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Six Weeks to a Half Marathon

by Meghann on May 13, 2014

After back-to-back-to-back half marathons earlier this year (Best Damn Race Safety Harbor, Gasparilla, Best Damn Race Orlando), I took an unexpected break from training. My original goal was to kick it in high gear and knock out a PR at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle full marathon this June, but life got in the way. Work got crazy, house hunting became a new priority, and I became the girl who was full of excuses when it came to getting runs in. Running should be fun – and when it stops being fun and starts feeling like a chore – it’s time to make a change.

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So I took a couple of weeks off to just mellow for a bit. I still enjoyed my daily runs (4 miles, 4 days a week), but I also jumped back into CrossFit. It was a nice balance to have both CrossFit and running back in my life.

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If you ever feel overburdened by running, I highly suggest going back to your roots. Ditch the Garmin, stop obsessing over pace/distance/etc. and just run. Trust me, you will feel so much better. Running became my escape again. It was what I did to relax, not to stress more. It was freeing and it was just what I needed.

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When I registered for the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon last month, I decided to take the more relaxed approach with training. I was sent Nick Symmond’s 6 Week Training Plan through my partnership with Suja and was really impressed with the simplistic approach of the 6 week plan. It’s a moderate plan that will easily get a casual runner to the finish line. It focuses on time spent running, instead of distance, and takes you from a long run of 5 miles to 13.1 in 6 short weeks.

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I’ve been following the plan since April 21st and so far I’m happy with it. It’s simple to follow and is just enough motivation to get my butt out the door and out for runs.

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However, I need to start getting my butt out the door a little sooner. My 8 miler on Saturday was brutal thanks to a casual late start. The heat and humidity have returned and getting out the door at 7:30 might mean more sleep, but it also means more sun. Boo.

So now the countdown to race day is on. I’m a little more than halfway there. Game on!

What’s your favorite half marathon training plan?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jojo @ RunFastEatLots May 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm

My fave plan is… No plan. I’ve never really followed a plan for training
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2 Runner Girl Eats May 14, 2014 at 6:13 am

I followed a 10 week training plan for my first half marathon and really liked the gradual progression of long runs. I will probably follow something similar for my next race but incorporate more speed work during the week to shave some minutes off my time.
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3 Dori May 14, 2014 at 8:04 am

I was wondering about Seattle! Well, if you decide you do want to run a gorgeous marathon out there you should join me at Bellingham Bay Marathon in September! I feel like a lot of people push themselves far past the point something stops being fun, so it’s really great that you can recognize and make decisions based on whether you’re enjoying your workouts.
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4 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} May 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

I don’t really follow a plan just go with how I am feeling that day. I do run 4 days a week but when I feel like running those 4 days! 🙂
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5 Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) May 14, 2014 at 10:49 am

good for you for taking that much needed break from the stressors of running. i definitely understand what you are saying… i was feeling that way this fall…i didn twant to run but i forced it. i had already signed up for the baltimore marathon and ran it anyway. and did awful…almost an hour off my pr lol. i took some time off and then ran the nyc half this march and did great and got my love back 🙂

i love hal higdon plans…he is a god.
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6 Dayle May 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Hi there…my first time commenting but I’ve been following your blog for awhile 🙂

I’m a casual runner, I’ve done several 10Ks and can run 60 mins steady, but other than that haven’t done anything fancy.

I’m signed up to run my first half on Oct 19 and starting to think about what kind of training plan I need… would you suggest this one for someone doing their first half, or should I start “officially” training more than 6 weeks out?

I already work out 6 days a week, alternating strength training, intense cardio classs, yoga, and running. I figured I’d just need to add one long run per week and maybe not even follow a plan…

Cheers!
Dayle

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7 Meghann May 15, 2014 at 9:28 pm

This plan is for the casual runner, so someone who already runs 10-15 miles a week with a long run of 4 miles during the week. I would say build your base up to that point, then start the 6 week plan.

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8 Hillary @ GRAS Pizza May 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Thank you for posting this!!! I AM there right now. I want running to stay fun. I recently did a METRIC half marathon that was amazing. 8ish miles at a 8:40 pace. Now THAT is fun!

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9 Ashley May 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I have never really followed a true plan, I should probably try that…
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10 Carmen May 14, 2014 at 9:47 pm

I’m trying this plan!

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11 Carmen May 14, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Do you go running alone in the morning when it’s still dark? I’m so scared to…what are you thoughts…

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12 Courtney May 15, 2014 at 10:23 am

I like that plan, but the word “jog” just irks me like “moist” does to a lot of people. Blech.

My go-to for all distances in running is always Hal Higdon. So simple.
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13 [email protected] May 15, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Good luck!!!
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14 Sandy May 21, 2014 at 10:53 am

This plan looks like something I could actually do! I am going to give it a shot. I typically don’t follow any plan, and just adapt to how my body is feeling. I think following a plan will make me push harder though and reach new goals. Thanks!

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