In need of a more structured training plan

Competed in my first half marathon yesterday (Great Birmingham Run) and finished in a respectable 1:40:41. Happy with the result as I kept to a good steady pace throughout & left enough in reserve (after the evil hill at 11/12) to finish the final 800m straight in 2:40~. I've seen dramatic improvement over the past 7 weeks but understand that I'm going to start levelling off soon and would like to be able to gain long term improvements.

Prior to this race I was running one long run a week & 3 mid distance runs midweek on advice, totalling generally 2-30 miles per week. I am now looking for a more structured plan where I can strat to look at some speed work to improve my current level/times.

I do no have any events planned in the next couple of months, the next i expect to run in is the Warwick Castle HM, although this is not until February & then a couple of 10ks following (will prob take part in a few 5k ParkRuns in the meantime though).

I'd like to look at improving to a sub 1:30 HM by mid February, so thats just under 4 months, as well as takjing my 10k down to 40 mins. I've used programs like Macmillans run calculator & although its handy it doesn't not tailor a plan as such which is prob fine for more experienced runners but not a great deal of help to the rest.

If any of you experienced guys have any advice on structuring a training plan for improving speed endurance I'd be grateful for your input.

Cheers image


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Have a look on the training section of this website for some training plans.  I don't think any of the plans will start now for a HM in mid-Feb as they tend to be around the 8 week mark.  However you could follow two separate plans,on enow and another for the real race.

    One thing to remember is that we all respond differently to training plans.  I didn't improve very much from the first training plan I followed, but noticed significant improvements from the next plan I used.  So don't be too disheartened if you don't see major immediate benefits from a particular plan, you may need to assess if its particular structure suits you and find a different plan with a different philosophy behind it.

  • Hi Kevin - about 4 months ago I was at about same level as you but hadn't actually run a Half - if you look at my thread 'Overdone It?' - Stevie G a regular poster around these parts - gave me a weekly training plan. The aim was to get sub 1:35 but I achieved 1:29image - that was just a couple of weeks ago - we'll all train and perform differently but you could start at week one and follow his plan and see if it works for you too.

    I'm aiming for a sub 67 10 miler now in 4 weeks so starting again tonight.

  • Yeh the main issue I had with the plans I came across was that they were generally 8-12 weeks  where as i was looking at creating a long term plan...obviously I understand that any long term plans would need modifications as time goes by. Guess i never really thought of back to back plans, but I guess if I follow a sub 1:40 plan, see how I'm getting along at the end of it with it and reevaluate from there it should work.

  • Cheers Skinny, have had a brief skim through that thread & looks like Stevie has tailored that plan excellently to your abilities. Will have a proper read of the thread as if you were aiming for similar goals i guess it might suit me also.


  • for the long term try a marathon plan generally based on 18 weeks. It will give you a good aerobic base and your half times will reduce by default.

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