Training for a Half Marathon

The half marathon suffers from its label as half. Completing this distance is an accomplishment belittled by the name of the race—it feels like a whole adventure, not half of anything. We could think of it instead as a ten-mile–plus–5K race, which makes it seem like the test it is.

At the same time, this is a distance that most runners can accomplish without undue trouble. You—yes, you—can probably finish a half feeling good, and that’s what this plan is designed to help you do. As you’ll see, you can be prepared to run this 13.1-mile race by running four or five days a week, with weekday runs and short yoga routines taking no more than an hour, and weekend runs building to a peak of two hours. You won’t have to spend all your time training or recovering; it will be a lot of fun, especially if you can train with a friend or a group of friends, and you’ll get into great shape along the way.

It’s useful to have experience at the shorter distances before you make this leap. A few 5Ks and 10Ks will give you the experience and confidence to move to the half marathon.

How will you know when you are ready? If you’ve followed my 10K plan on this site, you should be good to go, and many of the workouts will be familiar. Otherwise, have a look at the first four-week block of this plan. If the first week looks totally doable, or even easier or shorter than what you’ve been doing, you’re probably ready. If it makes you flinch, start with the 5K or 10K plans.

In choosing your race, consider your personality. Will you do better in a big race with lots of energy and hoopla, or would you prefer a smaller affair? Do you want a race geared to women, like the Nike Women’s Half Marathon? What is the course like, and does it play to your strengths? Options abound. A 20K, at 12.4 miles, can be a fun choice if you can’t find a local half marathon. If you like to run trails (me too!), you might find a trail race. Be aware that trail running takes about a minute more per mile than road running; you might care to add ten minutes or so to each long run on the schedule to be sure you’ve got the endurance to cover the distance off-road.

As always, check that you are running in relatively new shoes that are the appropriate size and support level for your feet. Replace your shoes regularly. You should cycle in a new pair around week 10 of this plan so you’ll be wearing fresh but broken-in shoes for the race.

BUILDING TO THE HALF MARATHON

A big base of endurance is critical at this distance, so your heart, lungs, and legs can cover 13.1 miles of continuous running. We’ll slowly increase the length of your long run to two hours. For the speedier runners, this may go over the distance of the race. If you don’t cover 13 miles in two hours of easy running, have no fear; you will find the reserves to complete the distance in the race. Run these long runs at a really comfortable pace, considerably slower than you plan to do the race.

On the day after each long run in weeks 5–11, you’ll head out for a forty-minute pace run. Your warm-up should get you loose from the previous day’s long run, but you’ll still feel some fatigue. This is useful because you’ll have to work to hold your pace toward the end of the run.

NUTRITION FOR LONG RUNS AND THE RACE

Unless you are very fast, the half marathon will probably last longer than your glycogen stores. This means you’ll need to take in some calories during the race and in each long run. Experiment in training to find the combination that works best for you. Each of us will have different needs, but in general, you should aim to take in 100–200 calories and 8–16 oz. of fluid every hour. Aim for the lower end of the 100–200 calorie per hour range and see how it goes. You can sip on sports drink or rely exclusively on gels. (Remember, there are calories in sports drinks—read the label and do the math.) The caveat: don’t wash down a gel with sports drink! This creates a sugar concentration that your stomach can’t quickly process, and it can lead to nausea and other gastric issues.

I like to carry fluids and gels using a hydration belt. You might prefer to plant water along your route or design a run that leads you past water fountains or friends’ homes. After years of trial and error, I’ve found sipping a sports drink for the first hour or so of a race or long run works for me. After that, I’ll take a chocolate PowerGel (lightly caffeinated for that extra boost of energy) and wash it down with some water. I can tell it’s time for the gel when I start to feel cranky. You might learn your own body’s signs, or simply eat according to the clock, say, one gel every forty-five or sixty minutes.

Depending on the temperature, humidity, your sweat rate, and how salty your perspiration is, you may benefit from using a product with added sodium (sports drink, PowerBar gels, or sodium supplements). Again, training is the place to experiment.

Nothing new on race day: Make this your mantra. Your clothes, shoes, sunscreen, and especially your nutrition should all be dialed in during training. Then go with what worked as your plan for the race. If this means you have to call the race director to determine what sports drink is served on the course, or you must run with a hydration belt, fine; whatever your plan is, practice it in training.

