ChrisL's lightweight 2hr HM plan

About me:

I am a 55 year old male & have just come back to these forums after a year's absence. I did C25K two years ago, then added a km per week to get to 10k quite quickly and then pretty much stopped running altogether. Last autumn I got into road cycling and did some long (100 mile+) rides.

Apart from that I have only done the odd 3-5k run maybe once a month this year.

The challenge:

2 weeks ago I was challenged to do the St Albans half marathon in mid-June by a much younger & fitter relative. I did a 6k run/walk to see if I still could run at all and then a 10k run/walk at the weekend to confirm it.

Challenge accepted.

The plan:

I have started to follow a 10 week plan I found online at  I will have to skip weeks 3 and 4 as I don't have time so my plan looks like this;

Week 1  4x400 intervals / 3-mile tempo / 6-mile long run

Week 2  4x800 intervals / 4-mile tempo / 8-mile long run

Week 3  3x1600 intervals / 4-mile tempo / 10-mile long run 

Week 4  4x800 intervals / 8-mile tempo / 8-mile long run

Week 5  6x400 intervals / 6-mile tempo / 10-mile long run

Week 6  4x1600 intervals / 8-mile tempo / 12-mile long run

Week 7  3x800 intervals / 3-mile tempo / 6-mile long run

Week 8  4x400 intervals / 2-mile tempo / Half Marathon

The target:

Last weekend (end of week 1) I did 10k in 51:27 (run/walk). The race time predictor at suggests I should be able to do a HM in 1hr 54m so my aim is to come in under 2 hours, which I suspect will be easier said than done as all the reviews of the St Albans HM say it is rather hilly (and I really hate hills).


I will log my progress here.  This will force me to keep at it.  If anyone cares to read/comment then please do. I will now put my tin hat on in anticipation of JuicyJu's assessment of my mental state and likelihood of success...

13 Replies

  • Ha ha ... you do love a challenge and this will get you sorted... and I would hardly call that lightweight!! Likelihood of success= 100% unless you get bored then it will be 0%

  • Hmmm. You know me so well.

  • Juicyju knows everything ☯️

  • Hi Chris, enjoy your training - will you do all weekly tempos per plan or alternate weekly tempo with hill training?? 

  • Hi Jaxsy.  I have wondered about doing some hills (ugh) but in place of the intervals rather than the tempo runs some weeks.  I have never done any hill training so would need to investigate how you go about it.  Do you do hills?

  • I always mean to ...but have so many excuses not to! I live halfway up / down a hill but really in run terms they're not hills so much as inclines.  If running from home I might run in circles and repeat and maintain shorter strides, higher knees, staying upright, looking ahead, focus on breathing etc . There's lots of videos on you tube and The run club To used to go to did 2 minute runs up hill, jog down for 1 min, repeat x5 etc... Along with other sessions. 

    If you have a hilly long run   it probably would make it more training focused  to include them,  for both physical and mental endurance. I know the theory but in practise I'm a bit lazy!

    Bet you would get plenty of feedback if you posted about running hills on another post... I'd read it Chris.

  • If you can do a 51.27 10K you should be ok t get a sub 2 hour HM. When I'm fit (I'm on the injury couch at the moment) I normally do a 10K in 47 - 48 minutes. I've managed a sub 2 hour HM which included a stop at the 10 mile point for a quick half of beer...

  • Now that is my idea of running!  I have always rehydrated after tennis etc with beer - much to the amazement of my playing partners who all go for some sort of awful orange or purple goop.

  • I'm not quite sure how good an idea it was. It made bladder control for the last 3 miles interesting... If I were to do that again I think I'd be sticking to something a little shorter - a whisky, perhaps. The beer certainly did nothing for rehydration.

  • Sorry to hear your on the ic @AdamB, crikey you're fast! ... I think I was near to throwing up at my first hm 10mile point - so I guess you've been running for sometime? 

    Hope your up and out - feeling better on your feet soon👍

  • Hi Chris, my pb for 10k is 50.59 (on the flat) and I have completed 4 half marathons, 3 under 2 hours. My slowest half was 2hrs 4mins, which was my first and quite hilly.

    As your 10k was a run/walk, the predicted time seems reasonable and achievable.

    Good luck!

  • That is very encouraging OG - thanks.  I just have to ween myself off the walking bit...

  • Everything you need to know about hill training everything-you-need-to-know-about-hill-training

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