My half marathon training program

My half marathon training plan may seem a bit unconventional, but I know it is going to work for me. Most half training plans seem to include a lot more running, but mine will also include a lot of walking and some strength training.

My program:

  • Eating
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Strength training

Okay, this may seem simple, but there’s more to it than that. Part of my half marathon training program is walking. In a few weeks, certainly not before my 5k this weekend, I plan to walk 13.1 miles. It will help me segment the run! I know a lot of running is mental, and most of us do put a lot of mental barriers on ourselves. When I did my first 10k knowing the course helped me keep going. I knew where I was on the trail and that helped me count down. Sometimes I think, “Wow, that is so far,” or, “I cannot walk/run that far!” I want to eliminate those thoughts in my head, and I want to get used to the time on my feet. When I do something once I find it a lot easier to believe in myself.

Movement is the best thing for arthritis.  The more active I am, the more I can do. The more I walk, the more I can run. I definitely will incorporate a lot of walking into my routine, especially because I only plan to run 3 days a week. For the running portion of my training, I plan to slowly increase my mileage.

I also plan to do some serious sports training at Competitive Edge, and go to the gym on my own twice a week. I don’t want to be too sore for my training, so I don’t want to strength train too much. Last week at Competitive Edge I completed an evaluation done on a treadmill with sensors all over my body. It was so cool to see how much pressure, force, everything about my gait, degrees of flexion, and how I can improve my form. After running for just over a minute, Kevin and I looked at the results. He showed me I had a break in force, which is wasted energy that isn’t propelling me forward, and told me what I should do to improve my form. I got back on the treadmill and ran a mile with the sensors and improved my knee flexion by 4 degrees. He also showed me that my left hip flexor is incredibly tight and is affecting my range of motion, causing me to put more pressure on my right leg as my pelvis tilts. That made a lot of sense. So he told me to do a kneeling hip flexor stretch. I have been doing this daily.

Right now I’m running about 3 miles comfortably, and I want to add miles very slowly. I have 7 months to build up the next 10 miles of running. I don’t know why, but my guess is when I can run 6 miles strong and pain-free, building miles will be a lot easier. I plan to add about a mile or two a week.

While training for my half, I will not run more than 3 days a week. After recovering from a knee issue, I know the importance of variety. I’m not looking to get injured, I’m out to crush my goal! I also know the importance of fresh legs. Kevin has told me that my issue stems from fatigue. Not using proper form puts more stress on my quads, which helps the knee cap track properly. So if I’m overloading my legs, they won’t work as well.

I always say that if I eat, I can do anything. Same will go for my training. I plan to eat as much as I want and need, so I have the energy to complete my training. My diet will be based on fat, protein, and carbs. I will not be on a restricted diet. Nutrition is a big part of the equation. I see food as fuel, not something to monitor or think about too seriously. I used to drink protein shakes religiously and then got out of the habit. I don’t drink them everyday, but when I do drink them I feel better. I will try to drink them at least a few days of week. I’m on a mostly vegetarian diet, besides the occasional in n out, and protein drinks make it easy to get extra protein in your diet without much effort. Of course, I plan to eat plenty of fat. My friend Elle are thinking of eating an avocado a day. Sounds like a plan!

A typical week of training with look like this:

  • Sunday: walk or hike
  • Monday: strength or walk
  • Tuesday: run
  • Wednesday: strength or walk
  • Thursday: run
  • Friday: walk
  • Saturday: run.

My long run will be on Saturday or Sundays.

On Sunday I’m running a 5k. I’m excited to be timed. I have been caring a lot less about times lately, but it will be fun to challenge myself to run with good form, and work on my speed a bit. 🙂


How many days a week did you run while training for a half?



  1. Looks like a great plan you have going, which will work for you! I think so many people choose a plan that looks good but doesn’t fit in with their lifestyle. I like to run no more than 4 days a week. It’s the happy place for my body where I don’t get too exhausted or injured.

    • Emma

      March 19, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Hi Caroline!
      Thanks for visiting my blog! Do you day any form of exercise on the other days or take them as rest days?
      I’m trying to mix it up as much as I can to prevent injury.


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