November 01, 2015

Weeks 1-5 Stridetek Half Marathon Training Plan - Let's Do This!

StrideTek is proud to announce that it will be sponsoring a unique 16-week training plan leading up to a PR (personal record) in the half-marathon! This training plan will debut on Monday, November 2nd, and will be released in three 5-week blocks, plus race week. Best of all, this training plan will bedifferent than you are used to, but it has been very successful in taking distance runners from being merely “finishers” to being much more competitive.Training for Stridetek Half Marathon

Here are 8 things (and a bunch of legalese) you need to know to see if this training plan (or any training plan) is right for you, and what you need to keep in mind:

  1. Assumptions – What does the training plan assume about your current levels of fitness, experience, etc.? Is this a beginner’s plan or a plan to qualify for the Olympics? Make sure to pick a plan that begins where you are and takes you where you want to go. This training plan assumes that you have been running for at least a year, and that you have been running 20 – 30 miles per week, and can currently run for at least 6 miles for a long run. You may have run a half-marathon; however, you have decided you want to run faster.
  1. Duration – How long is this plan and does it line up with your goals? As stated before, this training plan is for 16 weeks, beginning on November 1st. Therefore, this plan culminates in a February 20-21, 2016 half-marathon race. In addition to many smaller, local half-marathons, the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Half Marathon, Divas Half Marathon in Temecula, Disney Princess Half Marathon, Chocolate Lovers Half Marathon, El Paso Half Marathon, and many other bigger races are scheduled for that weekend. You can jump in at any time, but this plan is designed to be sequential and gets progressively harder. 
  1. Goal(s) – To be effective, a training plan has to have quantifiable goals. For this training plan, we are going to be using the times of 1:18:39 (6 minute pace), 1:31:45 (7 minute pace), and 1:44:52 (8 minute pace). Of course, this plan is easily adapted to reach other specific time goals (Cool Running has an excellent Pace Calculator). Workouts based on each of these goals will be included in the training plan. You do need to believe you can achieve your goal and visualize achieving that goal. Writing it out and telling others of your goal is encouraged. 
  1. Training Pace(s) – When using our plan, warm ups, cool downs, and recovery are done at an easy jog with no set pace. Long runs are to be done 2 – 3 minutes per mile slower than goal pace. Goal pace runs are exactly what they say they are; but do run an easy mile warm up first. Intervals or repeats are to be done at 1 minute per mile faster than goal pace. So, if your goal pace is 8:00 per mile (2 minutes per 400 meters), you should do 400m repeats at 7:00 per mile pace (1:45 per 400m) and 200m repeats at 52 seconds. Make sure to aim for doing all of your repeats at the same pace. Don’t run the first one too fast or save everything for the last one. Likewise, try to do your 200m hill repeats at 1 minute per mile faster than goal pace, but walk down the hill for your recover.
  1. Philosophy – While any training plan will probably have a positive outcome if it is systematic and follows scientific concepts, some plans produce better results than others. This plan will be especially effective if you have not done a lot of speed work in your training. First, this plan is based on the concept that you will be “pushing the envelope” a bit to achieve your goal. Next, in order to get faster, you have to run fast. That stands to reason, actually. Finally, you can do more and run faster than you think you can. Don’t be intimidated by the workouts; see them as challenges!
  1. Rules – You have to trust in the plan you are following. Therefore, you need to be willing to follow some underlying rules. In the case of this plan, there are some specific rules that apply. First, a missed workout is a missed workout. Don’t rearrange the order of the workouts. However, if the entire schedule needs to be moved forward or backward to fit your work schedule, that is allowed. Next, no double workouts. This rule goes back to the first rule: a missed workout is a missed workout. Third, follow the time goals, especially when running intervals, aiming for consistency rather than making one interval better than the others. Finally, when in doubt, don’t. In other words, if you are ill or injured (as opposed to just sore), err on the side of caution and take that day off.
  1. The Most Important Things – Anytime you take an unconventional approach, there will be doubters. Still, this training plan is only 16 weeks long, so it is best to give it a chance to work. Also, it is important to remember that you may get slower before you get faster. Increased mileage and fast intervals will cause fatigue; therefore, you should be slower for a time. The most important thing of the important thing is to have fun! And just to show that misery loves company, I will be doing this training plan, as well! I have run just one other half-marathon. That one was about 18 years ago when I was much younger (35 years old) and I managed a 1:43. 
  1. Disclaimers – As with all “advice” there are disclaimers in case you die, lose body parts, or something. Ours is found below the schedule.

So, good luck with the training and good luck to all of us in achieving our goals. Now might be a good time to invest in a new pair of running shoes and/or inserts. You can check out our article on buying running shoes at If the Shoe Fits..., as well as a number of other interesting articles. Feel free to let us know how you did!

Weeks 1-5:

Monday 11/2/15 3 miles easy
Tuesday 11/3/15 1 mile warm up; 4 X 200m with 200 jog recovery; 1 mile cool down
Wednesday 11/4/15 3 miles easy
Thursday 11/5/15 1 mile warm up; 4 X 200m hills with walk back down; 1 mile cool down
Friday 11/6/15 3 miles easy
Saturday 11/7/15 Off
Sunday 11/8/15 6 mile long run
Weekly Total 21
Monday 11/9/15 3 miles easy
Tuesday 11/10/15 1 mile warm up; 6 X 200m with 200 jog recovery; 1 mile cool down
Wednesday 11/11/15 3 miles easy
Thursday 11/12/15 1 mile warm up; 5 X 200m hills with walk back down; 1 mile cool down
Friday 11/13/15 3 miles easy
Saturday 11/14/15 Off
Sunday 11/15/15 6 mile long run
Weekly Total 21.75
Monday 11/16/15 3 miles easy
Tuesday 11/17/15 1 mile warm up; 8 X 200m with 200 jog recovery; 1 mile cool down
Wednesday 11/18/15 3 miles easy
Thursday 11/19/15 1 mile warm up; 6 X 200m hills with walk back down; 1 mile cool down
Friday 11/20/15 3 miles easy
Saturday 11/21/15 Off
Sunday 11/22/15 7 mile long run
Weekly Total 23.75
Monday 11/23/15 3 miles easy
Tuesday 11/24/15 1 mile warm up; 10 X 200m with 200 jog recovery; 1 mile cool down
Wednesday 11/25/15 3 miles easy
Thursday 11/26/15 1 mile warm up; 7 X 200m hills with walk back down; 1 mile cool down
Friday 11/27/15 3 miles easy
Saturday 11/28/15 Off
Sunday 11/29/15 8 mile long run
Weekly Total 25.25
Monday 11/30/15 3 miles easy
Tuesday 12/1/15 1 mile warm up; 12 X 200m with 200 jog recovery; 1 mile cool down
Wednesday 12/2/15 3 miles easy
Thursday 12/3/15 1 mile warm up; 8 X 200m hills with walk back down; 1 mile cool down
Friday 12/4/15 3 miles easy
Saturday 12/5/15 Off
Sunday 12/6/15 6 mile long run
Weekly Total 24

Be sure to check out Stridetek orthotic insoles and sandals to keep you in proper biomechanics throughout your training.  Click here to buy now!


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