Half Marathon Plans : Buffalo Creek

It's that time again- time to start training for my next race!  It feels like it's been such a long time since I really trained for a race, and even longer since I focused on the half marathon.  I think it's my favorite race distance, because training doesn't have to take up your entire life, and the races are always fun.

For my next half marathon, I decided to run the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon.  It will be my first time running this race, and there are a few reasons why I decided on this one:

  • Close to my house.  This means that I can stay at home before the race, eat my own food, not wake up super early to get to the start line, and also train on the actual course!  
  • Rails-to-trail course.  I've done other races on this kind of crushed-limestone course, and I really like it.  It's easier on my body, and I can train on other trails around my house for my long runs. 
  • Net downhill.  The course is supposed to be perfect for getting a PR- in fact, most of my friends have PR'd on this course!  Maybe I'll be next.
  • Lots of support.  I know a lot of people doing this race, so it'll be great to have some built in support on the course.  
  • Cheap fee.  Let's be real- half marathons can get PRICEY.  This one was a reasonable price, so I knew I had to sign up right away.
  • Good reviews.  If I'm doing a race for the first time, it's always great to hear good feedback from people I know.  I was convinced to run it after hearing the great experiences some friends had while we were on a run together!  If you would like to see some race recaps, here are some that my friends posted:

So, now that I picked out my goal race, it's time to pick a plan!  I decided to follow Kara Goucher's 10 week half marathon plan.  I actually used it earlier this year in my lead up to full marathon training, and I loved it.  I knew that as soon as I was ready to train for a half again, I had to use this as my plan.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • 3-4 easy runs per week.  I know some people don't like to do a lot of easy/junk miles, but I like doing my daily run!  These are all in the 3-7 mile range, so I really don't think it'll affect my training. If it gets to be too much, I'll definitely add an extra rest day.
  • 1 speed workout per week.  This is my favorite part of the plan- each week the speed workout is different and exciting.  Most of the workouts are centered around race pace, so I know that this will boost my confidence when I get to race day.
  • 1 long run per week.  These start at 5 miles, and go up to 11 miles.  
  • 2 core workouts per week.  I love that there is a core workout built in to this plan, and I hope to stay consistent with it!
  • 1 cross training workout per week.  For my cross training, I will be doing yoga and kayaking.  Got to keep it fun, right?

Training officially starts next Monday, and I can't wait to get started!  I'm still working on my goals, mostly because my paces have been wildly inconsistent with my running streak and the crazy weather we've been having.  I'll see how the first few weeks go with my long runs and speed work, and come up with a goal soon.  Until then, you know I'll keep you all updated with my training!

What are you training for?
What's your favorite race distance?


  1. I have a training plan (Marathoning for Mortals - since I'm an interval runner) but I don't do anything towards speedwork or cross-training. I know if I did either (both!) my overall pace would improve. Training for my 2nd marathon in November - and while I like the marathon distance, I don't like all the training for it so the half is my preferred race.

  2. I'm excited & nervous to start training. I'm excited to have a buddy, especially for some of the tough speed workouts when my pace can get a little crazy.

  3. YAY! I'm so excited you picked this race! I will for sure make plans to come out to cheer you & Jessie on. Thanks for the shoutout - it was a wonderful race for me & I know this can be yours & Jessie's race as well. =)

  4. Okay, we really need to start planning the after party since so many of us are doing this race! This is definitely my favorite race, and you know I don't love races so that's saying something! If you lived Towpath, you'll love this too!


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