Winter 2011 Half Marathon Training Plan

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on January 16, 2011

Umm…Is it summer yet…?


Beautiful as it is to look at, the cold weather, snow, and lack of sunlight started to take a toll on my workout motivation this Winter.

By mid-January, the holiday fun is over and the long winter looms like the holiday credit card bill that you know is going to arrive any day now. I drool over travel websites and Eric and I start wondering if we are too young to become Snow Birds for 6 months of the year.

Amazingly, I have been able to stay consistent with exercise, but I haven’t felt the excitement and passion for exercise that I often feel during the warmer months. I realized I need a challenging goal to carry me through the rest of the Winter season in positive spirits. I am a goal driven person and I had a feeling that if I set a fitness goal for myself, it would make all the difference.

To put it simply: I need a GAME PLAN.

I created this Half Marathon Training Plan that would carry me through the winter with an end goal of running my 4th half marathon in April 2011. I haven’t decided on what half marathon race I will be running yet (so the last couple weeks of training may change slightly), but I will eventually figure it out over the next month or two.

My plan is adapted from Hal Hidgon’s Intermediate Half Marathon training plan. I have been running about 15-20 miles a week and I have run 3 half marathons to date, so I decided the Intermediate plan was a good fit for me. You can follow along my training on my races page as I will be updating it daily.

Mon strength Tue    Rest Wed Speed Thu Strength + run Fri     easy run Sat    Rest or Xtrain Sun    long run Mileage
1         (Jan 2-9) Strength: Body Pump 3 m run 2 m run Long run: 6.2 m/10k run Rest 30 min elliptical, 10 mins weights  5 m run (50 mins, 6.0 mph, incline 2%) 16 miles
2         (Jan 10-16) Rest 15 min Booty Booster, 8 min abs + 3m run    Speed:        1m warm-up (6.0mph)+ 8 x 400m (7.5mph)  5 m run (6.5 mph, 2% incline) + strength (12 mins legs) 4 m run Rest Long Run:  6 m run, 10 mins abs 21 miles
3        (Jan 17-23) Strength Rest 50 min tempo 3 m run+ strength 4 m run X-train or Rest Long run:  7m run 19 miles
4        (Jan 24-30) Strength + 2 m run Rest Speed:        8 x 400m 3 m run+ strength 4m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  8m run 19 miles
5         (Jan 31-Feb 6) Strength  Rest 40 min tempo 3 m run + strength 4m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  9 m run 20 miles
6        (Feb 7-13)       Fall Back Week Strength Rest Speed:        9 x 400m 3 m run + strength 4m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  5 m run 14 miles
7        (Feb 14-20) Strength + 2 m run  Rest 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength 5 m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  9 m run 22 miles
8        (Feb 21-27) Strength Rest Speed:      12 x 400m 3 m run + strength 5 m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  10 m run 21 miles
9        (Feb 28-March 6) Strength + 2 m run Rest 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength X-Train X-train or Rest Long Run:  11 m run 19 miles
10       (Mar 7–Mar 13) Fall back week #2 Rest or Strength Rest Speed:      12 x 400m 3 m run + strength 2 m run X-train or Rest Long Run:  5 m run 13 miles
11     (Mar 14-March 20) Strength + 2 m run Rest 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest X-train or Rest Long Run:  12 m run 20 miles
12      (Mar 21-March 27) Rest Rest 50 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest X-train or Rest Long Run:  13 m run 21 miles
13      (Mar 28- Apr 3) Rest Rest Speed:      12 x 400m 5 m run + strength Rest Long Run:  8 m run Rest (Taper Begins!!) 16 miles
14      (Apr 4- Apr 10) taper week Rest Rest 4 mile easy run X-train Rest Rest Half Marathon (TBD)  4 miles + race

Note: Bold text = Completed.

My training plan key is as follows:

Mondays: STRENGTH = Booty Camp Fitness DVD, Body Pump, OR 30 Day Shred DVD. I aim for at least 40 minutes of strength on Mondays.

