Half Marathon Training Guide

Every year, more and more people are running in the half marathon. It’s easy to understand why: it’s close enough for people to feel like their “race-cation” was worth it, but not so far that it would take up all their time preparing for the marathon.

No matter why you are taking on 13.1 miles, which is a full half marathon, not “simply a half” or a shorter marathon, as your non-running buddies might think, it would be beneficial to bear in mind a few lessons to make the undertaking more enjoyable.

How Long Does It Take to Train for a Half Marathon

The duration it takes to condition yourself and be adequately ready for a half marathon mostly relies on two matters: your current running capacities and your objectives for the half-marathon.

The period for completion of the task could be between 3 to 5 months, roughly lasting from 12 to 20 weeks, based on specific circumstances.

You should take 12 to 20 weeks to gradually construct strength, make sure your technique is correct, and reach the required mileage base – all while avoiding any intense effort that might lead to an injury.

Follow a Half Marathon Training Plan

Keeping up with a planned exercise program will help you make sure you have all the necessary components to be ready for race day.

Preparing for a half marathon is not only about running, but also about increasing your skills and engaging in other kinds of exercise to make sure you are not only race-day-ready but also well-protected from injuries during the preparation.

The entire training plan is taken into consideration when putting together these training schedules, not just what is necessary to perform on the day of the race. These plans cover everything from methods to enhance your physical stamina to prepare your body to avoid harm to strategies of gradually reducing your workload as the program nears completion.

Completing a half-marathon training program will give you the assurance you need to stay calm and collected on race day.

Choosing A Half Marathon Training Plan

The choice of the plan that is best for you will be determined by a few main considerations, such as your existing running abilities and fitness level, the goals you want to accomplish in your half marathon, and the amount of time you have before your half marathon event.

Be truthful to yourself regarding your present level of physical fitness and the amount of running experience you have.

If this is your first time running a half-marathon, set a reasonable goal that will help prevent injury. Be certain to adhere to the various forms of exercise included in the regimen when you have selected it.

Half Marathon Training Schedule

Day 1: Core Work and Restoration

  • Warm-Up: two rounds of:
    • 30 jumping jacks + 5 plank walkouts
    • 10 squats with a 2-second pause at the bottom + 5 pushups
    • 20 leg swings + 10 lunges per side
    • repeat for 2 total rounds
  • Mainset:
    • 3 rounds: 30″ single-arm planks (alternate arms slowly side to side) + 10 V up/tuck-up variations
    • 3 rounds: 20″ side planks (each side) + 10 happy stars
    • 3 rounds: 5-10 downward dog pushups + 10 lateral leg raises “windshield wipers”
  • Mobility:
    • Chest stretch (on belly). ~2 minutes per side
    • Upward dog + downward dog flow ~5-10 reps (or 2 minutes)
    • Anterior + posterior banded hip stretch. ~2 minutes per side in each direction

Day 2: Posture, Breathing, and Pulling Drills

  • Warm-Up:

    • 10 deep belly breaths
    • 5-minute easy run to get your heart rate going
    • Bend & Touch: stop running and continue warm-up with a bend over and touch and reach back.
    • Side Bend: side-to-side bend.
    • Hips: follow with 5 high kicks + lateral lunges in each direction.
  • Drills:
    • Leg swing + Pull: this drill involves a standing leg swing + Pull. 10 on each side.
    • Pulling: 5 rounds: 30 meters run, pull 10 times on the right, pull 10 times on the left.
    • As you pull your leg up, focus on being as tall and relaxed as possible. The taller and more relaxed the easier it is to pull!
  • Run:
    • Run the remainder of the time at a steady to moderate pace. Every 5 minutes include 10 quick pulls on each side.
  • Cool Down & Mobility:
    • 3 minutes of easy running
    • 2 minutes of couch stretch per leg