USING THE PLAN

As with the 5K and 10K plans, workouts are prescribed in time, not mileage, and the intensity is described in purposefully vague terms. Always err on the side of too easy—if you simply followed the time per day on this plan, with none of the intensity, you’d be in good enough shape to complete a half marathon. If you can distinguish between your different gears (easy, medium/half marathon race pace, medium hard, and hard), all the better. If you have a day or a week when you feel a little off, dial the intensity back by removing any intervals and simply running, run/walking, walking, or even—gasp!—skipping a workout entirely. It’s fine.

The total suggested time for each run appears first, followed by instructions for the main set of the workout. Be sure to include at least ten minutes of warm-up before this main set, and enjoy an easy cool-down afterward. You don’t have to run back and forth in your driveway to get to the suggested time; aim to come within five minutes of each workout’s time and you’ll be golden.

As with the previous plans, I’ve suggested yoga routines pegged to episodes of my free podcast, Sage Yoga Training. These will keep you strong and flexible, and they will increase your core strength so you can keep your form together as you tire. You can add an additional yoga or Pilates session on Mondays, but make sure that it’s not so intense that it leaves you sore or tired on Tuesday morning. In the week of the race, skip a group class in favor of some gentle yoga at home.

To that end, a word on form: learn mountain-pose alignment from a qualified yoga teacher, and as you run, keep returning to that upright stance with low shoulders, a long neck, and an engaged core. Economize by focusing on taking quick steps rather than overreaching with long steps, and keep your elbows close to your body, with your hands never reaching across the midline as you swing your arms.

FIRST FOUR WEEKS

We start with medium-intensity intervals and with hills, as in the 10K plan. You’ll get a taste of half marathon pace in the Tuesday intervals. Uphill running, despite its intensity, places less impact on the body than does running on flat or downhill grades, and running hills builds strength. (The Warrior Flow routine does, too.) Even if you choose a flatland course, you’ll probably have a few inclines during your half marathon—coastal races, for example, often cross bridges in their 13.1-mile routes.

While Wednesdays can be either a run or cross-training, make your Sunday workout a run. This primes your body for the pace runs in the next block. If you need to swap Saturdays and Sundays in this block, that’s fine.

MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
WEEK
1

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 3 x (8 min. medium, 2 min. easy). Follow with Balance and Bowing.
Run 40 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Core Flow.
Hills:
Run 45 min. with :30, :45, 1:00, 1:15 and 1:30 steady up a hill. Follow with Lunge Series.

Rest; include Relax.
Run 50 min.
Follow with Standing Stretches.
Run 40 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Warrior Flow.
WEEK
2

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 4 x (8 min. medium, 2 min. easy). Follow with Balance and Bowing.
Run 40 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Core Flow.
Hills:
Run 45 min. with 1:00, 1:15, 1:30 and 1:45 steady up a hill. Follow with Lunge Series.

Rest; include Relax.
Run 60 min.
Follow with Standing Stretches.
Run 40 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Warrior Flow.
WEEK
3

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 3 x (10 min. medium, 2 min. easy). Follow with Balance and Bowing.
Run 40 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Core Flow.
Hills:
Run 45 min. with 1:15, 1:30, 1:45 and 2:00 steady up a hill. Follow with Lunge Series.

Rest; include Relax.
Run 70 min. Follow with Standing Stretches. Run 40 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Warrior Flow.
WEEK
4

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Intervals:
Run 45 min. with 3 x (6 min. medium, 2 min. easy). Follow with Balance and Bowing.
Run 40 min. easy or cross-train. Follow with Core Flow. Hills:
Run 45 min. with :45, 1:00, 1:15 and 1:30 steady up a hill. Follow with Lunge Series.

Rest or run 10-15 min.– just enough to calm you down. Include Relax.
Run 60 min. Follow with Standing Stretches. Run 40 min. easy or cross-train. Follow with Warrior Flow.

SECOND FOUR WEEKS

In this block, we’ll introduce pace runs on Sundays. If you have run the half marathon distance before and have a time goal, you’ll want to hold your projected pace for the middle segment of each run. If you are aiming to complete the distance for the first time, simply run the middle segment at a medium-intensity pace. While it’s OK to switch your Saturday and Sunday runs a few times, remember that you’re trying to simulate race conditions, so it’s useful to work to hold your pace the day after a long run.

