Philadelphia Half Marathon Training Plan

Want to know how to make yourself feel better about the fact that you spent 6 hours on a beautiful day indoors eating greasy, fried Italian-American (I can’t bear to call it actual Italian) food? Come home and make your half marathon training plan.

Is it odd that I had a smile plastered on my face the whole time I was making this? I’m assuming that’s because making the plan is the easy part. We’ll see where that smile is 5 weeks from now when tackling a 9 mile long run…

Philadelphia Half Marathon Training Plan

Isn’t she purrty?

I have a few goals in mind for my 2nd half marathon.

1. Cut my running back to 3 days a week.

2. Incorporate legitimate speed work to make each run count.

3. Incorporate more cross training.

4. Continue with NROLFW (stage 2 update coming this week!)

5. Try and improve my current PR (1:57:16)

6. Have fun!

I used Hal Hidgon’s intermediate half marathon plan as a guide but made my own personal tweaks from there to come up with the final version. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I think I’ll be able to avoid running burn out by limiting it to 3 days a week and still be satisfied with 2 bike rides a week as cross training.

The two highlighted areas signify a wedding and an extended work trip that I know I’ll have to be flexible for. I tried to move around workouts for the wedding (the first highlighted area) and think I came up with something that works, but the work trip is tough to make any decisions on right now. That will be more of a play by ear kind of thing. I purposely put my mileage step back on that week so I don’t have to worry about running 10 miles on a hotel treadmill. I honestly don’t think there could be a worse kind of torture.

I’m excited to see how the speed work will (or won’t) pay off in the end. Thursday’s are obvious speed work days and Sunday’s “pace” means I’ll be running those at my half marathon goal pace. Honestly, my goal is anything faster than my current PR (8:56 pace) but, I’m going to aim to run those between an 8:20-8:25 pace. That would be around a 1:50 half marathon. I’m not sure I could maintain that pace for 13.1 but I know I can for 3-5 miles, so that’s my goal.

Regardless of the outcome on race day, I’m just excited to train and race again for the half distance. It’s really the perfect balance of a serious accomplishment without being completely overwhelming.

Bring it on!

How many days a week can you run before getting burned out?

How do you set goals for yourself in races?

Do you find it hard just to run for fun without a goal in mind?


  1. Holly @ The Runny Egg

    I think your plan looks great — I too am following Hal’s intermediate 1/2 plan for my 10 Mile rice coming u pin October. His plans have never really let me down!

    For me, 3-4 days of running is enough. I need other activities in there to keep myself from getting bored!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Cutting my running back to 3 days a week was actually one of my goals for this half. I know the mileage is lower than most plans but I also know it will work based on what I ran during my first half. More than 3 days of running a week will burn me out and I think I’ll be more successful with more cross training so we’ll see if it works this time around!

  2. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    Your training plan looks great! I really like your 3 days only a week running …. and I wish I had done something like that as I am beginning to feel burnt out and dread my runs…particular this morning as I cursed running almost every step of the way on my (not so long) long run

  3. Cait's Plate

    I’m so jealous of all your racing!

    I can usually run 3-4 days a week without getting burned out (and without my back acting up) – I used to be able to run 5-6! I miss those days.

    My main goal with races is just to have fun with it. Though I do always have some sort of time in mind that I’d like to reach…

    I definitely don’t find it hard to run just for fun – it’s the whole reason I run!

  4. jamie @ cueyourlife

    GREAT training plan! I love that you’re goal is to run 3 days per week! Leaves room for cross-training or whatever else you’d like! Increase your speed work slowly…I went too fast earlier this summer and ended up with a stress fracture in my foot! : ( Happy running!

  5. Jess

    I’m weird in that I don’t follow anyone’s training plan, I just sort of make mine up as I go along…for some reason, no matter how Type A I am, I don’t like creating a full-on training plan for races. It overwhelms me, and takes the fun out of running for me because I feel so tied to a “plan” versus just getting out there and running. So for me and my current half training? I aim for four runs per week, a mix of mid-range distances, some speed-ish work, and a long run. And that works for me. Any more running than that, and my legs tend to yell at me too much, so four times a week is my typical.

  6. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance

    Best of luck to you! When I trained for my first half marathon about two years ago, I used Hal Higdon’s training program too (except I went beginner haha ;) ) It was a really good basis and helped me to get an idea of what I was actually doing.

    The most I can run a week (when I used to run a lot) was about 3-4 days. I’m totally prone to shin splints, so I had to be very careful with my training! Happy running :D

  7. Tracy @ Tracy's Treats

    Good luck with the training! Your plan looks very balanced! I’m training for a half marathon right now, too, and I am trying to incorporate more strength/cross training into my schedule. I can only run 3-4 days a week. Any more and my legs feel like jello. I’ve never set any time goals for races, I’m happy to just finish! I actually love running without a goal in mind because I don’t like feeling like I HAVE to run a certain distance or at a certain pace.

  8. kari @ running ricig

    I literally never have a goal time for races, probably because I’m listless and don’t have a goals in life either ;). I usually just want to not walk and feel good about my run at the end.

    I run six days a week. Sometimes I have weeks where I’m burnt out so I’ll take extra days off or just run less, but I’m a giant grump if I don’t do something most days.


    I am running my second half this year too on Oct 2 the Smutty Nose Half Marathon at Hampton beach. Last year I did the baystate which is literally down the street from my house in 2:06:36. My goal is to get under 2 this year and I think I have a decent shot as I just finished a 10 miler a couple weeks ago in 1:34.
    I look forward to reading more of your blog good luck with the training

  10. Fit Chick Britt

    I like Hal Higdons plans as well, but I always tweak them a little bit. I feel best running 4-5 days a week and I like to loosely follow a training plan. I’ll usually do all the long runs on Sunday but switch around the days of the shorter ones during the week depending on what’s convenient that week.

  11. Karla

    I am too training for a half and I am running 3 days a week with spinning class, elliptical, weight lifting, kick boxing all mixed in there so I don’t get burnt out. Do you find it hard to find somewhere to run when you have to do the over 5 mile runs? I know I can’t do more then 5 miles on the treadmill and when I have to do a loop twice I often don’t.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I’m lucky enough to live 2 miles from a great bike/running path that is over 6 miles long one way so I take advantage of that A LOT! When that gets boring, I’ll map out a run on roads (trying to stay on lighter traffic ones) to keep it fresh and get some hills in there. The bike path is almost completely flat which is nice of course, but not great in preparing for the race! I can’t do runs over 5 miles on a treadmill either. It’s like a slow torturous death!

  12. Pingback: Pumpkin Brownies

  13. Pingback: Wedding at Lauxmont Farms in York, PA

  14. Pingback: Philadelphia half marathon training

  15. Pingback: Broccoli pasta casserole

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *