Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Central Park tempo run. (Photo: Seth Ross)

I’m in the third week of my half marathon training schedule for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon and first week of The North Face Endurance Challenge 10K training. How goes it? So far, so good. I’m aiming to run at least four times a week, following a four to five day per week plan from Greg McMillan’s book You (Only Faster). I’m also slowly building my mileage from my winter base of 20 miles per week to 30 miles a week and beyond. By that measure, the first two weeks were a success.

Goal Half Marathon Time—1:59:59
Current Half Marathon PR—2:00:30
Goal Race: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, May 31
Tune-Up Race: The North Face Endurance Challenge NY 10K, May 3

Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2


Tempo: 6.65 miles in Central Park. This was a glorious run. I did 4 miles at what felt like tempo pace and might have set a new 4-mile personal best. Great way to kick off training!

Easy: 2 miles on city sidewalks. I love running errands as my easy runs. Two birds…

Hills: 3.3 miles with 8 hill repeats on the East River Greenway. This was my first proper hill workout in a looooooong time. But my half marathon training schedule called for hill repeats, so I jogged to a steep hill that’s a tenth of a mile long and just pushed up it as fast as I could. This workout reminded me why I haven’t done hill work in so long. Um, I hate it!

The hill sits in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge with the view pictured above. It reminded me what an incredible city New York is. And I’m really lucky that I get to run it. So I’ve started snapping shots of city landmarks that I spot on my runs and sharing them on Instagram with #RunNYC.

Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Done announcing!

Easy: 4 miles on city sidewalks past the Empire State Building

Strength: 20 minutes of a core and leg routine

Easy: 4.6 miles on the treadmill. My half marathon training schedule called for a longer run but I was tired. I’d announced at the start of the United Airlines NYC Half earlier in the day, which is incredibly fun. I love working as an announcer. But being on your feet and being “on” soaks up a lot of energy—energy I expend happily! So I jogged this one out and cut it short.

Week 1 Total—20.55 miles + 1 strength session

HIIT: 2.5 miles on the treadmill, 25 minutes of strength training. I went to Barry’s Bootcamp for the first time courtesy of an event with New Balance and I had my butt kicked. Literally. It was “Butt + Legs” day. I’m estimating how much I ran. I forgot my watch and my eyes were blurry with sweat so I kept forgetting to check the treadmill when I got off. We did two rounds alternating treadmill sprints and weights. Honestly, in 25 minutes I’m sure I ran more, but I’d rather underestimate than overestimate.

Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

4-miler in the city

Tempo: 6.05 miles on the treadmill. Ran the last 3 miles at half-marathon pace. This run felt great too! After making it one of my New Year’s Resolutions, I’m finally learning to love tempo runs.

Progression: 5.1 miles on the treadmill. I went from an easy to half-marathon pace, with each mile faster than the one before. Love me some progression runs.

Long Easy: 8.25 miles on the treadmill. I was supposed to run outside. But it was cold and I was just so sick of it that I hit the treadmill again instead.

I noticed something for the first time, though. I’m no longer taking any walk breaks on my longer runs. I used to walk for 15-30 seconds every mile or two to drink water or fuel on runs longer than a 10K. I never made a plan or conscious effort to phase out walk breaks. It just sort of happened. I realized it on this run when I just plowed through 8.25 miles straight at half-marathon pace + 50 seconds. I even ran the last mile at HMP and felt great.

Week 2 Total—21.90 miles + 1 strength session
Half Marathon Training Schedule Week 3 and Beyond

From here, I want to get off the road and onto dirt once a week during my runs. I also want to up my strength training from once to twice a week. The second one might be a tall order, but it’s a goal anyway.

Happy trails this weekend!

[jetpack_subscription_form title=”Join Karla’s Running Adventures” subscribe_text=”Get registration reminders, race reports, reviews and more straight to your inbox!” subscribe_button=”Sign Me Up”]

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


03 2015

6 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Hope the plan finally leads to that sub-2! You’re doing well. Great pic running beside that snow in Central Park. So much snow this year! While we haven’t had decent rain for a long time and have been enjoying beautiful summer, now autumn weather.
    Ewen recently posted..A Parkrun PB, cyclocross race and a tired 5000mMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks! I hope so too! You’re all probably sick of reading about my sub-2. I can’t WAIT for summer and warm weather. Hope you have a beautiful fall!

  2. 3

    Great job!

    I admire you for going out and running after you’ve been on your feet all day for the NYC Half. I would have just rested the rest of the day. Looking forward to reading more about the upcoming training weeks.

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks! Watching and cheering for people running makes me want to run even when I’m tired!

  3. 5

    Nice job! You’re going to crush that 2:00 barrier! I also have been cutting out walk breaks on runs. I still stop every once in a while to drink some water, but other runs I conscientiously try to not stop. That started when I met Meb in Dec. When he told us he was running so hard at Boston that he was puking as he was running (but hiding it from his competitors and the cameras) I figured I could tough out a few miles without pausing.

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks, Scott! Meb is incredible! We’ll see if this no walk break thing lasts once the weather gets really hot, haha.


  1. Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats | Run, Karla, Run! 12 04 15
  2. RnR SD Half Marathon Training Program Weeks 5-6 | Run, Karla, Run! 22 04 15