Half Marathon Training Plan + Carb Cycling

Running a track workout for half marathon training

I spent most of my weekend getting some much needed rest, creating an updated vision board, and outlining a new half marathon training plan and carb cycling program for the next eight weeks. It was exactly what my stressed and rundown brain and body needed to wake up this morning feeling wonderfully rejuvenated and ready to attack my goals.

The training plan I created culminates with the Virgin Sport San Francisco Half Marathon on October 15th. This will be my 13th half marathon (woohoo!), and my goal is to PR.

I was lax in training for my last two races, which I’m totally okay with. Priorities shift and life happens. However, after cocooning away this weekend, I knew by yesterday afternoon that I was ready and motivated to kick up my training for this upcoming half.

A PR for me will involve training not only hard, but smart, resting mucho, and prioritizing good nutrition. To help with this, I’ll be sticking to my training plan as best as I can (I promise to not forget you, hill runs!), avoiding alcohol (I’ll miss you, wine!), and experimenting with carb cycling.

My Carb Cycling Plan

Put simply, carb cycling is eating more carbohydrates on some days, and less on other days. I’ll be eating more carbs on days where I’ll need the extra energy (i.e. HIIT workouts and long runs), and fewer carbs on days where I’m resting or doing something light, like a recovery jog. I’m starting this cycle with three “lower carb” days, three “medium carb” days, and one “high carb” day and will re-examine and potentially tweak it after a few weeks.

I’ve never played with my carb ratios like this before, so it’ll be exciting to track my energy levels and see how it affects my training.

I’ll also be prioritizing nutrient-dense foods throughout training. My starchy mainstays will be regular potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas and other fruits, gluten-free oats, and some rice, and I’ll still be loading my plates with lots of greens and other veggies, in addition to protein and healthy fats.

My 8 Week Half Marathon Training Schedule

As for my training schedule, the plan is to train six days each week, but to always listen to my body and rest if more downtime is needed.

My primary focus for cross training days is to strengthen my glutes, quads, and hamstrings, and I will also be striving to improve my mobility, especially in the hips, as much as possible.

Weekly Plan

Monday: Speedwork

Tuesday: Cross Training (Strength-Focused)

Wednesday: HIIT Workout

Thursday: Hill Run

Friday: Cross Training (Strength-Focused)

Saturday: Long Run

Sunday: Rest/Yoga

New to training for a half? Check out my Top 10 Tips for Training for a Half Marathon.

*No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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  1. I love this, and you plan is so good and varies a lot, which personally i think helps to keep things from getting boring, but also working on different targets. Great post.