Though not as demanding as training for a 26.2-mile full marathon — a fact that helps explain its popularity — training for a half marathon requires a significant investment of time and energy.
Practicing running portions of your long runs at goal pace is a great tool for improving speed. Not only is it a great confidence builder on race day, but it gets your legs used to running at your goal pace.
When the temps rise, don’t expect to keep getting the same results with the same effort. Every runner is different, but generally speaking, expect to run 20 to 30 seconds slower per mile for every 5 degrees when the temperature rises above about 60°F.
You should plan to devote at least three months to preparing for a race, and you should be running and exercising regularly in the months before you begin training.
Designed for beginning runners or anyone who is planning to run the half marathon distance for the first time, this training plan is based on five days of running per week, with the once-a-week long run set on Sundays.
Spread out over four months instead of three, this training plan is designed for runners who’ve run a half marathon already and are in need of a training plan that can fit into a busy schedule — with four training days each week vs. five.
For runners who are looking for an even more gradual buildup to the half marathon than the 16-week plan offers, this five-month training plan starts slowly and builds toward the 13.1-mile race day, with both four- and five-day-a-week runs later in the plan.