Tuesday intervals are more intense than in the last block, and your Thursday workout becomes a long version of the first four weeks’ Tuesday intervals. Such changes progressively challenge your body, encouraging gradual adaptation to the new stressors.

MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
WEEK
5

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 4 x (4 min. hard, 2 min. easy). Follow with Lunge Series.
Run 40-50 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Warrior Flow.
Light Tempo:
Run 50 min. with 20 min. medium. Follow with Pigeon Sequence.

Rest; include Relax.
Run 80 min.
Follow with Standing Stretches.
Pace: Run 40 min. with 10 min. half marathon pace (HMP).
Follow with Quick Fix.
WEEK
6

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 5 x (4 min. hard, 90 sec. easy). Follow with Lunge Series.
Run 40-50 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Warrior Flow.
Light Tempo:
Run 50 min. with 25 min. medium. Follow with Pigeon Sequence.

Rest; include Relax.
Run 90 min.
Follow with Standing Stretches.
Pace: Run 40 min. with 15 min. HMP.
Follow with Quick Fix.
WEEK
7

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 6 x (4 min. hard, 1 min. easy). Follow with Lunge Series.
Run 40-50 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Warrior Flow.
Light Tempo:
Run 50 min. with 30 min. medium. Follow with Pigeon Sequence.

Rest; include Relax.
Run 100 min. Wear the clothes you plan to race in. Follow with Standing Stretches. Pace: Run 40 min. with 20 min. HMP.
Follow with Quick Fix.
WEEK
8

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Intervals:
Run 45 min. with 3 x (4 min. hard, 1 min. easy). Follow with Lunge Series.
Run 40 min. easy or cross-train. Follow with Warrior Flow. Light Tempo:
Run 50 min. with 15 min. medium. Follow with Pigeon Sequence.

Rest; include Yin Hips.
Run 75 min. Follow with Standing Stretches. Pace: Run 40 min. with 10 min. HMP.
Follow with Quick Fix.

THIRD FOUR WEEKS

In the third block, Tuesday runs build their intensity. This mimics the way your race will feel—OK toward the beginning, harder toward the end. If you know your pacing across various race distances, start these progressive intervals at half marathon pace (10 minutes), building to 10K pace (7.5 minutes), 5K pace (5 minutes), and faster (2.5 minutes). The rest between intervals decreases each week.

Thursday tempo segments are faster than half marathon pace. Ideally, this will make your race-pace runs on Sundays feel relatively easy!

In this block, you’ll build your long run to new lengths. Take these runs nice and easy, and run on a soft surface, such as a smooth bridle trail or cross-country course, if you can. Enjoy a snack immediately after your run and before your shower, a good meal after you’re clean, and a short restorative yoga session later in the day. (At the very least, spend some time with your legs up the wall.)

In race week, you’ll start to feel fresh as the effects of your training settle in. This can make you feel squirrelly, crabby, tired, or overly confident. Resist any urge to run more than planned, and trust your training.

MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
WEEK
9

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Progressive Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 10, 7.5, 5 and 2.5 min. intervals, each faster than the previous, with 3 min. easy between each. Follow with IT Band Express.
Run 40-50 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Standing Hip Opener.
Tempo:
Run 50 min. with 20 min. medium hard. Follow with Pigeon Sequence.

Rest; include Relax.
Run 110 min.
Follow with Standing Stretches. Later in the afternoon, Relax.
Pace: Run 40 min. with 20 min. HMP.
Follow with Core and More.
WEEK
10

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Progressive Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 10, 7.5, 5 and 2.5 min. intervals, each faster than the previous, with 2 min. easy between each. Follow with IT Band Express.
Run 40-50 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Standing Hip Opener.
Tempo:
Run 50 min. with 25 min. medium hard. Follow with Pigeon Sequence.

Rest; include Relax.
Run 120 min.
Follow with Standing Stretches. Later in the afternoon, Relax.
Pace: Run 40 min. with 20 min. HMP.
Follow with Core and More.
WEEK
11

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Progressive Intervals:
Run 50 min. with 10, 7.5, 5 and 2.5 min. intervals, each faster than the previous, with 1 min. easy between each. Follow with IT Band Express.
Run 40 min. easy or cross-train.
Follow with Standing Hip Opener.
Tempo:
Run 50 min. with 30 min. medium hard. Follow with Pigeon Sequence.

