10k To Half Marathon Training Plan + Complete Guide

Finishing a 10k race is a big accomplishment. Running 6.2 miles without stopping is an impressive feat of mental and physical endurance that requires a commitment to a training plan and the determination and focus to push yourself even as your body and mind get tired. 

However, once you have run one or perhaps many 10k races, you might choose to set your sights on an even more impressive and challenging feat of endurance: the half marathon.

A half marathon, which is 13.1 miles, is a bucket list running goal for many beginners and experienced runners alike. 

It can be daunting to imagine running a half marathon without stopping, and following a half marathon training program can seem prohibitively time-consuming if you are accustomed to running shorter distances. 

However, if you have run a 10k before, transitioning up to a half marathon is a doable goal as long as you have the motivation and desire to take on a 10k to half marathon training plan. 

Of course, the weekly time commitment to train for a half marathon will increase relative to the amount of time required to train for 10k, but the good news is that following a 10k to half marathon training plan for beginners can be a surprisingly efficient route to getting you race ready for 13.1 miles by building upon the endurance you already have.

In this article, we will provide a complete 10k to half marathon training plan and guide to help you jump up in distance. 

We will cover: 

  • How Far Is a Half Marathon?
  • 10k to Half Marathon Training Plan for Beginners
  • Tips for Bumping Up from the 10k to Half Marathon 

Ready to get training? Let’s get running!

People running a road race.

How Far Is a Half Marathon?

A 10k is 6.2 miles, and a half marathon is about 13.1 miles (21.1 km), so it’s slightly more than twice as far as a 10k.

10k to Half Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

Our 10k to half marathon training plan involves running 4-5 days per week, cross-training 1-2 days, and taking at least one rest day. The Friday workouts can be an easy run, cross-training workout, or rest day, depending on how your body feels and your injury risk.

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MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Cross training: 40-45 minutes Speed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 6 x 1,000m at 5k pace with 200m jogDistance run: 4 miles (7 km) at an easy paceRestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 3 x 7 minutes at tempo pace with 90 seconds restRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m strides Long run at an easy pace:
6 miles (10 km)
Cross training: 40-45 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 1 x 1600m at 5k pace with 200m jog; 4 x 800m at 5k pace with 200m jogDistance run: 4 miles (7 km) at an easy paceRestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 2 x 10 minutes at tempo pace with 90 seconds restRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) Long run at an easy pace: 7 miles (11 km) 
Cross-training: 45 minutes Speed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 4 x 800m at 5k pace with 200m jog; 4 x 400m at mile pace with 200m jogDistance run: 4 miles (7 km) at an easy paceRestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 20 minutes at tempo paceRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m strides Long run at an easy pace: 8 miles (12-13 km)
Cross-training: 45 minutes Speed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 6 x 1,000m at 5k pace with 200m jogDistance run: 5 miles (8 km) at an easy paceRestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 25 minutes at tempo paceRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run at an easy pace: 6 miles (10 km) with the last 2 miles at goal half marathon pace
Cross-training: 45 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 3-4 x 1,600m at 5k pace with 400m jogDistance run: 5 miles (8 km) at an easy paceRestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 25 minutes at tempo paceRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run at an easy pace: 9 miles (15 km)
Cross- training: 45-60 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 5 x 1,200m at 5k pace with 200m jogDistance run: 6 miles (10 km) at an easy paceRestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 30 minutes at tempo paceRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run at an easy pace: 10 miles (16 km)
Cross- training: 45-60 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 6-8 x 600m at mile pace with 200m jogDistance run: 7 miles (11 km) at an easy paceRestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 30 minutes at tempo paceRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run: 8 miles (12-13) with the last 5k at goal half marathon pace
Cross- training: 45-60 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 10 x 400m at mile pace with 200m jogDistance run: 7 miles (11 km) at an easy paceRestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 30 minutes at tempo paceRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run at an easy pace: 11 miles (17 km)
Cross- training: 45-60 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 6 x 1,000m at 5k pace with 200m jogDistance run: 8 miles (12-13 km) at an easy paceRestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 40 minutes at tempo paceRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run at an easy pace: 12 miles (19 km) 
Cross- training: 45-60 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 8 x 800m at 5k pace with 200m jogDistance run: 7 miles (11 km) at an easy paceRestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 2 x 10 minutes at tempo paceRest, 30-min cross training, or easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run at an easy pace: 7 miles (11 km)
Cross-training: 30-45 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 4 x 800m at goal half marathon pace with 200m jogEasy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 50m stridesRestEasy run to loosen up: 20 minutes and 4 x 75m stridesHalf MarathonRest
People running a road race.

