The Ultimate 15-Week Half Marathon Training Plan For Beginners

Unlike shorter races like a 5k in which you might be able to get by and finish the race on very little training, especially if you perform other types of cardio workouts and maintain a decent level of fitness, success in the half marathon requires dedicated training and preparation.

A half marathon training plan for beginners will gradually help progress you to the full 13.1-mile distance by race day in a safe way.

Although there are many beginner half marathon training plans to choose from, in this guide, we’ve created a 15-week half marathon training plan for beginners to help you conquer the impressive half marathon race, even if you’re just getting going on your running journey.

We will look at: 

  • How Far Is a Half Marathon?
  • 15-Week Half Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

Let’s get started!

Related: Marathon Time Calculator – Predict Your Marathon Finish Time

A runner stretching their hamstring.

Not sure this is the plan for you? – Check out our other half-marathon training plans.

How Far Is a Half Marathon?

A half marathon is 21.0975 kilometers, or 13.1 miles (rounded down from 13.1094), which is exactly half the distance of a full marathon.

15-Week Half Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

Our 15-week half marathon training plan for beginners is intended for runners who can currently run 2 miles without stopping. If you’re not quite up to that distance, consider our Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan, which will begin with the run/walk method.

There is also a slightly easier 16-week half marathon training plan for beginners and a shorter 12-week half marathon training plan for beginners if you only have three months to get in race-ready shape.

A runner warming up on a track by skipping.

Here are a few tips for the workouts you will find in this beginner half marathon training plan:

  • Cross Training: Any form of non-running aerobic workout. Examples include cycling, swimming, rowing, elliptical, aqua jogging, and hiking.
  • Distance Run: Base-building run to improve your endurance. These should be run at a comfortable pace—something around a 7 out of 10 on a rate of perceived exertion scale or a heart rate around 70-75% of your maximum heart rate.
  • Easy Run: Run at a conversational pace to aid recovery from harder workouts. These should be a 6-7 on an RPE scale.
  • Long Run: Long endurance workouts to improve physical and mental stamina.
  • Threshold Workout and Tempo Run: Run at a pace you can sustain all out for one hour.
  • Rest Day: No structured exercise. Focus on rest and recovery (stretching, foam rolling, taking it easy).
  • Speed Workout: Run at various race paces (indicated) to build speed and mental and physical tolerance for running fast.
  • Strides: short accelerations – a short burst of speed where you gradually accelerate as you go.
  • Time Trial: Race-pace effort to assess your fitness level and rehearse the race experience.
  • Shake Out Run: Very relaxed run to loosen up the day before a race or key workout.

When you’re ready, you can also check out our Half Marathon Pace Calculator to help plan your race speed based on your finish time goal.

A runner, hands on knees, resting.

Ready? Let’s get training!

Download the 15-Week Beginner’s Half Marathon Training Plan For Free:

The Ultimate 15-Week Half Marathon Training Plan For Beginners 1
The Ultimate 15-Week Half Marathon Training Plan For Beginners 2
  • Get the TrainingPeaks version of this plan, which you can sync with your device (coming soon)

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.  

After entering your email, you’ll be prompted to create an account on the Grow platform we use to control access to the plans. It’s completely free – make sure to complete the process to gain access to the plan!

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

download the free training plan
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday 
Cross-training: 30 minutesInterval run: Warm up with 5 minutes of brisk walking,
5 x 1 minute running hard, 90 seconds jog
Cool down 5 minutes of brisk walking
Distance run:
2 miles (3 km) 
RestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1/2 mile (1 km), 2 x 5 minutes at tempo pace with 90 sec recoveryRest or 20 minutes of cross-trainingLong run: 2 miles (3 km)  
Cross-training: 30-45 minutesInterval run: Warm up with a 1-mile jog,
10 x 1 minute running hard, 60 seconds jog,
Cool down 5 minutes of jogging
Distance run:
3 miles (5 km)
RestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
5 x 3 minutes at tempo pace with 90 sec recovery
Rest or 20 minutes of cross-trainingLong run: 3 miles (5 km)  
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 recovery
Rest 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 jog
Distance 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 recovery
Rest 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 jog
Distance 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 recovery
Rest 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 jog
Distance 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 recovery
Rest 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 jog
Distance run:
4 miles (7 km)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
20 minutes at tempo pace
Rest 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 jog
Distance run:
5 miles (8 km)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
25 minutes at tempo pace
Rest 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 jog
Distance run:
5 miles (8 km)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
30 minutes at tempo pace
Rest 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 jog
Distance run:
6 miles (10 km)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
35 minutes at tempo pace
Rest 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 jog
Distance run:
7 miles (11 km)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
30 minutes at tempo pace
Rest 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 jog
Distance run:
7 miles (11 km)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
40 minutes at tempo pace
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 x 1,000m at 5k pace with 200m jog
Distance run:
8 miles (12-13 km)
RestTempo run: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
40 minutes at tempo pace
Easy 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 jog
Distance run:
7 miles (11 km)
RestThreshold workout: Warm up and cool down 1 mile (2 km),
2 x 10 minutes at tempo pace with 90 sec recovery
Easy 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 jog
Easy run:
4-5 miles (7-8 km)
RestShake out: 20 minutes and 4 x 75m stridesHalf MarathonRest 

Remember to listen to your body! Even if your training plan says to go for a run or do a workout of some sort, take a rest day or cross-training day if you’re super sore, tired, feel sick, or have a concerning ache.

Remember to fuel well, stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and believe in yourself. You can be a half marathon finisher! 

A person with his hands behind his head, smiling, on a track.

Other Suggested Half Marathon Training Plans:

Beginner + Novice Training Plans

Intermediate + Advanced Half Marathon Training Plans

Time-based Half Marathon Training Plans

Check out the Half Marathon Training Plans page for more.

Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. 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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