Best Online Training Plans

Example of what my training plan looks like on paper. Note everything is in PENCIL for when life's hiccups cause you to rearrange.

Example of what my training plan looks like on paper. Note everything is in PENCIL for when life’s hiccups cause you to rearrange things.

Remember my post on Flexible Discipline? Well, last week I definitely had to take a dose of my own medicine. Despite best-laid plans, the team I was assembling for the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey decided to pull out of the twelve-person, 178-mile relay. We were four runners short and we made a group decision to wait until next year when we didn’t all have so much going on in our lives. Being a little bummed about that, we decided that we definitely had enough team members for the seven-person, 72-mile Lake Tahoe Relay, which happens to be two weekends later than the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey. The Lake Tahoe Relay is a race I have done with coworkers five different times and we always have a good time. So regrouping and refocusing, the Lake Tahoe Relay is now in my sights.

Being the type A personality that I am when it comes to training plans, I immediately reworked my training schedule for the next 3½ months to fit the Lake Tahoe Relay. Each person on the team runs anywhere from 9 to 13 mile legs, and half marathon training plans have worked really well for me in the past. Over the years, I have picked up quite a few variations of the half marathon training plan, some duds and some really successful ones, but I always seem to come back to what I think it is the absolute best, those from Hal Higdon.

The training plans found on Hal Higdon’s website have helped me through two marathons and countless half marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks, and various other distances. Not only are the plans structured well and nonsensical, there are also different levels for novice, intermediate, advanced, personal best, seniors, Boston qualifiers… the list goes on. And to boot, the plans are all free! Most running websites like Runner’s World and others try and charge $20 or more per plan. Don’t ever waste your money on a training plan when there are great resources like Hal Higdon, who has been doing this since the ‘60’s. Although you can purchase an interactive app on your phone for $9.99, it isn’t necessary if you just want a PDF version of the plan. Hal has trained some of the best runners on this planet and he shares all of his experience on his site for free. Check it out. You can thank me later.

So back to training for the Lake Tahoe Relay…with 3 ½ months out, there are a little less than 15 weeks till race day. The Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan that I will be following is a 12-week schedule, so I have three extra weeks to work on my base conditioning, which I can really use since it has been so long since I trained for a race. Below is what my schedule will look like as I get race ready, which is pretty close to the training plan on Hal’s website. I modify some of the training days based on school and other obligations, but this is what will work for me over the course of the next 15 weeks.


With everything laid out, there is only one thing left to do…run. That is where flexible discipline comes into play to stay on track when life happens. It will and it always does, but having a good plan in place helps me stay focused and on track when I have a goal in my sights. What are some of your favorite training plans you use to prepare for a race and stay motivated?

2 Comments on “Best Online Training Plans

  1. Pingback: Week-end Rewind: 3/2 – 3/8 and Dill-icious Sauce | Running Primal

  2. Pingback: Creating a Fool-Proof Marathon Training Plan | Running Primal

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