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2830 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2011 1:31 PM by Run Tonis Run
ydiez Pro 161 posts since
Nov 7, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 7, 2011 3:24 AM

advice needed for half marathon training plan

First, some ideas on me and my running experience.


I am 33, and have always liked running. I have gone running once or twice a week since I was 14-15. The thing is all this time running was just something I enjoyed but I never really intended to run faster or longer than whatever I felt like at that particular moment.


I have recently started taking it a bit more seriously: For the last half year I have consistenly run 3-4 days a week for an average of 25 miles/week and gone swiming once or twice. My current time in the 10k is 42'30 minutes. When I go runnung I carry a gps watch that provides me with heart rate information, distance and current pace.


I have recently decided to run a halfmarathon. The race I have chosen is in 11 weeks, but my goal is not really to get there at peak form but to train myself so I can consistently run the distance in under 1:45 .


I have found this training plan:


Which I intend to follow, but have a few questions where I hope you might be able to help:


1) What pace should I follow?


I read you should run always somewhere between 130-150 beats per minute or about one minute per kilometer slower than you 10K pace, any comments on that? I have tried and understand how it is probably best to get your body used to the distances and minimise the risk of injury, but I have to say that running all runs at this pace looks a little boring (I enjoy the ocassional 10k race, for example). I am, however, most interested in avoiding injuries as I have a long history of ankle problems.


2) How to integrate swimming into the training plan


I also enjoy swimming quite a lot and it is a sport that I can still do in days of heavy rain (we get a few where I live), but it is difficult for me to try to find a sort of "equivalence" between the runs in the training plan and my swimming sesions. Any ideas on this? I started swimming 5 years ago because of an injury and generally swim 1000-1500 meters of mixed styles once or twice a week, (mostly depending on the rain).


3) what to do after the plan


As I said before, my main aim is improving my running and being able to run the half marathon distance "regularly" at a decent pace (in my case, under 1:45), but I do not want to get burnout or have to stop running for a long time at the end of the plan. Do you thing following  this type of training plan is a good idea? What would you recommend after finishing the training plan?

Current PB:

5k: 19:53 (December 31st 2014)

10k : 42:30 (March 9th 2014)

Half Marathon: 1:32:40 (February 1st 2015)

Marathon: 3:33:31 (March 15th 2015)

Completed my first marathon! Feeling like getting some more!

  • Terranss Legend 268 posts since
    Feb 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 7, 2011 1:39 PM (in response to ydiez)
    Re: advice needed for half marathon training plan



    I would recommend looking at the McMillan Running Calculator:


    Just plug in a recent race time at another distance (or use your 1:45 goal for the half-marathon), and it'll give you a lot of information regarding the pace you should follow for your workouts.  Judging by your 10K time, I'd wager that 1:45 won't be that hard for you (my 10K PR is 43:48, and my HM PR is 1:37).  I wouldn't worry about the heart rate so much, either--you should run on perceived effort.  I don't think I've ever averaged less than 150 beats/minute on any training run--definitely on slow easy runs, sure, but even on my long runs of 18+ miles I consistently hit 160+ beats/minute.  However, I never feel like I'm out of breath and struggling at that heart rate, and that's the most important aspect of it.


    Regarding the swimming, you can definitely equal the cardio effort of a run with it, but you can't expect a hard swim to benefit your running all that much.  Especially with the speedwork, tempo runs and long runs, these have to be done as runs in order for your body to benefit in the half marathon race.  I think that swimming provides a decent alternative to a slow, easy run, and can actually help recovery, too, as the cool water will help alleviate swelling and inflammation in your muscles and joints.  Still, it's only a "decent" alternative, because on easy run days you're still gaining fitness by running pre-fatigued.  In the end, if it's raining too much to run, swimming is a good way to stay active (plus it's something you enjoy), but I wouldn't recommend replacing your core training runs with swimming. 


    After your race, I recommend taking a look at one of Hal Higdon's off-season training plans, such as his winter training plan:

    This will help you maintain your fitness while you find another race to train for!


    Best of luck to you!

  • marathontrainingscience Rookie 1 posts since
    Nov 10, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Nov 10, 2011 8:07 PM (in response to ydiez)
    advice needed for half marathon training plan

    Hi ydiez,

    I pretty much agree with Tarranss about the swimming. It will help your cardio system but nothing, I repeat nothing can replace running.


    If you where to replace a session make it one of your easy runs.


    We could see that most programs need a little more guidance for athletes stepping up to half marathon or marathon training schedules hence Lee Troop (3 x Olympian) and I produced Marathon Guru ( which gives athletes all they need for their training sessions based on your race goal...what's more it will adjust if your are exceeding expectations.


    We also offer recovery programs that will get you feeling great and ready to focus on your new challenge.


    Cheers and Good Luck!

  • Run Tonis Run Amateur 14 posts since
    May 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Nov 14, 2011 1:31 PM (in response to ydiez)
    advice needed for half marathon training plan

    As I just wrote in another thread, I'm using Sportlyzer's training planner to take car of my training planning. It calculates a custom training plan and keeps re-calculating it as you log in trainings. Syncs to GarminConnect also, so you can use Garmin Fit mobile app for gps-tracking.

    Open Air addict and hobby runner

    Half Marathon 1:43 (Nov 6 '11)

    Coached by a virtual coach at

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