Tips for Bumping Up from the 10k to Half Marathon 

Several different elements go into training for a half marathon. 

Although when you are just trying to finish your first half marathon, the majority of your workouts will involve building your endurance rather than working specifically on your speed, running is perhaps surprisingly only part of the training that you will be doing.

Here are a few tips for bumping up from the 10k to half marathon distance:

#1: Do the Cross-Training Workouts

One of the most important types of workout that you will see in your 10k to half marathon training schedule is the cross-training workouts. 

Cross-training refers to any type of exercise other than running, but for the purposes of this 10k to half marathon training plan, it is best to focus on low-impact cross-training activities such as indoor-outdoor cycling, swimming or deep water running, or using the elliptical machine. 

A person with headphones on an elliptical machine.

The primary purpose of the cross-training workout is to improve your aerobic fitness while reducing the impact stresses on your bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissues relative to running. 

Running is a high-impact activity, so if you do too much running too quickly and progress your distance too aggressively, you run the risk of injuries

It takes your musculoskeletal system longer to adapt to the demands of running relative to your cardiovascular system. 

Therefore, you might start to feel like running is getting easier in terms of how hard you are breathing and how fast your heart is beating, but on a cellular level, your bones, connective tissues, and muscles are experiencing more damage and not healing as quickly and adapting as readily as your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. 

Although you may want to run every day or get to a point a couple of weeks into your 10k to half marathon program where you feel like you can run longer than what the workout dictates on the schedule, it’s very important to take the prescribed rest days and keep the runs capped at the time or distance suggested by the schedule to prevent overdoing it on your body.

People running.

Therefore, the ultimate purpose of cross-training workouts is to give you the ability to keep working on your aerobic endurance without overdoing it on your legs. This is why choosing low-impact activities is important.

The intensity of the cross-training workouts is less important. 

You should let your body guide you in terms of how you feel. In other words, if you are really sore and tired from a run the day before or the accumulation of your training, take your cross-training workout at a very easy effort and work on moving your body gently without stopping. 

Try to stay in the “moderate-intensity” aerobic exercise zone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your target heart rate should be between 64-76% of your maximum heart rate for moderate-intensity physical activity. 

Wearing a heart rate monitor is helpful because it gives you a more accurate way to quantify the intensity of your workout. However, if you don’t have access to this technology, let your effort guide you, and for a rate of perceived exertion of 6 to 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.

People lifting weights in a gym.

#2: Take the Rest Days

As mentioned, the rest days are also very important because your body needs time to recover between hard efforts in order to not only prevent overtraining and injuries but also to allow the physiological adaptations you are seeking from your training to actually occur. 

Although you might be eager to do some amount of exercise on these rest days, it’s really important to respect the needs of your body and actually rest.

If your training is going really well and you are not experiencing any type of soreness or noticeable fatigue, you can certainly take walks and be physically active on these days, but doing formal workouts should be avoided.

#3: Add Strength Training Workouts

There are many benefits of resistance training, including an increase in bone density, a decrease in blood pressure, an increase in energy expenditure (calories burned), improvements in mood, a decrease in stress, and the list goes on.

Strength training also helps you become a more injury-resilient runner by helping correct muscle imbalances, improve neuromuscular coordination and efficiency, and strengthening your muscles, bones, and connective tissues.

This can help you train more consistently and at a higher volume without getting injured. 

People running and walking in a park.

#4: Walk If You Need To

Overall, training for your first half marathon can be challenging. If you are new to running, even just running for a minute or two without stopping is usually surprisingly difficult.

Furthermore, even if you’ve been completely inactive, as long as you are open to taking walking breaks during the race, it should also be tenable to get in good enough shape to finish your first half marathon after bumping up from the 10k even if you have minimal time to add much more training volume to your weekly training schedule.

If you have always wanted to run a half marathon but have been intimidated or unsure if you have it in you, believe in yourself and give it a shot with this beginner-friendly 10k to half marathon training plan.

For more half marathon resources, check out our complete database here.

People running a road race.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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