Super Simple Competitor.com 8 Week Half Marathon Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 01:20
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 01:20
Training Load By Week

The 8-week Super Simple half marathon plan is designed for beginner runners looking to finish a half marathon.You should be comfortable running 15-20 miles per week with at least a 6 mile long run before starting the program. The goal of this half marathon plan is to increase your weekly mileage to 20-25 miles per week, get you comfortable and confident running 13 miles, and to incorporate workouts that will challenge your aerobic system.The first 4 weeks of the program are designed to gradually build your mileage and long runs so you can stay injury-free. During the last 4 weeks of training we continue to build your mileage safely while also including some introductory workouts to improve your aerobic fitness. These effort level definitions will appear in your plan:Easy pace: A steady pace that feels manageable, even after 30-plus minutes of running.Tempo pace: The pace you can hold during an all-out 1-hour run. Your breathing should be elevated, but not uncontrolled or frantic.Race pace: Your goal race pace. Not the pace you could hold for 13.1 miles on the day of a workout, but your objective for the race.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
0:30:00
Easy Cross Training

Cross training easy 30 minutes

Jumpstart your body with a cardio cross training workout. During the course of this training plan, you're going do many aerobic workouts other than running to help build strength and endurance without the pounding that comes from running. Find a cross training activity (or a few) you enjoy, such as swimming or cycling.

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Sample Day 2
3mi
Easy Run

3 miles easy

Start to get your legs by jogging easy for two 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 run 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.

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Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Cross Training

Off or cross train medium effort 30 minutes

Back to cross training today. When you feel inspired, you can go harder during these workouts to get an even stronger aerobic boost. While your leg muscles react differently to running and other forms of exercise, your lungs and heart don't know the difference.

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Sample Day 4
4mi
Easy Run

4 miles easy

By frequently running at your goal pace, your body will learn to more efficiently at this pace, to burn fat for fuel and prepare you mentally for the demands of your goal finish time. Adjust your pace to your own level of fitness.

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

Off or cross training easy 30 minutes

Cross training, which includes swimming, strength training, cycling, rowing, elliptical, stairmaster, hiking or another activity. An off day will help your body respond to the training you've done; take at leasy one day completely off each week. Pick the day based on your fatigue and real-life schedule.

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Sample Day 6
4mi
Recovery Run

4 miles easy

Stay comfortable during this run, even if that means running outside of the recommended pace range. How is your body adapting to the new training load? It's normal to feel sore and tired, especially at the start of the plan, but it's important to stay on top of unexpected pain. Extra soreness in a singular spot of a muscle or a sharp pain can be a sign that you're experiencing the beginnings of an injury. If that happens, take extra rest and see a medical pro who specializes in endurance injuries. It's much easier to prevent an injury than fix one after it gets out of control.

The difference betwen an easy run and a recovery run is subtle, but important. If you feel tired, run down or just not motivated during a recovery run, add extra walk breaks or pull the plug entirely. Rest for tomorrow's workout is more important than any gains you'll make today.

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Sample Day 7
7mi
Long Run

7 mile long run

Run with friends whenever possible. Company makes every workout more fun and fulfilling, and you might learn something from a veteran runner. For this first long run start at a conservative pace. Build from the fourth mile if you feel strong. Concentrate on keeping your upper body relaxed while running. Allowing your body to move freely and naturally is the best way to improve the economy of your run form.

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