Tuesdays: REST

Wednesdays: SPEED WORK = I do speed intervals of 400 metres (0.25 miles) with walking breaks in between for 0.05 miles. For example, I may run 400 metres at 7.5 mph, and then walk for recovery at 3.5 mph for 0.05 miles, then I keep repeating the intervals. If my training plan says, 12 x 400m, it means I will be doing 12 speed repeats, which is equal to 3 miles of speed work (plus recovery walking distance too). 1600 m = 1 mile.

Thursdays: STRENGTH + RUN = At least 15 mins. of strength training mixed with running

Fridays: EASY RUN = Running at an easy pace for myself (usually around 6.0 mph, incline 1%)

Saturdays: REST or X-TRAIN: Depending on how I feel I may take another rest day or I may do easy cross training (e.g., elliptical).

Sundays: LONG RUN = Each week I will be building 1 mile onto my long runs to prepare for a half marathon in April. The only time I will not be building mileage are my 2 fall back weeks.

Fall Back Week = A week that I decrease my running mileage to give my body a break. I have two fall back weeks during my 14 weeks of training. My last week is also a taper week before the race.

Rest Days = I will take 1-2 rest days per week, or more, depending on my training and how my body is feeling. The plan may change a bit from week to week based on how I feel. I may take more rest days as needed or I may switch things up a bit if my schedule changes.

Stretching/Yoga = I will be using Polly’s Yoga for Runners video for stretching after hard workouts!

This half marathon training is going to be a BIG challenge for me because I will be doing most of my training indoors on the treadmill, except for the times I can run outdoors safely (likely, mid-March and beyond). I have a rule of thumb when running indoors- I never put the incline below 1% and I often run at a 2% incline. This helps counteract that it is supposedly easier to run on a treadmill than on the outdoor terrain. Hopefully once I do hit the road, I won’t be horribly undertrained.

It won’t be easy, but I am confident that it can be done! I’m also including a lot of strength work like Body Pump and Booty Camp Fitness and weekly speed training too, which will help break it up and keep it exciting.

Racing is FUN…and the training…is so worth it. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself of this more during the Winter.










We Must.






Hopefully, before I know it…April will be here and I will be running my 4th half marathon!

Since I started the training plan a couple weeks ago, I feel more motivated and excited about the training. Normally, I am not a training plan type of girl and I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants, but I think this will actually help my motivation this Winter. I am really looking forward to kicking off the running season with a challenging half marathon in April!

I’m not going to lie though, I may have to break down and get cable TV again so I have something to entertain my long indoor runs…

Do you use training plans for your workouts or do you prefer to just make it up as you go along? Are you training for anything right now?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

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Michelle January 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm

get a pair of Yak Trax and run with ease. I did a great 13 km outside yesterday in the snow we had here and what fun it was!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I would but its not the snow that stops me, but the roads full of transport trucks and no sidewalks.


Michelle January 17, 2011 at 8:56 am

LOL! Traction doesnt matter when you are in a battle with transports! I hear you- where I am I can get to country roads quick so there are no transport trucks, and few cars out Saturday mornings. Although Saturday morning there was a car spun out in the ditch!


Nicole G January 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Your post couldn’t have come at a better time! I usually love winter but this year, my husband, two kids, and I have been sick on and off since Dec 23! I am now associating the cold with having colds and I am sick of sick!! I am not yet ready for summer but spring can definitely move on in! It is really making me unmotivated as well!

I have a promotional test to start studying for at work in May and the sign on the back of your yellow jacket (You are so much stronger than you think you are) really hit me. I love it! Thanks again for being such an inspiration! Good luck on your goals this year!



Monique January 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

It’s basically summer in Arizona :) come down this way haha. Great training plan, good luck!!


Paige @Running Around Normal January 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Sounds like a great training plan, Angela! So glad you incorporated strength training into it:)


kristine January 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Im so not a runner but I am totally considering at least trying a half marathon. I love having fun and working towards something :)

Your blog is so awesome, I have tried many of your recipes and love them all :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Thanks Kristine!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Looks like a great plan Ange! I hear ya on the lack of enthusiasm for winter training. I recently saw some very positive results with my trainer so that was a nice little motivational push for me to keep working hard. I know you have the drive and perseverance to do this! :)


Maddie (Healthy Maddie) January 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I can’t wait for summer! Your plan looks great and I hope the treadmill workouts aren’t too boring. I definitely recommend hooking out a dvd player to your tv in front of your treadmill (if you don’t have one already) and getting into a tv series. I’m currently watching episodes of “Lost” while I ride my recumbent bike and the time flies by!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

great idea, thanks!


