Milestone Training Plan

Weeks to go: 3 to ” Houston Half Marathon & Relay”

Those training for the Houston Half and Marathon relay have a chance to try a full blown training program with those core sessions that are critical to progress: speedwork, tempo and long runs.
When we put together this plan the objective was to get you ready for your next step whatever it is, ask your coaches if you need any guidance regarding what speed to pick. The programs shared on the website have our recommendations on how to chose this speeds at the very end of them.

Weeks to go: 10 to BCS Full

10 weeks to go and we get into “session specific” training mode. From now until BCS we will be focusing on getting your legs moving faster, working on your mechanics and improving how your body deals with higher level of efforts.

As you do intervals remember that these sessions are not supposed to be a race. You should do all repeats at the same speed, and that speed should not be an all out effort but you should also not be able to keep a conversation. The rest interval duration is also important, you can walk, jog slowly or keep running at a slow pace, but it should not last more than 2-3 min.I do recommend after the warm-up do a series of “running-form exercises” to get the coordination going: 4-6 strides, knees-up, butt kick, carioca, etc.

For tempo pace, go 30-40 second faster than your marathon pace, between each tempo stretch you should keep running at CP. From a training point of view your legs are going to get tired, but you should keep moving at the same speed during the tempo distance. Over the sessions you will see that you can move faster, or at the same speed your legs are not that tired. This is because your body is getting use to process and clean the lactic acid.
You can check the pace calculator and the great videos available at

Weeks to go: 10 to BCS Half

 If you are aiming for BCS Half, you will start this week with strides. On your Tuesday session do a 45 min run and at the end do 4-6 repeats 100-150 yards where you accelerate for 40-60 yards and then keep a close to sprint speed for 80-100 yards, then decelerate slowly. The focus of these sessions is on mechanics, so do not worry about the spped

Weeks to go: 15 to Houston Full

This Tuesday you start Tempo Runs. It is important that you select the right pace for this exercise, if you have not done tempo runs before it may take a couple of sessions to figure it out. The goal is that you put a strong effort without going overboard, it is faster than your marathon pace, but clearly lower that your speed work.
Through this session you are teaching your body and brain to deal with “pain”…. wait, it is not about getting injured, but when you are in the marathon / half marathon and you have been through 2/3 of the race (for those doing a marathon think mile 20!) your brain will start sending signals to stop running (your muscles may have built up lactic acid and your brain sense that). You need to learn to push it at then end!!

My rule of thumb is that Tempo run pace is 30-40 seconds faster than your MP. So if you are training for a 10 min/mile pace, try to do a tempo at 9:20 min/mile.
Are you curious about all this, check the pace calculator and the great videos available at

Progression Group Plan

Eric and this group keep making progress!!! You have done a number of races, you want to increase your speed but you are not up to the mileage of the Advanced Training Plan….Come and join Eric Pearson who is leading a group of runners like you!!
Eric runs his key session on Tuesday 5 AM at the track on Cy-Fair High School. Because of the coaching involved you need to be there on time to participate on the session. Also, to get the benefit out of it you have to commit through the end of the program, are you ready for it?! Join Eric!!

Advanced Marathon Training Plan

Weeks to go: 10

The plan is clear, I would only suggest that on Thursday you eliminate the 2 min RI between tempo miles and try to go for the 3 miles stretch. The mile repeats on Tuesday should probably be 30-45 seconds faster than the tempo run, and the tempo run 30-40 seconds fast than your MP pace.
Saturday brings the first 20 miler, have fun!

Have a great week!!!

Daniel Benitez

RRCA Certified Coach