Sunday, May 1, 2016

5 Week Half Marathon Strength and Running Plan

Oops, I did it again. I signed up to run a half marathon and didn't properly train for it. Don't get me wrong, I have a solid running base, I just haven't been putting in those long runs to prepare my body for 13.1 miles.

I've done this before. I've realized in the last few years that I love (love! love!) running half marathons, I don't really love the long training runs by myself. So I always end up not training as I should and the consequences show up in my race results.

I have a lot of fun running half marathons. I always finish (knock on wood) and am ready to sign up for the next one. I just don't have those great finishing times like I did when I put in the time for long slow runs. My half marathon PR was in 2012. I definitely run for the pure joy of it now (someone remind me that at mile 11). Chasing PRs sucked the fun out of it for me in some ways.

Here we are five weeks out from the San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon and I am super excited about a race-cation in beautiful San Diego! Hubby is traveling with me so we are going to make a mini-vacation out of it. We got married in La Jolla in 2005 and San Diego is one of my favorite cities. Despite the fact that the locals are usually complaining about the heat during our visits, compared to our Texas summers, the weather should be cool and wonderful. Perfect conditions for running a half marathon.

I am on the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon's Rock 'n' Blog team so I am also thrilled to meet up with my fellow teammates, the #werunsocial crew and various other social media friends. It's amazing the genuine connections that this little introvert has made through this blog and social media. I've come to realize that runners I don't know are just friends I haven't met yet.

5 Week Half Marathon Strength & Running Plan

I have five weeks before the big race in San Diego on June 5th. It is probably not enough time to train for a PR but I can start to build those long runs up so that I can at least finish strong and healthy on race day, if not fast.

I am a big believer of strength training for runners. For many years as a runner, I only wanted to run. As I got older things started to change. I needed more time off in between runs to recover and more importantly, I needed to work at proactively avoiding injury. I became a personal trainer to help runners with strength training because it is such an important component to a runners overall success.


I'll do my HIIT for runners plan, which includes 30 minutes of treadmill speed intervals and 30 minutes of circuit style full body strength training. I'll focus the weight training on balance and stability exercises that are beneficial to runners. You can check out a version of this plan over on 


I'll run a slow and easy recovery run with 15 minutes of hip and abs exercises.


I'll work my arms in the #shredshed.


It is my run club at ComCardio and I'll team up with some faster people in the club and do a tempo run. Tempo runs are comfortably hard. I run mine little more than a minute per mile faster than my comfortable pace. It's not an all-out effort, but one I can maintain for up to several miles.


I'll work legs, hips and abs in the #shredshed. I'll focus on stability and balance so I won't have super sore legs from heavy weights the day before my long run (I can go back to heavier lifting on my legs after the race). I focus my training periods specific to the end goal. My end goal now is to finish a half marathon.


Long run day. I'll add a mile or two each week until I build to 11 or 12 miles in the weeks before the race. I will definitely run these miles by feel. I will run slow and listen to my body.


Rest, walk and foam roll.

I'm sure I'll make some tweaks as I go along, but this is my base plan. I was careful not to overdo the hard sessions in a week. The HIIT, the tempo run and the long run all have periods of easy work or cross training between them. I'll adjust as necessary. This is a pretty aggressive plan, but I am working from a solid running and strength base. I'll listen to my body and back off a little if needed.

I built this plan for myself based on my current fitness level and abilities. If you need help building a personalized running plan, check out my running coach services over on

If you are interested in running a rock n roll marathon race this year, you can use my discount code "LEAGENDERS' to save $15 off the half marathon or marathon distance (some races are excluded and restrictions apply).

Through my association with Rocknblog Eagle Creek Gear sent me their pack-it sport system so help me get ready for San Diego. Check out the short video I recorded in the shredshed!

Wish me luck (I need all the help I can get). Hope to see you at a race.

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Keep Running,


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