BEST FOR: Intermediate to advanced runners committed to blazing a path to a personal record.
PHYSICAL PRE-REQS: Mother runners looking to test themselves across 13.1 miles should have an established base of consistent running for at least the past six months, and be able to complete an 8-mile long run. It also helps to have been intimate with more demanding workouts, like tempo runs or negative-split runs. Prior race experience is super helpful, as well.
PLAN OVERVIEW: This 13-week plan develops speed as it builds endurance. With its varied workouts, there’s little risk of burnout of either your body or mind. A swift half-marathon calls for a yin-yang of patience and aggression, both of which you’ll hone over the next 3+ months.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Recognizing that women, especially mother runners, have extra-full lives, we built a "bail if needed" day into each week. In an ideal world, you'll be so stoked from seeing your near-daily improvement that you won't miss many workouts, but in the real world, we know sometimes something has to give. The "bail" day is the workout you should nix if you need to. Conversely, each week there's a "Gotta get it done" workout: This is the workout that's most vital to getting you to race day raring to go.
Run 3 miles at a smile-on-your-face pace.
Run 1 mile at an easy pace, then run tempo pace for 1 mile. Regain your breath for a quarter-mile, and do it again, then comfortably run home. Or to the end of your treadmill workout.
Run roughly 5 miles total. Start out at an easy pace for 10 minutes. Then run 1 minute in Zone 4-5. Slow down for 2 minutes to recover, then hit Zone 4-5 for 2 minutes. Recover again for 2 minutes, then speed up for 3 minutes. Recover for 2 minutes, then zoom for 2 minutes. Recover for 2 minutes, then hit Zone 4-5 for 1 minute. (Phew!) Wrap up your workout with 10 easy minutes of running after the final 1-minute interval.
Cruise for 3 miles, or opt to crosstrain.
Cover 8 miles at a comfortable pace. Daydreaming about race day is optional.
Run 1 mile at an easy pace, then run tempo pace for 2 miles. Then comfortably run home. Or to the end of your treadmill workout.
Run for a total of 5 miles with each of the last 2 miles averaging a faster pace than each of the first 3 miles.