Our Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan is our classic training plan for new runners looking to nail their Half Marathon!
Specifically designed to get you from the ‘getting started’ phase to the finish line of your half marathon, this training plan gradually increases your mileage over 15 weeks to ensure you build endurance without overdoing it.
The plan is designed with a ‘tiered’ approach, working to get you to the 5k milestone, then the 10k milestone, before reaching the half marathon mark.
Although the plan spans 15 weeks, it is designed to be stretched out to suit your ability level and needs – once you reach a milestone, you can pause there until ready to progress.
Couch To Half Marathon Training Plan
Who is it for?:
New runners looking to finish their half marathon! It’s best suited for those runners who don’t have an ambitious finishing time in mind, as the focus is not on speed but on gradually – and safely – building that mileage up.
15 weeks, as a minimum.
As you reach each milestone, you can pause until ready to progress further.
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.
Run / Walk
Struggling to continuously run the distances in the plan?
Adopt a structured run/walk approach, and you’ll be fine.
Try this; run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute. Repeat.
If this is too much, increase the ratio so you’re walking more frequently.
As you body adjusts, you should find it easier to run more often than walk!
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.