Free Half Marathon Training Plans For All Abilities

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Whether you’re a beginner wondering how to train for a half marathon, a pro looking to beat your personal best, or anywhere in between – you’re in the right place.

We’ve got 14 different free half marathon training plans for beginners, intermediate, and advanced runners, all of which come in Google Sheets, PDF, and Printable formats.

Our half marathon training schedules have been refined and road-tested by thousands of runners. Each comes with detailed explanatory notes and expert coach guidance.   

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Beginner and Novice Half Marathon Training Plans

> Couch To Half Marathon Plan

Who’s It For?: Complete beginners.

Specifically designed for those training for their first half marathon with no ambitious finishing time goals. This training plan gradually increases your mileage over 15 weeks to ensure you build endurance without overdoing it.

Length: 15 Weeks.

Weekly Schedule: 2 to 3 midweek runs at a comfortable pace, one long slow weekend run, and one day of strength training.

Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan Printable

Who’s It For?: Beginners who can run a 5K.

Ideal for runners who have completed their first 5K and have no particular speed or finishing time in mind.

Length: 12 Weeks / 3 months.

Weekly Schedule: One to two comfortable mid-week runs, one tempo run (to increase speed), one long slow run each weekend (to gradually increase your mileage), one cross-training session, and one to two rest days.

5k to half marathon training plan printable

Who’s It For?: Beginners who can run a 5K or who already lead an active life 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.

Length: 16 weeks / 4 Months.

Four months of training allows for a very gradual, controlled increase in your mileage – which minimizes the risk of injury or overtraining issues.

Weekly Schedule: 3 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

16 Week Half Marathon Training Plan printable

> 15 Week Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan

Who’s It For?: Beginners who can run 2 miles (3.2km) continuously or who already lead an active life but lack running experience.

You should ideally be able to run 2 miles / 3.2km continuously – regardless of pace – before commencing this plan. That said, it can be used as a run/walk plan too.

Length: 15 weeks.

15 weeks of training allows for a very gradual, controlled increase in mileage, minimizing the risk of injury or overtraining issues.

Weekly Schedule: 3 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

15 week half marathon training plan printable

> 12 Week Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan

Who’s It For?: Runners with some short-distance experience, or who perhaps are a little rusty and need to blow off the cobwebs before their half marathon.

Length: 12 weeks / 3 months.

This is a compressed version of our 16-week plan with faster mileage increases.

Weekly Schedule: 3 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

This 12-week half marathon plan also includes the option of switching out a training run for a tempo run, which can help you train toward a specific finishing time.

12 Week Half Marathon Training Plan printable

Intermediate and Advanced Half Marathon Training Plans

> 10k To Half Marathon Training Plan

Who is it for?: Runners who can run 10k and are looking to finish their half marathon without an ambitious time goal.

Length: 11 weeks.

The focus is not on speed but on gradually – and safely – building that mileage up.

Weekly Schedule: 4-5 days of running per week, cross-training 1-2 days, and at least one rest day. The Friday workouts can be an easy run, cross-training workout, or rest day, depending on how your body feels and your injury risk. 

10k to half marathon 13 week training plan printable

> Improver Half Marathon Training Plan (10 Weeks)

Who is it for?: Runners with some experience looking to run a great 1st half marathon or set a new PR.

This 10-week plan includes one tempo run per week. Tempo runs are for runners with a specific finishing time in mind; they help you to train towards that time.

How Long?: 10 weeks.

Weekly Schedule: 2 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, one tempo run, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

10 week half Marathon training plan printable

> Improver Half Marathon Training Plan (8 Weeks)

Who is it for?: Runners who have run a half marathon in the past and want to ‘dust off’ their half marathon chops and ramp up their performance.

This 8-week plan includes one tempo run per week. Tempo runs are for runners with a specific finishing time in mind; they help you to train towards that time.

How Long?: 8 weeks.

Weekly Schedule: 2 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, one tempo run, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan printable

> Improver Half Marathon Training Plan (6 Weeks)

Who is it for?: Runners who have run a half marathon in the past and want to up the ante and improve their time. 

