The Plan: Faster Road Racing

Since I’m now on week 3 of my half marathon training plan, I thought I probably should share which plan I am following. The short answer is one of the half marathon plans from Faster Road Racing by Pete Pfitzinger.

first half

#throwbackthursday to my first half marathon

The long answer is a little bit of Half Marathon Schedules 1 and 2 from Pfitz, and a little bit of just winging it. When selecting a plan I was hoping to find something that would:

  • Continue building on the volume I was running this spring (usually 35-40 miles/week)
  • Feature long runs longer than the half marathon distance
  • have six runs per week
  • Incorporate some form of weekly speed work
  • have some flexibility for group runs, run/yoga/run, etc

I wasn’t too surprised when it turned out that none of the cookie cutter plans in the book completely met my desires. Schedule 1 didn’t have quite the weekly mileage that I wanted (31-47 miles) nor did it have any runs longer than 13 miles. I know it probably seems strange to want to train beyond the half distance, but I know that I struggle with endurance and I kind of credit the long runs of last year’s marathon cycle with helping me finally break 1:45.

Schedule 2 had too many miles. It peaks with a 63 mile week. Since my marathon training last year maxed out at 55 miles, this seemed a little excessive for a half marathon (based on my current goals and abilities). It also had speed work on Wednesdays which meant I would never be able to run with my favorite run club.

I briefly considered trying a Hansons plan, but that was quickly dropped when I realized they are 18 week plans and I only had 12-13 weeks available. So in the end I decided to Frankenstein some parts of the Pfitz plans together to create a custom plan. My goal is to have most weeks in the 40+ range, with a few weeks peaking around 55 miles.

Monday: Recovery run (3-5 miles)
Tuesday: Lactate Threshold and VO2 Max workouts from Pfitz 1
Wednesday: Downhill from here group run (epic hill halfway through the run)
Thursday: Easy run (6-10 miles)
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Run/Yoga/Run or Easy Run (7-8 miles)
Sunday: Long run from Pftiz 2 (12-16 miles)

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7 thoughts on “The Plan: Faster Road Racing

  1. I think your current idea, even if it is a “Franken-plan” is a good one. For a half, I think if you’re running 40ish a week, doing a long run and some speedwork during the week (usually 2 days, an interval and a tempo), plus some easy runs, you are 90% there and that seems to be how most good plans are structured.

    Plus, you know your body and what works for you better than a plan. Different things really work for different people though- for me, the super long runs in half training (going up to 16 miles) really did not help! But, more work at the goal pace really helped me. I agree with you on the Pfitz plans from Faster Road Racing because I looked at those myself but was between plans with mileage. Wish there was a middle ground one that tops out about 45-50.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will usually only have one day of intervals or tempo per week, but on occasion I will have long run progression where the final two miles are supposed to be at LT pace in addition to my speed work. But I think this is part of knowing my body and what works. Even when I was 5k training I didn’t do more than one speed work day per week. It just breaks my body down too much.

      But I completely agree on the lacking middle ground Pfitz plan. It kind of makes me glad I got the book from the library instead of buying. Especially since I already own Advanced Marathoning and the first half of both books are nearly identical, just different training plans at the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re right- I have seen plans that called for fast finish long runs and things like that. Plus, you have a LOT of speed already- you totally have the speed to go sub-1:40. My first sub-1:40 was Charleston and my 5K PR then was 21:20 (from a race about 4 weeks before that particular half, in fact).

        Liked by 1 person

      • You will. I think if I trained specifically for a 5K, I could probably run a bit faster. My 5K PR is from April, which seems to be a good time for me to set PRs in 5Ks because all my half marathons are over by then.

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  2. a hill run with a group now that is awesome! these are the hardest workouts for me but if I had some solidarity man that would make it so much easier! nicely done creating your own plan, what i’ve learning over the years is no one is the same neither is a training plan make that training work for you!

    Liked by 1 person

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