12-Week Half Marathon Training Plan for Advanced Runners

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Recently we posted a half marathon plan for beginners as well as an intermediate plan. Now for the final advanced plan — this plan is designed for someone who has already run several half marathons and has a specific time or goal in mind.


Like the other plans, it’s a 12-week plan. An advanced runner should be able to comfortably run between 30-40 miles easy and be able to run 5 to 6 days a week.

The runner beginning this training cycle should be able to finish a half marathon at week 1. The goal of the plan is to hone your leg speed and run your fastest half yet! (If you don’t think that is for you, the intermediate or beginner plans are both great options.)

Key terms

Easy runs. These are supposed to be just that — easy! They should be at conversation pace, about 60 to 90 seconds slower than your goal pace. The pace should be flexible and some runners choose to leave their watches at home!

Cross training. Makes you stronger by allowing your body to build cardio strength and endurance without stressing your body as running does.

There are many different methods to cross training, but it’s always important to find one that works for you. A few suggestions, but you’re certainly not limited to these, are spinning, swimming or using cardio equipment such as an elliptical.

Rest. As runners, we hate the rest day, but that is one of the most critical days in training. You will not improve if you do not rest, in fact, you usually get injured. As you build your base, cross training on a rest day can have great benefits.

Striders. These are short bursts of quick running. They are 50 to 100 meters long and should be at 5K race pace. They allow the legs to get a faster turnover and incorporate a mini speed workout into your run.

12-week training plan for advanced runners

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 Off 5 miles easy 5 miles easy 4 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 4 miles easy 10 miles easy
2 Off 5 miles easy 5 miles easy 5 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 5 miles easy 11 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at end (2 mins rest between)
3 Off 5 miles easy 5 miles easy 5 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 5 miles easy 12 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at end (2 mins rest between)
4 Off 5 miles easy 6 miles easy 5 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) Off 4 miles easy 6 miles easy + 4 miles at goal pace + 3 miles easy OR 5K race
5 Off 5 miles easy 6 miles easy 6 miles easy + 8×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 6 miles easy 13 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at end (2 mins rest between)
6 Off 5 miles easy 7 miles easy 6 miles easy + 8×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 6 miles easy 5 miles easy + 5 miles at goal pace + 3 miles easy
7 Off 5 miles easy 7 miles easy 6 miles easy + 8×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 6 miles easy 14 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at end (2 mins rest between)
8 Off 5 miles easy 4 miles easy 4 miles easy + 8×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) Off 4 miles easy 6 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at end (2 mins rest between)
9 Off 5 miles easy 7 miles easy 6 miles easy + 8×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 6 miles easy 14 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at end (2 mins rest between)
10 Off 5 miles easy 7 miles easy 6 miles easy + 10×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 5 miles easy 6 miles easy + 6 miles at goal pace + 3 miles easy OR 5K race
11 Off 5 miles easy 7 miles easy 6 miles easy + 10×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) 45 mins cross-train or 4 miles easy 4 miles easy 10 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at end (2 mins rest between)
12 Off 4 miles easy 5 miles easy 4 miles easy + 6×30-second striders at the end (2 mins rest between) Off 3 miles easy Race day!

Hollie Sick is an avid runner who’s completed more than 30 half marathons. Read her blog, or follow her on Facebook.

2 comments… add one
  • Douglas October 19, 2017, 9:32 am

    This is a poorly thought out plan. It consists of only one long run per week and the rest easy runs and strides There are no tempo runs to develop strength and stamina at leg speed, no intervals to develop the ability to process lactic acid. The total mileage shows hardly increase over 12 week from the assumed weekly mileage entering into the plan. Expect to perform miserably during the last 3 miles of your H.M. on this flawed plan.

    • Terrell Johnson October 19, 2017, 9:53 am

      Hi Douglas, did you view the plan on a mobile device? It’s possible that you need to swipe right/left to see the long runs on Sundays — they show runs of 11, 12, 13 and even 14 miles on your long run day.

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