Half Marathon Training Plan

A half marathon training plan should have a good mix of tempo, speed and long runs with particular emphasis on nailing the tempo runs.

Below you'll find a half marathon training plan for beginners as well as one for more advanced runners. Classifying runners as 'beginners' vs. 'advanced' is quite subjective, so I'll leave it to you to look at the plans and decide for yourself if the commitment required for the first few weeks is a stretch compared to what you are currently used to. Two recommendations I do have is to look at both the total weekly mileage as well as the distance of the longest run to help you with this decision.

As with all of my training programs , these are not necessarily the perfect fit for you as an individual, however the plans do provide structure with carefully placed recovery days. All of my plans are in miles, and only show ONE week at a time. This allows you to stay focussed on the current weeks worth of workouts and plan for them without getting overwhelmed by the tempo or long run that you will gradually build up to 9 weeks later:)

They are also in PDF format which I find print nicely on 8.5 x 11 paper and you can post like a wall calendar. Each training day has enough room to write down your feedback after each workout as a training log. This can be valuable information to look back on after successes so that you can repeat next time and failures to learn where you may have gone wrong.

BEGINNER HALF MARATHON TRAINING PLAN

Basically, this training plan requires 5 running days a week commitment. Hard days which include speed work and long runs, are indicated by the orange or fire coloured circles. These workouts have three implications:

  1. These are your 2 most important runs of the week - so do your damnest not to miss getting these runs done!
  2. Make sure that you are well rested before them
  3. Make sure that you allow for proper recovery after them
While the other days are important for your general aerobic development and adaptation, be sure not to let anything get in the way of your key runs. You'll see a mix of intervals which should be done at a track if possible, a hill workout thrown in about every second week, and finally of course a gradual build up a for your long runs.

MODIFYING THE PLAN


If you have to extend the plan by a few weeks so that the program peaks to fall on a specific event date that is say 15 weeks away, you can squeeze extra time by repeating weeks in the middle of the plan. Avoid changing the initial 5 or the last 3 weeks of the program as they are designed for proper build up and taper periods. You can also move the long run to Saturday and swap the recovery day to Sunday since there are never high intensity workouts planned for the Friday or Monday.

Here is the beginner half marathon training plan:

Half Marathon Training Plan Beginner


INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED PLAN

For this half marathon training plan, you'll notice that while there are still two recovery/cross training days built in, there is an extra high intensity day. This is known as the 'AT' or anaerobic threshold/lactate balance point/tempo day. Since the pace at which your ability to buffer lactate is around your half marathon pace potential, these runs are SO important for a Half and Full marathon runner's development. If these are new to you or not sure that you are currently doing them properly, please refer to the tempo run page for some extra direction.

Other than that, the long runs are placed on Saturday and all other rules apply. Add weeks in the middle, and don't skip the key workouts. If you do cross train on the recovery days, do your best not to go hard at your other sport if you can help it. Most significantly, be as rested as possible for your AT runs as those are the gold standard workout for racing well!

Here is the Intermediate/Advanced half marathon training plan:

Half Marathon Training Plan Intermediate/Advanced

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