Intermediate Workout Plan

The 13.1 Runners Workout Plan

The half-marathon or a 13.1 is a great run. It’s not extremely long, but it’s also far from short. So if you’re relatively new to running, the 13.1 half-marathon is a nice step-up benchmark after the 5K and 10K. On the other hand, suppose you’re a bit more of a seasoned runner. Then a 13.1 is a good way to stay competitive without regularly going all in on full marathon or ultra-marathon distances. And on the other hand, if you’re the type that’s not too enthusiastic about running, being able to run a half-marathon comfortably is a solid ability to have.

Training for the 13.1 isn’t as simple as just running. The running component of training needs to be calculated and intelligent. Progressing too fast can easily lead to injury. In addition to building up the miles, you should also build up muscular strength and endurance. Strength and endurance training for running distances ranging from the mile run to an ultra should complement one another. Running will give you the lungs and stamina, and the work in the weight room will provide a muscular support system.

The following is a 9-week training program by Cody Harter (@codyharter), a USA Track & Field coach (USATF), a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), and the owner of Harter Strength & Conditioning (@harterstrength) in Plano, Texas. Harter had followed this exact training plan in preparation for a local half-marathon.

The Runner’s 13.1 Workout Plan Overview

There are five training days during the week and two days off for rest and recovery. Three of the training days include both weight training and running. Two of the training days are running only.

The three weight training days are broken into two strength workouts. There is an upper body and core strength workout and a lower body and core strength workout. The two strength workouts are alternated throughout the week.

As for the running: four of the workouts during the week are for general endurance, with one workout per week dedicated as a “tempo run” or “repeats” to focus on speed and pace.

Runs will progressively increase in distance over time, peak at the mid-way point of the training plan, then slowly taper down before the race.

The weekly training split for half-marathon training

  • Monday: Rest/recovery
  • Tuesday: Weight training + run
  • Wednesday: Weight training + run
  • Thursday: Weight training + run
  • Friday: Rest/recovery
  • Saturday: Run
  • Sunday: Run

The Strength Training Schedule and Workouts

In week 1, the first workout will be repeated twice. In week 2, the second workout will be repeated twice. Continue to follow this alternating schedule for the remainder of the training program.

Strength Workout #1: Upper Body and Core

  • Bench Press 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Pull-Ups 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Dips 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Military Press 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Med Ball Sit-Up 4 sets x 20 reps
  • Hanging Leg Raise 4 sets x 10 reps

Strength Workout #2: Lower Body and Core

  • Front Squat 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Elevated Reverse Lunge 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Hang Cleans 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Sprinter Crunch 4 sets x 20 reps
  • TRX Jack Knife 4 sets x 10 reps

The Running Schedule and Workouts

Key:

  • R – rest
  • AR – active recovery
  • * indicate either a “tempo run” or “repeat.” Each week will progressively be different
  • # indicates the mileage

What is a Tempo Run?

The purpose of the tempo run is to train the body to maximize oxygen consumption. While training at higher intensities, the body releases lactate and subsequently causes the muscle to fatigue. Increasing the lactate threshold allows the muscles to contract and remain less acidic for extended periods.

What is a Repeat?

Repeats are more for pacing. Most set their paces at or slightly above the goal pace for a race. Therefore, it’s essential to set a rest pace that allows you to recover but remains fast enough to challenge the cardiorespiratory system to slow down while still doing moderate work.

The Tuesday Running Schedule

  • Week 3: 3-mile tempo run: 4 sets at 90% max effort for 3 minutes with 90 seconds as a recovery jog.
  • Week 4: 800 meters repeats: 6 sets at 80% max effort with a 2-minute recovery jog.
  • Week 5: 5-mile tempo run: 4 sets at 90% max effort for 5 minutes with 90 seconds as a recovery jog.
  • Week 6: 1600 meter repeats: 4 sets at 80% max effort with a 2-minute recovery jog.
  • Week 7: 5-mile tempo run: 4 sets at 90% max effort for 5 minutes with 90 seconds as a recovery jog.
  • Week 8: 800 meters repeats: 6 sets at 80% max effort with a 2-minute recovery jog.

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