Prairie Valley

I signed up for my very first half marathon — the first one held in Kelowna by destination races — and it felt good to commit to the race. I then opened up Google to look for training schedules and I recommend that you never do that, never ever. There are more schedules that there are races and it made my head hurt. Luckily for me, my friend Kristen emailed me her personal training schedule. She’s run multiple half marathons, participated in triathlons, and is one of the most active people that I know. She’s also a really great person, all around.

She apologized for sending me her training schedule in miles instead of kilometers, but a few minutes with Google and I had it all converted. I also had to move my “rest” days around, and I’m documenting the schedule here so that I can refer to it. If you ever plan to run a half, maybe it can help you too.

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Strength/cross-training

Tuesday: Run, 6-8 km

Wednesday: Strength/cross-training

Thursday: Run, 6-8 km, with speed work in the middle

Friday: Walk, hike, bike, or do nothing

Saturday: Long run. Details below

Kristen told me that I the fact that I’m already running three times a week, with one of those runs being a 10K, means that I’m off to a good start. She also said not to build more than a mile (1.5 km) per week, and every three weeks (give or take), to do an easier day. Here are the long runs, in both miles and kilometers:

Week 1: 6 miles = 9.6 km

Week 2: 7 miles = 11.2 km

Week 3: 8 miles = 12.8 km

Week 4: 6 miles = 9.6 km

Week 5: 8 miles = 12.8 km

Week 6: 9 miles = 14.4 km

Week 7: 10 miles = 16.1 km

Week 8: 8 miles = 12.8 km

Week 9: 10 miles = 16.1 km

Week 10: 11 miles = 17.7 km

Week 11: 12-13 miles = 19.3-21 km. (I will do 21 km, because I need to run the race distance before race day. I need to know that I can do it, not just in my head, but by actually doing it.)

Week 12: Race day. 13 miles, or 21 km

I hope that helps any of you who want to run a half marathon. I know that it helped me to write it down. Up next: Calendars with color-coded training activities. Also, a whole lot of running.

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  1. Kandi June 13, 2013 9:11 am edit

    Looks like a good plan and you definitely have a good base leading up to it! One thing I might suggest would be to do a step-back week of about 6-8 miles one week prior to the race. Do your 12-13 mile run two weeks before. I always do this as a taper up to the main event.
    When I trained for my first 4 half marathons, my longest training run was 11-12 miles long. For my 5th (and my PR of over 12 minutes!), I was impatient and did a 13.1 mile run two weeks before the race. I was mostly worried something was going to happen on race day (I was mostly concerned about the weather) that would crush my massive PR dreams. Luckily race day was fine and I was able to run faster than my 13.1 mile training run.

  2. angella June 13, 2013 12:20 pm edit

    I love hearing your racing stories — and advice! Thanks, you.

  3. Buzz Bishop June 13, 2013 9:49 am edit

    Good for you! You’ll get hooked.. and then you should join Team Diabetes and do them around the world!

    I use the Runners World Smart Coach app to plot out my weekly training. Very customizable to your personal pace, and training style.

  4. angella June 13, 2013 12:21 pm edit

    Oh, awesome! Thanks, Buzz. :)

  5. Ashley June 13, 2013 9:58 am edit

    That looks great! My motto was always, “If you can do 10, you can do 21”. There is probably no basis for this but it helped me get through:)
    I was also going to recommend that you do your longest run (I never did more than 19km in training) 2 weeks prior to the race as well. I’ve found that good for two reasons…….1, I have time to physically recover and 2, if the run isn’t my best, I have time to mentally recover and build back my spirits.
    Have fun training!

  6. angella June 13, 2013 12:21 pm edit

    I’m loving this advice. I think that I’ll tweak my schedule. Thank you!

  7. kakaty June 13, 2013 10:34 am edit

    I feel really stupid giving advice as I am not a runner, but that’s not going to stop me :)

    I know you’re already very active so the increased milage shouldn’t do any damage….but it never hurts to pamper your muscles/tendons/tissue while ramping up for a big run. There’s nothing worse than injuring yourself during your last long run before the race! That’s exactly what happened to my husband when training for his last marathon and the mental stress of it was pretty hard on him.

    Mark’s favorite race is a half… one thing he does when training is take especially good care of his calves, knees and ankles. He wears compression socks/sleeves after every run longer than a 10k and he uses his foam roller daily. He also wears his goofy Strassburg Sock a couple of times a week to make sure his feet are well stretched and not strained. He typically does his race-length training run 2 weeks before the event and gets a deep tissue massage the day after. That allows his body to recover and be in peak form for race day. (also – good excuse for a massage! although he says they aren’t relaxing and usually hurt).

    Good luck!

  8. angella June 13, 2013 12:25 pm edit

    You may not be a runner, but you live with a pretty hard core one. :)

    Another friend emailed me about getting a foam roller, so I’ll have to look at getting one. The compression socks sound smart, too. Thanks, you!

  9. Lauren @ mostly i run June 13, 2013 11:25 am edit

    The plan looks good. Nice, slow mileage increases. Most plans usually go up by 2 miles so this one is extra gentle. I know you said you want to get to 13 miles in training, but getting up to 10 is good enough to get you to the finish line. Just in case training doesn’t go exactly as planned, know you have some wiggle room. You got this! :)

  10. angella June 13, 2013 12:26 pm edit

    Thanks for that tip! And for the encouragement. :)

  11. Ashley S June 13, 2013 1:15 pm edit

    So awesome to have someone who’s already done the “leg work” of the planning! I love scheduling workouts…ok I love scheduling (and list making, color coding, and alphabetizing when necessary)in general. I’m SO excited for you!

  12. angella June 13, 2013 11:14 pm edit

    Thanks, friend. :)

  13. Jen Wilson June 13, 2013 2:08 pm edit


    Separately. But one day, we need to do a race together!

  14. angella June 13, 2013 11:15 pm edit

    We do! Want to run a 10K with me on Canada Day? ;)

  15. agirlandaboy June 14, 2013 2:41 am edit

    See…that’s the thing with training for a race. As if it’s not hard enough to run that many miles (kilometers) in a row ONCE, you have to do it all those other times beforehand. Better you than me, my friend! *sinks into couch, gains ten pounds*

  16. angela June 14, 2013 11:24 am edit

    thank you for leaving the training schedule in KM! I’ve been doing different training schedules this year and sitting down and converting all the miles to KM. I know that I could just convert my brain/ different running routes to miles, but for some reason I just like to see it in KM! Canadian or what?

    Running the lulu sea wheeze august 10th and i need a butt kick! 57 days til the run. Who knew it was “easier” to run in -15C than in the summer ( just started running in january) when there is rain/ heat/ bugs/ caterpillars to contend with??

    Another “sole sister” in northern bc. keep up the running posts!

  17. Hillary June 17, 2013 2:44 pm edit

    You are an inspiration, lady. Seriously.
    Do you read Amber?
    She is a hardcore runner in Kamloops and posts a lot of information about her training schedule.

  18. Elaine A. June 17, 2013 6:21 pm edit

    I love it when a friend who has “been there” can help out. This plan looks great! And doesn’t it just blow your mind that you WILL be running that far so very soon? ;-) xo

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