating Walk/Jog/All Out Sprints to Focus on Speed Work
- Long Run: Steady-Medium Pace
Strength & Mobility Work: 3x per week
- Upper Body + Core Work & Stretching
- Lower Body Strength Circuit & Stretching
- Full Body Circuit or Fitness Class: Barry’s Bootcamp, Orange Theory Fitness, Reformer Pilates, etc.
Active Recovery: Walking (usually for errands/on my feet at work) and Lots of Stretching + Foam Rolling! I try to incorporate some yoga and deep breathing on my rest days as well if I can.
Increasing Mileage + Planning
If you’re preparing for your first half marathon race I highly suggest having a game plan a 3-4 months prior. This is important mainly because you want to prevent injuries and what not. Plus structure is always great when trying something new like this to get accumulated. I’ve kept up with my running and have a heavy endurance background so my whim of a decision to train for a half is not totally unforgiving. I had a lot of prep work and officially started incorporating more running about two months before race day. The most important run in my opinion is the long run days. I’ve been aiming to increase that day by a mile or two each week and will steady off as the race day gets closer. The week before race day will definitely be more of a recovery/scaled down week in general.
The strength training days are usually around 30-45 minutes. They aren’t too strenuous and I honestly don’t have time to be in the gym for 1-2 hours these days. I would rather get in a quality workout that gets my heart rate up + strengthens my muscles in shorter time than the latter. I love programs like BBG Stronger Workouts, Barry’s Bootcamp and Reformer Pilates to supplement when I’m focused on running more.
In general I find it best to work your way up to a 10-12 mile run. A full 13 isn’t necessary but I may try to incorporate one in since I’m already hitting 9 milers. Medium runs will hit about 8 miles max, staying between the 4-8 mile range. Sprint training I cap it at 5 miles max. Keep in mind I’m running only 3 times per week so the runs may be longer than if you were doing 4-5 times per week.
Monday: Upper Body + Core Work
Tuesday: 5-6 miles Medium Run
Wednesday: Lower Body Circuit + Stretching
Thursday: REST + Foam Roll
Friday: 4-5 miles Speed Work + Walk/Jog
Saturday: Full Body Circuit or Workout Class + Stretching
Sunday: 9 mile Long Run + Stretching
Take it all with a grain of salt! With a hectic schedule and internship where no one day is EVER the same…having some sort of layout for my training routine brings me peace of mind. Planning it out doesn’t just keep me accountable and PREVENT injury but it simply keeps me sane. It reminds me to make time for my core values; For what feeds my soul, brings clarity to my mind and keeps me healthy to thrive.
I know…totally cheesin right now but when you start looking at “training” or being active from a mental perspective it completely changes the game. You will find your purpose regardless of the eb and flow of staying motivated. And also remember that the “plan” will not always pan out perfectly. Sometimes my sprint sessions gets passed up so I can go to a workout class with a friend instead. Or I wake up and really just need to stretch that morning. Be consistent with a down to earth approach. Sensing a theme here on TNK? 😉