Karena’s Half-Marathon Training Plan!

I always see #TIUgirls rocking all different types of races: 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon, triathlon…you name it! I first got into fitness by running a half-marathon when I was 12. I still remember the feeling of excitement and empowerment as I crossed the finish line. Remembering that feeling of accomplishment is what pushed me to train for triathlons as an adult.

I started competing in 6-7 triathlons and half-marathons or marathons per year including the Malibu Triathlon and the Oceanside Ironman 70.3! It’s been a little while since my last race and now I’m antsy to get back to it. I decided to train for the Big Sur Half Marathon in November. I used to do this race every year with my dad, so we decided to bring back the tradition! I’m a little nervous, but I’m mostly excited! Training for a race helps add structure to my routine and gives me an incredible goal to aim toward. I’m not looking to PR (personal record) this round, but who knows…maybe this will encourage me to train for another race down the line and beat my time! ;)

In the past, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what my training schedule is. Today, I’m sharing exactly what I’m doing to prep for race day! A lot of races are in October and November, so this training plan works perfectly for those start dates. Just count 13 weeks backward from your race day to start using this plan. You can always adjust this plan to fit your schedule. Feel free to get flexible with it!

It’s also super important to make sure you continue strengthening your muscles with your toning routines. You can follow the Daily Workout or use Beach Babe 5 for your strength training and HIIT workouts. Cross training with these routines will boost your running performance, too! Foam rolling and stretching are also key to help prevent injury and keep you flexible. Try out THIS beautiful yoga flow and THIS foam rolling routine a few times a week and especially after your long runs.

So excited to share this journey with all my #TIUrunner babes!!



Psst.. training for a triathlon? Check out my tips and training guide HERE! We even have 10k training tips HERE! ;)

Download your printer-friendly version HERE!

While training for a half-marathon, it’s SUPER important that your nutrition is on point! Your bod is working hard, so you need to give it the clean fuel it requires!

I’m following all of the Lean, Clean, ‘N Green principles of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan throughout my training. It’s perfect because we also have calorie add-ons, which makes adjusting the plan to fit my training schedule such a breeze. Join HERE for thousands of recipes and science-backed info to help you reach your training goals!

bikini series tone it up digital bundle nutrition plan recipes meal

Let’s talk about FOOD…My nutrition tips for training:

✓ Hydrate!! Remember to hydrate before, after, and during your run. Aim to have about 8-10 ounces before you head out for your long run. Then have about 8 ounces every 15 minutes of your workout. Post workout, sip on 8-12 ounces. Make sure to replenish your electrolytes too! You can do this with coconut water. 😋

✓ For runs that take less than an hour, you don’t need to eat before or during your run. Just make sure to refuel with your fave Tone It Up Protein smoothie. Once you start getting into the longer runs, have a small snack, like half a banana with 1 Tbsp. unsweetened almond butter, an hour before your run. This will give you the energy you need to complete your workout without upsetting your stomach. Everyone’s body is different, so play around with what works for you!

✓ It’s important to listen to your body while training for a race. Depending on where you’re currently at in your fitness journey, you may be adding in a lot more cardio than you’re used to. This means you may also have to up your calorie intake. Use the Calories page in your Tone It Up Nutrition Plan to determine the calorie range you need to aim for while training. As long as you’re following the TIU Nutrition Plan and Lean, Clean, ‘N Green guidelines, you’ll be golden girl!

Are you training for a race?! What are your top tips? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. I have committed to my first half next spring! I’m really excited as it will be the longest race I’ve completed. Again, you guys must have been reading my mind!

  2. yay thanks for sharing this!! i just completed my first half marathon in jackson, WY a month ago. i will definitely be using all these tips for my next half. good luck Karena! a Big Sur half marathon is going to be GORGEOUS!

