Goal of the Day: ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’

If you’re training for a specific fitness challenge, planning your training is imperative. Work out how many weeks you have until the deadline, what is realistic to achieve, and break it down week by week.

Here is the rough guideline of my half marathon training plan. I’ve read many different plans and I’ve sort of simplified it and combined them to suit me, and it worked for me last year. I say rough guideline, because this will be the template of my training over the next 3 months, but as the weeks go by, I may tweak it as necessary. Don’t panic if you don’t do your programmes word-for-word (most of us aren’t professional athletes!), but use it to structure your training and aim to hit the main targets by the deadline dates.

The Basic Principles of the Half Marathon Programme:

  • 4 run sessions per week
  • This is broken down into:
    • 1 x interval/Fartlek session per week
    • 2 x medium pace, medium distance runs per week
    • 1 x long run on the weekend

I have 13-14 weeks until my half marathon (the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October), and I can reach my target within 12 weeks, so the extra 1 or 2 weeks allows for life really (holiday, sickness, work etc).

Weekly Long Run Targets:
W1 – 7/7.5km
W2 – 9km
W3 – 11km
W4 – 13km
W5 – 13km
W6 – 15km
W7 – 15km
W8 – 17km
W9 – 17km
W10 – 19km
W11 – 10km
W12 – Race

Week 1 Example:
Day 1 – 5km run (medium pace)
Day 2 – Interval training or Fartlek session (30-45mins)
Day 3 – 5km run (medium pace)
Day 4 – 7.5km run (long run)