Half-marathon training schedule

Here is the training schedule I used to prepare for the half-marathon I ran this weekend. Only experienced procrastinators should try this. This program is not recommended for smokers or people with high blood pressure, or back or neck problems; the pregnant; the infirm; those who’ve had recent surgery; anyone with a low threshold for pain; or those with common sense or time management skills. This plan is ideal if you want to prepare for a 13.1 mile race in twelve weeks without losing any of the weight you gained over the winter.

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
1 Realize that race is coming up soon. It’s too cold. Don’t run. It’s still too cold. Don’t run. Eat a big lunch. Don’t run. Payday! Buy some new running shoes! Walk three miles, as long as it isn’t raining. Rest. 3
2 Run one mile. Run three miles. Get your period. Rest. Rest. Rest. Rest. Rest. 4
3 Run two miles. Run two miles. Get laid off. Celebrate with booze and cigarettes. Stay in bed with a hangover and self-loathing. Walk two miles. Walk two miles. Rest. 8
4 Run two miles. Run four miles in through cold sleet. THIS IS SPARTA! Rest. Rest. Rest. Rest. Rest. 6
5 Run two miles. Run five miles. Why is it still cold outside? Rest. Rest. Rest. Wash your sports bra. Rest. 7
6 Rest. Rest. Get your period. Rest. Rest. Rest. Run four miles. Rest. 4
7 Run two miles. Run six miles. Rest. Rest. Rest. Run-walk seven miles behind your fittest friend. Rest. 14
8 Stay warm inside. Stay warm inside. Stay warm inside. Stay warm inside. Stay warm inside. Make a nice ham dinner for Easter. Rest. 0
9 Eat leftover ham. Eat leftover ham. Eat leftover ham. Eat leftover ham. Eat leftover ham. Eat leftover ham. Rest. 0
10 Buy a new water bottle. Buy new shorts. Get your period. Run four miles. Walk four miles. Run twelve miles. Rest. 20
11 Bike four miles. Run twelve miles. Walk four miles. Rest. Rest. Walk four miles. Rest. 24
12 Rest. Rest. Rest. Rest. Garden. Race day! Pace yourself–this isn’t a race. Take a road trip. 13.1

[I made this chart by myself. In HTML. You jelly? Obviously, I still have a lot to learn…]

After the 5th annual
Park-to-Park Half Marathon
(Waynesboro to Stuart’s Draft)

Here I am in my limited glory. Note: that’s not a sense of accomplishment on my face, that’s a salty sweat crust. I wasn’t super proud of myself for merely finishing this year, but as they say: “Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do.” After finishing the same half-marathon last year, I felt like I had just run an ultra-marathon, like I was an amazing and unique individual who made a special contribution to life on Earth. This year, I felt like I was 40 pounds overweight, but I ran (and walked and jogged) for two hours and thirty-six minutes anyway so I couldn’t be a total waste of oxygen. I mean, once you’ve read Born to Run, you can’t really get too uppity about running a little ol’ half-marathon.
Quick insight about health and body image: This is the heaviest I’ve been in my life and I’ve been this size for about a year now (yes, there’s a correlation between my current weight and both living in the U.S. and being married). And I’ve been running off and on for about 18 months now and I doubt I could have run a half-marathon at any random point in my life before now. I don’t look my best, but I certainly feel good about myself and what I can do. 

I’m gonna start training for the Richmond marathon or something now that I know what a smartass I am about running thirteen miles. Running a marathon would also be something awesome to accomplish before we left Virginia. Training for a marathon would help me manage my time better and get me out of the house. Really, I am giant wimp about cold weather and can barely get myself out of bed if it’s below 60°F, let alone outside, so I’ll have far fewer excuses for slacking during the summer (and yes, I will run in 80, 90° weather without complaining).
If you have any tips on getting and staying motivated to run, I’d love to hear about them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *