Our 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan is for experienced runners looking to ramp up their training for a half marathon!
It builds up your mileage over 8 weeks, and includes one tempo run per week.
Tempo runs are great for runners with a specific finishing time in mind; they help you to train towards that time.
8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan
Who is it for?:
Runners who have run a half marathon in the past and want to ‘dust off’ their half marathon chops.
It includes 2 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, one tempo run, and one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage. The plan includes one cross-training day per week and two rest days.
Not convinced this is the plan for you?
How Many Days Per Week?:
The training plan features 5 days of training per week; 4 days of running and 1 day of cross training.
These are your classic training runs; do them in the mornings or after work, at a comfortable, sustainable pace.
These runs help add mileage to your training week and get your body used to running far!
Tempo Runs (optional)
A tempo run is a training run done at your target half marathon pace, if you have one.
Not sure what target pace should be? Check out our pace charts!
Each week includes a cross training day; although these aren’t mandatory, I highly recommend them.
Cross training is meant to work on your cardiovascular health and strength some of the muscles weakened through running.
Recommended cross-training exercises include body weight exercises, light gym work, swimming, yoga, pilates, and cycling!
You should be factoring in one long, slow run every weekend. These runs are all about increasing your endurance gradually.
Remember to take it easy during them, don’t push things, and don’t worry about walking breaks – it’s all about building up that time on your feet.
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 customisable), in both miles and kilometers.
Access the plan via the TrainingPeaks website and app, track your workouts in real-time against the plan, and get performance data analysis on your progress.
The most comprehensive plan you will find
I had run a couple of half marathons and was in reasonable shape coming into the plan and it was a good rise in intensity throughout. You need to want to do an event like this – I was getting up at 3am to get my long run in before kids weekend sport etc and this was hard. When you combine the plan with the online community through the Marathon Handbook FB page and website, you get complete support. Have used this plan with great success and now looking at upping the pace in the marathon space… GREAT JOB!
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Great plan for first time Marathon!
While preparing for my first marathon, Belgrade 2022., I followed this 16 week marathon training plan. With a 100% training plan done (did not skipped a single training day!), I was able to finish marathon in 4:05:00hrs. Would have even better time, but didn’t see pavement damage, and suffered from a light ankle injury. So, do all your workouts, keep your eyes on the road while racing, and you’ll get to the finish line with this training plan for sure.
Proven Training Plans by a UESCA-certified Running Coach
Every one of our training plans has been developed by Thomas Watson, a UESCA-certified running coach.
Thomas is also a podium-finishing ultra-marathon runner, and has dozens of marathons under his belt.
Each training plan has been road-tested by hundred of runners, refined and improved – and are free to download and customise to suit your needs!
Training Plan Elements Explained:
These are standard runs, typically of 3 – 6 miles in length. They are used to build running form and time-on-your-feet. They should be performed at close-to your target race pace, or at a conversational pace if you have no target speed.
These are longer distance runs, designed to increase your stamina. They are purely about building up the length of time you can continue running – don’t worry about your pace, keep it an easy conversational level (more info).
Speed Work / Interval Training
Run workouts designed to increase your speed! These come in various forms – Yasso’s, intervals, Fartleks, etc. They are useful if you have a speed-based goal, but if you don’t then no need to focus on them – they can be tiring (more info).
Any form of exercise which does not involve running, and preferably one which is low impact (avoid contact sports). Good forms of cross training include yoga, swimming, and strength training. Here’s our full guide to cross training for runners.