Half-Marathon Training Schedule

Beginners' 12-week Schedule for Half-Marathon

This is designed for runners who have run a few 5k and 10k races or who have run between 2 and 4 times a week for several months and can at present comfortably run for 45 minutes to an hour. It is asking you to run a minimum of 4 days a week at the beginning with one day of alternate exercise. Most sessions, with the exception of the progressively long run, can be achieved in around an hour to an hour and a quarter. Some people can certainly run more, but it is better to start a schedule running within yourself and if you are coping comfortably with what is being asked, increase a little bit.

Improvers' 12-week Schedule for Half-Marathon

This is designed for runners who have possibly run one or two half marathons, and want to improve. It is also suitable for a relatively experienced runner who has been running for some time, can run an hour comfortably, has completed several 10km events and is looking to run their first Half marathon. It is only asking you to run 4 days a week with one day of alternate exercise, but an extra day can be added, if you are coping with the workload.

How to follow these schedules »


Beginners' Half-Marathon Training Schedule

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Week 1 Rest 2mile / 15-20min Run Rest 2.5mile 20-25min Run Rest 3mile / 25-30min Run 2mile Easy / Walk 30-40min
Week 2 Rest 2mile / 20min Run Rest 3mile / 30min Run Alternate Exercise / Rest 4mile / 35-40min Run 2mile Easy / Walk 30-40min
Week 3 Rest 2.5mile / 20min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 3mile / 30min Run Rest 5mile / 45min Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 4 Rest 3mile / 30min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 4mile / 40min Run Rest 6mile / 50min Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 5 Rest 3mile / 30min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 3mile / 30min Run Rest 7mile / 1hour+ Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 6 Rest 4mile / 40min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 4mile / 40min Run Rest 8mile / 65min+ Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 7 Rest 4mile / 40min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 4mile / 40min Run Alternate Exercise / Rest 9mile / 70min+ Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 8 Rest 4mile / 40min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 3mile / 30min Run Rest 10mile / 80min+ Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 9 Rest 5mile / 50min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 4mile / 40min Run Rest 11mile / 90min+ Run Rest
Week 10 3mile Easy >4mile / 40min Run Rest 3mile / 30min Run Alternate Exercise / Rest 12mile / 1hr 40min+ Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 11 Rest Alternate Exercise Rest 3mile / 30min Run Alternate Exercise / Rest 5mile / 45-50min Run 2.5mile Easy or 30 Walk
Week 12 Rest 2mile / 20min Run 20min Easy Rest 20min Very Easy Race Day Relax!

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Improvers' Half-Marathon Training Schedule

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Week 1 Rest 3mile / 25min Run Rest 2.5mile at Race Pace Rest 4mile / 40min Run 2.5mile Easy
Week 2 Rest 3mile / 25min Run Rest 3mile at Race Pace Alternate Exercise / Rest 5mile / 50min Run 2.5mile Easy or 30min Walk
Week 3 Rest 3.5mile / 35min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 3mile at Race Pace Rest 6mile / 1hour Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 4 Rest 3.5mile / 35min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 4mile at Race Pace Rest 7mile / 70min Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 5 Rest 4mile / 40min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 3mile at Race Pace Rest 8mile / 80min Run 3.5mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 6 Rest 4mile / 40min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 4mile at Race Pace Rest 9mile / 90min Run 3.5mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 7 Rest 4mile / 40min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 4mile at Race Pace Alternate Exercise / Rest 10mile / 1hr 40min Run 4mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 8 Rest 4.5mile / 45min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 3mile at Race Pace Rest 8mile / 80min or 10k Race 4mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 9 Rest 5mile / 50min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 4mile at Race Pace Rest 9-10mile / 90min+ Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 10 Rest 4.5mile / 45min Run Cross Train / Alternate Exercise 3mile at Race Pace Alternate Exercise / Rest 12mile / 1hr 40min Run 3mile Easy or 30-40min Walk
Week 11 Rest 4mile / 40min Run Rest 3mile at Race Pace Alternate Exercise / Rest 5mile / 45-50min Run 2.5mile Easy or 30min Walk
Week 12 Rest 2mile / 20min Run 30min Easy Rest 20min Very Easy Race Day Relax!

Download PDF »

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  • Phil DaveyDecember 21, 2015 at 9:26pm
    I'm interested to look at your suggested half marathon training plan, parts of which I could insert into my ongoing training regime. The one query I'd like to raise is why do resources such as yourselves (and Runners World) insist on allocating a long run to Saturdays when so many runners are active parkrunners. Surely by now, you should feel an obligation to try and build any training regime around the 5k Parkrun distance? Reply
    • Adrian Tarit StottDecember 23, 2015 at 10:50am

      Phil,

      Thanks for your comment. We do value feedback. Online schedules – ours and others you will find – by their general nature, are always there to act as a guide, rather than anything concrete. They don't know your lifestyle and work / family / other races like Park Run commitments etc. Looking at a week or two week overview should give you an idea of the general training recommended. It is fine to juggle days / sessions around, to cater for other commitments, as long as you follow the golden rule of still allowing rest or easy days, which are also a key component of any schedule.

      Doing your long run on a Sunday or any day that fits into your lifestyle is therefore fine (if you have a local coach, they can give more specific advice, of course).

      We are well aware of the popularity of Park Runs, but any coach or trainer will tell you that your long-term goal – which seems to be a half marathon from what you are saying – should be the priority, and Park Runs, although incredibly useful and a wonderful focus for so many people, should be seen as stepping stones towards your main longer goal. Good luck with your training, and like many runners, you should find the increased mileage as you build towards your half… will actually help your Park Run time too.

