Our 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan is for experienced or intermediate level 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.
Our training plan is available in PDF format for free in both miles and kilometers.
8-Week Half Marathon Training Plan: Essential Info
Can you train for a half marathon in 8 weeks? – Yes, absolutely.
If you are relatively new to running, you’ll much be much better with one of our longer training plans that build up your mileage gradually and come with a lower risk of overtraining.
Who Is This Training Program For?:
Runners who have run a half marathon in the past and want to ‘dust off’ their half marathon chops.
If you’re looking to train for a half marathon in 8 weeks for an upcoming race, then this is the plan for you.
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 schedule also includes one cross-training day per week and two rest days.
Not convinced this is the plan for you?
Check out our other half-marathon training plans!
How Many Days Per Week?:
The training program features 5 days of training per week; 4 days of running and 1 day of cross-training.
Training Breakdown – What Will Your Weekly Schedule Consist Of?
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 schedule 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 your 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 strengthen some of the muscles weakened through running.
Recommended cross-training exercises include bodyweight 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 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!
Previous visitor or not seeing where to sign up?
Head over to our half marathon training plan database for full access to all plans.
Check Out The Premium Version of The 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan . . .
We’ve teamed with TrainingPeaks to offer a premium version of the 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan:
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.
Check out the premium 8 Week half marathon training plan here!
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 hundreds of runners, refined and improved, and is free to download and customize to suit your needs!
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!
Remember that speed is not important for this training plan – more important is your ability to keep running the distances necessary.
The information is helpful.
10 / 10 - Got my through my race!
This plan hit so well!
Well, I have been marathoning for almost 15 years and wanted to test something new out. I tried this plan because it looked completely different than any training method before. It didn’t make sense how the running peaked, and I got to the start line exhausted and sick, clearly under rested. The marathon had actually gone pretty smoothly until mile 17, when my ankle rolled and my ACL ripped. Had to quit the race and was upset with this training plan. However, free IS free. 6/10. Would not recommend
These running plans are AMAZING. I used it for 2 half marathons and I was so surprised at how I gained fitness, even though I was ill for 2 weeks and sustained a knee injury!
I completed the half marathon in 1h37 min 😃🤗
Thanx again team!
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.