Half Marathon Training Schedules

BEGINNERS’ HALF MARATHON TRAINING SCHEDULE

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 2 mi Rest 2.5 mi Rest 3 mi 2 mi EZ
2 Rest 2 miles Rest 3 mi CT or Rest 4 mi 2.5 mi EZ
3 Rest 2.5 mi 2 mi 3 mi CT or Rest 5 mi 2 mi EZ
4 Rest 3 mi Rest 4 mi CT or Rest 6 mi 3 mi EZ
5 Rest 3 mi 3 mi 3 mi CT or Rest 7 mi 3 mi EZ
6 Rest 4 mil 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 8 mi 3 mi EZ
7 Rest 4 mi Rest 4 mi CT or Rest 9 mi 3 mi EZ
8 Rest 4 mi 3 mi 3 mi CT or Rest 10 mi 3 mi EZ
9 Rest 5 mi 3 mi 4 mi CT or Rest 11 mi Rest
10 3 mi EZ 4 mi Rest 3 mi CT or Rest 12 mi 3 mi EZ
11 Rest 4 mi Rest 3 mi CT or Rest 5 mi 2.5 mi EZ
12 Rest 2 mi 20 minutes Rest 20 minutes Race Day! Rest Day!

CT = cross-training activity such as biking, swimming, elliptical trainer, etc.)

You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So if you’re busy on another day and prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it’s fine to swap a rest day for a run day.

HALF MARATHON ADVANCED TRAINING PROGRAM

Week Run 1 (long run) Run 2 (fartlek) Run 3 Run 4 Run 5 (speed)
1 10 mi 5 mi 10 mi 7 mi 5k tempo
2 12 mi 6 mi 10 mi 8 mi 600 x 4
3 13 mi 6 mi 10 mi 9 mi 400 x 4
4 8 mi 4 mi 10 mi 9 mi 400 x 4
5 14 mi 7 mi 10 mi 10 mi 400 x 4
6 15 mi 6 mi 10 mi 10 mi 600 x 4
7 13 mi 7 mi 10 mi 9 mi 10k tempo
8 8 mi 4 mi 10 mi 9 mi 400 x 6
9 15 mi 6 mi 10 mi 8 mi 5k tempo
10 15 mi 9 mi 10 mi 7 mi 600 x 4
11 13 mi 5 mi 10 mi 7 mi 600 x 4
12 race 6 mi rest 4 mi rest

Fartlek (which means “speedplay” in Swedish) is a speed training method, in which the speed and intensity varies throughout the run at unplanned intervals. For this program, a 2 mi fartlek would be run by starting out at your normal pace and then speeding up and slowing down at random times throughout the 2 miles. For instance, run to the 1st stop sign and then sprint to the 3rd lamp pole, etc.

A tempo run is sort of like a dress rehearsal for the race. The pace of your tempo run should be maintainable at a constant pace for the whole distance; near the end of your run, it should become increasingly difficult to maintain the pace but you should not slow down.

400 x 4 (and 400 x 6, etc.) means run 400 meters fast (nearly a sprint), walk 400 meters (or jog it slowly), then repeat this process 4 times (or 6, if that’s what it says). 400 meters equals one lap of a 4 lap = 1 mile track. I added this speed work into the program because it will help increase your speed both on the whole and in your finish-line sprints.

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9 Responses

  1. I really like your half marathon advanced program. I’ve been contemplating what to do for my next half, and you’ve given me something to think about!

  2. […] wasn’t following any special training program. Before I ran my first half I followed this schedule. I just did my own thing that typically involved 5 days of running with 1 day in the […]

  3. […] my way up to 6 miles a day, increasing my mileage per week by 10% and then I was going to follow this plan (the beginners), from the lovely Kelly. It was perfect and I felt confident. After this month […]

  4. totally stealing the half-marathon advanced plan! I’ve run five half marathons but never done any speedwork or tempo runs so I’m anxious to see how if it improves my time!

    Thanks!

  5. […] know a bunch of you people read Healthy Living With Kelly so you probably know she’s posted some great training programs for half and full […]

  6. Need help! I’ve decided I’m running a half marathon in five weeks and I need some expert advice.

    Without going into too much detail, I hadn’t planned on doing the race because my wife would be 8 months pregnant at the time and probably wouldn’t want to travel. Last weekend, she said she felt great and would love to make the trip so I’m back in!

    With five weeks to go until race day, I’ve done little distance preparation (my longest run has been about 5-6 miles) and obviously need to work on building up running endurance over the next month.

    Any advice on what I should focus on? Strength, long runs, etc.? I’ve accepted that I probably won’t be able to do 13 miles non-stop between now and then but I’d like to come as close as possible.

    Thanks for the help!

  7. I came across your blog and I absolutely love it! you have all the tips and advice that I have been looking for.

    I can do 3.5 miles but I am stuck in a rut, I need to get up 10K, i would love to do a 10 K run by this summer, is it possible to do a recommended schedule for us? 🙂

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