Training for a Half Marathon in One Month

28 Nov

This past August I was feeling highly optimistic that all ailments had healed and I would be back to training in no time. So I signed up for the Orlando Half Marathon. Then life happened: D asked me to marry him and we were sucked into the whirlwind that is celebrating and wedding planning. And when I did finally get around to start training in October, I soon developed a sharp pain in my left heel that once again halted my running.

So there I was at the end of October wondering if I could manage to train for a half marathon in a month. I referenced an old Hal Higdon training program that I used for my second half marathon and started to make modifications. Mainly, I know that my body can run three days per week when ramping up my mileage, so I modified the schedule to only three runs per week.

Also, while I planned to work in two yoga sessions per week, I didn’t schedule them. I just fit them in when my schedule allowed. I took special care in really listening to my body. With only one month to train I focused on keeping my muscles stretched and strong.

This is what my modified half marathon training looked like:

My “train-for-a-half-marathon-in-only-one-month” calendar. Modified from the Hal Higdon training plan.

I also bought myself a new pair of running shoes. I had been running in New Balance Minimus shoes (trail) and knew I couldn’t ramp up my mileage in shoes like that. So I bought a pair of Nike Frees:

My Nike Free running shoes… bright as the sun.

The Nike Free was my first step towards minimal shoes and I had zero problems running in these. I decided maybe it was time to go back. I got these on sale and they are horribly bright (and that’s coming from a girl that likes neon). At least I think cars can see me coming from a mile away! They’ve been great to me.

Somehow I managed to stick to my training schedule for an entire month and still feel good! On Saturday, I ran my last long run. It was scheduled to be a 9-miler, but it turned out being about 9.5 miles. I’m hoping that race day adrenaline will take me the extra four miles.

Saturday was a gorgeous morning to go for a run and I was encouraged by how good I felt. I won’t be breaking any records this half, but I will be running injury free!

My terribly bright neon shoes in action

Best part of running in the AM is getting to see the sun rise.

I made sure to take in the fall decorations one last time before they’re replaced with Christmas lights

Afterwards I came home and spent 30 minutes holding yoga stretches. My dogs seemed to have gotten confused and thought it was petting time. Here’s me trying to get down into a pigeon pose but being blocked by two pugs waiting for a back scratch:

Pugs were clearly confused

Now I’m officially in taper which means yesterday AM’s run was short and sweet. Only three days left until the half. Look out Orlando Half… Here I come!

Have you ever trained for a race in a short span of time? How did you do?


10 Responses to “Training for a Half Marathon in One Month”

  1. thiscrazylifeofmine November 28, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    I just did the Women’s Half two weeks ago on NO training at all after dealing with sciatica. Stupid? Probably. But I finished. I’m doing the Rock N Roll Half on Feb. 10 so I have to get my butt in gear for that. Good luck! You’ll do great!

    • Hemarie November 28, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      No training at all? Dang. Congrats for coming out alive!

    • Hemarie November 28, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      Oh… and I’m pretty sure I can cover the distance. I just want to run feeling good. That’s my #1 goal! 🙂

  2. Faith November 28, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Wooo, good luck! I’d be too terrified to run a half on a month’s training, but you’ve done the distance before, so your body knows what to do. I’m trying to salvage two more weeks of 10k training after losing two to holiday travel and sickness, and *that* alone is freaking me out!

    • Hemarie November 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

      You can do it!!

      Which 10k are you running?

  3. hemingwayrun November 28, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Let me know what it’s like! We’re hopefully going to Orlando in Nov/Dec 2013 (Live in England) and I’m hoping for the Orlando 1/2 to be the last race in 2013.

  4. Mike January 16, 2015 at 8:33 am #

    hI, i alsohave only one month until 1/2 marathon run in Feb.
    I am a tennis player. I ran 1/2 marathon in the past. I have not trained for it so far. I hope to finish in good health . I won’t worry about time. Can I do it?

    • Hemarie January 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

      Hi Mike, everyone is different and I’m not a professional. I’m just your everyday runner. That said, you can start building up your mileage (no more than 10% weekly) and see how far you’re able to run on half marathon day. I’m a big fan of throwing in some walking intervals to help you cover the distance. Good luck!


  1. Race Recap: Orlando Half Marathon 2012 « I Sweat Pretty - December 7, 2012

    […] a PR, I was determined to try and do so this year. But then life happened and I ended up having to train for a half marathon in one month. My goal quickly morphed from ‘get a PR’ to ‘just finish and around 2:30 would be […]

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