      Reply
      • LewisJanuary 5, 2018 at 2:28pm
        I think these training plans are designed to help you build a habit in your body to perform on certain days too. By making the log run occur frequently on a Saturday, your body gets used to this being the day you need to be ready for a long effort which should help on race day if that is also on a Saturday. By doing all your long runs on a Sunday and then doing the half marathon on a Saturday you might not be quite so well tuned if that makes sense? For me, I try to do my training at a similar time of day as the race for the same reason.
        Reply
        • Adrian Tarit StottJanuary 6, 2018 at 7:33am

          Lewis,
          Thanks for your comment, that's a really good point you make. As I mention in the earlier thread, the schedules are "guides" which can be tweaked to fit in with one's other commitments and lifestyle. When it comes to specific race preparation, it is always good to look at your event, the course profile, start time etc, and then incorporate aspects into your training. Preparing for and doing training runs for a specific start time on a certain day is always useful, together with practising breakfast and drink strategy for the race. Also looking at the course and, for example, if a long hill is involved at Mile 7 or Mile 11, try and find a local route that replicates this.
          Good luck with your training,
          Adrian

          Reply
  • tromraSeptember 27, 2016 at 9:11pm
    I'm a 55 year old woman ran 7 full marathon last 6 yrs wondering if marathon running bad for more more muture lady should I do weight training as all do is run can't swim or ride a bicycle.

    Regards
    Mary

    Reply
    • Adrian Tarit StottSeptember 28, 2016 at 11:44am

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for you comment. Age generally is never a barrier to marathon running. We have regular customers running marathons and even ultras well into their 60's and 70's. Having said that, there are indeed several things one has to consider as you get older. The age old saying ,"There is more to running than running " is even more important with age.

      I don't know your full running background, or any history of injuries or if anything in particular has triggered you question. etc. but I would suggest if you don't already do so, seeking out a local running group in your area. Most areas of the UK are well served with Athletic clubs, but also with a whole network of running groups that cater for all standards, ages and abilities. The ability to talk to and have the support and ideas of other experienced runners is always felt to be invaluable for anyone. Even going to your local Park Run will give you the opportunity for you to meet other runners asking similar questions.

      Appreciate this isn't always possible for several reasons so here are 5 little tips.

      1)With 7 marathons behind you, you will have a feeling of when things are going well and when training is difficult and you have that constant "tired" feeling! Don't feel bad about taking a day or 3 off to recharge batteries.

      2) You mention weight training. Under supervision initially, to ensure the right muscle groups are being worked, this would be fine. So do check out a local sports centre or gym for this, or our article on calisthenics.

      Reply
    • Adrian Tarit StottSeptember 28, 2016 at 1:29pm

      3) Just as useful to build strength and at the same time maintain flexibility – especially as we get older – is to seek out a local yoga or pilates group. There are often groups for beginners and I had seven seen over 50s groups too. Check out our article on Yoga for Runners.

      4) Stretching always helps and one or two good sessions a week as outlined in our article Stretching for Runners will be useful.

      5) Also remember there are many other challenges out there. If full marathon training is difficult, concentrate on a half marathon or improving your 10k. Your long term health and fitness is paramount and just enjoying your running, whatever distance, is the most important thing.

      Hope this is useful but do ask back any other questions.
      Adrian

      Reply
  • abiola adanlawoDecember 6, 2016 at 2:49pm
    hi
    I am deaf and I want going run too race... Reply
    • Adrian Tarit StottDecember 7, 2016 at 7:16am

      Hi Abiola,
      Thanks for your note. That is good news you are wanting to try a race. We have several customers who have hearing or sight issues which have never been a barrier to taking part in events.

      You don't say where you live. There are supportive running groups with leaders and coaches all over the country who would be able to help and offer more individual advice. You should be able to find a local contact in one of the web links below:

      Run England/Run Together
      Jog Scotland
      IRun Wales

      Good luck with your running
      Adrian

      Reply
  • Ian CarmichaelJanuary 5, 2018 at 3:15pm
    Hi. Thanks for the schedules, great stuff as per usual. Am I being a bit thick or can I not download them. I’m looking from an iPhone and even in landscape view I cannot find a way of copying and keeping the schedules. Is it possible? Reply
    • Adrian Tarit StottJanuary 6, 2018 at 7:21am
      Ian,
      Thanks for your kind comment. Glad you are finding the schedules usefulThey can certainly be downloaded and printed if necessary from PC/laptop. As to Whether or how they can be dowloaded on to phone i will check with my colleagues and post back here later.
      adrian
      Reply
  • MyloApril 9, 2018 at 8:03pm
    I have found these schedules to be invaluable. I copy them onto a document file so I can alter days around if I need (or want) to, and highlight the sessions in green as completed. As I hadn't run for a very long time I used the beginner schedule for the Bristol Half Marathon last year, starting early and so being able to repeat weeks to make an even more gradual run-up to race day That was September 2017 and I didn't run for the rest of the year. In January 2018 I started back at the beginning of the schedule to prepare for the Thames Towpath 10 (miles) in April. Brilliant I improved my time and felt surprisingly fresh at the end of the race. I am using the Improvers HM Schedule for this years Bristol Half. Check out the notes for how to use the schedules on this site. These are easily the best schedules on the web having done a lot of research! Thank you Adrian for these must-have aids to successful and enjoyable running. Reply
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