Setting an actual goal for this fall: a half marathon the first weekend of November. This will be the first time I race a half marathon. To keep me honest, I am taking a “snapshot” of my current plan towards it. I will have to see how dedicated I end up being in terms of following my plan. Not getting injured remains the top priority.


My main point of comparison is the 20km door Brussel race I ran the last weekend of May. I finished that one in 1:27:59. Taking that at face value predicts a half marathon time of around 1h33. However, the half marathon will be a flat course (the 20 km is not) and the weather should be considerably cooler. Someone I know will also be running this race and is aiming for sub 90. I reckon I probably should too. Obviously this is just a goal I set now, I will have to adjust it depending on how the training goes and how I feel closer to the race.

The Plan

As “official” cut-off for the plan, I picked the start to be the coming week. This makes the plan a pretty standard 12 weeks long. In making the plan, I wrote down the total distance and workouts for every week, but have not yet filled in the further details. I will do those as the week comes closer so I can plan the runs in function of the rest of my life. By default, the workouts will be Tuesday or Friday. Sunday is the long run. Recovery runs on Thursday and Saturday, usually with strides thrown in. Just a regular run on Wednesday.

Likely odd in comparison to usual plans is that I do not do any building up in total distance as the plan progresses. Every week that is not a recovery week or taper week will be 80 kilometre total distance. Reasoning for this is that I have been doing several 75 km weeks and was in the process of building up to 80 km for the first time ever. Coincidentally I will be hitting this as I start the plan. Since I will be doing more workouts again, I am sure it would not be healthy to keep building distance during the plan. I also did not feel like dropping down a bunch in distance again just to create a peaking of distance in the plan. Thus I have ended up in this position, where I will just be doing 80 km most weeks in the coming plan. If that leaves me less peaked on race day, so be it.

To be specific a default week will look as follows.

Day Type Distance
Monday Rest 0
Tuesday Workout 12
Wednesday Regular 14
Thursday Recovery and strides 10
Friday Workout 14
Saturday Recovery and strides 10
Sunday Long 20

The plan essentially has three “phases”. The two first phases have three workout weeks followed by one recovery week. I am not 100% sure I will be able to handle three weeks in a row. If it turns out I cannot, I will have to drop a workout here-and-there. Those are worries I will not consider too much until I face them though. The final phase is two workout weeks followed by two taper weeks towards the race.

Finally for each phase I give a breakdown of what I have planned in it as workouts. I will be using Jack Daniels terminology for workouts, see his book for details.

Phase One: Weeks 1 through 4

Week Workouts Distance
1 10 minute race, strides, long run 80
2 Repetition, Tempo, strides, long run 80
3 Parkrun (5k race), tempo, strides, long run 80
4 strides 60

The 10 minute race should be interesting and if paced right give some sort of indication for my training paces. Downside is it is a time trial so the mental game of pushing myself will be difficult too. The parkrun at the end of the cycle will likely be slow due to exhaustion, but I want to take advantage of being in a place that has parkruns.

Phase Two: Weeks 5 through 8

Week Workouts Distance
5 Interval/Hard, Tempo, strides, long run 80
6 Interval/Hard, Tempo, strides, long run 80
7 Likely 5k-10k race, Tempo, strides(, long run?) 80
8 strides 60

This will likely be suffering, especially since week 7 promises to be a busy week in terms of my work.

Phase Three: Weeks 9 through 12

Week Workouts Distance
9 Interval/Hard, Tempo, strides, long run 80
10 10ish km tune up race, tempo, strides(, long run?) 80
11 Repetitions, Tempo, strides, long run 70
12 RACE, strides, a Tempo or Race effort 60

The tune up should give me a final idea of what I can expect in the half marathon. I hope the taper is tapery enough. I might adjust distance downwards still if it feels like it might be needed. If I recall, the goal in taper is to let the body rest, but do a higher intensity thing often enough to stay in peak shape.


The plan is heavily based on things I have read in “Daniels’ Running Formula” by Jack Daniels and in “Faster Road Racing” by Pete Pfitzinger and Philip Latter.