12-Week Half Marathon Training Plan

Since March of 2015, I have run 1 full marathon and run 4 half marathons. Currently, I am training for 2 October 2017 half marathons. One is the Corning Wineglass Half in Corning, NY and the other is the Urban Bourbon Half in Louisville, KY. I am looking forward to both for different reasons and wanted to share my 12-week half marathon training plan that I have developed for myself.

Corning Wine Glass Half Marathon

This will be the first of the two races. This is a beautiful course that I have run the previous 2 years. I have my current half marathon PR on this course at about 2:10. I have every intention of breaking that with the half marathon training plan I have developed. This is also a race I will be running with my sister. I am really looking forward to it because it is her first half ever. So we get to share that experience together with the end goal of crossing the finish line, hand-in-hand.

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

This race will be a real test of my fitness since I will be running it alone (well Brian is technically running it to; however, he is SUPER speedy). Plus, it is pretty hilly. If for whatever reason I don’t go sub-2 at Corning, I WILL BE GOING SUB-2 in Louisville. And if I do go sub-2 at Corning, I will push to break that new PR. The training in between the two races will be designed to recover, maintain and prepare. Nothing too crazy or strenuous.

Now, let me be clear, I do not train with a coach, but I do want to share with you, my half marathon training plan that I am following throughout this journey and how I will be incorporating key cross-training elements and stretching to ensure I have a safe training cycle.

Cross Training

For my cross-training, I use a number of different techniques to ensure my muscles stay loose and strong. One of the programs I use is Beachbody On Demand. I love following these programs throughout a training cycle because they force me to stretch, they keep me strong in all of my key muscle groups including my core, and they are quick and easy to do at home. All I need is 30 minutes a day and I usually do them right after my runs.

Not only do I like Beachbody On Demand but I also love Shakeology because of the way it makes me feel post-workout. I feel stronger, healthier, and fitter because it gives me all the key nutrients that I need including over 70 SuperFoods!

If you are considering signing up for either of these, I highly recommend signing up for a Challenge Pack because it will give you such a great introduction into the products but also set you on the path to reaching your goals and seeing that PR on race day!

I am running some of my fastest times right now because of these programs and products. If you are interested, let’s talk because I want to make sure you are selecting the right challenge pack for you and your needs!

My 12 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

Disclaimer: I designed this program based on a few training programs that I have tried in the past and have built it to work for me and my needs. I have also incorporated the Beachbody workouts that I wanted to and felt would work best for me at each point in training.

The following is a breakdown of my goal times for each of the different workout methods based on a projected finish time of just under 2 hours.

Easy Runs (EP): 9:26-10:27
Long Run (LR): 9:29-10:50
Tempo* (T): 8:31-8:50
Race Pace (RP): 9:05-9:10

The Plan

Week # Beachbody Program Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 21 Day Fix 3-5 miles EP; Total Body Cardio Fix Elliptical 3 miles; Upper Fix 1-2 miles tempo; Lower Fix 3-5 miles EP; Pilates Fix Cardio Fix 5 – 8 miles LR; Dirty 30 Yoga – Fix
Week 2 21 Day Fix 1-3 miles RP; Total Body Cardio Fix Elliptical 3 miles; Upper Fix 3-5 miles Fartlek, 6-8 x 30sec, 1-2 min recovery; Barre Legs 3-5 miles EP; Flat Abs Fix Cardio Fix 7-10 miles LR; Dirty 30 Yoga – Fix
Week 3 21 Day Fix 4-6 miles Fartlek (4-6 x 1min + 2min recovery); Total Body Cardio Fix & Pilates Fix Elliptical 4 miles; Upper Fix & Cardio Fix 2-3 miles RP; Lower Fix & 10-Minute Fix for Abs Rest or up to 5 miles EP: Total Body Cardio Fix & Pilates Fix Cardio Fix & Upper Fix 8-11 miles LR with 5 min SF; Dirty 30 & Pilates Fix Yoga – Fix
Week 4 Shift Shop 3-5 miles EP