Baking 'n' Books January 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Wait – no cable!?? How do you do it? :)

Do you run indoors then all winter long? Treadmill in your own house?


Lauren Guerrieri January 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Hey Angela,
I have a question for you – do you and your husband ski and snowboard at all? The pictures of your town look as though you live in proximity to ski resorts.


Bess @ Bess Be Fit January 16, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I am training for my 2nd half marathon in March. I don’t follow a training plan…I just sort of like to go out during the week and run what feels good and do longer runs on saturdays and gradually increase the mileage every week. Worked out great the first time!


Alaina January 17, 2011 at 12:03 am

I like to use a training plan. If I go on my own, I probably wouldn’t get anything done. :-)


Amanda January 17, 2011 at 2:41 am

It is so freaking cold outside… like 8*F. I think getting cable again is completely justified. It’s not like I sit around and watch a lot of TV in the winter either but…… yeah. I’ve already been snowed in a few days this winter and may have lost my mind if not for satellite ; )

I hope your half mary training plan serves you well, I’ve been eyeing up a half mary myself!


polly January 17, 2011 at 6:12 am

eee! YOGA! :)
Ang, I can’t wait to do yoga with ya each week, sweetie pie!

Ya know, I should make a YOGA FOR ANG video, ya think? ;)

Goodness, I ran a few half marathons in my day and never trained or planned. Probably why sometimes I over did it and ended up hurting my bod. At the time (I was in my twenties, a new momma and running 5-7 miles a day was the norm for stress relief) I just didn’t think abotu what might happen to my body later. NOW… (enter yoga) I see what doing too much can do and shoot, now I don’t run a lick and feel great! Ithink your balanced approach is so wonderful. I hope more girls can see that less is truly MORE. I say GO ANG! You are such a genuine spirit and I only hope can meet in person someday, my friend! :D

I am surfing your recipes. I told Sarah (Mama Pea) I want to go Vegetarian one day per week! I did it last week, but have yet to go a whole day VEGAN. We shall see… :D



Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2011 at 8:54 am

haha I cant get enough of your videos! :)


Aneta January 17, 2011 at 9:06 am

cannot wait for spring. I think today is the coldest day we had in Toronto this whole winter. its freezing out there!!!!

let us know which half marathon ur doing in the spring. Im aiming for Mississauga in May. WOuld love to finally meet u in person. Have been following ur blog for a year or so.

Good Luck with the training Angela!


Nicole January 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

This has been a topic of conversation with me lately. I wanted this year to be the year of my first marathon, preferably the Marine Corps Marathon here in Washington, DC. I’m already getting nervous about training for it. I have a long commute, so I fear being exhausted on the weekends for my long runs. However, there is a MCM Race Series that includes the Marine Corps Historic Half on May 15. Last month I renewed my gym membership because I really need help with strength and have chosen Body Pump as my main focus. I’ve been spinning a lot too because I love it as a change of pace from running. I figure the mix of running, spinning, Body Pump and a yoga class here and there can really help me, and Im now working on working into Hal Hidgon’s intermediate training plan too (i’ve heard amazing things about his plans) It will be my first time using a plan but I think it might help.
Sorry for the long winded response…it’s been on my mind like crazy! Obsessed much?
Oh and I know plenty of people who have trained for spring races on treadmills. You’re going to be great!!


Lisa Fine - lisasfoods January 18, 2011 at 9:53 am

Angela – do you have any posts about how you dress for running in the winter? My winter is really long and cold too, but I’d love to keep up with some running despite the wintry weather.


Debbie December 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I know this post is pretty old, but I was curious how the training plan worked out for you? I googled “1/2 marathon on treadmill” and google brought me here. I am planning on running my first 1/2 in April to keep me motivated during the winter months as well. However I live in Maine… on a dirt road that turns into a death trap at the first sign of snow. So a lot of treadmill runnning is in my future but I do worry that I will not be fully prepared. I do know the course I am running is fairly flat though. Thank you!


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