Runner Mama

barely outrunning the pace of life

The Busy Mom’s Two Month Half Marathon Training Plan

on March 27, 2012

I have a confession to make, Internet, yup, I have been holding out on you. It was not out of secrecy or shame, it was a simple matter of avoidance.  I am signed up to run a 1/2 Marathon on May 20 and up until today I have been avoiding thinking about it.

To tell you how bad it is, I actually just went and googled, “Portland Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon” to find out that the date is, as previously mentioned, May 20th.  Don’t get me wrong, I have planned for this race in as much as getting a hotel and coordinating travel plans with some friends who are going as well.  I simply haven’t been planning for the training needed to finish a half marathon.

In the back of my mind, I’ve known it was coming.  It’s presence was there just enough to get me out of bed two weekdays a week to meet my friend Becca to run and then to go on a couple of slightly longer runs on the weekend.  But it has been far enough away that I felt like I didn’t need to be following a strict training schedule.

After a wonderful run this morning where I felt stronger than I have in what seems like a decade, I decided I better give the Portland Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon a bit of mindshare.  With a simple google search, I quickly found a schedule that looks like this:

Then as I started to plug in the dates for the weeks, I literally didn’t even get past the top row before I knew I wasn’t going to follow this schedule.

Schedules like this are great for a number of reasons.  First, if you have never run a long distance race like a half marathon or marathon, it will walk you through exactly what you need to do to train for the race.  After following the schedule, when race day arrives, there is no question as to whether or not you are ready.  You just are.  Second, this sort of schedule is very good to follow if you are trying to PR (get a personal best time.)  PRs take a different sort of commitment than just showing up on race day.  Finally, a schedule like this keeps you motivated because you know that each day you need to lace up those running shoes and get in the allotted distance for the day.

But Internet, the truth of the matter is, I just don’t have it in me to follow a rigid schedule like this.  I work more than full time.  I have a ten-month-old and almost 3-year-old.  I’ve got this here blogging hobby and I like to hang out with my friends and family.  What I’m trying to say is that I have a lot going on.  Luckily, simultaneously, I have been running, doing ab work, losing that baby weight that never came off after the first baby and have gotten myself back into pretty darn good shape if I do say so myself.  But regardless of my ability to physically follow a schedule like this, I simply have zero mental desire to sign myself up to do so.  Even reading this schedule sort of takes the wind out of my running sails.

So I am going to take a different approach.  Lets call it the “Busy Mom’s Two Month Half Marathon Training Plan.”  It looks like this:

I almost don’t even need to write it down because it is so simple.  During the week, I will do what I can, continuing to run 4-7 miles Tuesday and Thursday mornings followed by lifting weights afterwards.  Monday is always a much needed rest day.  Wednesdays and Fridays I do something, anything for at least 30 minutes.  Yesterday I tried boxing and followed it up with Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred.   Then on Saturday or Sunday the training magic happens where along with my training partner we set out to build the distance of our long runs up to that 13.1-mile mark.  You should not jump the mileage more than 1-2 miles per week and every two or three weeks, it is good to step the distance of the long run back down for a week rather than continuing to increase.

It’s a laid back approach but I believe it should work.  The visceral bristling feeling I felt when I started to put dates into that first schedule has vanished and I feel calm and excited for the training and race.  I want to continue to love running and not feel guilty if I miss a day on my schedule so yes, the “Busy Mom’s Two Month Half Marathon Training Plan” is just my speed right now.


I want to hear from you.  Are you training for any races?  if so, what is the training plan you are following?  Is it laid back or intense?

7 Responses to “The Busy Mom’s Two Month Half Marathon Training Plan”

  1. Delsie says:


    Thanks for writing this. How did your plan go? I saw this because I have a 1-yr-old (tomorrow) and an almost 3-yr-old and was looking for any modifications on my running schedule and this spoke to me. I have been doing my own Higdon-modified 3-day/wk training plan and my times are only getting faster!!! I basically make sure I get in the speed day, another medium day, and the LSD day. The other days, I do yoga or the ten-minute trainer on DVDs from home in the morning before the kids wake up. Sometimes it’s 10 minutes, sometimes it’s 30, but never more. I just ran my best race ever on this plan.

    What’s been working for you?

    • aleciah says:

      Thanks for stopping by! It actually worked out pretty well. I always tried to get a run in at least Tues/Thursday and then long runs Saturday and a shorter run Sunday. Sounds like you have a good plan that is working for you.

  2. Kristen says:

    Hi, I just googled “half marathon training for working moms” and this came up :) Here is the deal, i was an avid runner before i had my beautiful daughter who is going to be 14 months on Jan. 20th. During the summer it was very easy to run with her. Warm days, light our longer etc. now with this cold weather, short days, and lack of motivcation i am finding it harder and harder to get motivated! Right now, i have a 30 min window to go to the gym on wed. then i can work out on sat and sun. the rest of the week is so hard. But reading your blog has helped me regain my motivation to continue to run! so i am going to try this schedule, with some modifications due to time constraints and i will let you know how it goes. :) my half is memorial day weekend, wish me luck!

  3. Jocelyn S. says:

    I ran across this article. I like the 2 month training plan. Mine is 3 months, but I feel like it could definitely be done in 2. If you get a chance, check out my site and free training plan at Half Marathon Mom.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I am doing my first half marathon next week. I had my baby in December, and my half is in May. I have never done one before. I try and run two days during the week. Most of the time I will run about 3 or 4 miles. Then on the weekends I plan for a long run. I started out with 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 7, and 11. I plan on doing 6 this weekend, and then my race is the following week!

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