20-WEEK HALF MARATHON TRAINING SCHEDULE

Introduction

This plan starts slowly, is designed to be achievable and fit in with your life with three days of running each week, only adding more days at the end of the plan when you’ll be very comfortable with the distance you are running:

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 3 mile very easy run/walk OFF 3 mile very easy run/walk OFF OFF OFF 3 miles. Try and run it all
Week 2 OFF 3 miles. Try and run it all OFF 3 miles easy OFF OFF 4 miles easy
Week 3 OFF 4 miles easy OFF 4 miles easy OFF OFF 5 miles easy
Week 4 OFF 4 miles easy OFF 4 miles easy OFF OFF 5 miles easy
Week 5 OFF 5 miles easy OFF 5 miles easy OFF OFF 6 miles easy
Week 6 OFF 5 miles easy OFF 5 miles easy OFF OFF 6 miles easy
Week 7 OFF 3 miles OFF 3 miles OFF OFF 3 miles easy
Week 8 OFF 6 miles easy OFF 3 miles try to go quicker OFF OFF 7 miles easy
Week 9 OFF 6 miles steady OFF 3 miles try to go slightly quicker OFF OFF 7 miles steady
Week 10 OFF 6 miles steady OFF 6 miles steady OFF OFF 8 miles steady
Week 11 OFF 7 miles steady OFF 7 miles steady OFF OFF 9 miles steady
Week 12 OFF 4 miles steady OFF 4 miles steady OFF OFF 2 miles steady
Week 13 OFF 8 miles OFF 6 miles OFF OFF 10 miles
Week 14 OFF 8 miles OFF 6 miles, try to go slightly quicker OFF OFF 10 miles
Week 15 OFF 9 miles OFF 6 miles, try to go slightly quicker OFF OFF 11 miles
Week 16 OFF 9 miles OFF * miles OFF OFF 12 miles
Week 17 OFF 4 miles faster OFF 4 miles faster OFF 2 miles faster 11 miles
Week 18 OFF 4 miles faster OFF 4 miles faster OFF 7 miles 7 miles
Week 19 OFF 4 miles faster OFF 4 miles faster OFF 2 miles faster 2 miles faster
Week 20 OFF 2 miles faster OFF 2 miles easy OFF 13.1 miles OFF

FOR BEGINNING & EXPERIENCED RUNNERS

Because this training plan spreads out the weekly and long runs over five months, it can be used by runners who are attempting their first half marathon as well as by someone who’s run several halfs already and wants a structured approach to their training. The plan is designed to gradually ease the runner into the process with light, easy runs in the opening weeks, followed by longer, more demanding runs in the middle and later weeks, to help build your fitness level.

SLOW MILEAGE ESCALATION

The 20-week plan is designed to escalate the mileage you’ll run each week, by bumping up the mileage one week and repeating it the next, and then bumping it up again the following week, and so on. This will help you develop both the physical stamina and the mental confidence that you’ll be able to complete 13.1 miles by showing you, very slowly, that you really can do it – the mileage doesn’t increase dramatically from week to week, we just add gradually to the weekly long runs each week. Remember also to get plenty of rest on the days you don’t run, or consider cross-training such as strength exercises, to give your legs ample time to rest and replenish, especially after your long runs.

TIME YOUR LONG RUNS WITH YOUR RACE

The schedule above places the weekly long run on Sunday.

CONSULT THE EXPERTS

Remember that running is a highly demanding activity with a high chance of injury. Be diligent especially if you are a beginner and schedule into your training time some injury prevention. Always consult with your doctor to make sure you are fit and well enough to start this program and able to cover the distances set out. If at anytime you feel unwell stop and seek medical advice. Also consider visiting a Physiotherapist of Sports Therapist for massage and injury prevention treatment.