Day 3: Strength and Cross-Training

  • Warm-Up:
    • 3 rounds: 10″ jogging in place, 10″ of high knees, 10″ of butt kicks, and 10″ of rest
    • 3 rounds: lateral lunge and hip circles
    • 2 rounds: 10 opposite arm circles each way and 3 shoulder rotations (with a hand against the wall)
  • Main Set:
    • 3 rounds: 10 meters of walking lunges and forward bear crawl
    • 3 rounds: 10 meters of inchworms and backward bear crawl
    • 3 rounds: 10 single-leg burpees (5 L, 5 R) and 10 step-ups per leg. Choose height on ability.
    • 3 rounds: 10 shoulder touch push-ups (touch, touch, pushup) and 10 box or bench jumps. Choose height on ability.
  • Mobility:
    • 5 minutes quad rolling & smashing
    • 5 minutes of the thoracic spine (upper back) and shoulder work

Day 4: Hill Intervals

  • Warm-Up:
    • 10 deep belly breaths
    • 10-minute run progressing from the easy to moderate effort
    • 1 round: 10 sprawls, 10 squats, 10 hip circles per leg, 10 elbow touches per side, 10 forward/backward arm swings
  • Run:
    • 5-7 rounds: 60-second hill interval. Rest 1-2 minutes in between.
    • *Use a “runnable” hill, nothing that’s over 5% incline.
    • Options: continue up the hill & slow jog back down to the start, or use a treadmill indoors
  • Cool Down & Mobility:
    • 3 minutes easy run/walk cool down
    • 2 minutes of rolling with a ball, per foot

Day 5: Rest and Mobility

  • Today is a recovery and restorative day. The goal is to give you the mental and physical break you need to not only absorb all the hard training you’ve done this week but to feel rested and refreshed and ready to tackle this weekend’s long run and fun run.
  • Feel free to spend time on your problem areas, i.e. roll out your quads and do the couch stretch if you’re dealing with tight hips and knee issues! You can use the mobility you’ve seen here, or don’t forget about the Injury Prevention Series in the app!

Day 6: Long Run

  • Warm-Up:
    • 10 minutes of a breath-focused run
    • One round of leg swings, lunges, and hip circles
    • One round of inchworm push-ups
  • Run:
    • 5-7 mile run with optional walk breaks
  • Cooldown & Mobility:
    • 3 minutes of easy jogging and walking.
    • Mobility area of choice.
    • Repeat a previous mobility drill and spend at least 2-3 minutes per side where applicable.

Day 7: Fun Run and Recovery Cross-Training

  • Optional Run
    • 20-60+ minutes. A great way to get extra mileage for the week provided your body is ready to handle those miles and you have race goals that require them!
  • You can also just spend some time outside moving around. Mow the lawn, play with the kids, take your dog for a hike…just something to be active and move your body in a different way than running. Your choice!

Tips for a Good Half Marathon Training Schedule

After we’ve examined the plans for half marathon training, here is some more advice to make sure your training goes well.

1. Set Realistic Goals

It is important to remember to have attainable objectives when you are preparing for a half-marathon. If you have never run before, your aim may be to finish the event or to complete the event running continuously, with no walking intervals.

Experienced runners, they may aim to keep a steady tempo while finishing the run in a specific amount of time.

Set realistic objectives for yourself that are attainable and will help you stay on track. Don’t overexert yourself as this may lead to injury.

Choose the most fitting plan for you and remain committed to it, soon you’ll be realizing your aspirations!

2. Choose the Right Plan

I have already gone into this subject in considerable depth earlier, but I’m mentioning it again here because you must pick the plan that works for YOU.

Do not be too hard (or too lenient) on yourself – remain true to yourself, so that you can have a satisfying time while avoiding any harm.

Choose a program that fits your lifestyle and something that will motivate you to stick with it.

3. Train Under the Right Conditions

Do some research and find out when and where the competition is being held if you are registering for an official race. This will help you anticipate the landscape you’ll be racing over and the conditions you’ll face during the event.

Do your best to practice in circumstances that are similar to the actual event so that you are prepared for the competition. Even though unexpected weather shifts and other situations may occur, it would be to your advantage to be ready like this!

4. Don’t Neglect Rest Days

Resting is CRUCIAL! Depending on the program, carving out time for a rest day is essential – do not miss it. If you are feeling worn out, take an extra day to get some additional relaxation!

Heed your physical being, and don’t force yourself beyond the point of stopping or hurting yourself. Taking a break from activities can help your body to recuperate and become even stronger than before.

