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Moving Up From the 10k to Half Marathon

BY Hal Higdon

After a successful 10k, one runner wants to know if he can start Hal’s 12 week Novice 1 program at the six week mark and still be ready for a Half marathon.

Have a question about running? You’re in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon’s Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.


I am a novice runner having just finished a 10-K race. My next challenge is a half marathon, but I only have six weeks to prepare for it. Most of your half marathon training plans are catered around 12 weeks of training. Can I customize your Novice 1 Half program and start six weeks in, or is there better way to train? Thank you from India.


Speaking for the many running gurus, most of us would be shocked that someone would try to shortcut one of our training programs. However, you just completed a 10-K, and I assume it went reasonably well, otherwise you would not be contemplating a move to a race twice that distance.

Looking at my 12-week Novice 1 Half program, it offers a 5-K race in Week 6 with the long run in Week 7 designated at 7 miles, so it appears that you already halfway there. I anticipate no problems making the quick switch from 10-K training to half marathon training.

Speaking again for my fellow running gurus, we like runners to arrive at the starting line of races (at any distance) as perfectly prepared as possible. That guarantees that those same runners will arrive at the finish line with smiles on their faces, allowing us to share in their success. Is 6 weeks of training sufficient for half marathon success versus the 12 weeks suggested in my programs and the programs of my coaching peers? In your specific case, I suspect it may be. Good luck!

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About Hal Higdon

Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for ‘Runner’s World‘ and author of 34 books, including the best-selling ‘Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide’. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. Higdon estimates that over a quarter of a million runners have finished marathons using his training programs, and he also offers additional interactive programs at all distances through TrainingPeaks. Hal uses TrainingPeaks to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans — check out more of Hal Higdon’s training plans on his website.