This plan is intended for a first time half marathoner who wants to be prepared to complete 13.1 miles. It may start a little aggressively for a complete beginner, so if you are not currently comfortable exercising 30 minutes a day, we would recommend you complete our 8-week 5k training program prior to beginning this routine.
Aerobic endurance and proper pacing are the most important qualities to successfully completing a half marathon, so this plan focuses on a steady increase in weekly training volume and run intensity is limited. Cross-training is recommended once a week, and as an optional replacement for one weekly run for those who may be dealing with an injury or who have a history of running-related injuries.
Run your weekday runs at a steady, easy to moderate pace.
Cross-training with a low-impact sport will help to improve fitness with less strain on the body than running. Suitable options include swimming or cycling. If training in a gym, rowing or eliptical trainers are also useful tools.
If you really enjoy running and are healthy, feel free to include a short run today. Notice the duration is scheduled in time rather than distance today, stick to that whether you cross train or run.
A light routine of strength and stability training will promote total-body fitness and help you to remain more efficient and healthy during your run training.
Perform the following exercises in a circuit, repeating 2-3 times.
- Front Planks - 60 seconds;
- Side Planks - 30 seconds each side;
- Glute Bridges - 15 reps;
- Lateral Band Shuffles - 50 small steps;
- Squats - 15 reps;
- Lateral Lunges - 15 reps each leg;
- Hamstring Curls on a stability ball - 15 reps;
- Pushups - 15 reps
- Barbell or Dumbbell Row - 15 reps.
The weekend run will increase in volume at a faster rate than the weekday runs. Pace should be similar, perhaps slightly slower and readily sustainable for the longer duration.
One of the weekend days will include a cross-training workout as well. This can be the same or a different activity than your weekday cross-training option, but definitely do something other than running. The volume of of the weekend workout will be longer than the weekday workout to build your endurance.