8-Week Half Marathon Training Schedule for Not-So-Serious Runners

8-week-half-marathon-training-scheduleI mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been wanting to “spring clean” my workout routine a bit, and now that the winter weather is FINALLY behind us, I decided it’d be the perfect time to train for another half marathon.

Here’s the thing though. 99% of organized races take place on the weekend. And once warmer weather hits, I’m just honestly not willing to give up a weekend to run a half marathon. Summers are short in New England, and I like to cram as much spontaneity and fun into them as possible. Of course it’d be a totally different story if I had a bunch of friends who loved running and we all picked some fun destination race to do, but I actually prefer running alone (it’s “me” time)…and most of my friends think I’m out of my mind for voluntarily running anything over 3 miles haha.

So what’s a not-so-serious runner looking to run a half marathon that doesn’t conflict with her summer calendar to do? It brings me great pleasure to announce the running of the 1st Annual Official Non-Official Nicole Half Marathon. It’s going to take place on a Wednesday. I’m going to run it alone. I’m going to buy myself a finisher’s medal on Amazon. I’ll probably wear a JammyPack. It’s going to be perfect.

From this morning’s run around Castle Island.

The 8-Week Half Marathon Training Plan

When I trained for my first half, I did so over 12 weeks, and the plan I used had me running way too many miles each week. Too long, too much (for me personally)—and the result was that I started to get sick of running. I was on the verge of hating it. I never want to get to the point where I dislike running—it’s my favorite form of alone time!

Because I run regularly, I feel comfortable jumping right into regular 5 and 6-mile runs, so this time I’m just preparing over a span of 8 weeks. No crazy mileage counts each week. One long run, one moderate run, a speed workout and a couple quick jogs a week. No more.

For the speed workouts, I’ll probably mix it up between treadmill workouts (I just bought a 30-day trial to Boston Sports Club) and going to Barry’s Bootcamp. I do, however, have a serious chronic disease that doesn’t allow me to self motivate on a treadmill past .001 miles, so it’ll probably be less of the former, way more of the latter.

From Friday’s run around the Charles River.

I think this training schedule will strike the perfect balance of challenging me while still keeping my runs enjoyable. I just wrapped up week one this morning with a 6-miler around Southie and so far, so good! I’m actually really excited to start working towards this. Sorry I’m not sorry I’d rather drink beers on a beach with my friends than pay $75 to run 13.1 miles with a bunch of strangers—bring it on 1st Annual Nicole Half! 🙂

Before I end this post I should add that if you chose to follow this 8-week plan just keep in mind that I’m by no means a running expert—I put this together based on my experience training for my first half.

Are you running any races this spring?


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  1. I love this!

    The winter was so brutal, who wants to waste the few warm days we have by doing something we’re not really that into?

  2. I dig this. I’m doing the Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA in May, but I have a race buddy to share the experience with. As much as I enjoy having something specific to train for, I can only spend so much on race registration before feeling like I’m flushing money away. And let’s be honest: medals are just another thing to pack up when you move.

    • So true–I never realize how little I care about things until it’s time to move them. How quickly sentimental value fades haha

  3. Good for you girl! I am still struggling to hit a regular 3 mile run but working on it!


  4. Lindsey says:

    Haha I love this!

  5. I just wrote a post today about getting back into running. I played soccer for 15 years so it always feels like a punishment for me. Hopefully i’ll get back into it!

    xx, jen

  6. This is so perfect! I’m running a 10K and hopefully my first half marathon this summer, but I like the idea of going at your own pace and enjoying the run for what it is. It’s my favourite form of alone time, too.

  7. Haha that’s awesome! I have been looking into halfs this summer but can’t find one that I want to do or fits my schedule. I might have to do the same thing! 🙂

  8. No, but your schedule makes me want to sign up for one. I can’t resist this post title 😛

    I’m waiting for my local running shop to do their 3rd Thursday runs, where you get a group of friends on a fun run for free prizes and beers.

  9. I absolutely LOVE this!!! So fun! And then you can go do happy hour with your girlfriends afterwards. 🙂

    My sister ran her first ever marathon last year, and she had her own “Jenny Marathon”. She did it on a Thursday, and loved every second of it. No pressure, and no people. haha!

    If you ever want to do one on the weekend…you should come visit me in San Diego! I’ll do a half with you 🙂

  10. I love this and am training for my own personal 10k actually! I told my husband he should follow along with water cups and give me a ribbon to run through at the end. 🙂 i mean, why not make it official, am i right?

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