Rest; include Yin Hips.
Run 60 min. Wear the clothes you plan to race in.
Follow with Standing Stretches. Later in the afternoon, Relax.
Pace: Run 40 min. with 10 min. HMP.
Follow with Core and More.
WEEK
12

Rest; Yoga or Pilates
Race-Week Intervals:
Run 45 min. with 3 min. medium, 2 min. easy, 3 min. medium hard, 2 min. easy, 3 min. medium. Follow with IT Band Express.
Run 30 min. easy or cross-train. Follow with Standing Hip Opener. Taper: Run 35 min. with 3 x 2 min. comfortably fast. Follow with Pigeon Sequence.
Rest or run 10-15 min. — just enough to calm you down. include Relax.
Race! Include a warm-up of 5-10 min. with 4 x 30 sec. pickups timed to finish close to the start. Take an easy walk to work out any stiffness.
Follow with Relax.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PDF OF THE TRAINING PLAN
(Adobe Reader required)

RACE DAY

Say it again: Nothing new on race day. You’ll want to have practiced your prerace routine before your longest runs so it’s familiar on race morning. Take a few minutes before the race to consider all the work you’ve put in.

Depending on the size of your race, you might be stuck in traffic for the first mile. That’s probably a good thing, as it prevents you from starting too fast. If you are working toward a time goal, don’t try to recover any time you gave away in the first mile by running the second too fast. Be conservative, working to push your effort toward the end of the race.

When you hit the 10-mile mark, you have 5K left to run. That’s manageable! Use your very best form, breathe as deeply as you can, and go for it, slowly picking up the pace if you can. You’ll feel great to have finished strong. After the race, be sure to walk around for a few minutes, take in a snack, and enjoy your accomplishment!

Feel free to ask me questions in the comments or by contacting me through my website. I’m happy to help. And please let me know how the plan works for you.

SAGE ROUNTREE is a USA Triathlon Certified Expert Coach, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, author of The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga and The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga, a contributor to Runner’s World, a member of PowerBar Team Elite, and one of Athleta's Featured Athletes in 2009. She loves competing in triathlon and running races of all distances. Through her business, Sage Endurance, she teaches yoga to athletes and coaches clients in running, ultrarunning, triathlon, and duathlon... {more»}

Comments

  1. Karen Dubs says:

    Sage – AWESOME article! Just like your book, I love the way you offer balance and combine yoga principles and poses to your running / triathlon training. I’ll share this article with my clients too! You have a perfect way of putting down on paper guidelines and easy to follow programs for athletes! Which makes my job easier :) THANKS – I’ll pass this on for sure!!!

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  2. Susan Taylor says:

    Thank you for this article! I will also share this with clients – we start Tri Training yoga and Running clinic in just a week or so.

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  3. Rebecca says:

    I have a question about the Hills workouts in the first four weeks: What is it exactly? It sounds like something that would be accomplished most effectively on a treadmill using the hill function, is this right? Thanks.

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  4. Sage says:

    Hi, Rebecca,

    For the hills, it depends where you live. If you have access to a decent hill–better still, one on a smooth, shady, soft trail–you’ll run up steady, then jog or walk back down for recovery. If you live in a flat place, a treadmill with a grade of 4 to 6 percent is good.

    Hope that helps!
    Sage

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  5. Carrie Turunen says:

    Hi Sage!

    i really like this plan but I was wondering how to incorporate this plan into my triathlon training plan? Can i just replace the runs in my tri plan with these runs? As well, i live in a very hilly area and have to climb a large hill each time to get back to my house. Can i just eliminate the hill workouts seeing as they are part of every run that I do? Thanks very much!

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  6. Sage says:

    Hey, Carrie,

    Are you training for a half Ironman? If so, the run training would look different–so different, it would take me a whole other article to explain it! If, instead, you were training for an early-spring half marathon and planned to transition to some summer triathlons, you could use this plan, putting bike rides on the cross-training day and on one of the scheduled rest days, and swimming whenever it’s convenient.

