Couch to Iron Horse Half Virtual Training Plan

Last week, we released the Virtual Training Plan for the Iron Horse Half Marathon. This program will get you from the couch to the Iron Horse Half with training beginning on March 7. So now you have opened the spreadsheet, but how do you read it?

plan template

We’ll start with the block on the right side. This training program takes you through the Iron Horse Half Marathon while running a few other local races along the way. By training for races in between, we break the plan up into manageable chunks. You will also learn how to prepare for race day by practicing your pre-race routine, race day parking, and getting to the starting line. This plan also allows you to train for either a 5K or 10K and stop there if you don’t want to run the half marathon itself.

race arrow

You’ll also notice tabs across the bottom of the spreadsheet. The screen that will automatically load is this overview screen, but notice the tabs. I’ll talk about them in a minute.

overview tab

So how do we read this training plan?

We’ll start at the top and work down. The top row lists the days of the week – Monday through Sunday. These are the suggested days for running and cross training. The second row down shows options for meeting with other runners. Even though this program is just a virtual one, if you are Lexington Local, there are running groups that you could join or use as a meeting place with other trainees. I’ll be giving more information on these groups later this week so you can make plans, just notice they are listed here.

The training plan is broken into three sections – purple for 5K, orange for 10K, and aqua for half marathon. This separation allows you to join in where you are if you aren’t starting from scratch. Can you already run a 5K? Great! Jump in with us the week of May 30. Already planning to run the Bluegrass 10,000? Then join us the week after the race to start training for the half. The first nine weeks coordinate with the C25K training plan. After that, the numbers in the spreadsheet represent the mileage you will run that day.

But where do you find the C25K training plan? Click on that tab along the bottom or click this link for the official Couch to 5K page. You can also purchase an app that speaks the intervals to you. You can click here for the iOS version of the app.

c25k screen arrow

You’ll notice three workouts in each week – Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3, from left to right. They are referenced on the overview tab as Week#Day#. For example, W1D1 is Week 1 Day 1. Pretty simple! After W9D3, just return to the Overview tab to keep going.

You may also notice the Tracker tabs across the bottom. If you save the file to your computer (or into your Google Drive), you can use the tracker to keep track of your workouts.


Once you have saved the file for yourself, you can use the line that says Actual to document your mileage or make any other notes. Want to make more notes? You can click here to learn about electronic platforms to track your mileage as well as pen-and-paper options.

Look over the plan. Start to think about how you will work these workouts into your schedule. Plan to take three walks of 30 minutes each this week. Think of it as pre-training.

What’s next:

  • Join the Facebook group for the training group. Click here to join. This will be a private group, meaning that anyone can see who is in the group, but only group members can see the conversations. This space is where we can brainstorm problems and celebrate successes. It will also be a place to start meeting people to run with.
  • Watch for a post about running groups. These groups are opportunities to both join existing running groups and plan to meet up with new runners.
  • Watch for a post explaining cross training. What to do, what not to do, how hard to work. This post will come up later this week.

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