Week-by-week Half Marathon Training Plan

Follow this easy-to-use beginners guide to make your first half marathon a success!

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WEEK 1

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Day 1: Gentle 3 mile jog
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 3 mile with quick bursts
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 30 min jog/cross train
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Easy 3-4 mile jog

WEEK 2

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 3 mile with quick bursts
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 40 min jog and walk
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Easy 4 mile

WEEK 3

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 2-3 mile **Tempo
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 3 mile easy jog
Day 6: Rest 
Day 7: Easy 5 mile jog

WEEK 4

Day 1: Gentle 3 mile or rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 30 min hill session
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 3 mile jog
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 5 mile quick as you can

WEEK 5

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 40 min cross train
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 4 mile jog
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 6 mile gentle jog

WEEK 6

Day 1: 3 mile easy or rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 4 mile Tempo run
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 45 min cross train
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 6-7 mile steady run

WEEK 7

Day 1: 3 mile easy or rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 40 min hill session
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 4 mile jog
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 7-8 mile jog

WEEK 8

Day 1: Rest or 3 mile easy jog
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 4-5 mile *Fartlek
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 4 mile jog
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 8 mile steady run

WEEK 9

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 5 mile Tempo run
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 50 min cross train
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 8-9 mile jog 

WEEK 10

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 40 min hill session
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 4 mile jog
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 8-9 mile steady

WEEK 11

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 5 mile run or cross train
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 4 mile Tempo run
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 10 mile jog

WEEK 12

Day 1: Rest or easy 3 mile jog
Day 2: Rest 
Day 3: 4-5 mile Fartlek
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Cross train or 5 mile
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 11 mile jog

WEEK 13

Day 1: Rest or easy 4 mile
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 6 mile jog
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Cross train or 4 mile
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 11-12 mile jog

WEEK 14

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 5 mile Fartlek
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Cross train or easy 4 mile
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 12-13 mile jog

WEEK 15

Day 1: Rest or easy 4 mile jog
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 4-5 mile at race pace
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Cross train or 4 mile easy
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 6-7 mile at race pace

WEEK 16

Day 1: Gentle 3 mile or rest
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Gentle 3 mile
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Gentle 2-3 mile
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: RACE DAY!

* Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training.

**Tempo runs are an excellent way for runners to build speed and strength. They’re runs that are done at a steady effort level, usually just a little slower than your 10K race pace.

Key points on how to use this beginner’s timetable

  • Remember that it is just a guide, you do not necessarily have to follow it word for word.
  • Never run if you are carrying an injury, it’ll make only it worse. If an injury persists, seek professional advice.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you miss the odd run. Life has a pleasant or sometimes unpleasant habit of getting in the way of training. 
  • If you miss a week or two of training however, go back a week or so in the timetable and build your fitness levels back up again.

Written by Graeme Hilditch for Tommy’s Let’s Run

Visit the MFM forums to get chatting with other potential runners and share advice, experiences and tips

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