    Hill repeats have a different goal than simply running up hills. It’s GREAT that you have to finish with a hill, since that will help maintain strength. But the repeats help you build force and take you up toward your lactate threshold, so they’re important. Plus, they make you tough!

    Hope that’s helpful!
    Sage

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  7. Carrie Turunen says:

    Sage,

    Thanks for the info it really helps!

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  8. Kimberly Hoppes says:

    Hi Sage,

    A friend of mine has turned my interests to triathlon training which is completely new territory for me. We have decided together to run the Helsinki half marathon this Spring so I need to invest in good running shoes and begin training. I have had earlier problems with heal injuries which concerns me a bit with the intensity in which I should begin my running program. Any suggestions on beginning lightly so I can progressively work myself up to beginning your ‘intense’ first 4-week program mentioned above? and yes, for us non-runners it will be a wonderfully challenging 12 week program to build us up to the Half. What about a good running shoe?? I heard Saucony are great…?

    Thanks!
    Kimberly

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  9. Sage says:

    Kimberly, how cool to reach all the way to Finland! To begin lightly, start from where you are. You can run/walk on the days listed above, building to the times you see here. Don’t add more than five or ten minutes to any run over the week–so give yourself time to get to the schedule in week 1. Walking is a great way to extend your workout time. You can walk 10 minutes, then do a run/walk ratio (3:2, or 4:1, or whatever works best), then walk another 10.

    The best shoe is the one that fits your foot and your running style. Try on a bunch of different pairs, and let your feet decide. It’s worth going to a specialty running store where the clerks know how to assess your gait and determine what level of support you need in a shoe, especially given your history of injury.

    I hope that helps!

    —Sage

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  10. Gina says:

    Sage,

    I was wondering if there was a way to get your yoga podcasts downloaded to my iPhone. I run outside away from my computer and would love to be able to do the yoga and stretching routines in the park after my runs.

    Thanks!

    Gina

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  11. Sage says:

    Hi, Gina,

    Yes, you should be able to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and have the episodes on your iPhone. Here’s the link:

    http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=121878796

    Hope the training is going well!
    Sage

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  12. kacie says:

    Thank you for this training schedule and all the helpful hints. I followed the schedule exactly and today (thanks to your help) I finished my first Half Marathon – in Uganda, Africa! A very positive experience and now I want to do more. Thanks!!

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  13. Sage says:

    Kacie, that’s fantastic. What an exotic location! I hope you have continued success with your running.

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  14. Jessy says:

    Hi Sage,

    I just wanted to let you know how much I am loving this plan. I am using it to train for my second half marathon which I will run on Memorial Day weekend. I just started training this week but I am already enjoying the focus and simplicity this plan provides. I am also really enjoying the short yoga sessions at the end of each workout. Thank you so much for making this plan, and the yoga podcasts, available to us all.

    Jessy

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  15. Hi Sage,
    I am training to do the Rock N’ Roll half marathon at the end of June. I noticed that the next 4 weeks of my training plan are “tempo” runs instead of “hill”runs…I am just wondering what you think about that…
    Thanks,
    Kristin:)

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  16. Sage says:

    Yep, Kristin, moving from hills to light tempo to harder tempo. If you love hills or have a hilly race, run the tempo on a hilly course. Enjoy!

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  17. Barb says:

    I’m running my first half this weekend after training for 3-4 months. I could feel that my knee was on the verge of some sort of popping injury on Monday, so I’ve been resting it (as all my running friends have advised), but not running this week is making me anxious. My race is at 7am with a shuttle to the start at 6am which means I need to leave my house about 4:30am. Any tips on how to manage sleep and nutrition the day before and the morning of such an early morning race? Weather at race time is forecast to be about 55F, and I’m getting anxious.

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  18. Sage says:

    You’ll be fine, Barb. Rest was a good choice. Just get the sleep that you can and eat what you’ve been eating all along in training. You’ll be fine–your body really knows what it’s doing, even when your mind is unsure. Go get ‘em!

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  19. Hi there again Sage,
    My race is in 3 weeks, and I am just wondering how to run the week after the half marathon. Do you run any different? I am thinking of doing a 10K on the 4th of July weekend, so I am just wondering. Thanks so much for your training plan for the half marathon!
    Kristin:)

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  20. Sage says:

    Hi, Kristin, good luck on your race!

