Hills, Hills, & More Hills: Half Marathon Training Week 5

It’s week 5 which means we are almost half way there! Yay!! I hope everyone is feeling strong and getting there weekly long run in. Long runs, whether they are 4 miles, 6 miles or 8 miles, will help you build endurance. Take them slow and steady, it’s not about speed, it’s about finishing. The same can be said for hills. Runners tend to have a love/hate relationship with hills…we hate the struggle going up killer hills…but we love the feeling of accomplishment after we’ve done it! The best part is all that work pays off with super strong quads.

Cactus trail
Cactus trail in Palos Verdes

If you find that you are having trouble following the pre-planned schedule, no worries, I’m finding it a bit much too. This weeks long run is suppose to be 12 miles! I never do 12 wiles at week 5. Sometimes I don’t do 12 miles at all. My longest run is usually 10 miles, 2 weeks before race day.

Below is this weeks schedule with the adjustments I’ve made to fit my life.


Rest Day: Cross-train or core work.

My schedule: Hike/run with killer hills. Distance undecided.


Threshold Intervals: 2 mile warmup, 2 x 3 miles at goal 1/2 marathon race pace with 3 min rest between intervals. 1 mile cool down. 

My schedule: Rest day (because I work). Arm workout and 2 minute plank before bed.


Rest Day or easy 3 mile run.

My schedule (Tuesdays workout adjusted): 1 mile warmup, 2 x 2 miles at goal 1/2 marathon pace w/ 3 min rest between intervals. 1 mile cool down.


Easy run: 6 miles +4 x 20-sec strides after run.

My schedule: Rest day-(work) cross-train or core work. Resistance bands, arm workout and 2 min plank.


Rest Day. Cross training or core work.

My schedule: (Thursdays workout) Easy 6 miles +4 x 20 sec strides after run.


Steady Run: 1 mile easy, 5 miles at steady pace (marathon pace to marathon pace + 30 sec per mile), 1 mile easy.

My schedule: As above.


Long Run: 12 miles

My schedule: Rest Day (work). My plan is to do arms and a 2 min plank if I’m not exhausted from working 12 hours after spending the day at my daughters dance competition on Saturday. I’ll be doing my long run on Monday–8 or 10 miles depending on how I feel…12 miles is just crazy this early in training :-).  

Hills, hills and more hills…build strength…

trail running

This week try to fit in a hill workout. The “official” schedule only has 1 hill repeat workout. What? Some of you are probably saying “Yay!”, but hills seriously do make you stronger…and it really does feel good to be on the top of a big hill that you just ran up. 🙂  Today I hiked Palos Verdes with my daughter, not my usual hill workout but she had a free day, so I opted to hike with her rather than run. My usual hill workout is running a street that goes up and over the freeway. I run it a bunch of times until it equals 3 or 4 miles. The key is to relax, lean forward slightly and shorten your stride. And don’t forget to breathe! 

On a side note, this post is a day late because I went out after work last night to celebrate the life of a dear friend who suddenly passed away. Such a sad loss that has reminded all of us who knew him, to enjoy life and live each day to the fullest. It personally reminded me to take the time for the people I love. Life is short.

Did you tell someone you love them today? What do you do that makes you happy?

Be happy my friends and live it up!

Keep Running!



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