Half Marathon Training Schedule
by Karla ° Monday, July 7, 2008

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Yesterday, on track with our training for a half marathon, Mark and I ran 12km. With a jogging stroller.

Having a jogging stroller is great because not only does Nate get to come along for the ride, but the stroller has enough storage compartments to bring along everything you need that doesn’t fit in your pocket, like a big bottle of water, a cell phone or a coffin, you know, just in case you need to stop and die. What the stroller is not great for, however, is long distance running. Because pushing a coffin uphill is not something I would not recommend to anyone.

Running 12 consecutive kilometres (7.46 miles) is the furthest distance I’ve ever run, and aside from wanting to stop and eat a full course pasta dinner mid-way through, because that’s how much energy had just dripped off my forehead in the form of sweat, I finished the run feeling pretty darn good. I’ll just be sure to pack a bagel in my panties next time for some mid-run refuelling.

I’ve had a few readers write to me wondering what half marathon I’ll be running and what my training schedule in like. I had originally planned to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon this September, and put together a 14 week training schedule to get me there, but then I realized that my training schedule did not take into account all of the various things that a woman must deal with that could get in the way of her training. Like PMS. Or bloaty days. Or period days. Oh and let’s not forget the, I have a headache how I can possibly run, or have sex, so sorry Mark, days. And then there are the days that I train up the biggest and tallest in hill in town, which kind of feels like a boulder is being slammed into my chest, repeatedly, but a little insanity never hurt anyone, right? So if you take all that into account, and pepper in the occassional summer weekend getaway, technically, there are only about two days in a month left for running. And those are the days I usually just want to sit on my sun-drenched deck after Nate goes to bed and have adult drinks and conversations with Mark.

So, to build in some contingency, I’m still continuing to train for the flat and festive run along Toronto’s waterfront in September, but may end up deciding to run either the scenic downhill course of the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon in October, or, the first ever half marathon in this quiet little suburban community along the Ajax Waterfront, also in late October, to give myself more time to train.

And because a little motivation goes a long way, I've decided to post my running schedule (also found as a side item on this website). At the end of every run, I’ll update the schedule with the actual distance I’ve ran, how long it took me and my average pace. This way, if I start to waver from my goals and fail miserably, I’ll just hold the entire Internet accountable and then I'll throw a pity party and we'll all mourn my failure by drowning our sorrows in alcohol-infused drinks on my sunny party-sized deck.

Anyone care to join me?

Week 1

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 31min \\ Pace/km: 06:12 (Pace/mi: 10:00)

Wed: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 28min \\ Pace/km: 05:36 (Pace/mi: 09:02)


Fri: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 30min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:41)


Sun: 10km (6.1mi) - Actual distance: 9km (5.6mi) \\ Time: 1hr 30min \\ Pace/km: 08:07 (Pace/mi: 16:04)

Note: This was our time pushing a jogging stroller for this distance. Mark pushed most of the way, but god, the lack of fluid arm swinging mobility really slows you down.

Goal Total: 25km (15.5mi) \\ Actual Total: 24km (14.9mi)

Week 2

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 4.5km (2.8mi) \\ Time: 35min \\ Pace/km: 07:47 (Pace/mi: 12:30)

Note: On this run, a certain someone was full of buffoonish anti-running antics. Not to name names or anything, but his penchant for sniffing urine-soaked street lamps really slowed me down.

Wed: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 30min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:41)


Fri: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 7km (4.3mi) \\ Time: 43min \\ Pace/km: 06:09 (Pace/mi: 09:46)


Sun: 11km (6.8mi) (Actual distance: 11km (6.8mi) \\ Time: 1hr 08min \\ Pace/km: 06:07 (Pace/mi: 10:00)

Goal Total: 28km (17.4mi) \\ Actual Total: 27.5km (17.1mi)

Week 3

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 32min \\ Pace/km: 06:24 (Pace/mi: 09:58)

Wed: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 7.5km (4.7mi) \\ Time: 45min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:41)


Fri: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5.25km (3.3mi) \\ Time: 38min \\ Pace/km: 07:14 (Pace/mi: 11:38)

Note: Samson had his own ideas on running today. Most of them included feigning doggy fatigue and demands for several rests and full body rubdowns along the way.


