Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training (Weeks 1 & 2)

22 Feb

Last week I started training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon which is on May 4th this year. I have done this race twice already (2012 and 2013) and am really looking forward to running it again. It is well organized, has a great course and overall a really fun atmosphere.

This time around I am basing my training plan on Hal Higdon’s novice 2 program. It consists of four days of running (with one day at race pace). I’m planning to break down my runs as follows: 1 day of hills, 1 day of pace or easy (depending on the plan, these tend to alternate), 1 day of speedwork and 1 long run day. I also want to continue with BodyPump 2-3xs a week, Spinning 1-2xs a week and Yoga once a week. The goal for training overall this year is to get stronger. I have noticed that I feel much stronger when I am getting in lots of cross training so I want to continue this as much as possible.

Another thing I am trying is to use Jeff Galloway’s planned run/walk intervals for my long runs. I hope again, that this will help me feel stronger until the very end of the race, and ultimately benefit me for the Wineglass Marathon. I am experimenting with 2:1 run:walk intervals but will adjust if needed.

I also plugged my Runners World Half finish time (2:04:32) with a potential goal time (2:55:00) into McMillan’s pace calculator to get all of the paces for my training runs.


I am not focusing on PRing for this (which 2:55:00 would  be), but I did want to challenge myself to get stronger. If a PR happens, it happens. But I am not focusing on it – that’s just more pressure than I want to put on myself.

So far, this plan has been working nicely. Here’s how the last 2 weeks went:

Monday – 3 miles hills
Tuesday – 3 miles easy + Sh’Bam* + BodyPump*
Wednesday – RPM* + Yoga
Thursday – Rest (I woke up feeling horrible and was out of work both thursday and friday, ick).
Friday – 3 miles speedwork (This seems to have kicked the cold out of me, so yay!)
Saturday – 4 miles run/walk intervals
Sunday – Bodypump + RPM

Total Miles: 13

Monday – 3 miles hills + BodyPump
Tuesday – 3 miles race pace (13:21)
Wednesday – RPM + Yoga
Thursday – 3 miles speedwork
Friday – BodyPump
Planned for Saturday – 5 miles run/walk intervals
Planned for Sunday – BodyPump + RPM and/or potentially a Zumbathon.

Planned Miles: 14

*Links for more information: BodyPump, RPM (Les Mills’s Spinning) and Sh’Bam (Les Mill’s Zumba).


4 Responses to “Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training (Weeks 1 & 2)”

  1. Danielle (@itsaharleyylife) February 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    looks like you are off to a great start! (:

    • Becca February 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks 🙂

  2. mizunogirl February 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Looks like you are really prepared for this and Wineglass! I’m battling a cold this week as well, it’s knocked me onto the couch.

    • Becca February 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      Oh no, feel better soon!!

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