Northern Arizona Elite - Advanced Half Marathon Plan (12 Weeks)

Are you ready to train like the Pros? Our Northern Arizona Elite Training Plans are taken straight from the workouts that Coach Ben Rosario uses to prepare the NAZ Elite team for some of the biggest races in the United States and across the globe! You’ll get insights into how we perform each workout in Flagstaff, Ariz., complete with links to workout videos from some of our biggest sessions. We believe that these plans can work for anyone and everyone. They just need to be tailored for specific ability and experience levels.

This is our advanced half marathon plan. If you’re someone who is very aggressive about your goals and typically trains 70 to 90 miles a week, then this plan is perfect for you. It is built on a 9-day cycle just like Coach writes the NAZ Elite workouts. That cycle is as follows: easy-easy-hard-easy-easy-hard-easy-easy-long. That means your long runs may not always fall on the weekend, but you’ll always have plenty of recovery between hard sessions. It also means you’ll likely be able to push the longs runs harder than ever before and we like to rock the long run!

Here are just a few of the hard sessions you’ll see in this plan:

15 x 1k: 2 mile warm-up. 15 x 1k at half marathon goal pace with 1 minute recovery. 2 mile cool-down. We love this workout! Just about all the NAZ Elite athletes have done it in their marathon and half marathon build-ups. Half marathon pace is not terribly difficult for just 1k but doing 15 of them with short rest gets tough toward the end. It's a great chance to really lock into race pace so the mind and body know what it feels like.

Tempo/Long/Tempo: 2 mile warm-up. 4 mile Tempo Run/10 mile run/4 mile Tempo Run. 2 mile cool-down. This one is a monster! Do the first Tempo Run at the slow end of the Tempo Run pace range. Then go straight into a ten mile run on the quicker end of Easy Run pace range. Then, the coups de gras, another 4 mile Tempo Run! Do this one as fast, or slightly faster, than the first one. The only rest in between is if you need to change shoes into and/or out of racing flats between the tempos and the 10 miler.

The Lumberjack: 2 mile warm-up. 4 x 400/10 minute Tempo Run/4 x 400/10 minute Tempo Run/ 4 x 400. 2 mile cool-down. This one is a classic Flagstaff workout made famous by the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks. We like to run it off-road on either the grass or on a dirt road. Run the first set of 400s at your 10k race pace. The second set should be two seconds faster and the last set 2 seconds faster than that. Run both Tempo Runs right in the middle of the Tempo Run pace range. Take one minute rest between the 400s with two minutes after the last one in each set and two minutes after each Tempo Run.

15 Mile Steady State Long Run: 2 mile warm-up. 15 miles at Steady State Pace, 2 mile cool-down. This is another classic for our team. Matt Llano ran one of these bad boys before his 1:01:47 at the 2014 Houston Half Marathon and again before he finished 35th at the 2014 World Championships. It’s pretty simple, just run 15 miles at your Steady State pace. For Matt that’s right at his marathon race pace. It is obviously a lot slower than half marathon pace but its length makes the half marathon feel like a sprint. Okay, maybe that’s not true, but you will be confident about racing the entire 13.1 miles after doing this one.

*All of our plans use the Joe Friel Training Zones for running available to you via TrainingPeaks. They include what each zone means to us so you can clearly understand what we mean by a Steady State Run (= to the slow end Zone 4/fast end of Zone 3), a Tempo Run (= to the slow end of Zone 5a/fast end of Zone 4), etc.

Again, these are just a few of the sessions we’ll throw at you over the course of these 12 weeks. Everything builds slowly over that tim

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