Let The Half-Marathon Training Begin!

Half Marathon Training

Today I started training for my first half-marathon race, which will take place at the Calgary Marathon on May 27th, 2018. I’m excited to finally get back into a regular training plan after just going through the motions for the past few months.

I haven’t officially trained since completing the 10K at the Lethbridge Police Half Marathon on September 30th, 2017.

This training plan was put together by Jeff Gaudette. It’s his sub 2:00 half marathon plan from Runkeeper Go. The training will last 76 sessions over the next 16 weeks and have me running close to five days a week.

Related: My running goals for 2018

Here’s how my half-marathon training breaks down:

16 Week Half-Marathon Training Plan

Week 1:

  • Tuesday February 6th – Run 8km slow
  • Wednesday February 7th – Run 4.8km plus three 20-second strides
  • Thursday February 8th – Run 8km slow
  • Saturday February 10th – Run 8km slow

Week 2: 

  • Sunday February 11th – Run 11.3km steady
  • Tuesday February 13th – Run 8km plus four 20-second strides
  • Wednesday February 14th – Run 4.8km slow
  • Thursday February 15th – Run 12.9km tempo
  • Saturday February 17th – Run 8km slow

Week 3:

  • Sunday February 18th – Run 14.5km steady
  • Tuesday February 20th – Run 8km plus four 30-second strides
  • Wednesday February 21st – Run 11.3km steady
  • Thursday February 22nd – Run 12 km tempo
  • Saturday February 24th – Run 8km slow

Week 4:

  • Sunday February 25th – Run 16.1km steady/fast
  • Tuesday February 27th – Run 8km plus four 30-second strides
  • Wednesday February 28th – Run 11.3km steady
  • Thursday March 1st – Run 12.9km tempo
  • Saturday March 3rd – Run 9.7km slow

Week 5:

  • Sunday March 4th – Run 19.3km steady/fast
  • Tuesday March 6th – Run 8km slow
  • Thursday March 8th – Run 8km slow
  • Saturday March 10th – Run 8km slow

Week 6:

  • Sunday March 11th – Run 12.9km steady
  • Tuesday March 13th – Run 9km tempo
  • Wednesday March 14th – Run 9.7km slow
  • Thursday March 15th – Run 13km tempo
  • Saturday March 17th – Run 9.7km slow (Moonlight Run 10km race)

Week 7:

  • Sunday March 18th – Run 20.9km steady
  • Tuesday March 20th – Run 9.7km plus five 20-second strides
  • Wednesday March 21st – Run 12.9km steady
  • Thursday March 22nd – Run 15.5km tempo
  • Saturday March 24th – Run 9.7km slow

Week 8:

  • Sunday March 25th – Run 22.5km steady/fast
  • Tuesday March 27th – Run 12km tempo
  • Wednesday March 28th – Run 9.7km slow
  • Thursday March 29th – Run 14.5km slow/fast
  • Saturday March 31st – Run 9.7km slow

Week 9

  • Sunday April 1st – Run 24.1km steady
  • Tuesday April 3rd – Run 14km tempo
  • Wednesday April 4th – Run 12.9km steady
  • Thursday April 5th – Run 15km tempo
  • Saturday April 7th – Run 9.7km slow

Week 10

  • Sunday April 8th – Run 22.5km steady/fast
  • Tuesday April 10th – Run 9.7km slow
  • Thursday April 12th – Run 11.3km slow/fast
  • Saturday April 14th – Run 8km slow

Week 11

  • Sunday April 15th – Run 12.9km slow
  • Tuesday April 19th – Run 12.9km plus five 30-second strides
  • Wednesday April 20th – Run 9.7km slow
  • Thursday April 21st – Run 15km slow/fast
  • Saturday April 21st – Run 9.7km slow

Week 12

  • Sunday April 22nd – Run 22.5km steady/fast
  • Tuesday April 24th – Run 12km tempo
  • Wednesday April 25th – Run 9.7km slow
  • Thursday April 26th – Run 16.1km slow/fast
  • Saturday April 28th – Run 9.7km slow

Week 13

  • Sunday April 29th – Run 24.1km steady
  • Tuesday May 1st – Run 14km tempo
  • Wednesday May 2nd – Run 9.7km slow
  • Thursday May 3rd – Run 11.3km slow/fast
  • Saturday May 5th – Run 9.7km slow

Week 14

  • Sunday May 6th – Run 25.7km steady/fast
  • Tuesday May 8th – 13.5km tempo
  • Wednesday May 9th – Run 9.7km slow
  • Thursday May 10th – Run 19km tempo
  • Saturday May 12th – Run 9.7km slow

Week 15

  • Sunday May 13th – Run 20.9km steady/fast
  • Tuesday May 15th – Run 17km tempo
  • Thursday May 17th – Run 12.9km slow
  • Saturday May 19th – Run 12.9km steady

Week 16

  • Sunday May 20th – Run 16.1km slow
  • Tuesday May 22nd – Run 9.7km steady plus six 20-second strides
  • Wednesday May 23rd – Run 4.8km slow
  • Friday May 25th – Run 4.8km slow plus three 20-second strides
  • Sunday May 27th – Race Day!

Slow / Steady / Fast Pacing

As you can see there is a variety of training paces in this sub 2:00 half-marathon training plan. Gaudette likes to vary the pacing from slow, to steady, to tempo running where you mix in some speed work. At what speed should you run these workouts?

Slow = conversational pace. For me this can be anywhere from 6:20/km to 6:45/km

Steady = 5:54/km to 6:12/km

Fast = 5:16/km to 5:44/km

Strides = should be run at 95% effort

I love to mix-up my distance and pace each week as I progress through a training plan. Since I’m tracking through Runkeeper Go I can monitor my progress and keep on top of my plan over the next four months.

Final thoughts

Can you be simultaneously dreading and looking forward to a training plan? I’m eager to get started and the first week should ease me into a routine. However, the half-marathon training is daunting!

I’m running mostly five days a week throughout the plan and it has some HUGE long runs at 20+ kilometres – a distance that I have yet to reach at this point in my running career.

I’m going to tackle this plan with lots of enthusiasm but temper my expectations of completing every single session. I don’t want to overtrain or injure myself.

If I can get through even 75-80% of this plan injury-free then I know I’ll be ready to crush my first half marathon!


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