Be prepared for some aches and pains in your muscles as you commence something new. Running on sore legs is ok.

However, pain is distinct from simply being tender and you can differentiate, therefore don’t continue to strain through actual distress. Safety should always be at the forefront of your thoughts. Without consistency, you can’t progress.

5. Get the Right Gear

When first beginning, having adequate equipment is crucial to progress through different steps. Injuries can be sustained if you don’t have the proper footwear, thus hindering your ambitions to participate in a half marathon.

6. Fuel Up Correctly

The fueling required for a half marathon is not the same as that for a 10K or a full marathon. You do not need extensive fueling for your 10K training, and you may even require less fueling during your half marathon than you anticipated.

It appears that a lot of runners are taking in too much fuel, which causes runners diarrhoea. It is essential to pay attention to your diet both before and after exercise. What types of carbohydrates should you get, and what kinds of tips and advice can you use?

7. Don’t Skip the Strength Training

Incorporating strength training is essential for those embarking on a half-marathon training program. Exercising regularly can help to reinforce your muscles and joints, increase your stamina, and generally better your running technique. Strength training can lower the possibility of sustaining an injury and better your total performance.

Focus on strength training exercises that centre around the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves when preparing to run a half marathon. These are the primary muscles utilized when engaging in running.

8. Cross Train to Improve Performance

Cross-training can be a useful addition to your running routine, allowing you to work towards your desired outcome. Enhancing your physical fitness in general, decreasing the possibility of harm, and providing you with a pause from running are all outcomes of this.

Exercises that involve switching up your routines, such as swimming, biking, yoga, or anything else that gets your heart pumping and helps develop muscle, can be useful.

When it comes to getting prepared for a half marathon, concentrate on exercises that will help you get fitter without overexerting yourself.

9. Get Enough Sleep

Incorporating rest into your exercise routine is crucial, particularly when you’re prepping for a half marathon. Adequate sleep is key to success. Making certain you have sufficient rest allows your body the opportunity to regroup from tough training sessions and gain strength.

A good target is to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night and establish a routine where you are hitting the hay and getting up at the same time daily. This can assist in controlling your biological timepiece and make sure you gain the peaceful sleep you require.

So please, don’t neglect sleep. Many studies have confirmed that using this tool is the best way to boost performance, and it comes at no cost.

Half Marathon Recovery Plan and Tips

The value of your training is dependent upon the amount of rest and recovery you take between sessions. A major factor in the preparation for running a half marathon is the ability to find the right equilibrium between working hard and taking time to rest.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk

To prepare for a half marathon, you must complete multiple runs of considerable length. You should focus on running these distances at slow or moderate speeds, helping your body get accustomed to running for long periods as though you were training for a full marathon.

Incredible as it may seem, usually it is you who determines how worn out and achy you feel after a run.

A suggestion for those who work out hard: If you are feeling uncomfortable after a hard run, there is a potential remedy involving placing yourself in an ice bath. Despite being rather uncomfortable, they are remarkably effective in reducing leg pain.

Benefits of Walking in Training

  • Monitor your speed, in case you were running unsustainably fast
  • Promote active recovery–you’re still moving, but you’re getting your heart rate down a bit and recovering before you start running again.
  • Reset your arm swing
  • Reset the pulling mechanics of your stride
  • Straighten out your toes to face directly front
  • Remind you to stay tall
  • Remind you to find a tight core

2. Put Your Legs Up

A FANTASTIC technique to “restart your nervous system” and increase the oxygen level in your legs is to do an inversion.

As previously stated, the time put into your half marathon preparation will accumulate very rapidly. At first, it may seem challenging for your body to adjust to the higher levels of exercise that you are doing.

Is there a way to RETURN the body to its neutral state FAST?

Try this:

After your jog OR after the end of the day, prop your feet up on the wall for 10 minutes. That’s it. Relax. Post a picture of your workout on Instagram, pick up a book and read it, make an entry in your training journal, and talk to your mom on the phone.

Gravitational force and the backing of the wall will cause the blood and oxygen to be drawn back into your lower half, bringing about less soreness and increased strength for your succeeding exercise session.


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