    A week of little or no running is in order after the half marathon, and a second week without intensity. You’re well served by following the taper plan in reverse. That said, if you want to jump in to a holiday race, just free yourself from expectations and enjoy. You could even run without a watch!

    I cover this subject in great detail in my book “The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery”: http://sagerountree.com/products/AGR.html

    Run well!

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  21. Thanks Sage! I definitely need to check out your book. Have a good summer!

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  22. Johanna says:

    Hiya Sage

    Super excited to use this training program to run my third half marathon. But it seems like your links aren’t working. Wanted to see what the balance and bowing etc series, are about. The link you also posted to your podcasts is also inaccessible. Was told that I can’t access them from the US. Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
    Johanna

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  23. Sage says:

    Hi, Johanna! The podcast hosting was discontinued, and I’ve been trying to get it reloaded to iTunes. Meanwhile, you can find it here: http://sagerountree.com/media/videos/podcast/. Click on the episode title, then the title linked at the start of the description.

    Hope the training goes well!

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  24. Eri says:

    Hello
    I’m following the program, thank you so much for share it, but my half marathon is on march 23, so I have an extra month.
    Sometimes for work I travel a lot and i skip training, but if everything go normal, what I can do with the extra 4 weeks? Can I repeat the last week of every month? Or what I can do on those days? I don’t want a be overwork for the race but either don’t be on the best moment of the training to face the half.
    And after it I’ll start my triathlon train, can I over lap this or is better to use the swim and bike as cross train and after the race start my triathlon training?

    Thank you so much

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  25. Sage says:

    Good questions, Eri. I’d start the cycle with four weeks that mimic the first four weeks of the plan, but with none of the intensity. You can swim/bike for crosstraining, but it is best to finish one cycle–and take a week or two of downtime–before starting the next. An experienced coach can help a TON here! Good luck!

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  26. Eri says:

    Sage,

    I just want to clarify, what you are saying is in the remaining 4 weeks that i will have after completing my half marathon training that I should mimic the first 4 weeks of half marathon training but with the bicycle with low intensity, is this correct?

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  27. Sage says:

    Eri, I may have misunderstood your question. Either way, you should keep the cycle about the length written. To add at the front, avoid intensity; to add at the back, after the race, take a week or two off, then again, slowly introduce intensity.

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  28. Eri says:

    Thank you so much Sage, I;m moe thna ready to keep trainning

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  29. Fit for Life says:

    Great article, Sage. I wish I had seen this earlier, I have only 4 weeks to my first half-marathon ever, so all tips and hints are greatly appreciated! My biggest concern is actually eating during the race day, I am afraid to eat either too much or too little…

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  30. Kaity1211 says:

    Hi! I am using your program to train for my third half marathon. I am a slow runner with about an 11:00 min mile which I am working on being fine with:) I am having trouble with the interval training. Maybe I am not sure what medium or hard means, but I find myself unable to complete all the intervals.. Particularly when they are the 10 min long. Any suggestions would be great!

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  31. Sage says:

    Kaity, the first step is to discern between a conversational pace and one where you are pushing just a touch. Your breathing will help you feel the difference. If any running pace feels at least to be a medium-hard effort, use a walk to warm up and between intervals. It will come in time!

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  32. stephanephanon says:

    Hi Sage, my friend and I are using your half plan to train for a race this spring. Quick question about the hill workouts. Are we supposed to repeat the intervals for the total time, or just incorporate the one set of hills as written into our run? For example, on Week One Thursday, do we run the :30, :45, 1:00, 1:15, 1:30 set more than once? Also, any suggestion as to how steep the hill should be? Thanks!!

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  33. Hi, Stephanie, I hope the training goes well! Aim to do one set of hills as written, on a grade that’s reasonable. Exactly what that is will depend on your area, and if you don’t have one, set your treadmill to something from 4 to 6 percent. Happy training!

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  34. Stephanie says:

    Thank you very much for the response! :)

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  35. Debbie says:

    Would a short (2mi) walk and a yin yoga session be okay for a rest day?

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  36. Yes, Debbie, though I wouldn’t push in class, and I would keep the walk easy. For more on recovery, please see my book THE ATHLETE’S GUIDE TO RECOVERY: http://sagerountree.com/media/books/the-athletes-guide-to-recovery/

    Happy running!

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