This plan includes one tempo run per week, which is great for runners with a specific finishing time in mind, as they help you to train towards that time.

How Long?: 6 weeks.

Weekly Schedule: 2 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, one tempo run, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

6 week half marathon training plan printable

> Advanced Half Marathon Training Plan (4 Weeks)

Who is it for?: Runners who have run a half marathon in the past and want to ‘dust off’ their half marathon chops. Useful if you’ve run a full marathon recently and you are looking to train intensely for a half marathon in a short period.

This plan includes one tempo workout and one threshold workout per week, both of which function to increase your running speed and improve your finishing time.

How Long?: 4 weeks.

Weekly Schedule: One short run and one medium-distance run per week, both to be performed at a comfortable pace. It also includes one tempo run, and one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage.

Additionally, the plan includes one cross-training day per week and one rest day.

advanced 4 week half marathon training plan printable

Time Goal-Based Half Marathon Training Plans

> Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Training Plan (12 Weeks)

Who is it for?: Established runners looking to beat the 2-hour mark. The plan has been reverse-engineered around this time goal.

The training plan includes recommended pace targets and strategies for each training run.

The plan includes two speed-based training runs per week. All details of speed and how to perform these workouts are included in the training plan.

How Long?: 12 weeks.

Weekly Schedule: 2 mid-week runs, 2 speed-based runs, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

Sub 2 hr Half Marathon training plan printable

> 1 Hour 45 Min Half Marathon Training Plan (12 Weeks)

Who is it for?: Experienced runners looking to beat the 1:45 hour mark. The plan has been reverse-engineered around this time goal.

The training plan includes recommended pace targets and strategies for each training run.

Over 12 weeks, this plan builds up the mileage and includes two speed-based training runs per week. All details of speed and how to perform these workouts are included in the training plan.

How Long?: 12 weeks.

Weekly Schedule: 2 mid-week runs, 2 speed-based runs, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

1.45 Half Marathon Training Plan printable

> 1 Hour 30 Min Half Marathon Training Plan (12 Weeks)

Who is it for?: Established runners looking to beat the 1:30 hour mark. The plan has been reverse-engineered around this time goal.

The training plan includes recommended pace targets and strategies for each training run.

Over 12 weeks, this plan builds up your weekly mileage and includes two speed-based training runs per week. All details of speed and how to perform these workouts are included in the training plan.

How Long?: 12 weeks.

Weekly Schedule: 2 mid-week runs, 2 speed-based runs, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and two rest days. 

1.30 Half Marathon Training Plan printable

> Sub 90-Minute Half Marathon Training Plan (8 Weeks)

Who is it for?: Established runners looking to beat the 1:30 hour mark with a fast-paced 8-week plan.

The training plan includes recommended pace targets and strategies for each training run.

Over 8 weeks, this plan builds up the mileage and includes two speed-based training runs per week. All details of speed and how to perform these workouts are included in the training plan.

How Long?: 8 weeks.

Weekly Schedule: 2 mid-week runs, 2 speed-based runs, one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage, one cross-training day, and one rest day. 

8 week 1:30 half marathon training plan printable

Keep reading to get the low-down on how the training schedules work, who makes them, and how to pick the best half marathon training program for you.

Plus, we’ll answer some FAQs and provide some half marathon training tips to help get you 100% ready for the race-day starting line.

a group of runners in a park

Half Marathon Training Plans: Guidance & Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How Long Is A Half Marathon?
  2. How Do I Know If I’m Ready To Train For A Half Marathon?
  3. How Long Does It Take To Train For A Half Marathon?
  4. How Do I Choose The Best Half Marathon Training Plan For Me?
  5. What Should I Do If I Get Injured When Training For A Half Marathon?
  6. What Kind Of Strength Training Should I Be Doing?
  7. What Running Shoes Should I Be Wearing?
  8. How Do These Plans Compare With Other Half Marathon Plans Available Online?
  9. Who Has Designed These Training Plans?
  10. Do You Have A Half Marathon Training App?
  11. If These Plans Are Really Free, How Do You Make Money?
  12. Marathon Training Plan Elements Explained

How Long Is a Half Marathon?

