a very mellow half-marathon training plan

After doing that six-mile trail run in five inches of snow and then shoveling the driveway on Sunday, I was pretty tender.

Not waking-up-in-agony-at-4 a.m. tender though; just good ol’ fashioned this-is-how-I know-I-got-a-hell-of-a-workout tender. Which is the best kind, in my opinion.

Today, I’m all better and I’m enthusiastic about getting back to my half-marathon training plan and cranking out some serious mileage. On solid ground.

Wait, do I have a plan?


I would like to say I was inspired by the Running Shorts No Training Marathon Training Plan; but in truth, I just forgot.

It seems that January is not only the month when resolutioners hit the gym, but also when all marathoner-bloggers (marathloggers?) start working on their training plans.

Typically these plans consist of color-coding, excel sheets, and cryptic messages like, “int., 8×800 @ 7:11;” and “7 mi @ 9:05.”

I have gone this route in the past, but never stuck to it. Not even once. I have never even come close.

So this time, since I should already be several weeks into a training schedule I haven’t been following anyway, I decided to just keep it casual:

Tuesdays: easy 4-6 miles
Thursdays: harder 4-6, incorporating speed or at least, keeping it in the back of my head. But if we’re being honest, just a regular 4-6 miles with a halfhearted sprint at the end.
Saturdays: easy 5k
Sundays: long run; 8+

It’s as much of a plan as I will realistically stick to, and this way I won’t feel compelled to do an Alcoholics Anonymous-esque moral inventory of my life when things don’t go exactly according to plan.


Are you a planner, or do you like to keep things mellow?


15 thoughts on “a very mellow half-marathon training plan

  1. I’m on week 2 of my excel sheet plan and I already veered off. Last year, in marathon training, I freaked the f out about it but I’m being good about going with the flow now. Best way to get in a long training run: get lost while you are running. Then take the next day off because you went 7.5 miles instead of 3…

  2. I like to have a plan to follow, but have to be pretty careful about it. I think if I were to break out the highlighters, shit would hit the fan and I’d start to rebel shortly after. So I just tell myself it’s ok to “loosely” follow it and haven’t had problems yet…


    I don’t do training plans. I can’t follow them. I get a vague idea of mileage goals and figure out how to make it work. I thrive on disorganization, man.

    Also, not sticking to a plan brings me closer to reaching my inner dudeness. And that’s all that really matters anyhow.

  4. I have a plan and by-and-large stick to it, but my recordings are pretty much miles and time, no HR or interval captures. My fitness workouts read “60 minutes of elliptical and core/weights shit.” I don’t need obsessive focus or else it wouldn’t be fun. And since I will never WIN anything, am just trying to improve myself and be fit, it would be a farce for me to act as if I were Paula or Shalane. I like your plan…it’s got focus and intent without being anal and no fun.

    What I REALLY can’t do is keep a food log. Because I do it for like 3 days, realize that I don’t intend to change a thing and then say to hell with it.

  5. That is awesome! You’re my hero! I have my Excel spreadsheet all nicely done up with a pretty font, race days highlighted – planned out thru my last Half (3 this year) in October and… I haven’t run any of it.

    I like your approach and hope it doesn’t bite you in the butt!

  6. oh i am a planner. a crazy, control freak, to the mile planner. and when that gets screwed up, like by injury (grrr), i go insane, pretty much. I like your approach much better, actually!

  7. I followed the long run sequence for my marathon training plan, but other than that, no. I generally just try to do some kind of speedwork, hills, or progression/tempo 1-2x per week. And all of that is very vague, typically effort-based, and not objectively measurable.

    So no, not a stereotypical plan follower… mostly because I’ve had success this way. But I do have a general idea of how I like my weeks to go and progress.

  8. I strive to be a planner but fall into mellow more often! Now that my knee injury has cleared up a bit I am trying to get into a 4 mile every other day routine with a mountain climb at the weekend!! Watch this space!

  9. The one time I tried to follow a training plan, I got injured. I’m not out to win any AG or anything like that so getting injured basically screws the pooch on my one goal – to finish without looking lame. And I looked really lame at my last half.

    I have officially signed up for my first fully mary. I think I’m going to follow something based of the FIRST program but without the speedwork because that makes me want to shoot myself and see above about number one goal.

  10. With some success on No Training Marathon Training Plan I see no reason to plan, train, or do anything remotely orthodox. At least that’s what I said until I realized last weekend I have nine weeks to go before race day and my only accomplishment to date is gaining a pant size.

  11. Pingback: bitter end « Cheaper Than Therapy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s