I'm not much of a runner currently, but can probably run 10 km in 55 min. I weight-lift three days a week and don't want to cut it down.

How should I design my running schedule so as to optimise my goal time in a half-marathon in three months?

  • You already run pretty fast, you won't have a problem to run a half marathon. But I'm just going to suggest to switch to "good form running" youtube.com/watch?v=Q51W7dKaY94
    – Lorenzo
    Feb 11, 2012 at 12:04
  • Thanks. I don't think so either, but I'm in a bet to do it faster than a friend :) I'm running barefoot forefoot striking and don't think there's any major problem with my form.
    – Mark
    Feb 11, 2012 at 12:34
  • Then you're already ahead ;-) but for the race you'll need shoes, if minimal.
    – Lorenzo
    Feb 11, 2012 at 15:12
  • I'm glad you asked this question. I'm in the same situation.
    – user1978
    Feb 11, 2012 at 23:39
  • I can't see why shoes would be necessary for a half marathon -- I just ran an 8 mile race without shoes, and even marathon and longer distances have been done barefoot.
    – J. Win.
    Feb 13, 2012 at 3:52

3 Answers 3


So you're primarily a lifter but want to compete in a half-marathon.

It sounds like you're control but here's what I would suggest.

  1. Find time each week for a long, slow distance run on a day when you're not lifting. This is the key to any long distance training and you will have a very difficult time if you don't do this. This is where the running-specific adaptations are built up. You should start at about 10km and build it up by 10% or so every week.
  2. Trying to do both lifting and running means that you won't be really good at both. Be prepared to not increase your lifting as much as before. Be prepared to not run as fast as you might.
  3. Build in a rest day where you neither lift nor run. Adaptations come from the rest after training so give your body that time to rest.
  4. I would take one of your mid-week non-lifting days and make it a running speedwork day. I would start by doing some hill work (such as warming up for 2km, running up a hill quite hard before cruising down the other side, repeat that for 30 mins, then cool down for 2km or so). Do that for 6 weeks then progress into doing a tempo run (warm up for 2km, run at half-marathon goal pace for 6km, warm down for 2km).
  5. I would then try and fit in another run in on a lifting day (specially if it's a non-leg day if you do that). The purpose of that run is just to get more time on the legs so I'd do a relaxed 8-10km or so.

If you're lifting 3 days, that leaves 4 days for running. I'm current training for a half and running every other day. You'll do just fine on a plan like that.

Search for programs Online. Runkeeper has som e paid training classes which may work well for you if there's one that matches the amount of time you have. Runner's World has a cool iPhone app that lets you customize a training program based on your goals and how long you have to reach them. It's also cheaper.

Good luck!

Update: the last week before the race, go easy with all training, including lifting.


There are a couple of things you need to ask yourself before you can get a solid answer. How much time do you want to/do you have to commit to the running training? If you only have 4 days, I'd suggest running on the days that you do not lift as mentioned above. If you want some overlap (to provide you with a recovery day) my philosophy has always been to lift after running. If you run fresh you may have different form if you just recently completed exercise of a different fashion. Running tired or fatigued (especially if you lift with your legs) can cause tightness, which can alter form or gait. If you want to train its best to keep good form for injury and muscle memory reasons. IF you have to lift first thing in the day, I'd reco waiting until the late day to run if possible.

Then again if you believe you are not prone to injury and do not want to sacrifice lifting form from possible fatigue from running feel free to switch. If, however, you decide to do hard running workouts (tempo runs, track workouts, I'd really reco you lift afterwards)

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