Half Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

marathon training plan

Half Marathon Training Plan – Reach your goal

So you have had a couple of great outings at the 10km distance, and want to take on the next obstacle? Superb. In that case, here is a 12 week half marathon training plan for beginners, which will more than assist in getting you ready for the big race day. In order to undertake the below, you should be comfortable doing 3 mile runs at least 3 times a week.

half marathon training plan

What workouts are on the schedule?

Strength: Mondays are days where you need to recover from your longer training runs. If doing any exercise, it is best to do some light stretching at the gym followed by some strength exercises. These exercises can be where you use your own body weight as resistance, or where you use light free weights with high repetitions. This can also be used as an additional rest day.

Cross-Training:  A session involving any other aerobic sport, like swimming, cycling or walking. Do not make the mistake of cross-training too vigorously though, and you need to allow your body to recover from the other sessions. Replace either runs on Thursdays or Saturdays with cross-training if needed. If you are feeling good, stick with running as per the schedule.

Rest: The most important day in any running program, where your muscles recover so you can run again. Actually, your muscles will build in strength as you rest. Without recovery days, you will not improve. In this program, Friday is always scheduled as a day of rest to compliment the also easy workouts on Mondays. Put your feet up! Enjoy it!

Speed-work: The training schedule includes one speed session a week, which includes various workouts explained below:

  • The fartlek runs includes a mile each of warm-up and warm-down, in addition to the fartlek itself. A fartlek is merely mixing up fast and slow running in the same workout. This can be between two points (like running between lampposts for example – one fast; then one slow); or could be time on your watch (60 second intervals). It does not have to be too structured.
  • When you read “4-5 Hills,” that means you should do 4 or 5 repeats at 5km pace on a hill about 200 yards long. Your “Long Hills” should be around 400-500 yards long, and run at below 10km pace. Recover fully on the way down, before going on the next repetition.
  • When you read the notation “6 x 800m” that means you should run 6 repeats of 800 metres each (two laps on a track). These are run at 5km race pace, with 90 seconds rest per repeat . There are also 1 mile repeats on the plan, which should be run at 10km race pace, and these should have 2 to 3 minutes rest in between reps.

All other runs on the schedule should be run fairly easy, whereby you are able to hold a conversation on the run.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1Strength4MFartlek 4M4MRest3M6M
2Strength5MFartlek 4M3MRest3M7M
3Strength5M4-5 Hills3MRest3M6M
4Strength3M6 x 800m4MRest3M8M
5Strength3M3-4 Long Hills4MRest3M7M
6Strength4M3 x 1 Mile6MRest5M9M
7Strength3M5-6 Hills5MRest3M7M
8Strength5M6 x 800m6MRest5M10M
9Strength4M4 – 5 Long Hills7MRest2M10K Race
10Strength6M4 x 1 Mile7MRest6M12M
11Strength5M5M easy8MRest3M8M
12Rest5M5M easy6MRestRestRACE DAY

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