Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan

Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan 1

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 2

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.

How Long?: 

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?

Check out our other half marathon training plans!

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?

No problem!

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!

Cross Training

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!

Long Runs

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.  

Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan 3

Check Out The Premium Version of The Couch To Half Marathon Training Plan . . .

We’ve teamed with TrainingPeaks to offer a premium version of the Couch To 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 couch to half marathon training plan here!

trainingpeaks training plan

The most comprehensive plan you will find

Rated 5 out of 5
October 28, 2019

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!

Rob McCaw


Rated 5 out of 5
November 18, 2020

Got me round me Virtual London Marathon, great plan – I did 6hrs 56min



Rated 5 out of 5
November 1, 2020

This is quite amazing. It will help me achieve my goal

Kelvin Kamphambale

good job

Rated 4 out of 5
October 21, 2020

Thanks for this – got me to the finish line of my marathon surprisingly comfortably!
I wasn’t sure if 3 months for a marathon was enough….I somehow scraped through in 4 hours and 20 minutes 😀



Rated 5 out of 5
October 12, 2020

Thanks – got me my sub 4-hr marathon!

Nicolae Mut