Elliptical 3 miles


1-3 miles T


Rest or up to 5 miles EP

Strength: 25




5 – 8 miles LR

Strength: 25


SHIFT: Mobility
Week 5 Shift Shop 2-4 miles RP


Elliptical 4 miles


3-5 miles Fartlek, 6-7 x 1min 1-2 min recovery


Rest or up to 6 miles EP

Strength: 35


Rest/XT or 3-4 miles EP


10-12 miles LR, with 5-8min SF

Strength: 35


SHIFT: Mobility
Week 6 Shift Shop 3-5 miles EP


Elliptical 4 miles


3-4 miles RP


3-5 miles EP

Strength: 45


 Speed:45 6 – 8 miles LR

Strength: 45


SHIFT: Mobility
Week 7 21 Day Fix Extreme 4-5 miles Fartlek (8-10 x 30 sec., 1 min recovery); Plyo Fix Extreme Elliptical 4 miles; Upper Fix Extreme 2-4 miles T; Pilates Fix Extreme 3-6 miles EP; Lower Fix Extreme Cardio Fix Extreme 12-14mile LR, with last 1-3 miles RP; Dirty 30 Extreme Yoga – Fix Extreme
Week 8 21 Day Fix Extreme 3-5 miles RP; Plyo Fix Extreme Elliptical 5 miles; Upper Fix Extreme 4-6 miles Fartlek, 8-10 x 1min, 1-2 min recovery; Pilates Fix Extreme Rest or up to 5 miles EP; Lower Fix Extreme Cardio Fix Extreme 6-8 miles; Dirty 30 Extreme Yoga – Fix Extreme
Week 9 21 Day Fix Extreme 3-5 miles EP; Power Strength Extreme Elliptical 5 miles; 10 Min Hardcore 2-4 miles RP; Pilates Fix Extreme 3-5 miles EP; 10 Min Hardcore Cardio Fix Extreme 13-15 mile LR; ABC Extreme Yoga – Fix Extreme
Week 10 21 Day Fix 4-6 miles EP; Total Body Cardio Fix Elliptical 4 miles; Upper Fix 3-5 miles T; Lower Fix 3-5 miles EP; Pilates Fix Cardio Fix 10-12 miles LR, with last 2-4 miles RP; Dirty 30 Yoga – Fix
Week 11 21 Day Fix 3-5 miles EP; Total Body Cardio Fix Elliptical 4 miles; Upper Fix 4-5 miles Fartlek, 6-8 x 1min, 1-2 min recovery; Barre Legs Rest or up to 3 miles EP; Flat Abs Fix Cardio Fix 5 – 8 miles LR; Dirty 30 Yoga – Fix
Week 12 21 Day Fix 1-2 miles EP; Pilates Fix Elliptical 3 miles; Upper Fix 3-5 miles Fartlek, 3-5 x 1min, 2 min recovery; 10-Minute Fix for Abs Rest or up to 4 miles; Pilates Fix 20 minutes Slow; Upper Fix Shakeout; Pilates Fix CWG
Week 13 Yoga Retreat 1-3 miles EP; Core Elliptical 3 miles; Stretch 5 miles; Balance 3-5 miles EP; Flow Flow on the Go 7-10 miles LR; relax XT: Take 10: Am, PM, Abs
Week 14 Yoga Retreat 3-5 miles EP; Core Elliptical 4 miles; Stretch 4-5 miles Fartlek, 6-8 x 1min, 1-2 min recovery; Balance Rest or up to 3 miles EP; Flow Flow on the Go 5 – 8 miles LR; relax XT: Take 10: Am, PM, Abs
Week 15 Yoga Retreat 1-2 miles EP; Core Elliptical 3 miles; Stretch 3-5 miles Fartlek, 3-5 x 1min, 2 min recovery; Balance Rest or up to 4 miles; Flow 20 minutes Slow!; Flow on the Go UBHM XT: Take 10: Am, PM, Abs

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! I would love to be able to help you hit that dream PR. If you are interested in joining my team and getting 1:1 coaching from me throughout your half marathon journey or just your overall health and fitness journey we need to connect!

