How to Train for a Half Marathon While Running Only Three Times Per Week

I can officially say I’m training for a half marathon!

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I spectated the Mo’ Cowbell Half Marathon after my 12 mile run last year and thought I might do it this year, and so I am.

I’d been holding off on signing up for this race to make sure my leg stayed healthy throughout the training. Considering I covered more than 13 miles on my long run Sunday and recovered well, I figured it was safe to sign up for this race.

In my previous half marathons I ran a lot more often and more total miles than this time around. I was running a minimum of four times a week through all four trainings. During the first training I followed a Nike plan that had regular runs of 6 miles a couple times a week at the end of the plan. The next three training cycles I only got up to 5 miles for a during the week run.

That just wasn’t realistic so soon post stress fracture. I only run every other day, meaning I needed a plan that only required three runs per week. I didn’t think plans like that existed, so I was thrilled to see this on the Big River Running Training Team’s website:

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I’ve been following the blue plan. Only running three times a week, never running more than 3-4 miles per run during the week, and doing the long run on Sunday. I’ve been mostly ignoring the speed work portions of this plan, though lately I have been doing some progression runs–getting faster as the miles go by. Here’s what my training has looked like, broken down by week:

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Some weeks I actually ran only twice, and a lot of times I walked, making my already slower than normal pace even slower. But that’s ok because I’m making it through the training healthy, which was my main goal. A nice benefit of the three day training plan is I haven’t gotten burnt out on running like I have in the past. My attitude now is almost always “I get to run! Yay!” because I’m doing less of it.

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8 responses to “How to Train for a Half Marathon While Running Only Three Times Per Week

  1. Go, sweet pea! I’m so proud of you.

  2. I was hoping we’d see a post about a race! You’ve done a great job coming back from your injury. I’ve gotten a lot of tips and inspiration from you.
    I had no clue this kind of training plan existed. I’ll have to steal it. Might be able to con my husband into training for a half if he only has to run three days a week. 🙂

  3. I did Cowbell last year and really liked it. Parking was a bit hairy so get there early!

  4. Woohoo! Another half marathon! You rock, Rockin’ Runner! And I really like your sensible training plan!

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