Competitor.com Break-2:30 8 Week Half Marathon Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 00:54
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 00:54
Training Load By Week

The 8-week Sub 2:30 half marathon plan is designed for the new or beginner runner looking to run their first half marathon.

You should be comfortable running 20 miles per week with at least an 8 mile long run. Your previous personal best should be at least better than one of the following:

5k – 33:00 10k – 1:08:00

The goal of this half marathon plan is to increase your weekly mileage to 25-30 miles per week and incorporate workouts that will challenge your aerobic system and teach your body how to run faster when tired.

The first 3 weeks of the program are designed to introduce your body to faster workouts without getting injured. During this time you will also gradually build your mileage and long runs so you can enter the last 5 weeks of training capable of performing harder, longer workouts.

In the final 5 weeks we introduce longer tempo runs and fast finish long runs designed to teach your body how to handle lactic acid and finish the race strong. By the end of the 8 weeks you’ll be ready to not just run a half marathon, but finish strong.

Plan written by Jeff Gaudette.

Sample Day 1
3mi
Easy Run

3 miles easy (12:35 to 13:20 pace)

Start to get your legs by jogging easy for three miles. Concentrate on staying comfortable during this run, even if that means running outside of the recommended pace range. Tell your friends, family and/or coworkers about your goal to break 2:30 in a half marathon. Committing to a goal is something to be proud of and talking about it helps many athletes stay dedicated and feel accountable to themselves.

The First 10 Steps to Becoming a Runner
http://running.competitor.com/2013/06/news/the-first-ten-steps-to-becoming-a-runner_75431

Sample Day 2
5mi
Fartlek

1 mile warm up, 5 x 4 minutes at 10:40 to 10:30 pace w/3 min rest, 1 mile cool down

If you're looking for some guidance, use the paces shown above. Otherwise, feel free to make it up as you go during this run. Fartleks are free-form, run the speed that feels right to you.

Exclusive training video: What is a Fartlek?
Password: competitor
https://vimeo.com/100070612

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Cross Training or Rest Day

Off or optional cross training (30 mins easy)

Cross training makes up a big part of this training plan. These workouts can be an alternate form of cardio exercise (cycling, swimming etc.) or strength training such as weight lifting, yoga or Crossfit. Find an activity you enjoy. Keeping these days enjoyable and engaging will be a key to your success on race day.

5 Reasons Why Every Runner Should Cross-Train
http://running.competitor.com/2014/04/training/the-case-for-cross-training_7917

Sample Day 4
3mi
Easy Run Plus Strides

3 miles easy (12:35 to 13:20 pace) w/4 x 20 sec strides

Strides are short accelerations from a stand-still up to a fast pace. They help refine your technique and improve efficiency at every speed. Take as much standing rest as you need between strides. Top out at a fast but comfortable speed--strides are not sprints. These will appear repeatedly through your training plan. This pace may feel fast today, but a combination of long, fast and frequent runs will help you adapt to the pace. It will get easier!

Exclusive training video: Recovery Run
Password: competitor
https://vimeo.com/100347044

Sample Day 5
0:30:00
Cross Training or Rest Day

Off or optional cross training (30 mins easy)

Cross training, which includes swimming, strength training, cycling, rowing, elliptical, stairmaster, hiking or another activity.

Recipe: Healthy Quinoa Fruit Salad Dessert
http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2013/11/nutrition/recipes/recipe-healthy-quinoa-fruit-salad-dessert_18551

Sample Day 6
3mi
Easy Run Plus Strides

3 miles easy (12:35 to 13:20 pace) w/4 x 20 sec strides

Stay comfortable during this run, even if that means running outside of the recommended pace range.

The 11 Best Protein Sources for Runners:
http://running.competitor.com/2014/02/photos/the-11-best-proteins-for-runners_19291

Sample Day 7
8mi
Long Run

8 mile long run - all easy pace

Run with friends whenever possible. Company makes every workout more fun and fulfilling, and you might learn something from a veteran runner.

Exclusive training video: Recovery Nutrition
Password: competitor
https://vimeo.com/100380809