Find Something You are Passionate About and Run Away With It

Find Something You are Passionate About and Run Away With It

It is funny how life works. One minute you can be doing one thing and the next you are working on something completely different. It is amazing how working on something you are not passionate about can affect the rest of your life.

I had a conversation the other day with a potential client. She shared with me that her health had been completed effected by working in an environment that did not allow her to be creative. Lately, I have been feeling similarly. Now please do not misconstrue my words as a lack of love for my organization because it is actually quite the opposite. If I didn’t love the place I work for then I would be gone. I would easily be the stereotypical millennial if you want to call me that.

But at the end of the day, there is only so long one can work on something without passion. At least for this girl. Everything in my life has always been tied to my happiness quality. When I am not happy, I am less likely to workout, go out, and appreciate the little things. My half marathon training and my blog are the biggest victims to my unhappiness.

Half Marathon Training

Now, I have been running but nowhere near where I should achieve my goals. My goal for the Corning Wineglass Half this weekend was to run under a 2 hour. Unfortunately, I have some serious doubts. I was able to do an 8-mile run (my longest of the training cycle) at a 9:22 pace with negative splits. Basically, I paced myself to finish it – not for a certain time. Unfortunately for me, this run was on the treadmill. Now I do know that if I was able to run under nine-minute miles for the remaining 5.1 I would be right around a 2 hour. But it is always those back miles that are mentally the toughest.

I will be happy if I can break my time from last year and my half marathon best of 2 hours and 10 minutes. Therefore the following are my goals:

  • A: Sub-2 hours
  • B: Course PR, Sub-2:10
  • C: Have fun and finish. The weather right now is calling for rain and a high of 70. Thankfully, unlike the Buffalo Half, that was sunny and 80s by 7 am – this is fall!

I love the half marathon distance because it is a challenge but do-able with limited training. Someday, I will dedicate as much time to my half marathon training as I did the first half of my marathon training a year and a half ago. When I get back to that running shape, a sub-2 hour will be easily within reach.

Blog Suffering

The other piece of my life that has been affected in the last few months has been my blogging and I have been neglecting it because of a few reasons:

  1. The with struggling with passion
  2. Focused on working on my client’s blogs
  3. I think I feel that I have less to contribute to my personal blog when I am less excited about what I am working on. Does this make sense to anyone?

My vow to myself today is this: Find something I am passionate about and run with it. The seasons are changing and so must I. If you want something bad enough and put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. There is no reason to work a job you are not passionate about in this world. There may be times you don’t like your career; however, it should not be your whole career. This world has too many options.

So, my question to anyone reading this is – have you ever experienced something like this and if so how did you get out of it?

Crossing that Line at the Corning WineGlass

Yesterday, I ran my first half marathon in Corning, NY at the WineGlass….I know you are probably thinking, didn’t you run a marathon, wouldn’t that have been your first? Yes, I guess that would be my first true race but that training cycle was rough and I ran hurt this was my first 13.1 and healthy distance race.

My first marathon, the weather was terrible it rained and was freezing the entire time.  I had hurt my IT Band during training (probably due to my terrible habit of not stretching enough, doing minimal strength training during the training period, and not being a runner for very long).  Before that training period the most running I had ever done was maybe 5 miles at the most and those were few and far between.  I was a basketball player, we don’t do distance we do sprints.

But this training cycle was completely different. I have been healthy the entire time.  It was warm out and I was able to do most of the training outside (another aspect that was different than marathon training last winter).  I also added a lot of additional strength training back into my program.  To top it all off, I wasn’t overworked with basketball and full-time career so I was able to focus on my life and have more of a balance in it.

