Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan
Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan
“Every run is a work of art, a drawing on each day’s canvas. Some runs are shouts and some runs are whispers. Some runs are eulogies and others celebrations.” – Dagny Scott Barrio
Welcome to the Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan, where the journey to conquering 13.1 miles begins with purpose and guidance. Whether you’re lacing up your running shoes for the first time or transitioning from shorter distances, this program is designed to ease you into the world of half marathon running. With a focus on gradual progression, building endurance, and instilling confidence, this plan is the perfect stepping stone for aspiring distance runners. Embrace the excitement of embarking on a transformative journey, where each run brings you closer to achieving a milestone that once seemed daunting. Get ready to discover the joy of running, the thrill of progress, and the sense of accomplishment as you cross the finish line of your first half marathon. Lace up, take that first step, and let the adventure unfold. The road to 13.1 miles is a journey of self-discovery – welcome to the beginning of your half marathon story.
Individuals will want to choose this half marathon training plan if they have been running 3 to 4 times per week for 40 to 50-minutes each time for at least the last six months. If you are currently running less, that is okay! Consider starting with a 10K Training Plan and building your fitness up to take on this half marathon training schedule.
What to Expect:
Are you ready to run your first half marathon? This Beginner Half Marathon training plan is perfect for the first-time half marathoner and those looking to gradually increase their mileage.
The training plan is 12-weeks in length. You start with a 4-mile long run in week 1 and progress to a 12-mile long run in week 10. The focus throughout the plan is on a strategic combination of easy runs, long-distance runs, rest days, and cross-training. With this approach, your body will have time to adapt to the increases in running each week and properly prepare you to finish the 13.1-mile race.
The half marathon beginner training plan includes two optional cross-training workouts per week. These cross-training sessions allow you to incorporate other activities you enjoy with this training plan. Cross-training activities may include cycling, yoga, elliptical, swimming, or weight-lifting.
How to Get Started?
Purchase our beginner half marathon running plan on Final Surge for a one-time fee of $29.99 here. Digitally track your progress from start to finish of the training program.
Looking for more training guidance?
If you need more motivation or advice, we offer two additional training services that might interest you!
Sunrise+ Virtual Running Club
Beginner Half Marathon Running Plan Preview:
The following is a snapshot of what to expect in your purchased Half Marathon Beginner schedule.
|WEEK||DAY 1||DAY 2||DAY 3||DAY 4||DAY 5||DAY 6||DAY 7|
|1||30 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||30 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||30 Minute Run||4 Mile Run||Rest|
|2||30 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||30 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||30 Minute Run||4 Mile Run||Rest|
|3||35 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||35 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||35 Minute Run||5 Mile Run||Rest|
|4||35 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||35 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||35 Minute Run||5 Mile Run||Rest|
|5||40 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||40 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||40 Minute Run||6 Mile Run||Rest|
|6||40 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||40 Minute Run||Rest||30 Minute Run||5K Race||Rest|
|7||45 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||45 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||45 Minute Run||7 Mile Run||Rest|
|8||45 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||45 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||45 Minute Run||8 Mile Run||Rest|
|9||50 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||50 Minute Run||Rest||30 Minute Run||10K Race||Rest|
|10||50 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||50 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||50 Minute Run||9 Mile Run||Rest|
|11||40 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||40 Minute Run||30-45 Minute Cross-Train||40 Minute Run||10 Mile Run||Rest|
|12||30 Minute Run||30 Minute Cross-Train||30 Minute Run||Rest||Rest||Half Marathon Race||Rest|
The above training plan preview is designed for educational purposes and is not prescribed for any particular individual. The preview presented does not include complete details of what should be done on each training day. Consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs or if there are any individual health concerns to be aware of.
Beginner Training Plan for Half Marathon Terminology
The terms in the Beginner Half Marathon training plan are defined inside the purchased plan, but let me define them for you here as well.
Warm-Up: Run/Walk for 5 to 10 minutes at an easy effort before every workout (run days and cross-training days). A proper warm-up will help to gradually increase heart rate, improve circulation, loosen up muscles, and prepare you for a workout.
Cool-Down: Run/Walk for 5 to 10 minutes at an easy effort after every workout (run days and cross-training days). A proper cool-down will help gradually bring your heart rate and breathing back down to normal levels after the days workout.
Perceived Effort: A way to rate your effort level based on your feelings about the level of intensity on a scale of 1 to 10. A 1 is considered ‘At Rest’ and a 10 is considered “An All Out Effort.” Use this scale in combination with Pace and Heart Rate to stay in the correct intensity level shown in the training schedule for a given day.
Heart Rate: If you have access to a heart rate monitor then use this device to stay in the correct range and intensity level shown in the training schedule for a given day.
Cross-Training: Include activities other than running and walking in your training plan. If you are completely new to exercise, then you may want to wait until weeks 4 or 5 to add in cross-training workouts. If you are already active 3 to 4 days per week, then start the cross-training as scheduled in the plan. Examples of activities for cross-training may include cycling, elliptical, rowing, strength training, swimming, or yoga. Cross-training will help to reduce the impact on your body and reduce the risk of injury from running. Cross-training can also speed up recovery time between running workouts. If you are ever feeling too fatigued or sore from running, then you may want to consider taking an occasional cross-training day as an extra day of rest.
Strength Training: A form of cross-training, strength training can be a great way to increase lean muscle and boost metabolism while at rest. Strength training can be completed using body weight, free weights, resistance bands, weight machines, or classes such as Pilates, Yoga, or CrossFit. Include exercises for the upper body, core, back, and lower body. Warm up with a run/walk for 5 to 10 minutes. If you are new to strength training, then start with 1 set of each exercise for 12-15 repetitions. The goal is to work your muscles to fatigue or until you can no longer maintain proper form during the exercise. Continue with 1 set of each exercise for weeks 1 through 3, then progress gradually over a few weeks to 2-4 sets of each exercise for 8-15 repetitions.
Flexibility: Stretch lightly after every warm-up and cool-down period. Stretching will help improve flexibility, increase circulation, speed up recovery, and reduce the risk of injury.
Training Paces: We summarize the common training paces below. However, this article on training paces gives an easy-to-understand overview of all the different training paces that can be added to a runner’s routine to improve speed, endurance, and recovery.
Easy Run: Easy pace/effort is considered at or slightly above what you can maintain a conversation, 65-75% of maximum heart rate, and 6-7 on the Perceived Effort scale.
Long Run Effort: The key to developing endurance is the long run, progressively increasing in distance each weekend. The long run should be done at a pace/effort so that you can easily maintain a conversation throughout the run. Work on running with an even pace/effort from start to finish of the long run. Be sure to recover properly after a long run as well so that you can get right back to training in the next day or week.
Racing: Consider adding test races throughout your training plan, especially if your goals are time-oriented. This race will allow you to familiarize yourself more with running in a structured event. If you can’t find a race during this week, feel free to modify the schedule around what races are available.
Adaptability: Don’t be afraid to move the workouts from day to day and week to week. This training plan is merely a guide to help you complete your desired race distance. Be consistent with your training, and the overall details won’t matter. Listen to your body and progress as your fitness allows you to progress.