12 Week Intermediate Half Marathon Plan


Coach Pittman

All plans by this Coach


12 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Day Off, 5 Run

Longest Workout

12 miles

Plan Specs

running half marathon intermediate advanced hr based pace based

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This plan is designed for the intermediate athlete who has run at least a sustained 10-20 miles per week.

You will find that each workout is prescribed an RPE. This is Rate of Perceived Exertion and describes what effort you should be running at to get the desired physiological adaption. It's very important that you follow this RPE scale so that you don't risk getting injured. Run your easy days easy and your hard days hard.

RPE 1 - Recovery effort. Walking, jogging very easy, and able to carry a conversation comfortably.
RPE 2-3 - Aerobic. Able to carry a conversation and feel like you can sustain this effort for hours.
RPE 4-6 - Tempo. Moderate activity that you feel like you can hold for hours, but breathing is harder.
RPE 7-8 - Anaerobic. Uncomfortable, short of breath, hard to complete sentence.
RPE 9 - VO2Max/Speed. Can barely speak and can only sustain for around 3 minutes.
RPE 10 - Power. Unable to speak, max effort, unsustainable for even short a period of time.

If you use heart rate zones and have been tested for your lactate threshold, use the following conversion:

RPE 1 = Zone 1
RPE 2-3 = Zone 2
RPE 4-6 = Zone 3
RPE 7-8 = Zone 4
RPE 9-10 = Zone 5

Your training program is broken down and periodized into phases based on the law of specificity. Meaning as the workouts progress throughout the weeks, they will become more and more specific to your race demands.

Strength Phase: Weeks 1-8
- VO2Max Focus: Weeks 1-4
- Tempo Focus: Weeks 5-8
Race Specific Phase: Weeks 9-10
Taper Phase: Week 11
Race Week: Week 12

Throughout each phase there will be a heavy and dominate load of aerobic endurance. That's because a half marathon is an aerobic event and requires aerobic fitness. Aerobic development is the single most important part of this plan and running a successful and fast 13.1.

Ensure that before every workout, you get a proper warm up with dynamic exercises. Here is a sample dynamic warm-up:

10 squats
10 alternating lunges
10 calf raises
10 leg swings
10 high knees
10 butt kicks

This is critical to perform before higher intensity workouts such as VO2Max and Tempo, but it's important to do before every run.


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 00:41

Coach Pittman

Fit 2 Endure

USA Triathlon Coach and Running coach

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

Easy Run - RPE 1

Sample Day 2

Aerobic + Running Economy - RPE 2

6 mile run at RPE 2

Then, complete 5 x :15 strides w/ 2 min rest in-between

Sample Day 3

Easy Run - RPE 1

Sample Day 5

Easy Run - RPE 1

Sample Day 6

Aerobic - RPE 2-3

5 miles @ RPE 2-3

Sample Day 8

Easy Run - RPE 1

Sample Day 9

VO2max Intervals

Warm up:
Dynamic Exercises
10 min easy run @ RPE 1
5 x :10 strides

Main Set:
3 x 4 min @ VO2max pace or RPE 9 w/ 4 min recovery jog @ RPE 1

12 Week Intermediate Half Marathon Plan

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