Ready to take on the half marathon?  If you can run a 10k, you can run the half with a little more training.  The program below is suited for the beginner, but can easily be adapted to an intermediate racer.  It is designed to get you to the starting line healthy, and ready to rock – as well as get you to the finish line upright and feeling good!

The program isn’t set in stone – yet, each run is important – especially those long runs.

Listen to your body, and make adjustments for your life as needed.

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Switch the long runs.  Cross train on another day.  Rest an extra day.  However, don’t make too many modifications and whenever possible, don’t skip a run.

An explanation of the schedule:

Rest: Rest is a critical component of any training program.  You can’t run well unless you are well rested. On rest days do not engage in strenuous physical activity.  You don’t have to lie on the couch all day, but don’t exhaust yourself.  If you need to take more rest days, do so.  Listen to your body.  Rest, and relax.

Midweek Training: Tuesday and Thursday runs should be done mostly at a comfortable pace. Don’t push too hard.

Run easy, and run relaxed!

To mix up training, Wednesdays should be a bit more difficult.  If you’re new to the half marathon, you might choose a hilly route or simply run your regular route at a slightly faster pace.

If you’re an experienced runner, work in some hill repeats, do a track work out or a tempo run.  Another option, new or experienced, is to find a group to run with and pair up with someone slightly faster than you.

Cross Training:  Fridays are devoted to cross training.  Cross training is any other form of aerobic exercise that allows you to use slightly different muscles while training.  You can choose any sort of activity – biking, elliptical, swimming, yoga, or even walking.

Doesn’t have to be a tough work-out, simply move – AND, you can choose something different each week.   **activities requiring sideways movement or sudden stops and starts (basketball, soccer, etc.) are not recommended as they will increase your risk of injury during training.  You can also rest on these days if your body needs it.  Listen in – you body will guide you!

Saturday Runs:  Saturday runs are meant to be run at a faster than comfortable pace.  If you can, run most of them at your ideal race pace (what you hope your half marathon mile pace will be).  This will get your body used to running at a specific pace, and build your endurance.

Long runs: Sunday runs are for distance – between 4-12 miles. You can run these by mile or by time and pace isn’t as important as getting the miles in. Loops are nice, out and backs are sometimes easier.  If this is your first half, take the long runs slow and easy – get the mileage in.

If you’re an experienced runner, practice running these at negative splits (running the last half, faster than the first).  This requires consciously starting out sloooooww, and getting faster as you go.An-8-week-half-marathon-training-plan-fit-for-any-need_2.jpg

8 Week Half Marathon Training Program

Week

MON

TUE

WED

THUR

FRI

SAT

SUN

1

rest

run 30 minutes

run 30 minutes

run 30 minutes

cross train

run 30 minutes

4m

2

rest

run 30 minutes

run 45 minutes

run 30 minutes

cross train

run 45 minutes

5m

3

rest

run 45 minutes

run 1 hr

run 45 minutes

cross train

run 1 hr

6m

4

rest

run 45 minutes

run 1 hr

run 45 minutes

cross train

run 1 hr

7m

5

rest

run 45 minutes

run 1 hr

run 45 minutes

cross train

run 1 hr

8m

6

rest

run 45 minutes

run 1 hr

run 45 minutes

cross train

run 45 minutes

10m

7

rest

run 45 minutes

run 1 hr

run 45 minutes

cross train

run 30 minutes

6m

8

rest

run 30 minutes

run 45 minutes

run 20 minutes

rest

rest

RACE!

To maximize your training find a group to run with occasionally.  Find someone a bit faster to break you out of your comfort zone.  Run different routes.  Find some hills.  Mix it up and enjoy every run!!

Also check this out: Half Marathon: eat well, think well, train hard!

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