Sun: 12km (7.5mi) - Actual distance: 12km (7.5mi) \\ Time: 1hr 15min \\ Pace/km: 06:15 (Pace/mi: 10:03)

Note: Mark pushed the jogging stroller about ¾ of the way, and I finished the run with it. Am seriouly considering finding a babysitter for Nate
on these long runs. Damn pushing that stroller on limited energy stores is hard.

Goal Total: 29km (18mi) \\ Actual Total: 29.75 km (18.5mi)

Week 4

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 27min \\ Pace/km: 05:24 (Pace/mi: 08:41)
Note: Despite it being a sweltering humidity-soaked day, I still tried to hotdog my way up a giant hill and pass a clearly accomplished hill runner. I not only failed, but probably looked like an asshat doing it, too.

Wed: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 7.4km (4.6mi) \\ Time: 48min \\ Pace/km: 06:29 (Pace/mi: 10:26)
Note: This is the furthest I've gone pushing the jogging stroller on my own and by the end of the run, I was beat. Not an out of breath or tired legs kind of beat, but the kind of beat that feels like you've hit that 3:00 pm mid-day brick wall of fatigue. I thought about kicking Nate out of his stroller and taking a nap in it right then and there, but he'd pooped his pants and the smell made my eyes sting. But not as bad as the dripping sweat. I don't care how lame it looks, next time I'm totally wearing a side ponytail just so I can break out an 80's inspired sweatband.


Fri: 5km (3.1mi) Intermission
Note: Despite best intentions, the combination of a shining sun, a handsome man taking a holiday from the office and a bevy of sip-worthy cocktails prevented any running from happening tonight.

Sat: REST 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 29min \\ Pace/km: 05:48 (Pace/mi: 09:20)

Sun: 13km (8mi) REST
Note: Since Mark is off work for a couple of days, we decided to send Nate to Daycare for two hours on Monday so that we can do our long run without the jogging stroller.

Goal Total: 30km (18.6mi) \\ Actual Total: 17.4km (10.8mi)

Week 5
Mon: REST 13km (8mi) \\ Actual distance: 15km (9.3mi) \\ Time:1hr 30min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:39)

Tues: 5km (3.1mi) REST

Wed: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 0km (0mi)


Fri: 5km (3.1mi) - Actual distance: 0km (0mi)
Note: I had yet to experience any sort of running related injury or pain other than some slight soreness in my legs after a long run, so never in a million years did I think a blister could prevent me from running like the one I got on the back of my foot after running 15km in a new pair of too-low ankle socks.

I tried to run this week, I really did, but not even the most careful of bandaging prevented the inevitable and I only got about a half a mile from home when I noticed murderous red blood seeping all over my shoe. All I could do to ease the prickly pain of my shoes rubbing against the open wound was to take it off, along with my sock, and then turn around and limp home on my sole remaining shoe-clad foot.


Sun: 14km (8.7mi) - Actual distance: 0km (0mi)

Goal Total: 31km (19.3mi) \\ Actual Total: 0km (0mi)

Week 6

Tues: 7km (4.3mi) - Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 31min \\ Pace/km: 06:12 (Pace/mi: 10:00)
Note: OOPS! Should have checked the schedule. I thought today was just a 5K.

Wed: 8km (5mi) - Actual distance: 8km (5mi) \\ Time: 49min \\ Pace/km: 06:08 (Pace/mi: 9:51)

Thu: REST Actual distance: 7.5km (4.7mi) \\ Time: 45min \\ Pace/km: 06:00 (Pace/mi: 09:41)

Fri: 7km (4.3mi) REST

Sat: REST Actual distance: 15.5km (9.6mi)
Note: My parents were in town and I took advantage of having some free childcare to get in a long run sans jogging stroller. I was actually planning to run 17km (10.5mi) and I was having a steady and strong run, but all of a sudden I got caught in a wicked thunderstorm, and I am not even kidding, lightening struck a mere few feet from me and I was forced to high-tail my ass to safety. Luckily I had my cell phone with me and Mark, still feeling under the weather and unable to join me, was able to come and pick me up.

