My Plan for a Sub-2 Hour Half Marathon

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Three weeks ago I finished the ScotiaBank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon in 2 hours and 30 seconds. I had a fantastic time (as evidenced by the MASSIVE goofy grin on my face) and I ran really hard.  Yet I feel disappointed that I didn ‘t finish in less than 2 hours. I’ve flirted with 2 hours so many times that I just wanna grab hold of her!  I was *THIS* close to two hours! So close that NOT accomplishing that goal hurts despite the effort I put in.

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ScotiaBank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

On the upside I keep reminding myself of all of my accomplishments with that race:

  • I managed to train despite the fact that I solo-parented the 3 kids during most of the 8 weeks leading up to the race because hubby was travelling and working really long hours.
  • ALL of my training was done while pushing a jogging stroller.
  • I was less than a year post-partum when I ran the race.
  • I was still almost exclusively breastfeeding an 11 month old who had no interest in food.
  • By the time I finished the race my breasts were engorged and in A LOT of pain. The last 3 km were excruciating with all of the bouncing.
  • I beat all but 1 of my half marathon finishing times from races I ran in when I was in my mid-twenties.
  • I set a new post-children personal best.

Then I read that one of my favourite bloggers, Tina of the blog Faith, Fitness, Fun finished the Savannah Rock N Roll Half Marathon in 1:50. Holy crap, that girl is FAST! I am in awe!! She had her second baby a few months after Amber and also was a breastfeeding mom.  And I just read that Heather, of Run Faster Mommy finished the Manchester City Half Marathon in 1:55! (Seriously – go congratulate them on their awesome races,  they deserve it).

But now my competitive juices are running incredibly wild…..I want to run a sub-2 hour half marathon!

I KNOW I can do it. I KNOW my legs and lungs are capable. I KNOW I can handle the pain & muscle through it, because I did it – I ran a 1:51 half marathon almost ten years ago. I KNOW I can do this!

So I put together a training plan….


My plan has it all: long runs, easy runs, tempo runs, speed/track workouts, strength training, and cross-training. I even printed off a HUGE copy of my plan, and it hangs by my desk at work reminding me to run:


GIANT Half Marathon Training Plan and Log

Watch out Chilly Half Marathon….. Here I come!!!

Have you ever used jealousy to motivate yourself to strive for large goals?


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  1. Hey Janice, Did you manage your PB for your HM ? 1hr40min? will add ya in Twitter

    1. Hi! Yes, I did manage to run a sub 2-hr half marathon. I finished the Chilly Half in 1:52:47 just over a week ago by following that plan. Thanks for the twitter follow.

      1. SWEEET ! bet the training was worth it!! keep on going !

  2. Your plan looks really solid, I like the way you have it laid out with plan vs. actual all on one big sheet. If you don’t mind I would suggest more of a taper before your race, especially that long run the week before. You don’t want to get to the end with tired legs and a good taper will really give you the spring you need to hit your goal on race day. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Julie! What the plan doesn’t show is that I’m running a 30k race 3 weeks afterwards. I have since changed the 19k a week before the half mary to a 10k, then added some training runs for the 30k after the half mary. The goal with the 30k is just to finish.

  3. Pingback: Motivation Monday: First Week of Training | Fitness Cheerleader
  4. You can totally do it!!!! Love the training plan!!!!! Looks great 🙂

  5. Janice,
    Can you please tell all the other moms out there, that having a child doesn’t grant them the Visa to slack on their exercises? I can’t understand why some women use a child as an excuse to stop exercising! Have they forgotten that they are not cheating anyone but themselves? ANYYYWAY, no negativity –

    You are a true inspiration to a lot of people and I hope your friends take advantage of the bright spirit you have about life! I don’t have any kids but I can imagine 3 wouldn’t be a cake walk! Kudos !

    Here’s the article I wrote a while back on losing post-pregnancy belly. I will link your post to it when I get home tonight.

  6. You are going to destroy 2 hours! 🙂

    Is that plan originally in Excel by any chance? Any chance you could send me the file? Looks like a great format for putting mine together (I bought that smartcoach app you mentioned was on sale, I like the looks of the plan it produced for me, with a bit of tweaking).