5k To Half Marathon Training Plan + Guide To Start Training Today!

Although many runners step up from the 5k to the 10k, the next distance in the continuum of the most common race distances, plenty of ambitious runners want to make the even bigger leap all the way up to the half marathon.

While going from the 5k to the half marathon is a big jump, it is absolutely doable to skip over the 10k entirely and follow a 5k to half marathon training plan to prepare you for the much longer race.

In this guide, we’ve put together a 5k to half marathon training plan and guide, with week-by-week workouts to progress you from the 5k to the half marathon. 

We will cover: 

  • How Far Is a Half Marathon?
  • Can You Run a Half Marathon After a 5k?
  • How Long Does It Take to Train for a Half Marathon?
  • We’ll then share our 5k To Half Marathon Training Plan

Let’s dive in! 

A notebook page that says, workout plan.

How Far Is a Half Marathon?

If you are going from the 5k to half marathon distance, it’s certainly helpful to have an appreciation of the difference in distance between a 5K and a half marathon.

For runners in the United States who might be more familiar with miles rather than kilometers, a 5k is just over 3.1 miles.

A half marathon is exactly half of a full marathon, which is 26.2 miles or 42.195 km, meaning that a half marathon is 13.1 miles (rounded down from 13.1094) or 21.0975 kilometers.

This means that when you progress from the 5k to the half marathon, you will be running more than four times the distance that you are accustomed to already.

People running a half marathon.

Can You Run a Half Marathon After a 5k?

Runners who have only ever run a 5k before but have the goal of running a half marathon often wonder if it’s possible to go right to the half marathon from the 5k. 

Although many runners take the intermediate step of running a 10k before a half marathon, plenty of runners decide to train for a half marathon after a 5k, skipping the 10k altogether.

Therefore, if you want to bump up from the 5k to half marathon, it’s absolutely doable; you’ll just need to progress your endurance through a longer 5k to half marathon training plan.

One of the biggest differences between 5k and half marathon training and racing is that you will need to fuel during your longer workouts and during the race, whereas you can get by with just drinking water for a 5k in most situations.

For races that are going to last longer than 75-90 minutes, the general recommendation is to take in 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour after the first hour of running. 

Use your long runs to experiment with different types of foods and sports drinks so that you can find a fueling strategy that works well for you, leaving you feeling energized and strong without experiencing gastrointestinal distress.

A person running.

How Long Does It Take to Train for a Half Marathon?

A 5k to half marathon training plan might be anywhere from 8 to 20 weeks long, depending on how aggressive the training plan is, your current level of fitness, and your half marathon race goals. 

We have created a 12-week 5k to half marathon training plan, with a bonus first week in case you just raced a 5k and need a light week to transition into the plan. 

If you haven’t recently raced a 5k, you can jump in at week 1 or week 2, depending on your comfort level with the long run distance (4 miles or 5 miles for weeks 0 and 1, respectively).

A person training on a track following a 5k to half marathon training plan.

5k To Half Marathon Training Plan

In addition to following this 12-week 5k to half marathon training plan (with a bonus week 0), you should perform 2-3 total-body strength training workouts per week.

Download The Training Plan Here

Enter your email, and I’ll send you this free training plan now, in PDF and Google Sheets formats (completely customizable), in both miles and kilometers.  

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Head over to our half marathon training plan database for full access to all plans.

download this free training plan in pdf or google sheet
5k to half marathon training plan
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Cross-training: 30-45 minutesSpeed workout:
Warm-up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 10 x 400m at 5k pace with 200m jog
Distance run:
3 miles (5 km)
RestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 5 x 4 minutes at tempo pace with 90 sec recoveryRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) Long run: 4 miles (6.5 km) 
Cross-training: 30-45 minutesSpeed workout: Warm up and cool down 1-2 miles (2-3 km); 6 x 800m at 5k pace with 200m jogDistance run:
4 miles (7 km)
RestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 4 x 5 minutes at tempo pace with 90 sec recoveryRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m strides Long run: 5 miles (8 km)
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)
RestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 3 x 7 minutes at tempo pace with 90 sec recoveryRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m strides Long run: 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)
RestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 2 x 10 minutes at tempo pace with 90 sec recoveryRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) Long run:
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)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 20 minutes at tempo paceRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m strides Long run: 6 miles (10 km) with the last 2 miles at goal half marathon pace
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)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 25 minutes at tempo paceRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run:
8 miles (12-13 km)
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)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 30 minutes at tempo paceRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run: 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)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 35 minutes at tempo paceRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run: 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)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 30 minutes at tempo paceRest or Easy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m strides10k time trial or race 
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 (17 km)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 40 minutes at tempo paceEasy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run: 10 miles (16 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)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 40 minutes at tempo paceEasy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run: 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 (17 km)
RestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km), 2 x 10 minutes at tempo pace with 90 sec recoveryEasy run: 4-5 miles (7-8 km) and 4 x 75m stridesLong run:
7 miles (11 km)
Cross-training: 30-40 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)
RestShake out run: 20 minutes and 4 x 75m stridesHalf MarathonRest

Go ahead: dream big! With our 5k to half marathon training plan, you can run a half marathon!

For all of our half marathon resources, click here!

The word finish on a track.
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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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