Are you looking for a half marathon training plan that doesn’t have you glued to a spreadsheet and calculations more than you’re actually running?
I was, too. Luckily, you can complete this 5k to half marathon training plan in 9-12 weeks, plenty of enough time before race day. In fact, I used this plan for my first half marathon, and it is still my PR for the distance.
When one of my Twitter friends told me about their half marathon training schedule, and when I saw how simple it was, I jumped at it. And so should you.
This is definitely too simple for really experienced runners, but if you’re a 5k-er or 10k-er who wants some good running workouts, give this a shot. It’s definitely the half marathon training plan for beginners I needed before my first race.
The Simple Free Half Marathon Training Plan (9 Weeks):
You will spend 3-4 days each week training, doing 1 long run and 2-3 short runs. I found out that I personally loved 3 short runs and a long run, but it’s okay if you do just 2. As long as you get the long run in. It’s the most important part.
Each week, add 0.5 mile to short runs and 1 mile to the long runs. When you can run 10 miles on your long run, you’re ready for the half marathon.
So if you’re starting from a base of being able to run a 5k, your first bit of weekly training would look like this:
- First Week: 3-mile long run, 1.5 mile short runs.
- Second Week: 4-mile long run, 2-mile short runs.
- Third Week: 5-mile long run, 2.5 mile short runs.
And so on. By the end of my first time using this plan, my half marathon training was this:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10k (6.2 miles)
- Saturday: long run of 12+ miles
The really important thing that you can’t forget is the long run. It did take me a little longer than 9 weeks to get through it, though. Because of my asthma.
I had to spend a couple of weeks getting myself trained to run in the summer humidity we get here in Alabama before I could start training for longer distances. I had to let my heart rate adjust and do a little more interval training than I had intended.
But it worked. It was worth it. I ran my first half marathon with this plan. And it was simple, easy, and fun.
It was easy enough to remember that I didn’t need a spreadsheet. In the end, I finished my half in under 2 hours, and it was a glorious experience.
I should note that this doesn’t account for cross training or any other kind of strength training. The focus here is long runs, but if you want to maximize your potential for race day, you will want to look at doing more than just running.
Good luck out there, y’all!
Have you trained for a half-marathon? Any tips for all the 13.1 newbies out there?