Training

Half Marathon Training Plan | Run with Myprotein

Seen all of you friends completing marathons and feeling guilty for not getting involved? Our half marathon beginners programme is the solution.

Running 13.1 miles is possible for most runners. If you can do 10k then a half marathon is your next challenge. So whether you’re looking to build up to your very first 13.1 miles, or you’re simply looking to smash your PB, we’ve got training plans to get you over the finish line in style.

This article contains two training programmes to set you up for race-ready fitness, preparing you for a half-marathon. Each programme is designed by British long-distance runner Jonny Mellor,  and are 8 weeks long, containing a mix of difficult run lengths and difficulties. If you find that you’re not recovering from your runs as well as you should week to week, then feel free to modify the programme so that it better suits your needs.

Half Marathon Beginners Programme

The Half Marathon Beginner’s Programme is the ideal progression following the completion of a successful 10k training programme. The half marathon is becoming a very popular distance among recreational runners, due to the obvious challenge it presents. Many half marathon race routes are set over challenging courses so that they remain an interesting challenge to runners. Be smart about your training and listen to your body – we want to avoid overtraining (and under-recovery) and injuries as much as possible. As a general guide, you should be able to complete a minimum of 10-miles in training prior to running the distance of a half-marathon.

The generic programme below has more emphasis on endurance than any of the other plans to prepare you for the distance. As a generic programme, it may need to be modified to suit your needs and fit around your daily life. The key to half marathon training is to develop and maintain your aerobic fitness levels and improve your endurance. The beginner’s plan includes easy state running as well as a weekly long run. This is a slow run with the challenge of running at a steady pace for the entire duration of the run.

Bouts of interval training are also included in this programme, as a mix of skill in training is one of the most efficient routes to globally improving your cardiovascular fitness. Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity effort with periods of low-intensity effort, often called recovery. Interval training has many health benefits as well as improving your ability to run faster for longer. These efforts should be run at a pace faster than an easy run pace, but not an all-out sprint.

 

Week

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Saturday

Sunday

1 2miles easy run Rest 3miles easy run 40mins brisk walk 6mile long run
2 3miles easy run + 4x15sec strides Rest 3miles easy run 40mins brisk walk 7mile long run
3 3miles easy run + 4x15sec strides Rest 3miles easy run 3miles easy run 8mile long run
4 5mins w/u – 6x2mins, 2min brisk walk recovery, 5mins c/d 2miles easy recovery run 3miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 3miles easy run 8mile long run
5 1mile w/u – 6x90sec hills, jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 2miles easy recovery run 4miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 4miles easy run 9mile long run
6 1mile w/u – 8x2min, 2min brisk walk recovery, 1mile c/d 3miles easy recovery run 5miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 4miles easy run 9mile long run
7 1mile w/u – 6x2min hills, jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 3miles easy recovery run 5miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 5miles easy run 6mile long run
8 5mins w/u – 8x1mins, 2min brisk walk recovery, 5mins c/d Rest 2miles easy run HALF MARATHON 2miles easy recovery run

Half Marathon Intermediate Programme

The plan below includes easy steady-state running as well as a weekly long run. This is a slow-paced run where the challenge is to maintain a steady pace for the duration of the session. This plan will follow a periodised approach, ensuring that you reach your peak fitness around the time of the race, while also building suitable aerobic foundations on which to base your training.

Hills are scheduled in week 1 and are performed to improve lower limb power and develop your V02 max. They are also perfect for improving form and technique. Hills should be run at an easy pace for a warm-up, followed by a few gentle dynamic stretches and then running hard up the hill, with a gentle jog back down to the start to allow you to recover before starting again. For optimal, run hills as a continuous effort, but feel free to take a break or walk if you’re struggling. Hill training then leads into interval training later in the plan.

Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity effort with periods of low-intensity effort, known as recovery. Interval training has many health benefits as well as improving your ability to run faster for longer. These efforts should be faster than an easy run pace, but not a maximal effort sprint. The intermediate plan also includes progression runs.

Start off slow in progression runs, almost at an easy run pace, and gradually build the pace in blocks of 10minutes or increasing distance. Each section should be progressively quicker until you are running close to your 10k pace. Progression runs are the perfect progression towards tempo running later in the programme. Tempo running is key for training improvements and should be done at a pace that is ‘comfortably hard’, faster than an easy run pace but not as fast as your interval work – otherwise known as your ‘anaerobic threshold’ – the fastest pace that you are able to sustain for the duration of the session.

Week

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Saturday

Sunday

1 4miles easy run 3miles easy run 4miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 5miles progression run 8mile long run
2 1mile w/u – 6×2 hills, jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 4miles easy recovery run 4miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 6miles progression run 10mile long run
3 1mile w/u – 5×3 hills, jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 6miles easy recovery run 5miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 7miles progression run 10mile long run
4 1mile w/u – 5x3min hills, jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 6miles easy recovery run 5miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 1mile w/u – 3mile tempo, 1mile c/d 12mile long run
5 1mile w/u – 8×2: 30min, 2min jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 6miles easy recovery run 6miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 1mile w/u – 5x1min, 2min jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 12mile long run
6 1mile w/u – 8x3min, 90sec jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 6miles easy recovery run 6miles steady run + 4x15secstrides 1mile w/u – 4mile tempo, 1mile c/d 13mile long run
7 1mile w/u – 8×3: 30min, 90sec jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 6miles easy recovery run 6miles steady run + 4x15sec strides 1mile w/u – 5x1min, 2min jog back recovery, 1mile c/d 8mile long run
8 1mile w/u – 12x1mins, 1min jog back recovery, 1mile 4miles easy recovery run 2miles easy run HALF MARATHON 2miles easy recovery run

 

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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Scott Whitney

Scott Whitney

Sports Therapist and S&C Professional

Scott developed a passion for sport and performance through competing in long‐distance running and bouldering prior to attending university. Scott’s academic achievements include a BSc honours degree in Sports Therapy and an MSc degree in Strength and Conditioning. He is also a member of The Society of Sports Therapists and CIMSPA. Previously, he has worked with amateur and elite athletes, ranging from university sports teams to elite rugby league athletes and Team GB rowers. He currently works with various gyms in developing and delivering training programmes for amateur athletes and gym‐goers. While passive treatments remain in his arsenal as a Sports Therapist, Scott uses his skills to promote physical activity for combatting obesity, lower back pain and other sporting injuries, and simultaneously providing programmes for athletic development. Being a recent graduate, Scott strives to gain experience wherever possible, offering advice and sharing knowledge along the way. He believes it is important to practice what you preach, so in his spare time, Scott practices Olympic Weightlifting and enjoys being active outdoors in all weathers, although he still believes it is important to make ample time for social activities.


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