12 Week 13.1 Training Plan

When I found out I was pregnant last fall one of the first things I did was sign up for a race that seemed far enough out from giving birth that I could recover from delivery and also have enough time to rebuild a base and execute on a training plan. I knew a marathon would be wishful thinking but a half marathon would be the perfect ‘comeback’ race. I’ve always wanted to do the Baltimore Half Marathon (and the full 26.2 some day) and with its October 13 date it was the perfect goal race. As I made my way back into running I studied various 13.1 training plans and debated the best one to fit my new world of being a working mom.I considered the Marathon Rookie 13.1 training plan which is what I used for my first half marathon in 2008. I also considered a Runner’s World 3-day a week training plan for intermediate runners that focused on speed. But then the RW August issue came out and the cover line touted it as the Half-Marathon special issue. In it is a 12-week 13.1 training plan for beginners. While I am not a beginner runner I am most definitely a ‘beginner’ mom and as hard as it is to admit, I am struggling with the life-work-parenting balance. So a training plan for beginners that requires only 3-4 days of running seemed the right approach.

As with any training plan I will tweak it to fit my schedule as well as my running goals. For example, this schedule allows a rest day on Saturday but I prefer to maximize both weekend days for running. I also like the flexibility of the early runs being as short as 2 miles but knowing my neighborhood routes I will nearly always go over the total mileage. Perhaps the two most ‘challenging’ parts of this plan for me are determining what my Half Marathon Pace (HMP) will be and working in cross-training on the Rest/XT days.

On one hand my goal for the Baltimore Half Marathon is simply to finish. On all other hands my goal is to beat my current 13.1 PR of 1:52:24. Considering a majority of my training runs will likely be done with a jogging stroller I will have to settle for somewhere in the middle.

Following is the RW training plan that I will be following with some slight customization to fit my world. I plan to update the grid with my ‘actuals’ throughout the upcoming weeks. Please feel free to share your own 13.1 training plans, challenges and successes!


Plan 1 (July 16) Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 3 miles Rest/XT Rest/XT 4 miles LSD 9 miles
Actual 1 Rest Rest 2.77 miles 3.25 miles Rest 4.3 miles 3.25 miles tempo 13.57 miles
Plan 2 Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT Rest/XT 5 miles LSD 10 miles
Actual 2 Rest  2.21 miles 20 mins Pilates 2.85 miles  5.06 miles  1.5 run/walk  3 miles  14.62 miles
Plan 3 Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 4 miles Rest/XT Rest/XT 5 miles LSD 11 miles
Actual 3  Rest/XT  Rest/XT  Rest/XT  2.5 miles (with stroller)  4.06 miles (with stroller)  5.11 miles  11.67 miles
Plan 4 Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 5 miles Rest/XT Rest/XT 6 miles LSD 13 miles
Actual 4  Rest  3 miles  Rest  5 miles (with stroller)  Rest  6.05 miles LSD  Rest  14.05 miles
Plan 5 Rest/XT 3 miles Rest/XT 6 miles hills Rest/XT Rest/XT 7 miles LSD 16 miles
Actual 5  Rest  3 miles (with stroller)  Rest  6 miles  Rest  7.1 hilly LSD miles  4.2 tempo  20.3 miles
Plan 6 Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 6 miles w/ 4 miles HMP Rest/XT Rest/XT 6 miles LSD 14 miles
Actual 6  3.16 miles  6.06 miles  6 miles LSD (in Half Moon Bay)  15.22 miles
Plan 7 Rest/XT 4 miles Rest/XT 6 miles hills Rest/XT Rest/XT 6 miles LSD 16 miles
Actual 7  4.18 miles  4 miles  3 mile walk  8.18 miles
Plan 8 Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 7 miles w/ 4 miles HMP Rest/XT Rest/XT 8 miles LSD 17 miles
Actual 8  4.35 miles tempo  2.11 miles tempo  4.6 miles (midday, hot and run/walk)  8.07 LSD  19.13 miles
Plan 9 Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 7 miles hills 2 miles Rest/XT 10 miles LSD 21 miles
Actual 9  2.25 miles  7.05 tempo  2.7 miles  12.6 miles (in Chapel Hill)  24.6 miles
Plan 10 Rest/XT 3 miles Rest/XT 7 miles w/ 5 miles HMP 2 miles Rest/XT 10 miles LSD 22 miles
Actual 10  3.05 miles  2.18 miles  7.06 (midday)  12.33 miles HMP  24.62 miles
Plan 11 Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 7 miles w/ 4 miles HMP 2 miles Rest/XT 9 miles LSD 20 miles
Actual 11 (also week 2 of marathon training)  4.10 miles  4 miles  6.15 miles  12.22 LSD  36.47 miles
Plan 12 Rest/XT 2 miles Rest/XT 5 miles w/ 3 miles HMP 5 miles w/ 3 miles @ HMP Rest/XT Race Day 20.1 miles
Actual 12  4 miles  7 miles  4 miles  13.1 miles Race Day  28.1 miles
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