Competitor.com Break-2:15 Half Marathon Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 00:53
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 00:53
Training Load By Week

The 12-week Sub 2:15 half marathon plan is designed for the beginner runner looking to take their half marathon training to the next level after finishing their first.

You should be comfortable running 20-25 miles per week with at least a 7 mile long run. Your previous personal best should be at least better than one of the following:

5k – 30:00
10K – 1:03:00
HM – 2:20
Marathon – 4:50

The goal of this half marathon plan is to increase your weekly mileage to 30 miles per week and is a blend of stamina and speed endurance (the ability to hold a fast pace for a long time) workouts, which are critical to running your fastest half marathon.

The first 6 weeks of the program are designed to increase your general level of running fitness to its highest level by working on every energy system – threshold, speed and aerobic endurance.

In the final 6 weeks we introduce the half marathon specific workouts and quality long runs. The half marathon specific workouts will reach a peak of 6 miles at half marathon pace. In addition, we mix in hard, quality long runs so you can teach your body how to run fast late in the race when you’re tired.

To watch the training videos and read the supplementary articles, click the link icon in the upper right corner of the day's workout.

This plan was written by coach Jeff Gaudette.

Sample Day 1
3mi
Easy run

3 miles easy (11:25 to 12:10 minutes per mile)

Start to get your legs by jogging easy for two miles. Concentrate on staying comfortable during this run, even if that means running outside of the recommended pace range. Tell your friends, family and/or coworkers about your goal to break 2:15 in a half marathon. Committing to a goal is something to be proud of and talking about it helps many athletes stay dedicated and feel accountable to themselves.

The First 10 Steps to Becoming a Runner
http://running.competitor.com/2013/06/news/the-first-ten-steps-to-becoming-a-runner_75431

Sample Day 2
5.5mi
Fartlek

1 mile warm up, 5 x 800 meters at 9:40 to 9:30 pace w/3 min standing or jogging rest, 1 mile cool
down

If you're looking for some guidance, use the paces shown above. Otherwise, feel free to make it up as you go during this run. Fartleks are free-form, run the speed that feels right to you.

Exclusive training video: What is a Fartlek?
Password: competitor
https://vimeo.com/100070612

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Off or cross training

Off or optional cross training (30 mins easy)

Experiment with a few different types of aerobic cross training--cycling, swimming, group workouts--and do the ones you enjoy.

5 Reasons Why Every Runner Should Cross-Train http://running.competitor.com/2014/04/training/the-case-for-cross-training_7917

Sample Day 4
3mi
Easy run plus strides

3 miles easy (11:25 to 12:10 pace) w/4 x 20 sec strides strides

Strides are short accelerations from a stand-still up to a fast pace. They help refine your technique and improve efficiency at every speed. Take as much standing rest as you need between strides. Top out at a fast but comfortable speed--strides are not sprints. These will appear repeatedly through your training plan. This pace may feel fast today, but a combination of long, fast and frequent runs will help you adapt to the pace. It will get easier!

Exclusive training video: Recovery run
Password: competitor
https://vimeo.com/100347044

Sample Day 5
0:30:00
Off or cross training

Off or optional cross training (30 mins easy)

Cross training, which includes swimming, strength training, cycling, rowing, elliptical, stairmaster, hiking or another activity.

Recipe: Healthy Quinoa Fruit Salad Dessert
http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2013/11/nutrition/recipes/recipe-healthy-quinoa-fruit-salad-dessert_18551

Sample Day 6
3mi
Easy run

3 miles easy (11:25 to 12:10 pace) w/4 x 20 sec strides strides

Stay comfortable during this run, even if that means running outside of the recommended pace range. When running strides, focus on relaxing your shoulders and arms so you build up to a faster speed with a fluid, natural gait.

The 11 Best Protein Sources for Runners
http://running.competitor.com/2014/02/photos/the-11-best-proteins-for-runners_19291

Sample Day 7
7mi
Long run

7 mile long run, all easy pace

Run with friends whenever possible. Company makes every workout more fun and fulfilling, and you might learn something from a veteran runner.

Exclusive training video: Recovery nutrition
Password: competitor
https://vimeo.com/100380809