Hal Higdon Training Schedules

I am currently week 5 into Novice 1 half marathon Hal Higdon training schedule.

I am finding it to fit into my life very well and very happy to stick to the schedule given (that said, the miles have only just started to increase so I am sure I will feel differently soon lol)

Has anyone else done Hal Higdon programmes? Would like to pick brains if so! image 


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I think I used one for my first marathon in 2009. I did the sub 4 hr one and it got me round in 3.38. I found it worked well for my first marathon.
  • Hi

    I'm following the Advanced 1 training plan and finding the mileage quite tiring but its definitely improving my stamina on longer runs. I've run 3 marathons previously and followed Mike Grattan's sub 4 hour plan for those, but felt like a change for the next one and the Advanced 1 has a good mixture of different types of runs so thought I'd give it a go.I quite like the idea (though it hurts!) of doing a medium distance marathon pace run the day before the longest run and I think it's that that's improving my endurance. I'm never really too sure what pace the weekday runs should be run at so tend to run at whatever pace I feel like on the day. Has anyone any advice on that?

    Best of luck with it!

  • Hi both

    This is one of the things I wanted to query - though there are thorough instructions for the schedule overall - the one thing I am not sure of is if is says run 6 miles at any pace whether it be easy or pushing yourself, should I be doing a warm up mile first or including my warm up as part of the mileage? For long runs I like to really get a fast walk on before I start to jog just to get myself going and never know whether this should be part of it or not!

    Afraid I cant help with the advanced 1 pace query, that would do my head in as I like to know exactly how fast, how long, etc!

  • I followed the advanced 1 half mara plan and enjoyed it and got me a pb!

    Ive just tried following the advanced 1 marathon plan but couldnt keep up with it missed weeks out due to hols etc and could nt catch back up with it image


  • I tend to only do a warm up for the tempo, hill and interval runs though even then I only do half a mile if that. If the plan just says to do a certain distance then I'll only do that distance. For the long runs I just run the first mile very slowly, but include that in the total distance. No idea if I'm doing it right though!

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I used the Intermediate II plan for my first marathon and enjoyed the simplicity of it, adding in the odd bit of tempo running when I felt like it.  Like Cookie I liked the back-to-back race pace and long runs on the Saturday/Sunday, as it gave me confidence to tackle the full distance on fresh legs, and really wasn't too taxing when you got used to it.

    W.r.t. warm-ups, I'd always ease myself in to any tempo or hill running with at least a mile at either end, but include the easy running sections as part of the overall mileage.  For a "race pace" run, the overall intensity isn't massively faster than an easy run, so I'd just progressively up the speed over the first mile or so, then ease into the tempo of race-pace.  Maybe take splits when you get nearer the day and see how close you can get to target pace (if you have one) after the first mile.

    And if you're not sure what pace to run each session, I'd say err on the side of "easy".

  • Degsy - awww it's horrible when life gets in the way isn't it. I am sure you will get back to where you wanted to be though in time. A marathon is a big thing and I think any one of us would find the training tricky. Good luck

    Cookie & phil - thanks for the advice. Sometimes I include the warm up in mileage sometimes I dont but I think from now on I will include it as if I am busting little half milers they will soon add up and I may find myself over training!

    Some questions - is race pace just, the pace I need to run the race at in order to finish in a certain time? Are "splits" just how fast you ran the last mile? New lingo for me. Tempo - is this "as fast as you can" running? I am not really doing this at the moment I suppose because I am running the Novice schedule.

  • Race pace is just the pace you intend to run the marathon at (eg 9 minute miles), and yes splits are how fast you ran the last mile or whatever distance you're interested in. Tempo running - not sure I've got the hang of this yet but it's when you get progressively faster over the course of a run until you are running at nearly 10k pace. The Hal Higdon plan that I'm following has 45 min tempo runs where you run at an easy pace for 15 mins then increase speed gradually over the next 20 mins and then for 5 or 6 mins you should maintain the nearly-10k pace and then finish with an easy jog. Hope that helps!

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