Five weeks to half marathon greatness

What’s up? Things are pretty much the same around here: cycling through another cough/cold. Tired. Wrinkled. Deliriously happy.

Spring doesn’t arrive in Indiana until at least May but we’ve managed to get outside a couple of times.


I drank a few beers.


I’ve sort of been training for a Spring half (Indy Mini May 7) but I didn’t actually sign up for it until this week when I knew scheduling and childcare was going to work out (and I paid more than I’ve ever paid for a race…ugh).

Even though I’m up to 10 mile long runs and still doing speed work (uh…sort of, as I mentioned, we were ALL sick again and last week kinda fell apart), I feel like I should up my game this month and really get in some quality speed work and pace runs. And it makes me feel more secure to have a spreadsheet.

I have a pretty ambitious goal, especially considering I set my PR back in 2012 (1:58:36) and haven’t raced a half since 2013, but I think it’s possible. I’m not going to tell you what it is in case I fail.

I’ve been doing easy runs of 4-6 miles three times a week (9:30-9:40s), one day of speed work (tempo or 400 or ladders) and long runs anywhere from 6 to 10 miles. So I decided I could handle the last five weeks of HH intermediate.

Sidenote: Can anyone can recommend a good free or super cheap training plan? In the past, I’ve always just used SmartCoach because the free plan still allows you to make some adjustments to your mileage and intensity, but I hate it because the adjustments are stupid and there’s not enough variety in the running. For example, the “moderate” plan had me doing three piddly 2-3 mile easy runs a week (like…I just don’t know what running two miles at 10:24 pace is going to do for me at all besides bore me to tears); one day a week of speed work (a tempo or 3×1600); and every long run was 12 miles. When I adjusted up to the “hard” plan, it basically just increased my long runs from 12 to 13 and left everything else the same.

Anyway, so training “started” yesterday with an easy 4.5 mile run. Today is a tempo. Thanks for joining me on the journey to my latest disaster!


9 thoughts on “Five weeks to half marathon greatness

  1. The only experience that I have with training plans is Run Less, Run Faster. You can buy the app for $2.99. I love it because I bought it once, but I can use it to make plans for HM and Fulls and adjust and playing around with adjusting the training plans to my heart’s content.

    • I’m intrigued by the concept for exactly the reason I hate smartcoach, I feel like doing a bunch of slow easy runs is a waste of time. 😉 I didn’t realize it was an app, I am definitely going to check it out!

  2. I like Brad hudson’s and Matt Fitzgerald’s book Run Faster. There are training plans in the back, but the idea is fhat the book teaches you to kale your own plan. There is plenty of intensity and no two mile jogs (which can have their place, but for recovery…not several times a week!)

  3. I have good luck with some of the plans on Running Planet. My caveat is that some of them are a bit too much mileage for me and I sometimes need more rest days than are in the plans. But I really credit some of the workouts in the 10K and half marathon plans with helping me drop my times.
    If you’ve been running 5 times/week with 1 speed day and 1 long day, maybe this one would work?

  4. Pingback: Five weeks to half marathon greatness: week 1 | Cheaper Than Therapy

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