A half marathon is 13.1 miles, or 21.1 kilometers (13.1094 miles or 21.0975km to be exact!).

How Do I Know If I’m Ready To Train For A Half Marathon?

Generally, we tell runners that if you can complete a 10k, you can run a half marathon.

Of course, some people sign up for a half marathon with little-to-no running experience – and they do great! If you’re in that camp, check out our Couch To Half Marathon Training Plan or one of our other beginners plans.

How Long Does It Take To Train For A Half Marathon?

Generally, a good half marathon training plan should be 2 to 4 months in length, as this allows sufficient time to build up the required mileage base, without ramping up too quickly.

We recommend that you spend at least 12 weeks training for your half marathon – assuming you have some running background.

The exact length of time it takes to train and prepare for a half marathon depends on your current running abilities and your half marathon goals.

How Much Do You Need To Run To Train For A Half Marathon?

Most half marathon plans will see you running 3 to 5 times a week, depending on your fitness level, with first-timers running closer to 3 times a week and more experienced runners running closer to 5 times a week.

How Far Do You Need To Run During Half Marathon Training?

In terms of distance, the longest you are likely to run in a single run during your training is 12 miles (19.31 km), which you will run towards the end of your training program. You will not usually run the full half marathon race distance until race day.

In terms of weekly mileage, our plans generally start at 15 miles (24 km) per week or less, and peak around 30 miles (48 km) per week towards the end of the training before tapering down for race day.

How Do I Choose The Best Half Marathon Training Plan For Me?

Deciding which half marathon training program is right for you is a personal choice – it depends on what your current running ability is, how long you have until your half marathon, and what your half marathon goals are.  

If you’re looking for a half marathon training plan for beginners, check out our Couch To Half Marathon Plan (for people not currently active) or our 16 Week Half Marathon Plan listed above in the Training Plans For Beginners section.

Check out the notes alongside each half marathon training plan link to help you choose.

a group of runners or a road

What Should I Do If I Get Injured When Training For A Half Marathon Race?

The most important point is to never run through your injury; you may worsen any damage done and then have to ditch your half marathon goals.

The good news is that most common running injuries can be diagnosed quickly and easily by a specialist, and often a rehab plan can be put in place that has minimal impact on your actual training plan.

Cross-training is something we’re huge advocates of – both for injury avoidance and performance, as well as adding volume to your training. All of our plans come with at least one cross-training day (though if you can squeeze in 2, even better).

In short, most injuries shouldn’t derail your race altogether as long as they are addressed early on.

As always – prevention is better than cure. Therefore, try a gentle 5-minute warm-up before starting your running workouts to reduce the chance of injury. This is particularly important for speed work or higher-intensity workouts that have a higher risk of injury.

What kind of strength training Should I be Doing On Cross Training Days?

Cross training – and specifically strength training, or resistance training, is a huge tool in your half marathon training toolkit.

Not only does it help ward off weaknesses and imbalances that can lead to injury, but also makes you stronger, more powerful, and faster.

For the most bang for your buck, we recommend lifting weights. But, even if you just do bodyweight resistance workouts, you’ll notice a huge difference.

See Strength Training For Runners for our full guide on which specific muscles, exercises, and types of workout you should focus on.

a group of runners on a dusty trail

What shoes should I be wearing?

Getting a good pair of running shoes is critical to half marathon success.

You don’t need the latest, carbon-plated, $300 performance shoes.

But equally, those old worn trainers in your closet probably aren’t ideal.

Here’s our complete guide on how to choose running shoes, and here are some recommended half marathon running shoes to check out.

How To Customize Our Half Marathon Training Plans

Our half marathon training plans are completely free and fully customizable.

Do other commitments mean that you can only train on certain days?  

Need to trim a couple of weeks off the time schedule?

No problem, edit the spreadsheet as you see fit.  

Our training plans come in both Google Sheets and PDF format; feel free to grab a copy of the Google Sheet, edit it, download it to Excel, print it – do whatever you want!

Furthermore, you can choose to download the plans formatted into either kilometers or miles – whichever you’re used to.

a group of runners on a road

Who Has Designed These Half Marathon Training Plans?