The Corning WineGlass is a gorgeous course, and I couldn’t have asked for better weather.  Unlike DC where it was gorgeous both days around the marathon but pouring the day of, it poured on Saturday (for the Corelle 5k) and then it was sunny and 50s for the race on Sunday.  The course runs along a scenic route throughout neighborhoods and during the perfect time of year when the leaves are just starting to fall and are all different colors.  It is ranked as one of the top half-marathons to run.

wineglass expoMy mom and I got to go to the expo together to pick up Maya and Kaylee (my two friends from high school who were running the full) and my race information. It was much smaller than the expo in DC but then again the race was much smaller with about 6,000 runners.  The expo was held at the Corning Glass Museum which I highly encourage anyone to venture to if you are in the area.  Runners were given a long-sleeve running shirt (I had to exchange mine after the race because the medium was so short on my torso – the large is perfect)!  Runners over the age of 21 were also given a bottle of champagne and a wineglass. There was limited other free things from the vendors; however, there was an offering of free pre-and-post race massages (the line was to long for my taste – but hey its free).

When Maya and Kaylee arrived my mom and Tim had made chili and lasagna for our race prep meal.  It was delicious and protein packed. After we were all stuffed and getting excited/nervous for the race the next morning.  It was going to be Kaylee’s first full and Maya had done the DC marathon with me.  It would have been nice to run with them but I don’t think I will be doing another full for a long time, if ever! The training just consumes your life, what is nice about a half is that you can do all the training during the work week.

pre-raceRace morning, I woke up at 5am – had my cup of coffee, a pumpkin pie Oikos Greek yogurt (tis the season), and 2 packets of Steel Cut Oats – Raspberry and Blueberry.  It was the perfect amount to leave me full throughout the race but not too full.  I also drank more water.  I had really hydrated the day before so I was feeling good.

The way the race works you have to get on a bus that takes you to the start line, for the half the buses ran until 6:30 with the start time for the race at 7:45.  So my two friends (who were running the full) and I headed to the start (thanks Mom for driving) at 5:55 to make sure we had plenty of time.  The start of the race had a lot of bathrooms and also had the school open to stay warm (though no one listened to the instructions to go all the way down the hall so I didn’t bother). As I was waiting around, I ate my banana I brought with me (unlike DC where they were giving out water and fruit, there was nothing at this start).  The biggest problem with the race morning is that it is so early; however, we had heard last year the race started 45 minutes late and a lot of people were mad, I know I would have been.Finishing
What was really nice after all that waiting around was that the race started right on time – myself and 3,500 other half marathoners headed out only the course for our journey to the finish.  I ran the first mile and a half with the 2:10 pacer and couldn’t resit the itch to get going a little faster like I had in my training runs (probably a mistake but you live and learn).  By mile 7 I was at 1:04 (right where I needed to be for a sub-2 hour).  But it wasn’t to much longer after that when I got a side-stitch and at that point it was so painful I needed to walk.  I was able to keep a 10:30 pace the rest of the way which lead to my chip time of 2:10:18 – my B goal.  According to my tracker I actually ran 13.31 miles in 2:10:52 (I forgot to stop my nike app for nearly a minute after the race) so really it would be 13.31 miles in 2:10:18.  My official half marathon time on my GPS was a personal best of 2:07:57.  I also ran my fastest 10k to date in 56:34.

race finish

Crossing that line felt amazing.  It was the first race that I had run alone and unlike the marathon I was smiling as I crossed the line. I was also able to maintain under a 10min/mile pace.  It was also great to see my mom, Tim, Devon, Sam, and Ben at the finish.  Dev, Sam, and Ben ran down the side walk of market street (the final shoot for the race) so they could alert my mom I was coming. So they like to say they finished with me.

post-race relaxing

I have a swimsuit on, I swear!

