Sometimes you sign up for a race that’s not far off in the future – just a couple of months away, or even less. You’ve been running regularly, but you need to ramp up your training, especially for a race you want to do with friends or loved ones in the next several weeks.
Here’s our eight-week half marathon training plan to get you ready to run 13.1 miles, designed for runners who already are in the running habit and are in good enough shape to put this plan in place with little difficulty.
Bear in mind that you can always run the miles below using a one-to-one run-walk pace (run for one minute, walk for one minute, etc.). Or you can use a method like Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run, in which you run for three minutes, walk for one minute, and so on.
It’s also a good idea to use your shorter, mid-week runs for building up your speed and ability to run shorter distances in better times, while using your longer weekend runs to build up your endurance and ability to lengthen your miles more slowly.
8-Week Training Plan for a Saturday race:
|1||off||3 miles||4 miles||3 miles||off||5 miles||2-3 miles|
|2||off||3 miles||4 miles||3 miles||off||6 miles||2-3 miles|
|3||off||4 miles||5 miles||4 miles||off||7 miles||3 miles|
|4||off||4 miles||5 miles||4 miles||off||8 miles||3 miles|
|5||off||5 miles||6 miles||5 miles||off||9 miles||3 miles|
|6||off||5 miles||6 miles||5 miles||off||10 miles||3 miles|
|7||off||4 miles||5 miles||4 miles||off||11 miles||2 miles|
|8||off||3-4 miles||4 miles||3-4 miles||off||13.1 miles!||off|
8-Week Training Plan for a Sunday race:
|1||off||3 miles||4 miles||3 miles||off||2-3 miles||5 miles|
|2||off||3 miles||4 miles||3 miles||off||2-3 miles||6 miles|
|3||off||4 miles||5 miles||4 miles||off||2-3 miles||7 miles|
|4||off||4 miles||5 miles||4 miles||off||3 miles||8 miles|
|5||off||5 miles||6 miles||5 miles||off||3 miles||9 miles|
|6||off||5 miles||6 miles||5 miles||off||3 miles||10 miles|
|7||off||4 miles||5 miles||4 miles||off||3 miles||11 miles|
|8||off||3-4 miles||4 miles||3-4 miles||off||1-2 miles||13.1 miles!|
Note that this plan is designed for runners who’ve already run a half marathon or several in the past, and who are already running consistently each week so they’ve built up their leg, lower body and cardiovascular strength to handle the number of miles they’ll be running throughout the training.
Consider cross-training on the days you don’t run — anything from strength training to walking a few miles, which will provide the cardiovascular benefits without the pounding impact that running can cause.