Half Marathon Training Diaries Week 12: Taper Time!

Thanks for stopping by my half marathon training series!

Currently, I’m training for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon on April 13th. My week 1 post has a comprehensive overview of my goals for this race, my training plan and philosophy, as well as my previous base training before starting this training cycle.

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If you’d like to read the previous weekly recaps, here they are:

1st Week: Kick-off, Goals, and Base Training

2nd Week: Feeling like less than Superwoman

3rd Week: Easy Week + Sweetheart 5k

4th Week: Making Friends with the Treadmill

5th Week: Just Keep Running

6th Week: Focus on Recovery

7th Week: Refining My Fueling Strategy

8th Week: Full Transparency

9th Week: Building Fitness

10th Week: Sore and Exhausted

11th Week: Peak Mileage

Half Marathon Training Diaries Week 12

Training Cycle Review

In the previous half marathon last September, my time was 2:19:41. My goal for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon is to set a new personal record at 2:10:00 or less. This means when I hit my goal, it’ll be a personal record of 9 minutes, which is pretty freaking awesome.

Training Plan and How I Tracked My Running

I use the same Running Workout Tracker that I give away for free on my blog to build and track my training plans. If you’d like a copy for yourself, you can grab one HERE.

For this training cycle, I plugged the workouts from the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Plan into my running tracker.

Click the photo to grab a copy of the Spreadsheet Template!

As you can see, the workouts I didn’t complete as planned are highlighted in yellow. Basically, I skipped 3 out of 65 planned workouts. 1 workout I swapped out for downhill skiing as cross training because…I got the day off of work to go skiing in powder. Which is a completely legitimate reason to switch workouts!

Thus, I completed 95% of my intended training plan, which is pretty dang good compared to only 81% completion of my first half marathon training plan.

How on earth did I achieve a 95% completion rate for all of my runs?

It was all thanks to the guiding philosophy for this training plan.

80/20 Training Philosophy

For this training cycle, I dedicated myself to abiding by the 80/20 Running Principle. This means that 80% of my miles were run at a slow, easy pace. The remaining 20% of my miles were completed at a moderate to hard effort.

Matt Fitzgerald’s book 80/20 Running, gave me the permission I needed to slow down on most of my runs and save my speed energy for scheduled speed work. I started implementing the idea of slowing down more on my easy runs, and it helped keep me on track to do all of my scheduled runs.

Keeping my easy runs easy was a key part to increasing my miles throughout this training cycle safely and without getting injured.

I feel better, stronger, more energetic, AND I’m running more miles.

For a more in-depth look at 80/20 Running and Why You Should Slow Down Too, head to my post dedicated completely to this training philosophy. 

Final Week of Training

There wasn’t much for actual training this week, because the hard part was done in previous weeks.

The focus for this week is recovery and tapering. I started to feel a little sick at work mid-week, so I made sure to get some extra sleep, drink lots of tea and water, and eat tons of healthy foods.


Scheduled: 4 miles easy

What I Did: 4.02 miles easy + 8 minutes of push-ups, sit-ups, and plank

Whew…I’m down to the last few workouts before the big race.

I kept my pace super easy Monday at an average of 11:07. On this run, I thought about my upcoming goal and all the hard work I’ve done this training cycle to achieve it.

After finishing my run, I did a quick 8 minutes of push-ups, sit-ups, and plank work to get ready for my physical fitness test in a month.


Scheduled: 30 minute tempo workout

What I Did: 1.22 miles in the freezing rain before realizing that was a dumb decision!

I was already starting to feel sick on Tuesday, but I was stubborn. For some reason, I thought I could just throw on my water-proof running jacket and that would make everything okay.


About a half mile down the road, I realized that running in the cold rain was a very bad idea since I was already starting to get sick. I turned around, high-tailed it back to the house, and jumped in a hot shower right away.


Scheduled: 2 easy miles

What I Did: 3.17 mile tempo run in 30:33

Well, I basically just switched Tuesday and Wednesday around this week. I fit the tempo run I was supposed to do Tuesday into Wednesday, and I figured the 1.22 miles I ran on Tuesday was close enough to the “2 easy miles”.

The average pace on my tempo run was 9:38 per mile, and my middle mile was an 8:43 pace. This run was just what I needed to boost my confidence for the race on Saturday!


Scheduled: Rest.

What I Did: Rest

Thursday I focused on getting extra sleep, drinking tea, and eating good food.


Scheduled: Rest.

What I Did: Rest and ate carb-rich foods

            Related: 5 Best Breakfast Foods to Fuel Your Next Half Marathon

I had a Bod Pod appointment on Friday morning, and the results were less than I expected. Basically, I weight 1 pound less than the Bod Pod assessment I did before my last half marathon in September, yet I had 1% more body fat. So in all reality, my body composition was worse than last fall.

However, I know I gained a few pounds over the holidays, so at least I know that I’m back to the point where I was in my “best shape” last year.

We made spaghetti at home for dinner, and I decided to start the tradition of drinking 1 glass of wine with dinner the night before a race.

Last day to rest and recover before the big race!



What I Did: See the Salt Lake Half Marathon Race Recap

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What’s Next for Me

I’m going to focus on easy workouts for the first week after my hard effort at the Salt Lake City Half Marathon, followed by 2 weeks resuming my previous typical mileage that I did in my last few weeks of training.

My annual physical fitness test is the first week of May, which I’m hoping to set a new personal record on as well for the 1.5 mile run. Running 1.5 miles as fast as possible is a completely different game than running a half marathon, and I’ll definitely let you know how it goes!

After that, I’m signed up for the Ogden Half Marathon in the second half of May, which should be an absolutely beautiful race. I don’t have any specific goals in mind for Ogden at the moment. I’m planning on enjoying the race and the scenery!

June will be more of a slow month for me, although I plan to maintain my current fitness and mileage. We will be moving into our new house that is currently under construction, so my goal is to remain flexible and allow myself to be less rigid with my training plan.

Once the first week of July hits, I’ll be starting my next serious training cycle and getting ready for the Air Force Half Marathon in September. I covered the Air Force Marathon in my 2019 Running and Life post.

What is your biggest running goal in 2019?


Run Happy,


About Me: I’m Alexis, Founder of RunningMyBestLife! I am an avid recreational runner, half marathoner, wife, dog mom, busy professional, downhill skier in Northern Utah. My mission is to help new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport of running. I believe that running is a catalyst to taking control of your life and living your best life by design. Learn More –>

1 thought on “Half Marathon Training Diaries Week 12: Taper Time!”

  1. I love your training recaps! I need to do a better job of writing it all down. It’ll help keep me accountable. And I love that you give yourself plenty of rest days. Recovery is suuuper important. When I first started running, I didn’t give myself rest time OR do anything other than static stretching for recovery. Boy, did I learn the HARD way! Now, I am a huge fan of all things rest and recovery! I talk about all the ways I recover here:

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