How to Train for a Half Marathon if You’re Lazy

by Suz on June 7, 2011

You could buy the latest copy of Running Magazine, or whatever it is runners read.  But if you clicked this link because you’re too lazy to train properly, I’m just going to go ahead and assume you’re too lazy to go to the store and buy a magazine.

Sure, those articles may be written by professional marathoners. But I’ve got something that the so called “experts” don’t have…and that would be laziness.

You could say I’m an authority on the subject.

How To train for a half marathon if you're lazy

First step: sign up for the race five weeks before.  This will give you enough confidence and make you believe that you have sufficient time to properly train.

Next, find a real training regimen online written by one of those so-called experts.  Don’t waste much time looking at it, as you’re not really going to follow it anyway.  Run the scheduled days for the week.  You will be pumped up, oh-so-excited, and motivated.

Don’t worry- it won’t last.

After three more weeks, you’ll be stressed and anxiety riddled as you remember in one week you are supposed to run your first race ever– Which happens to be 13.1 miles long.  Take another look at said training regimen.  It would be best to follow it a little closer this time.


A week out, run the scheduled 10 miles.  Works best if you have dog who can pull you up hills.  Works even better if said dog doesn’t go on strike and lie down at mile seven.

Voila! Anxiety vanquished. If you can run ten, you can run thirteen. Worst part is officially over.

From here on out, the training just gets easier: A four mile run, A three mile run, a two mile run.  Feel free to skip any of previously mentioned runs if they interrupt your napping schedule or if it’s raining outside.

This is the week to avoid all ‘encouraging’ family members who have recently asked you, “You’re not still planning to run the race, are you?”  Or, they’ve told you what you think is going to be a heartening story about their friend who hadn’t run more than fifteen miles before his marathon, but instead end it with a flat, “He didn’t finish.”

The day before the race, start taking ‘The Experts’ advice and load up on carbohydrates.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever taken a nutrition class, but I have…you should know that donuts, chocolate, and wheat beer have many carbs.

Wake up early on race day.

If your running partner doesn’t want to get out of bed, poke them on the forehead incessantly. If you don’t, you won’t have enough time to visit the port-a-potty before the race.

Trust me, the only thing worse than running 13.1 miles, is running 13.1 miles with an intense need to pee.

This won’t bother your running partner at all, because most likely, he/she actually reads Running Magazine and is faster than you allowing sufficient time to visit the bathroom during the race and catch back up to you…TWICE.


This is when you realize that previously mentioned running partner didn’t put timing clip on, not because he/she forgot, but because he/she didn’t want name associated with such a slow time.  This doesn’t bother you, because you’re thankful to have somebody next to you who knows your burial wishes, should you have a heart attack.

Your running partner’s shame matters little at this point — Because by now you’re having FUN. You’re having fun…despite the fact you feel as if a group of masochistic midgets are stabbing knives into your legs while their taller brethren throw fiery darts down your lungs.

They’re an angry bunch, those little people.

Despite some sadist’s plans to thwart your successful finish by putting a freaking hill in the last half mile of the race, YOU, an out of shape person who has barely worked out in two years just ran a freaking half-marathon.


Obstinacy does wonders in the absence of preparation.

Apparently, goals are good too.  I’d suggest setting them low.  Mine were to finish, not walk, and not be last.  I surprisingly accomplished all three and finished my first ever race in 2:13:27.

I never thought I’d be so proud to be in 2374th place.

Do you have any training tips for us lazy folks?

(A big thank you to all my family who woke up early to come and cheer me on.  Also to my husband, who put away his competitive streak for the day so we could run together)

I’ve got a new Facebook page– if you don’t hate puppies, go “Like” it.

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The out of shape Wombat June 7, 2011 at 7:59 am

Wow–you DO look happy! I surely would have been in tears if I had little people stabbing knives into my quads. How nice your honey ran with you, too. I’m not buying the lazy thing, though. 😉 Dude, you scale mountains.
The out of shape Wombat recently posted..Movie Monday – Guilty Pleasures

Suz June 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

No, seriously…I really am lazy a whole heck of the time. I just randomly get motivated to do weird things. That’s all. :)

Christy June 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

You’re definately the most motivated lazy person I know… congrats on finishing (and managing to smile for the camera – twice!). I certainly could not have done it.

Suz June 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

I think it was you who called me “selectively lazy”, once- I think I agree with that statement.

Doe Zing June 7, 2011 at 8:53 am

Medals in Madison!! Who would have thought? You continue to amaze me. What’s next? Oh, yeah….next week is Africa. I’m out of breath just thinking about it.

Carol June 7, 2011 at 11:14 am

Congrats on your laziness marathon. Was your motivation to finish the race or get in shape for the wedding, either way it was a great accomplishment. I’m also proud of Justin for doing the right thing and hang with his wife.

