My (1-Month) Half Marathon Training Plan

Kristen Henkels running 2012

Hey All,

So as I mentioned, I spontaneously (and perhaps recklessly?) signed up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon with only about a month to train for it.  D-day is May 18th, 2013.

…What the heck was I thinking?!?

Now obviously this is not an ideal (or an intelligent) timeframe to train for a 13.1 mile race but I’m going to attempt to take a smart approach in preparing for it. After a bit of frenzied Googling I thankfully came across the following article in Men’s Health Magazine: To sum it up, training for a half marathon in a 1-month timeframe is not advised, but it is possible. Here are the main points from the article:

  • Build up to a 10-mile run and add only about 10 percent volume a week.
  • In addition – focus on RECOVERY, include a strength workout twice a week, and make sure to do some stretching and foam rolling.

I crafted my 1-month half marathon training plan based on the above points and also incorporated 5 days of CrossFit training into it (I couldn’t resist – at least it’s a healthy addiction?). Stir that together with a heavy dose of mobility work and recovery et voila!:

The Fit Wanderer 1 month Half Marathon Training Plan-1

The Fit Wanderer 1 month Half Marathon Training Plan-2

I feel much more confident now that I have a plan to guide my training. The hard part is sticking to it.

For all you distance runners out there – How many weeks did you take to train for your first half marathon and do you have any advice for sticking to a training plan?

Time to hit the pavement (and the foam roller)!

Forever Wandering,

– Kristen

My (1-Month) Half Marathon Training Plan

25 thoughts on “My (1-Month) Half Marathon Training Plan

  1. You can do this! I’ll keep you in my thoughts on May 18 as I attempt my first 100 mile run. Consider adding compression socks post run’s, which seems to have helped my recovery from 18 and 20 mile training runs. Hurtls like hell the day of, but I’m up and running the next day. Also hydrate. A lot. I’m in FL, so it’s like training in a steam bath sometimes, but fluids flush out all the nasties. And have fun! I know you can do this and if you run with a smile (grimace!) you’ll knock this out!

    1. Thanks so much for the positive vibes Marathonmasochist! I can’t believe you are running 100 miles – that’s both amazing and insane. Best of luck to you as well, I’m sure you’ll kill it. Whenever I start to really hurt during my half I’ll just think about how you are running 86.9 miles more than me and I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself haha.

      Thanks also for the tips about the compression socks and staying hydrated. Are there any compression sock brands you really like and would recommend?

      – Kristen

  2. my first plan was 10 weeks and my second was 8 weeks. i think if you follow your plan and don’t burn out, make sure are allowing yourself some rest time. i think you’ll be surprised at how well you are probably going to do. my last race was 10 miles on 3/24 and i have another 10 mile race on 5/5. i haven’t run more than 5 miles since that race on the 24th. ooops!

    1. Hey Jess – thanks for the tips! I am definitely going to take rest time as needed – if I’m feeling really run down I’ll take a day off here and there. I’m sure you will do great on your next 10-mile race! I have never raced a 10-miler before but perhaps I’ll put it on my list for some time this summer. Stay healthy and good luck on 5/5!
      – Kristen

  3. pickyrunner says:

    I had never run over 9 miles before my half last summer, so I think you’ll be absolutely fine! A few rest days, a couple long runs, and some easy mileage will get you through the race. Good luck!

  4. Way to just go for it!! I second the compression socks, mine are my life saver and I am convinced that I could no longer exist without them! I think you will do great. Just keep smiling! And running, of course. 🙂

  5. You’ll do well!

    I’d plan a few longer runs (5 miles) mid-week, and do no exercise for two or three days before the race – you don’t want to use your body’s reserves on any exercise. I’d run Monday, crossfit Tuesday, short run Wednesday, then rest.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks Neil! You are probably right. I will rest a bit more leading up to the race for sure. 13.1 miles is a long way…
      Thanks for the advice – I will update with how the race goes!
      – Kristen

  6. What a coincidence! I did the Brooklyn HM as my first half last year. I signed up six weeks in advance. My training consisted of weightlifting 3x/week and once running a week. I had one long run of 10 miles and all the other runs were shorter.

    You’re much faster than me, so I’m sure you’ll do much better than my 2:08. Good luck!

    1. Hey afastpacedlife, thanks for stopping by my blog! By the sound of it we have a pretty similar training mindset, very cool. I’m doing a 9-mile run this weekend in Central Park with my sister – should be interesting (I have NEVER run that far before at once).

      2:08 is a great finish time! I’m hoping to break 2 hours but I suppose only time will tell – just gotta stick to my training.

      – Kristen

  7. Thanks for stopping by my post! You candefinitely do it, mostly if your main aim is to finish it. You can focus on timing the next race. This could be sort of a”test run” to see where you stand and then adjust training for the next race. I want to enter a marathon as my first ever race, came across a book for beginner “4 months 4 hour marathon”. I neer thought of a half, maybe i should do that first.
    Good luck and happy training!

  8. nehaajmera says:

    How did it go? I just registered for half 3.5 weeks from today (that said I can run 8 miles currently without too much of a hassle).. short walk breaks but still did it in 1:15. Am I nuts, can I do this?

  9. Christopher Ahwal says:

    I got 31 days after a foot injury that put me down right after the tough mudder on the 4th of july . So im hoping 12 + miles in the mud ( felt like 20 miles, I swear every step was off balance) 10 weeks ago will help me out a bit. But I’m going to try your schedule starting today. I go to a box ,so that was a nice bonus.

    I like not having think about it and JUST DO IT!!!!

    Thanks again Kristen and wish me luck

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