Kieran Hunt

Half marathon training

✦ 2023-03-20

I’m running the 2023 Knynsa Forest half marathon (archive) this year. This is my first ever half-marathon, so I want to document my training for it.

The following table shows the training plan I’ll be following. It’s a modified version of Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Half Marathon training schedule (archive). I’ve modified Hal’s schedule by lengthing it to 16 weeks—from 12 weeks—and making the distances more metric-friendly.

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 5 km 5 km 5 km Rest 6.5 km 60 min cross
2 Rest 5 km 5 km 5 km Rest 6.5 km 60 min cross
3 Rest 5 km 5 km 5 km Rest 6.5 km 60 min cross
4 Rest 5 km 5 km 5 km Rest 6.5 km 60 min cross
5 Rest 5 km 5 km 5 km Rest 6.5 km 60 min cross
6 Rest 5 km 5 km 5 km Rest 8 km 60 min cross
7 Rest 5 km 6.5 km 5 km Rest 10 km 60 min cross
8 Rest 5 km 6.5 km 5 km Rest 11.5 km 60 min cross
9 Rest 5 km 6.5 km 5 km Rest 13 km 60 min cross
10 Rest 5 km 6.5 km 5 km Rest 5 km race 60 min cross
11 Rest 5 km 8 km 5 km Rest 14.5 km 60 min cross
12 Rest 5 km 8 km 5 km Rest 16 km 60 min cross
13 Rest 5 km 8 km 5 km Rest 10 km race 60 min cross
14 Rest 5 km 8 km 5 km Rest 18 km 60 min cross
15 Rest 5 km 8 km 5 km Rest 19.5 km 60 min cross
16 Rest 5 km 3 km 3 km Rest Half marathon  



On the treadmill again. This was supposed to be the long run day but again we ran out of time. I thought we could squeeze all 6.5km in before Saturday BJJ but my time estimates were off.

  • Distance: 5.00 km
  • Time: 34m 37s


Went running after work and before an evening meeting. Ended up having to hotfoot it as we almost ran late. Didn’t make distance.

Strava image. Run: 4.3 km, Elev Gain: 110 m, Time: 41m 20s


Really cool run this morning. There was a fire on Table Mountain! The Working on Fire helicopters were flying from the lower Molteno reservoir, over us, and on to the mountain. We could even feel water droplets from their Bambi buckets. To end the run, we sprinted up Upper Orange for a coffee at the Ou Meul.

Strava image. Distance: 5.3 km, Pace: 6:51 /km, Time: 36m 57s


Back on the treadmill today. Last week’s calibration seems to have worked since the treadmill matched the watch really well. However, most of our gym’s treadmills impose a thirty minute time limit on runs. That makes it a little annoying when you’re running > 6 min/km. That either means you need to seek out treadmills with longer time limits or just run faster…

  • Distance: 5.01 km
  • Time: 34m 48s

I get pretty bored while running inside. Often I listen to music but today I went with podcasts. I listened to the tail end of Hackers Incorporated’s Lessons Learned in 2022-ish (archive) the start of ATP’s 526: Food Comes From Cans (archive).


First cross training day. We took advantage of a Kayaking voucher I was given for my birthday. Usually, the trip is scheduled to last 2 hours but wind and a bit of rain made our guides decide to turn around early. Really good experience regardless. See Cape Kayak Adventures (archive) for more.

Strava image. Time: 55m 6s, Distance: 4.2 km, Avg HR: 80 bpm


This week’s “long run”. Drizzly, cold and wonderful. Overshot the 6.5 km planned distance but that’s okay.

Strava image. Distance: 7.0 km, Pace: 7:10 /km, Time: 50m 22s


Quite a tough one today. The Molteno Dam, featured in 2023-03-21’s entry, doesn’t open at lunch time. So we had to do zig-zags up the mountain to make distance.

Strava image. Distance: 5.2 km, Elev Gain: 165 m, Time: 47m 55s


Treadmill this morning so no Strava image. My watch (Garmin Forerunner 245), needed a bit of calibration to get its accuracy right. No GPS means it’s doing a lot of guesswork.

  • Treadmill distance: 5.0 km
  • Watch distance: 4.3 km

It’s a pity that you can’t calibrate the watch before it sends everything to Strava. But I guess that’ll mess up all of Strava’s analyses since it won’t know where to add the distance delta. Like should it smear the distance over the complete activity or maybe just add it on at the end?


Day 1! I almost forgot to run today. It was a relatively easy one. Just up to the Molteno reservoir and around a few times. I’m not planning to slow down my Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training during this half-marathon prep so it’ll be interesting to see how one affects the other. BJJ is always on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Strava image. Distance: 5.2km, Time: 37m 14s