Half Marathon Training PLans

A half marathon is a challenging test of running ability – 21.1kms (or 13.1 miles) of sustained effort.

Whether you are training for your first-ever half marathon, or a veteran trying to optimise your performance, we have the training plan for you.

– How To Use Our Training Plans –

Our aim is to help you to run far.  

With that in mind, we have developed our training plans to be completely free and totally customisable.  

This means you can change the training plan to suit your needs.  

Do other commitments mean that you can only train on certain days?  

Need to trim a couple of weeks off the time schedule?

No problem, edit the spreadsheet as you see fit.

Our training plans come in Excel format, and are un-protected.

Next to each training plan, you’ll see guidance notes and an explanation of how the plan was constructed.  

Good luck and Run Far!

Half Marathon – BEGINNER (4 Months) Training Plan

Who Is It For?:  Inexperienced runners who have not established much of a running base.   Assuming you have at least some form of base fitness, it’s entirely possible to build up to complete a half marathon comfortably in 3-4 months.  The trick is to start with low mileage and build gradually in order to get your body accustomed to running, and not injurying yourself.  The plan starts with running around 2 miles, three or four times a week.  If this seems challenging to you, consider a shorter distance such as a 10km for your first run.

How Long?: Four months (16 weeks).  This allows time for the runner to strengthen their base of running fitness before adding mileage.

Description:  This plan has you working out five days a week.  You’ll be running for three or four of those days, and doing cross-training of some type on one or two of those days. For your Long Runs at the weekend, the aim is simply to get your body used to running for a long time – so take them easy, don’t push yourself.  Regarding pace, as you’re a beginner, it’s wise not to have grand aspirations for pace – you really just want to finish comfortably.  For your weekday runs, try and sustain a pace at which you could hold a conversation with someone.  Wednesday is a wildcard day – you can either do a tempo run (start slow and gradually build up speed), or cross-train if you prefer.  Many runners have other sports and hobbies they don’t like to neglect when in training, so you can do these on Wednesdays if you want.  Cycling, swimming and yoga are all recommended cross-training activities.

Download Links:

Half Marathon – Novice (3 Months) Training Plan

Who Is It For?:  Runners with a running base, first-time half marathon runners, or even experienced half-marathoners who aim to take it easy and not over-exert themselves.  Not for complete beginners.  Runners should be capable of running 7km / 5miles continuously before using this plan.  

How Long?: Three months (12 weeks).  Assuming the runner already has established a base of running fitness to build on, this is sufficient time to build up to half marathon fitness

Description:  This plan has you working out five days a week.  You’ll be running for three or four of those days, and doing cross-training of some type on one or two of those days. For your Long Runs at the weekend, the aim is simply to get your body used to running for a long time – so take them easy, don’t push yourself.  Regarding pace, your week-day runs should be done at a pace that  requires a little effort to maintain, but not too much (you should be able to hold a conversation while running).  Wednesday is a wildcard day – you can either do a tempo run (start slow and gradually build up speed), or cross-train if you prefer.  Many runners have other sports and hobbies they don’t like to neglect when in training, so you can do these on Wednesdays if you want.  Cycling, swimming and yoga are all recommended cross-training activities.

Download Links:

Half Marathon – ADVANCED (3 Months) Training Plan

Who Is It For?:  Experienced runners who have completed several 10kms half marathons and perhaps marathons in the past.  Runners with a good running base who want to spend some time optimising their running for an upcoming half marathon.  

How Long?: Three months (12 weeks). 

Description:  This plan has you working out six days a week.   One day is a wildcard day for either tempo runs or cross-training, depending on your preference.  Most experienced runners should be comfortable with this frequenct and mileage, and if you want to prepare yourself for your half marathon then not much cross training is required.  

Pace for the week-day runs should be a conversational level – hopefully this pace should naturally increase as you progress through the plan.  

Long runs at weekends should be done at a slightly slower pace – I’ve set these as time-based, rather than distance based, in order to get your body used to the time on your feet.  Depending on your pace, you might even run farther than a half marathon during the last few 2hr training days.  That’s no worries, if you want to stop after 13.1 miles then no problem.

Download Links:

Half Marathon 12 Week E-course

Looking for a structured, supported training programme for your half marathon?  The half-marathon e-course includes:

  • A Warm-Up Weekend to hone in on your goals
  • Twelve weeks of PDF training plans created by expert running coach Julia Jones.
  • Personalised training 
  • Rock-solid support in our members-only forum — responses of 24 hours on weekdays & 48 hours on weekends.
  • The Up & Running Gear Guide 
  • Access to a private Up & Running blog packed with coaching insights, demos & drills. 

 

Share This