Welcome to our 12-week half marathon training plan. Here we’ll be focusing on the basics of a good half marathon training program; building mileage and aerobic strength, understanding the fundamental weekly schedule, and acclimating your body to the increasing stress load.
|1||5 Runs: Target 25 miles||Day off||Easy 5 mile run||Easy 3 mile run||Easy 5 mile run||Day off||Easy 3 mile run||Easy long run of 10 miles|
|2||5 Runs: Target 30 miles||Day off||Easy 5 mile run||Easy 3 mile run||Easy 5 mile run||Day off||Easy 3 mile run||Easy long run of 12 miles|
|3||5 Runs: Target 35 miles||Day off||Easy run||Tempo run WU/CD. 3 X 5min at tempo pace*||Easy run||Easy hilly run*||Day off||10 mile Progression run*|
|4||4 Runs: Target 25 miles||Day off||Pickups WU/CD 6 X 1min pickups w/ 2min rest||Day off||Easy run||Tempo run WU/CD. 3 X 10min w/ 1min rest at tempo pace||Day off||Easy long run of 13 miles|
|5||5 Runs: Target 30 miles||Day off||Tempo Run WU/CD 6 X 2min pickups w/ 2min rest||Easy run||Day off||Tempo Run. WU/CD. 20-25min at tempo pace||Easy hilly run||Easy long run of 12-14 miles|
|6||6 Runs: Target 35 miles||Day off||Intervals. WU/CD. 4 X 800m at 10k pace w/ 2min rest||Easy run||Easy run||MP Workout*. WU/CD. 3 X 2mi at MP w/ 2min rest||Easy run||Easy long run of 14 miles|
|7||6 Runs: Target 40 miles||Day off||Hills. WU/CD. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1min hill intervals. Take 2-3min rest||Easy run||Easy hilly run||Tempo Run. WU/CD. 30min Tempo Run||Easy run||12 mile Progression run|
|8||Down Week 5 Runs: Target 25 miles||Day off||Easy run||Easy hilly run||Easy run||Day off||Easy run||Easy long run of 15 miles|
|9||5 Runs: Target 30 miles||Day off||Tempo Run. WU/CD. 30min Tempo run||Easy run||Day off||Long Hills: WU/CD. 5 X 3min hard uphill intervals w/ 2-3min rest||Easy run||Easy long run of 16 miles|
|10||5 Runs: Target 35 miles||Day off||Easy run||MP Workout*. WU/CD. 3 X 2mi at MP w/ 2min rest||Easy run||Day off||Easy run||13 mile progression run|
|11||6 Runs: Target 40 miles||Day off||Hills: WU/CD. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1min hard uphill intervals w/ half interval rest||Easy run||Easy run||Intervals WU/CD. 4 X mile @ HM Pace w/ 2-3min rest||Easy run||Long run of 8-10 miles easy|
|12||4-5 Runs: Target 25 miles||Day off||Intervals WU/CD. 4 X 800m @ HM pace w/ 2min rest||Day off||Intervals WU/CD. 6 X 400m @ HM pace w/ 1min rest||Easy 30min||Easy 20min running or day off||Easy 20min jogging, pre-race|
|1st Target Race: Half Marathon*|
If interested in a full marathon program, visit our extended 24 week plan to continue your journey.
Click for a list of half marathons in the Pacific Northwest.
Notes for Half Marathon Training Plan
* WU/CD. Warm up and cool down. 10-15min easy pace running followed by dynamic stretching, usually 15-25min total. I highly recommend doing at least the 10-15min easy running if you’re short on time. This is meant to get you ready for a run at faster than your easy pace. It increases blood flow to muscles and as I like to say “primes the system for hard work.“
* Tempo Run Guidelines. A tempo run is meant to get you close to your lactate threshold but not go over. It should be a comfortably hard effort that you could maintain for 10-20min past the end of the run. You should not be straining to achieve the desired effort. This run is best done by monitoring your heart rate to 87-92% of your maximum heart rate. These should be done on a flat course.
* Easy Hilly Run. I’m a huge proponent of adding a lot of hill running into a marathon training plan. It helps give you the strength you need to finish out a successful marathon. Easy means easy. Keeping your heart rate or effort in the easy range while running significant elevation gain. You may have to re-calibrate what you think is a hill. If possible, you would achieve 1,000-1,500ft of elevation gain with an 8-10 mile run.
* Progression Runs. A progression run starts out easy and progressively gets faster until you finish the last few miles at about tempo effort. Usually broken down to 1/3 easy pace, 1/3 progression dropping about 10-15sec/mi, 1/3 at tempo effort. These can be done on flat to rolling courses.
* Easy Runs. Easy runs are meant to be EASY. Yes, they feel slow. Yes, I know you can go faster. That’s not the point. Take your time. Run for time if that helps you slow down. Keep these to 65-75% of your maximum heart rate and very conversational. Most in this chart do not have mileage because you’ll fill in your weekly mileage using easy runs of varying distance based on how much your target weekly mileage is.
* 1st Target Race. Half Marathon. The half marathon at the 12-week point is meant to help you stay motivated and on target with your training. It can also help you to figure out your current training paces as it gives you a training marker to start from.
* Structured Long Runs. These are long runs that have a specific purpose and structure to the mileage, pace, or both. They are meant to not just get you to the finish line of a half marathon but to adapt your body to some of the discomfort you will feel later in the race by having to push your body when it is already tired.