Now that I am half-crazy and running another half-marathon, I need a training schedule to keep myself on track. I am not an athletic trainer so I won’t go into great detail about the actual training plan itself. I basically combined a few of my favorite training plans and adjusted it to fit my life. I always like starting with one of Hal Higdon’s training plans because they already match my running style. He has different plans for beginning-to-advanced runners and plans based on a variety of races. Start with a plan you like and then tweak it to fit your preferences. For example, I live in a colder climate and I dislike training indoors. Therefore, I do a small amount of indoor cross training during the cold months and almost no indoor training once the weather improves.
For my OCD training plan, I start by typing up the plan in an Excel spreadsheet to get it organized. The yellow columns list the type of run or exercise for that day and the white column lists the number of miles I am running that day. I add the miles up for each week in the purple column. Then I make sure I am not increasing my mileage too much from week to week. Most sources recommend increasing mileage no more than 10% per week. I also bought some fun and colorful small post it notes. The post its allow me to get the schedule on to a calendar while still allowing myself to rearrange the schedule as needed.
I cut out each exercise and number of miles then tape or glue it to a post it note. I color-coded the post its based on the type of exercise. For example, all of my rest days and strength training days are listed on blue post its so I know from far away that it’s an easy day.
Next, I got out my favorite new calendar for the year. I put all of the work outs on the corresponding days. It’s been very helpful to rearrange and even combine work outs throughout the week. If I have to skip a two mile run on one day, I can easily add the run to my strength training day for that week. Or if I know I am off work on Sunday, I can have my eight mile run scheduled for that day. I keep the calendar on my fridge and check it daily. It has served me well so far and now I just have eleven more weeks to go!
P.S. Like I said, I’m not an athletic trainer but below you’ll find the intermediate 18 week half marathon training plan I am using. Click on the image to expand. Note that I included a week of recovery exercises after the half marathon since I want to make sure I “cool down” from the race. Always check with your doctor first before starting a training plan 🙂
Legend: LSD = long slow distance, easy = shorter and slower run, CT = cross training, S = stretching and strength training. “Tempo run”, “pace run” and/or “interval run” should be easy to understand if you are an intermediate/advanced runner but Google these terms for a refresher.