You’ve decide it’s time to tackle 13.1 miles. Maybe because a friend talked you in to a crazy race vacation adventure or maybe you’ve done some 5k’s and 10k’s, now you want a whole new challenge.
Either way this half marathon training schedule is designed to help you build the mileage on your legs in a safe way and cross the finish line feeling strong. This plan does not focus on crushing your time, but on enjoying the whole process of running!
The half marathon is my favorite distance.
It’s still challenging enough that I have to maintain regular long runs and strategy in my training, yet doesn’t require the dedication and physical stress of a full marathon. I can easily complete several races over the span of a year, and run them for fun or in an all out effort to achieve a PR with dedicated training.
Not interested in the tips, then just click here for a printable version of the training schedule!If you have a solid base, it’s relatively easy to transition from the 10k to the half marathon with an additional 8-12 weeks of training.
10k Vs Half Marathon Training
How much more do you need to run?
Many runners can get by on minimal training for a 10k race. It’s a distance that’s doable if you’ve trained for a 5k or have been running casually for awhile. However, if you test your limits for a half marathon without proper training, you’ll be in a world of pain and at risk for injury.
Days Per Week
A 10k training plan that aims for a sub-60 minute race might have you run four days per week with a long distance of 6-7 miles, maxing out at about 20-25 miles per week. Meanwhile a first time 10K plan could easily be achieved with just 3 weekly runs!
A half marathon training plan generally prescribes 4-5 days of running per week, with long runs ranging from 12-15 miles, maxing out around 40-50 miles per week.
(Note: first time half marathon runners don’t NEED to do a long run of over 10 miles.)
Each runner is different, but the general expectation should be an increase in weekly total mileage, which will help you on race day to have the combination of speed and endurance to hit your goal.
Differences in Training Plans
Most 10K plans will include speed workouts, so the main difference with a half marathon plan is that intervals become longer or you might also be playing with tempo runs, progression runs and goal pace miles.
Additionally because you’ll be adding in more miles, you will absolutely need to get on board with TRULY easy runs. Low Heart Rate training is helpful for many new runners to learn that easy feeling.What you need to know to make the leap from the 10K to half marathon! #runchat #halfmarthon Click To Tweet
In half marathon training, you’ll also need to be more diligent about things like glute strength, hip stretching and overall strength training. A stronger body will not only allow you to handle the miles, but to increase your endurance and speed.
You’ll see in the half marathon training plan below that all of these components are woven in to your week. Which makes the next section crucial! You have to embrace recovery and start treating yourself like an athlete.
Mobility and Recovery Become Even More Important
With fewer rest days between workouts, more intense training sessions, and increased mileage, injuries can occur during half marathon training if you don’t follow these tips.
Strength and recovery days are included in training programs for a reason. Your body needs them! You are not the one special runner who can skip them. We’ve all tried and the results are the same, knee pain, IT Band issues and fatigue.Recovery days allow muscles to heal and help prevent injuries. If you can’t bear the thought of not sweating for a day, then opt for an active recovery day.
As your distance increases, your muscles will need to learn to perform for longer periods of time to keep you going at the pace you want. But more than anything, you need to think about your training differently.
- Don’t put intense days back to back
- Don’t do more than the training plan recommends
- Embrace rest days so you can go hard on speed workout days
- Embrace the idea of easy running as a means to increase your endurance
- Spend more time walking in general to add time on feet
- Practice fueling and hydrating more on long runs
- Learn how to fuel for race day vs training
Injury Proof Your Body
As noted previously, a key part of half marathon training is adding in a few key moments of strength, flexibility and mobility. You can add many of these to your warm up, to your strength training day or simply do them in the evening as you’re winding down for the day.
5 minutes daily will net you BIG results.
Not being injured means consistent training, which means having the race day you want!
- Resistance Band Workout For Hip Strengthening And Glute Activation
- Hip Stretches to Undo Effects of Sitting
- Improve Core Stability for Endurance
- Improve Hip Extension and Mobility
- Hip Stability Exercises to Prevent ITBS and Runner’s’ Knee
Can You Base Your Goal Half Time On Your 10k Time?
While you can certainly make a calculated guess for your predicted half marathon time based on a recent 10km race, there are more accurate ways to determine your goal time.
A lot of components go into choosing a finish time:
- current level of fitness
- injury history
- running history
- race course
- race goals
It’s easy to pick a goal of wanting to finish under two hours, but maybe that’s too aggressive for your first because you haven’t had a chance to put in enough miles.
Or perhaps you’re selling yourself short and should be aiming for under 1:45. The best way to determine a half marathon pace that won’t have you hitting the wall or running below your skill level is to practice finding your average running pace.
- Pick a consistent route you can run every few weeks that is similar to your race course
- Keep the run easy and watch your HR
- As your fitness improves your pace should drop while your HR remains the same
- A few months in you’ll have a solid base and can start to add in speed work
- Try adding in 1 mile at your goal race pace to a longer run each week
- If it’s a reasonable goal pace, you should be able to continue building those miles at goal pace
Printable Half Marathon Training Schedule
This Half Marathon Training Plan is designed to help you transition from the 10K to half marathon feeling strong and healthy! Remember that each new distance is an automatic PR, so instead of worrying about crushing it the first time around, focus on finishing.
Then you’ll have a baseline on which to build your next half marathon goal!
This plan doesn’t give you tons of workouts or specific strength training plans, but those are included in customized coaching plans we create. So if you need something tailored to you, reach out!
Have more half marathon training questions? Let me know!
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