Our 16 Weeks Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan is a great plan to build up a strong base and do well on your first half marathon.
It’s best suited for relatively new runners, or people who lead active lives but lack running experience.
You should ideally be able to run 3 miles / 5 km continuously – regardless of pace – before commencing this plan. That said, it can be used as a run/walk plan too.
16 Weeks Beginners Half Marathon Training Plan
Who is it for?:
Runners with a little experience, active people with no running experience. People looking to work hard to guarantee a good half marathon finish.
16 weeks // 4 Months.
This allows for a very gradual, controlled increase in your mileage – which minimises the risk of injury or overtraining issues.
The plan doesn’t have a speed or pace focus at all – the objective is to get the required mileage in. It includes 3 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, 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!
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.
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!
I used the plan to train for my first marathon, and happy to say I hit a time of 3:58! (With a little bit of gas left in the tank) I didn’t have much of a running base when I started the plan. I had some cardio from playing rec hockey, but didn’t do any running before hand. Had enough of a base to run a 5k with moderate effort, and a 10k with high effort.
A Great Training Plan
This was a great training plan to follow. Ended up doing my 1/2 marathon in 1:58.45 which is 20 minutes better than my previous PB. Thanks a mil!!
Thanks for helping all the runners out there
Really nice work by Thomas. Everyone should download and follow his training plans.
Get out of my way
Really good book. Not a lot of extra fluff. Here is what you need to do. Now go do it. Building for my 1st marathon. See you on the other side.
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!