    1. Hey girl! You can still follow the Daily Workout for toning moves and videos. Just follow this program for running and add in the Daily Workout toning. Make sure to listen to your body and take rest days as needed to help recover! ;)

      1. Hi! How about on days, for example, where you would follow the half-marathon plan to run on Monday, but on Tuesday, the Daily Workout would recommend something like today- a video and 30 minutes of cardio. Since I prefer to run, would I skip the cardio that Tuesday because I would already be back running by Wednesday, according to the half marathon plan? Thank you for your clarification!

        1. Hey girl!
          Follow the Daily Workout for your toning moves and videos and use the Half Marathon Training Plan for your running training :)

  3. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!! I am currently training for my second half-marathon and am so happy for this. You guys are amazing.
    I would love to know how you incorporate strength training into this.

    1. Hi Karen!!
      Follow the Daily Workout for all of the toning videos and moves. Then use this program for your running training ;)

  4. I’m training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half in Vegas. It will be my third half! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Omg I’m so excited that you guys posted this! I’m training for my first half marathon that’s at the end of October! Talk about perfect timing ❤️

  6. Love this post 💕Thank you so much for sharing. This will be my go to for my next half 😊 Good luck with your training and race Karena! You are so inspiring.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this!! I love that the program is challenging, but it’s more much manageable than other programs I’ve seen! I’ve always wanted to try a half-marathon. I just might give it a go!

  8. How often should you replace your running shoes? I have heard a lot of different timelines/mileage for a pair of shoes.

  9. Love this post! I’ve done one half-marathon before and am thinking of doing one within a year from now – I’d really like to improve my time! This will be so helpful :)

  10. Training for my 4th tough mudder with the #tiunutrition plan @toneitup . I completed the #bikiniseries and I’m feel so good with the momentum. Couldn’t have done it without the #tiuteam

  11. I’m so bummed I couldn’t afford the Betty Design TIU gear when it was released. Any chance it will make a comeback?? <3 <3 <3

  12. Saw this post this morning and took it as a sign that I should try to register for the Boston athletic association half in October and I got in! Can’t wait to start training :)

  13. Saw this post this morning and took it as a sign that I should try to register for the Boston athletic association half in October and I got in! Can’t wait to start training :)

  14. This is definitely a plan I might be able to follow…
    I have run a marathon and a number of half marathons, but I have never followed an actual training plan per say. I didn’t truly realize I was a runner till I was forced to sign up for the full when the half was sold out in Pittsburgh in 2011, and I’d only done a “long” run of 9 miles…I ran the entire 26.2 miles and finishing was the most proud I’ve ever been!
    Anyway, I LOVE that this plan only specifies miles for the long runs; minutes are easier to wrap my brain around when it comes to scheduling my workouts! Thank you for posting this, and I’ll be using it (I hope!) to train for my first half in a few years on Sept. 30!

  15. Any tips on how to avoid runner’s stomach? My last race was a 10 miler, and I haven’t done one since because my stomach hurt so bad afterwards.

  16. Is there a substitute for the hill training? I don’t own a treadmill and prefer to run outside. Just signed up for the Philadelphia half marathon in November, set to begin training in August :)

    1. Hi Katie!

      You can sub in a recovery run instead – 2-5 miles. Or you can find a hilly area in your neighborhood when you take your run outside! :)

  17. Thank you SO much for this!! I’m following it for The Cambridge Half in November! Quick question – are the 5 minute warm ups included in the total time for speed interval + hill training?? (i.e. 15 minute hill training = 5 minute warm up + 5 minutes of hill intervals + 5 minute cool down?) Thanks xoxo

    1. I am wondering the same thing. I just did my first speed training tonight, 15 mins total. The way I read it that is what I thought but I am not sure.

  18. Question! I know for half marathons you need to be increasing your carb intake – what kind of carbs should these be for a TIU girl? Eat more bread and pasta? Fruits? Would love to know how to make it TIU nutrition plan approved :)

  19. Love the training plan! Thank you for posting it! Doing the Joshua Tree Half Marathon in November and I can’t wait! Gotta support the National Parks!

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