Post race they had a lot of food for the runner with water, chocolate milk, bagels, fruit, cookies, fresh hot pizza, and fresh chicken noodle soup!  It was a nice assortment of things though I wasn’t that hungry yet.  However, that chicken soup hit the spot.  The volunteers for the race were amazing.  The water stations were all adequately stocked.  I am not sure how I missed the GU Gel station but unfortunately I did, thankfully I had one stored in my back pocket which I took around mile nine.  From beginning at the expo to end at the finish, the volunteers made the race what it was – I am so glad and thankful for all of them!

The best part of doing a race in a town where your family lives is being able to go home and shower and change into clean clothes without having to drive far.  My mom lives about 5-10minutes from the finish so it was really nice to just hop in the car and drive home.  Post shower, another bonus was my mom’s new hot tub which definitely helped to ease my muscles.  After a nice long soak I quickly changed and headed back down the hill to be able to see Maya and Kaylee finish! They killed it with a time of 4:15:08.

Over this winter, I plan on adding some yoga into my workouts to force me to stretch more.  I am also thinking about taking spin and strength classes to throw a change-up into my routine for my body.  All while running 3-4 miles a couple of times of week with a longer run around 6-7 miles a few times throughout the winter.  As the days get shorter and the nights get longer I plan to do most of my workouts inside and yes that means more miles on the mill – but no extreme distances and more focused on increasing my speed which I think will help prevent some of the injuries I suffered during marathon training.Swag

I am very excited about the next race I have signed up for which right now is the Buffalo Half Marathon over Memorial Day weekend.  I have made it a goal of mine to run a half in every city I live in, so this is my first checkmark!  I plan to run the Corning 8k the weekend before during GlassFest.  I know the Corning WineGlass Half Marathon is one I plan to run on an annual basis and come January, I will be signing up again for 2016.

Looks like I found my new expensive hobby though I don’t know if I would say I have caught the running bug quite yet as I still don’t enjoy running, I definitely have never lost the training bug – looks like NARP status is not for me.

A Race in Every City I Live

Run SmartAwhile back I mentioned I had started training for my 1st half marathon and really my 2nd race in my life. This time I am running the Corning Wine Glass Half marathon and it is coming up fast over the first weekend in October. I have been in training mode for approximately a month since returning from vacation., ideally I would have been doing the full 12 week program but vacation threw me for a loop.

This training cycle is completely different from the marathon training cycle. I am determined to complete this training cycle healthy and happy. Marathon training really took the life out of me.   I felt at the end of the day it had taken my whole winter from me, took my weekends, and I really wasn’t able do anything aside work, train, and coach. It left me really unmotivated and really not wanting to run again.

But then I knew I did want to run again, running does give me a sense of accomplishment, it allows me to clear my mind and de-stress. I feel so much better going to work after a run, I feel better about the decisions I make when I can honestly say I have a clear mind.

As I prep for this half, I love the fact that I can do all my runs during the week. I am running 3 times a week. Four to five miles on Mondays and Wednesdays for speed and then a Friday long run paced out. Then on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday strength training, elliptical and bikes. Sunday is spent relaxing with no particular workout in mind, I feel it is so important to rest during training and that is where I focus my Sundays, rest.

During my marathon training I really slacked on my strength training and in the end it really effected my body and I ran the full marathon hurt. Getting hurt during training can be the biggest disappointment but what I have learned is that listening to your body is the most important piece of advise I can give to any new or used to running.

Training should never be easy, you should always be willing to push yourself but it shouldn’t be miserable either. I am focused on training smart and being happy and enjoying the ride rather than just doing it.

Clearly, I am enjoying the ride because Brian and I just signed up for the Buffalo Half Marathon over Memorial Day week in 2016. I have made it my goal now to run a half or full (probably half) in every city I live in. Who knows, maybe I will cross Rochester ,a former city, off the list as well someday.