Sun: 15km (9.3mi) REST

Goal Total: 37km (23mi) \\ Actual Total: 36km (22.4mi)

Week 7

Tues: 7km (4.3mi)

Wed: 8km (5mi)


Fri: 7km (4.3mi)


Sun: 16km (10mi)
Note: This entire week was a write off with Mark being on holidays, and all plans to run child free through woody trails were squashed when I forgot to bring my running shoes on our trip North.

Goal Total: 38km (23.6mi) \\ Actual Total: 0km (0mi)

Week 8

Tues: 7km (4.3mi)- Actual distance: 5km (3.1mi) \\ Time: 31min \\ Pace/km: 06:12 (Pace/mi: 10:00)

Wed: 8km (5mi) REST

Thu: 8km (5mi)\\ Time: 46min \\ Pace/km: 05:53 (Pace/mi: 09:27)

Fri: 7km (4.3mi) REST


Sun: 17km (10.6mi)

Goal Total: 39km (24.2mi)

Week 9
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 8km (5mi)
Fri: 7km (4.3mi)
Sun: 18km (11.2mi)
Goal Total: 38km (23.6mi)

Week 10
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 10km (6.2mi)
Fri: 7km (4.3mi)
Sun: 19km (11.8mi)
Goal Total: 41km (25.5mi)

Week 11
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 10km (6.2mi)
Fri: 7km (4.3mi)
Sun: 21.1km (13.1mi)
Goal Total: 43km (26.7mi)

Week 12
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 8km (5mi)
Fri: 7km (4.1mi)
Sun: 16km (10mi)
Goal Total: 36km (22.7mi)

Week 13
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 7km (4.3mi)
Fri: 5km (3.1mi)
Sun: 14km (8.7mi)
Goal Total: 31km (19.3mi)

Week 14
Tues: 5km (3.1mi)
Wed: 5km (3.1mi)
Fri: Walk 3.5km (2.2mi)
Sun (RACE DAY!): 21.1km
Goal Total: 34.5km (21.4mi)


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Wow Karla ~ that is some scedule ~ I was tired just reading it, let alone actually doing it!! It is so great that you are doing the marathon, and posting the scedule ~ so we can all follow your training. I am sure that you will do absolutely brilliantly ~ you go girl!!!
Love and hugs XXXXXXXX
Posted by Blogger Tabitha :  July 07, 2008

I recently did the'Race For Life'. It was a charity run to raise funds for Cancer Research. It was only 5km, but i walked it ( There was that option! ) and walking alone took me 45 mins!
You guys are doing great!!
I'm so unfit, i need to take part in your training schedule.
love, amanda xx
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  July 07, 2008

Wow, I'm impressed. I don't run unless something scary is chasing me.

You do realize that you're going to get all the pervs who google "bagel in panties" coming to your site? There are a lot of those, right? Right??
Posted by Blogger jess :  July 07, 2008

Wow, you are the woman Karla!!! That is so cool what you are doing. I ran a 5K a couple of times and I pretty much suck at running. I hate it. So, I really admire you for doing this! And I'm glad you posted your schedule so we can "run" right along with you.

If neither of those races work out for you, there's always Thanksgiving in Kelowna...or did I mention that already?
I just had a look at our schedule and it has HILLS in it. Hills are not my friend.
Good luck and those little pouches of sports gel/goo safety-pinned to tje front of your shorts might be a tad more comfy than a bagel in the knickers. Or maybe not.
Posted by Blogger Mama T :  July 07, 2008

Hey, if a 41year old can make the USA swim team, you can definitely fight your way to the finish line of your race.

Good luck.

I have ran two and they are very empowering.
Posted by Blogger Blogversary :  July 07, 2008

Wow! I am considering doing a half marathon next April...but wow that is a lot of running to train.
I am still working through a learn to run 10km and have only reached the 5 km point. I have a long way to go. But it would really neat to say I ran 21.1 km all at once.

Good luck! Sounds like you are well on your way!
Posted by Blogger Kami :  July 07, 2008

i am doing that race!! just 5km though. i am looking for a jogging stroller......any pointers??
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  July 07, 2008

What happened to your half marathon training? It just sort of stopped at the 8 week mark. Did you ever run it?
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  November 07, 2008


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