rock ‘n roll half marathon training plan

The time is here! The DC Rock ‘N Roll half marathon is only 10 short weeks away, and it’s time to get my running shoes in gear with a training plan. I’ve been trying to incorporate short runs into my workout schedule lately, but going for a jaunt whenever I feel the urge won’t get me across that finish line. So I sat down and put together a day-by-day training plan to reach my goal on race day: finish under 1:45.


After a two year hiatus due to a torn-meniscus injury, I returned to running last October at the Baltimore Half Marathon. It was an incredible moment to be back on my feet after thinking I may never be able to run competitively again. The entire day was a torrential mix of emotions – nervous, excited, scared, overwhelming joy – and I ran it with only one goal in mind: to cross the finish line. I did it in 1:48, but more importantly…I did it.


Now I’m ready to push my body, train smart, and see if I can better my time from Baltimore. I’m setting a goal of running 13.1 under 1:45. My training plan is an adaptation of this one from JillFit and this one from Anne at fANNEtastic food. They both stick to running three days a week, which is just the right amount for me and my cranky knee. It also gives me the flexibility to throw in a few cross-training fit crashes each week, plus that all-important yoga class on Sunday to stretch everything out and keep my joints happy. So, without further ado, here is the plan:

half-marathon-training-1Slide2 Slide3

Other things on my training to-do list:

  • Weight training: I have done a lot of physical therapy for my knee injury, and most of the exercises I am assigned focus on strengthening my glutes. I can’t forget to do those proactive exercises while I work through this training plan. So I’ve placed my weighted sandbag, a stretchy resistance band, and the TRX next to my bed. Bum muscles, beware. Mess with my knee again, and I will mess with you.
  • Massage: Luckily I scored a couple of massage coupons recently, and I plan to put them to very good use. I can’t understate the importance of taking care of your body while training, and that means honoring rest days and treating it to a massage now and then. Your muscles and joints will thank you.
  • Nutrition: All the training in the world won’t get me across that finish line if I don’t fuel my body with healthy, clean foods and plenty of water. I’m working on creating weekly food plans so I have a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared during the week. There’ll be lots of smoothies, fish, grilled veggies, and creative salads. And water. Lots and lots of high quality H2o. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to see more of what I’m chowing on.
  • Sleep: Oh sleep, you are always on my “to-do” list and never seem to get the attention you deserve. I need sleep to keep up with this training plan, and my body desperately needs the time to recharge. My plan for making it happen over the next 10 weeks? Setting a bedtime alarm at 10 p.m. When it goes off, the computer shuts down and (ideally) so do I. Let’s try to make this work


What do you think – anything I’m missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!



  1. Anne January 7, 2013 / 9:55 am

    Sounds like an awesome plan! We have very similar half PR’s… looking to beat mine this year, too! 🙂

    • DC Fit Crasher January 7, 2013 / 9:47 pm

      Thanks for the inspiration Anne – loved your 13.1 plan. Good luck this year!

  2. Sarah S January 7, 2013 / 5:20 pm

    Any suggestions on where to find good training hills in DC? I had a hard time finding them while training for my last race!

    • DC Fit Crasher January 7, 2013 / 9:53 pm

      A few ideas: Connecticut Avenue from Dupont to Woodley Park, the Zoo, Wisconsin Avenue from Georgetown to Friendship Heights, 16th Street by Meridian Hill Park, Arizona Ave off of MacArthur Boulevard, Tilden Street out of Rock Creek Park and up to Connecticut Ave (a doozie), Porter Street bridge between Mount Pleasant and Cleveland Park, 11th Street by Cardozo High School (which has a track). Anyone else have favorites? Chime in!

      • Jenny January 9, 2013 / 1:42 pm

        The National Arboretum! It only works for weekend runs though, since the hours are something like 8:30 to 5.

        • DC Fit Crasher January 10, 2013 / 7:25 am

          Good one, Jenny! I also remembered a few favorites: the hill at the Capitol building and the dreaded Calvert street hill off of Rock Creek trail.

  3. Sarah S January 28, 2013 / 12:41 pm

    Thanks so much! Excited to give these a shot.

    • DC Fit Crasher January 29, 2013 / 7:04 am

      Great Sarah! What half marathon will you be training for?

  4. Alissa February 24, 2014 / 12:30 pm

    I love your plan! Giving it a shot as I train for RnR San Francisco. Thanks for posting!

    • DC Fit Crasher March 3, 2014 / 7:16 pm

      Fantastic – so happy to hear it’s useful. Good luck with your training!

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