9-Week Half Marathon Training Schedule

9-week half marathon training schedule

I needed (wanted) an excuse to buy new running sneakers, so I signed myself up to run a half marathon the first weekend in June.

Kidding about the motivation behind it. Kinda. Not really.

Since completing my first one back in October, I really haven’t run much at all. At first, I was just burnt out from training and needed a break. But then as winter set in, other deterrents popped up—my Raynaud’s Syndrome was way worse than it was last winter, Boston got a lot of snow, I’m allergic to treadmills—basically, it was much easier to motivate myself to do other (indoor) forms of exercise.

Last winter, I ran outside six days a week regardless of the temperature like a total hardo, but clearly that just didn’t happen for me this year. I don’t think I’ve gone on longer than a 4-mile run since I crossed the finish line in Newport this past fall, and I’ve only been incorporating running into my workout schedule a couple times a week.

But I miss long(er)-distance running so, so much. It’s therapeutic for me. I’m a super antisocial runner, so it’s the one time of day I can just be alone, not talk to anyone, put on some music and zone out. I’ve never cared about keeping track of my mileage and times and mile splits—I just really like the way running clears my head. And if you’re going to run long distances, you might as well get a finisher’s medal for it (am I right or amiright??), so I signed myself up for another half marathon.

I used what I learned from my first half marathon in developing my training schedule for this one. The two main takeaways:

  • Add speed workouts: Although my endurance steadily improved during my last training period, I saw my speed decrease. Of course it’s to be expected that your average mile pace for a 13-mile run is going to be slower than your average mile pace for a 3-mile run, but I saw even my short run times get worse. For example, during week 2 of training, a 3-mile run would take me 22-23 minutes. During week 10 of training, I couldn’t do a 3-mile run under 26 minutes to save my life. I think adding weekly speed workouts on the track and treadmill will help this.
  • Shorten the training period: Last time, I trained for 12 weeks leading up to the half, and it was much too long. By the last few weeks, I wasn’t even excited for race day because I was just so freaking sick of running. I’m in good enough shape that I’m not worried about slicing three weeks off the training period.

I’ll update you all on the training process every two or three weeks and will be sure to share the speed workouts I do (I’m dipping back into my knowledge bank from high school cross-country to create these). What I’m most excited for, however, is sharing all the amazing, Instagram-worthy sunrise pics I’m going to capture on these morning training runs. Shed 30 seconds off my time OR stop and take some skyline pics? No brainer. I mean, I’m only exaggerating a little when I say the satisfaction of getting lots of likes on Instagram overpowers the satisfaction I get after completing a run. That’s when you know you have a full-blown social media addiction and/or weren’t popular as a child (that’d be an “and” for me).

Do you guys have any upcoming races? Know of any fun ones in the Northeast that I should look into?


P.S. I recently put together an interval workout for Sara over at Fit for a Bride. I’ll post the routine in the next few weeks, but for now, go check it out HERE. And a big thanks to Sara for featuring it!

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  1. You should try tough mudder in Pennsylvania. In the poconos!
    So fun!

  2. Even though I’ve run several 5ks, a 10k, 10 miler and marathon, I have still have never run a half-marathon and really want too! Your training schedule looks great! Good luck! Thank you for the link as well 🙂

  3. My Raynaud’s was so so awful. it still is. Where is the summer?

    My new fav speed workout (compliments of my coach) is warmup, 2 mi tempo pace, then some sort of interval workout (800s mainly), then cooldown. I also love 2-3x 2mi at a faster pace! Both workouts have definitely helped my speed!

  4. Found your blog through Pinterest, I’ve already done two of your medicine ball work outs and love them. Also planning on running my first Half in October, so def interested in your training. Totally related to your dairy free adventure too because I am on a vegetarian adventure right now (8 days to go). Are we the same person? Jk – you’re hilarious though, keep doing you, girl.

  5. Catherine says:

    I ran a 1/2 marathon years ago but would love to run another one soon. If only I was in better shape! Good luck Nicole!

  6. Jessica says:

    I’m doing a half in September that’s a yoga retreat-y type thing on the cape (http://zoomarun.com/capecod/).

    My favorite half to date it Boston in October (perfect weather/beautiful trees), but Rye NH has a great one that’s right on the water in the spring. Good Luck! 🙂

  7. So on the speed workouts, how long should that run be?

    • Pretty short (you can vary them, but I’d say between 1.5 and 4 miles depending on your speed), mixing in some sprinting or tempo intervals. 🙂

  8. I am going to use this training schedule because I have nine weeks until my next half-marathon. Thank you!

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