5 Free Half Marathon Training Plans Compared

© Dreamstime.com

© Dreamstime.com

What’s the best half marathon training plan for you? There’s no easy answer, and what’s right for you at 25 might be different at 35, and what’s right for your friend might be totally different from that.

We took a look at five of the most popular 13.1-mile training plans out there, the pros and cons for each, and what you can expect to get out of them.

Hal Higdon Jeff Galloway Boston Athletic Association Jenny Hadfield Nike
Number of plans: 5 2 3 6 1
Longest run: 10 miles 14 miles 10 miles 10 miles 11 miles
Days per week: 4 – 6 3 4 – 6 4 – 6 5 – 7
Number of weeks: 12 15 – 17 12 14 14
Hallmark features: Stretching & Strength; racing 5K-15Ks Walk/run intervals Goal pace runs Effort by heart rate; run by time instead of mileage 2 speed sessions each week
Pros: Dress rehearsal races Minimal time commitment Easy to understand workouts Plans for all levels of runners Able to modify easily
Cons: No cutback weeks Low weekday miles coupled with high mileage weekends Training runs on both Saturday and Sunday Heart rate monitor not required; but useful May be too confusing for a beginner
Good for: Those seeking a well-rounded schedule Runners with weekday time crunches; beginners People who crave simplicity Those that prefer to run by time rather than mileage Track junkies; runners seeking flexibility in a training program

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