Renee June 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

Very impressive. I’d be laying somewhere on the asphalt, breathing hard and crying.

Suz June 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

I thought about that a few times. Figured it’d be more work to get up off the asphalt than to just keep going.

Zannah June 7, 2011 at 11:21 am

Congratulations! I’m totally impressed. What training plan did you (not) use? Was it free? (I need one.) :) You’re awesome.

Suz June 8, 2011 at 8:37 am

I went to this site and sort of figured what I should be doing. If you started at week one- it’d be pretty easy!

Zannah June 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

Thanks! I just glanced over it, and it makes a lot more sense than some of the plans I found during my searches. I’m running a 10-miler (my longest race up to now was 5 miles) in 17 weeks, and I figure if I train for a half-marathon, 10 miles should be easy by the time I get there. Plus I’ll be ready for a half-marathon. :)

Suz June 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

Oh yeah, you’ll be totally ready for a 10-miler in that amount of time. Especially since the longest run in that training ‘regimen’ is 10 miles! You’ll rock it!

Kim Kircher June 7, 2011 at 11:41 am

You may call yourself lazy, but you certainly don’t look out of shape. Just look at those legs! Of course, you could have done some photoshopping here. But that wouldn’t be like a lazy person.
Kim Kircher recently posted..Tragedy- Triumph and a Lesson in Public Discourse

Suz June 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

You are right, not only am I much too lazy to photoshop my legs, I also lack the technical capability. I didn’t post a video due to all the jiggling that would’ve occurred. I asked my husband, “could you see my butt jiggling when you were running behind me?” and he said, “yes”. I think I still have some remnants of leg muscles from back when I used to be active. I’m hoping to correct this situation this summer.

laura tinker June 7, 2011 at 11:59 am

brilliant, i cant even get motivated to do another 5k!
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bianca June 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Bwahahahaha! Suz, you crack me up! I’d totally follow your plan, except my laziness only allows for me to read this post…acting on it would require one more level of motivation, which I do not have.
Glad you finished and lived to run another day! Congrats :)
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MAILE June 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm

WOOF, woof-woof-woof-WOOF. HOOOWL-woof! Translation: LADY, if you were wearing a fur coat, fur booties, AND a muzzle thingie, I’d like to see how far YOU’D run!

Ms. Wasteland June 8, 2011 at 5:27 am

Congrats! I’m impressed!

Kristy June 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm

My advice? Don’t sign up. Coming from a true lazy type.
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Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom June 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

That was hilarious! I’m running a full marathon next year so if you could post a full marathon training schedule for lazy folks I’d be much appreciative, lol :)
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Betty Fokker June 8, 2011 at 11:45 pm

If I am running AT ALL it is because there is someone in front of me dangling a hot fudge sundae just out of my reach to motivate me. And even then I’ll give up in three steps and go get some butter pecan ice cream out of the freezer instead.

Kelly June 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Thank you for your kind words on my SITS feature day. :)

TRR June 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I try to convince myself every couple of years that I might like running, but I should just give up on that. I like it for 10 minutes and then I’m in pain or out of breath, or I have to go pee.

I impressed that you did so well even with your lack of consistent training. Smiling, too! I’d be flipping off the camera or in mid-cuss if I were running that far.

Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures June 12, 2011 at 12:55 am

That is a really great time for not training! Imagine what you could do if you trained. :) Let me see other lazy tips. Hydrate a couple of days before the race and have gu or shot bloks on hand race day.

Great job!
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Sandra June 12, 2011 at 1:28 am

That’s an awesome time Suz! Good for you! Had to laugh at the mention that your running partner didn’t put his tag on so his time wouldn’t register! What a good partner! When I was running in my first half-marathon, I ditched my friend when she wasn’t running fast enough…ya,you don’t want to run with me. I’m competitive like that.
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Dianna June 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm

How is it that I followed a training program, and you were lightyears faster than me???? Argh!

Suz June 28, 2011 at 11:22 am

I’m quite obstinate. And I eat a lot of Red Vines. Maybe that was the missing ingredient? :)

Monica @ Monica Wants It August 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

No I think it’s that you’re super light and the wind just carried you for about 13.1 miles. Seriously, this post was hilarious.

I may just choose to write my own post like this, but put the following:
“Don’t train and accept you just donated $80”


Suze July 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm

That’s great! Obstinacy really does do wonders in the absence of preparation.

RunTheLine October 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

Loving this lazy guide to half marathon training. If you can sign up for a half marathon with no previous training only 5 weeks before the race day then you really do deserve your medals!
RunTheLine recently posted..Beginner Half Marathon Training Plans

Suz October 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Thanks! It’s sort of crazy, I just ran that just because, and now I’m getting sort of interested in maybe running a full marathon. I think I’m actually going to have to train for that… :)

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