ZOOMA 12-Week HALF-MARATHON Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 00:02
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 00:02
Training Load By Week

BEST FOR: Runners who have signed up for a ZOOMA half-marathon and have the luxury of time for training: This plan offers you the most comprehensive, well-rounded training plan. If you have three months (or more) before your ZOOMA race, we encourage you to opt for this 12-week plan. It's a slightly modified version of our highly success Half-Marathon Finish It plan from our second book, Train Like a Mother, and we know countless mother runners who have enjoyed great race-day success following that plan!

PHYSICAL PRE-REQS: The ability to comfortably finish a 6-mile run is preferred, as this plan has you taking on that distance the first weekend on the plan. By Week 5, you'll have built up to double digits with a 10-mile run. Then the plan has you running 10 miles or more five times total, including one 11-13 miler two weeks pre-ZOOMA.

PLAN OVERVIEW: This 12-week plan sets you up to run strongly and confidently on ZOOMA race day. If speedwork is new to you, chances are good this plan will propel you to a personal record ("PR"), too! The comprehensive plan has ZOOM'ers running 3 or 4 days per week, cross-training 1 or 2 days, and resting (phew!) once or twice during a seven-day span. Most weekday runs are 3 or 4 miles long, with some of them getting up to 5 or 6 miles in the second half of the plan. Many of the runs are at an easy pace, making it perfect for a pair or group of women to take it on together: lots and lots of time to talk. Most weeks, there is a workout populated by hills or intervals to make your legs and/or lungs stronger.

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 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 your ZOOMA starting line raring to go. There are also three "Fun Workouts" sprinkled into the mix to prevent burnout.

Sample Day 1
3mi
Easy 3 miles + 4 strides; or XT

Pick your poison: 3-mile easy run, followed by 4 strides (short, steady pick-ups of pace); or a 30-60 minute cross training session. Whichever option you choose, keep it light to moderate in effort.

Sample Day 2
4.5mi
Easy 4-5 miles

Knock off 4 to 5 miles, preferably with a friend so you can catch up. Run at a conversational pace--even if you're running solo.

Sample Day 4
3.5mi
3-4 miles as 10 min. WU; I: 6 x 30 sec in Z4-5 x/1 min. recovery; 10 min. CD

Wake up your engine and legs for 10 minutes, then gun it for 30 seconds. Slow down significantly or walk for a minute; do 6 total of those suckers. Cool down your engine for 10 minutes. Expect to cover between 3 and 4 miles.

Sample Day 5
3mi
Easy 3 miles: or XT

A three-mile easy run; or a 30-60 minute cross training session.

Sample Day 6
6mi
Long run: 6 miles

Run 6 miles at a cool, calm collected pace. At the end, you should feel like you could run further but, for today, you won't!

Sample Day 9
4.5mi
Easy 4-5 miles

Knock off 4 to 5 miles, preferably with a friend so you can catch up. Run at a conversational pace--even if you're running solo.

Sample Day 11
4mi
Easy 4 miles

Knock off 4 miles, preferably with a friend so you can catch up. Run at a conversational pace--even if you're running solo.