Hi!

I’m Thomas, a UESCA-certified running coach and ultra-runner. 

I’ve worked with hundreds of runners and developed these training plans through ongoing research, my work with other marathon runners, and personal experience.

We’ve shared our marathon training plans online for free since 2016.

We’re big believers in marginal gains and constantly improving what we do, so over the years we have continually revisited and refined each of these free half marathon training plans as our knowledge – and feedback from our runners – has improved.

We also have a dedicated Facebook group where runners discuss our plans, their personal challenges, and share their finish line photos!

An image of Thomas from Marathon Handbook
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How Do These Plans Compare With Other Half Marathon Plans Available Online?

Alright, so you’ve probably googled ‘half marathon training plan‘ and seen there are many sites offering plans.

We’re big fans, and friends, with many of these coaches . . . for years before I became a coach, I followed Hal Higdon‘s training plans for each of my races, and credit Hal Higdon’s half marathon training plans for getting me through my first couple of halfs.

You’ll also find awesome plans from the likes of Runner’s World, Nike, Jeff Galloway, and major race organizers – I’d encourage you to check them out and compare them to our free plans before you commit to a specific plan. Always choose the plan that looks right for you.

Our plans differ from other plans you’ll find online in that they are:

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#1. Customizable / Free To Edit

We’re big believers that there’s no one-size-fits-all training plan. You can grab a free copy of any plan and move things around to suit you using either Google Sheets, Excel, or similar software.

Want to cut off the first couple of weeks and jump in at week 3?

Need to move a weekly workout to suit your existing commitments or family?

Need to adjust things because of an illness, injury, or just feeling the need for a break?

That’s why a customizable, dynamic training plan is so important – your training plan should work for you, not the other way around.

They also come in free, handy half marathon training plan PDF files if you don’t need to make any changes!

#2. Include Extensive Guidance Notes

Each plan includes a page of notes that walk you through the rationale of the plan, and how to perform every single workout.

We tell you how hard to push it (either in terms of a specific pace or RPE), give you tips for how to do each workout, and walk you through how to train towards your race pace.

#3. We Follow Up With More Helpful Material (All Free)

We’ve been helping runners train for the half marathon distance for many years now, so we know all the main sticking points and common problems that are faced.

So when anyone signs up for one of our plans, we stay in touch – after you get your plan, we’ll pepper your inbox every couple of days with tips and training strategies specific to your marathon journey.

Not interested in extra material? Just unsubscribe at any time.

#4. We Want To Keep Getting Better

We’re constantly getting feedback from runners on our plans – everything from the workout frequency to the clarity of information to the suitability of the runner’s experience level. We also work hard on the plan format to ensure it’s clear, easy to follow, edit, and print off, and is best suited to the runner.

That’s why we’re constantly revisiting our plans; we did a major overhaul in 2023 and are constantly making small tweaks to improve them.

#5. We Are A Support Community

Through our in-house coaches and runners, our Facebook group of over 20,000 runners, and our Instagram community, we want to make sure you’ve got the support you need as you undertake your half marathon training journey.

Don’t You Have a Half Marathon Training App?

Actually, we do!

We’ve partnered with TrainingPeaks to offer all of our training plans through their app, where you get more in-depth information about each workout, you can follow along with target pace and exertion levels in real-time, and log your training directly in the app itself.

We do charge for these premium training plans – but it’s less than half the price of a pair of running shoes, so if you’re interested, check out our TrainingPeaks Half Marathon Training Plans.

marathon training plans trainingpeaks
a group of runners smiling as they run through a park

If All This Is Really Free, How Do You Folks Make Money?

We keep ourselves going by charging for a couple of premium products we’ve put out there: our TrainingPeaks Training Plans, and our Half Marathon Masterclass.

The Masterclass is designed for any runner who really wants to dive deep into their half marathon training: it includes over 6 hours of video tutorials on everything from injury prevention, nutrition, race day strategies, hydration, and more.

But – feel free to just grab a free training plan and be on your way!

Training Plan Elements Explained:

Training Runs

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. 

Long Runs

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 at 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).

Cross Training

Any form of exercise that 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.