Half Marathon - 12 week Training Plan by Eric Orton

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:08
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:08
Training Load By Week

This 12-week Half Marathon training plan requires the use of a heart rate monitor. It was designed by Eric Orton using his proven training principles developed from 11 years of coaching experience and detailed in the book Born To Run. The 12 week plan works well for runners who have be running consistently for the last 4-6 weeks or more. Following this plan will prepare you for your Trail Half Marathon by including all of the elements used by Eric in coaching his trail runners. The workouts included in most weeks allow you to customize the plan to your capacity for weekly volume. Workout descriptions are very specific, with a focus on "quality" runs. R&R weeks every fourth week when training is greatly reduced for 4-5 days. These R&R weeks will allow for adaptation and improved performance.

Sample Day 1
0:45:00
Program Start-up vVO2 Test - 1 mile.

BT: WU: 20 min. at an easy to moderate effort + 5 X 30 sec. building speed. TEST: The test is best done on flat terrain or track. TEST - After your WU, run ONE mile as fast as you can. Focus on being steady and not going out too hard. CD: 5-10 minutes nice and easy.
Data RECORD: Capture your average heart rate for the one mile test and follow the directions below to create your HR training zones.

Sample Day 2
0:45:00
Strength - 30 sec. hill repeats.

WU: 20 min. in zone 1-3 + 5 X 30 sec. building speed. MS: 6 X 30 sec. hill repeats with 90 sec. RI. These should be done at a hard, BUT steady effort. Go by what feels hard for you. These should not be a max effort. Train, don''t strain. This means that the focus should be on consistency. Have a goal to reach the same distance for each repeat. CD: Zone 1-2.

Sample Day 3
0:40:12
Easy Endurance Zone 2 with cadence work

WU: 5-10 min. in zone 1 working on good mid foot strike and quick turnover. MS: Steady in zone 2 with a focus on cadence. Count how many times your right foot hits the ground in 15 second. Look to hit 93 per 15 seconds. CD: Zone 1.

Sample Day 3
0:10:12
Foot Strength - Barefoot or Nike Free

Today work on building your foot strength. Foot strength is vital for injury prevention and your run strength. Run EASY barefoot on an all-weather field or manicured grass turf. If this is not possible, I recommend using Nike Free shoes or Vibram FiveFingers for this run, preferably on soft terrain/trail. After the run, stretch your calves.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Aerobic Tempo Threshold - Steady in low Zone 4.

WU: 25 min. in zone 1-3. MS: 15-20 min. in zone 3 - low zone 4. CD: Zone 1.

Sample Day 6
1:30:00
Aerobic Interval Threshold - 8 min intervals in high Zone 4.

WU: 20 min. in zone 1-3 + 5 X 30 sec. building speed. MS1: 3 X 6 min. hill repeats in high zone 4 with 2-3 min. RI. Allow HR to build during the first few min. MS2: Finish run in zone 2-3. CD: Zone 1.

Sample Day 7
0:45:00
Strength - 15 sec. steep hill repeats.

WU: 20 min. in zone 1-3 + 5 X 30 sec. building speed. MS: 6 X 15 sec. steep hill repeats with 2-3 min. RI. These should be done at a strong, progressive effort. Focus on starting out fairly easy and ending hard. Go by what feels hard for you. These should not be a max effort. Train, don''t strain. This means that the focus should be on consistency. Have a goal to be consistent with all of these at the same quality. CD: Zone 1-2.