8-Week Half Marathon Training Plan

Be Half Marathon-Ready in 2 Months

Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon

If you’ve already completed a half marathon and you’ve kept up with your running, you don’t need to wait a few months to run your next half marathon. Below is an eight-week half marathon schedule that will get you race-ready and running to your full potential.

Keep in mind that this training schedule is not for someone who is brand new to running or has not been running for the past couple of months.

To start this training schedule, you’ll need to have a training base of about 15 miles per week and you should be able to comfortably run up to 6 miles at a time. If you’re not at that level, you may want to go with a longer half marathon training program. Try one of these 12-week half marathon training schedules for beginner, intermediate, or advanced runners.

Weekly Training Runs

Your training includes tempo runs, interval runs, long runs, and easy run, which are all explained in detail below. See the weekly schedule (below) for the exact details on exactly how much to run and at what pace. The schedule doesn’t indicate which day to run each workout, so it’s up to you to decide when you want to run them. Most runners like to save their long runs for either Saturday or Sunday, when they have more time to run, but you can do what works best for your schedule. Just try to avoid doing tempo runs, interval runs, and long runs on back-to-back days.

You should take a rest day or do an easy run or cross-training in between.

Tempo Run (TR):  For tempo runs, you’ll start and finish with some miles at an easy, comfortable pace. If you’re an advanced runner and looking to add more mileage, you could always go longer for your warmup or cooldown. You should run the tempo run pace portion of the run at your 10K race pace.

If you’re not sure of your 10K race pace, you should run at a pace that feels comfortably hard.

Interval Run (IR): Interval runs are repeats of a certain distance (i.e, 400m) at your 10K pace and then a recovery periods after each interval. For example, 4 x 800m at 10K pace with 90-second recovery in between, would mean running a total of four 800m repeats with 90 seconds running at easy, recovery pace in between repeats. Interval runs can be done anywhere, including the treadmill, but it’s easiest to do them on a track. You should first warm up at an easy pace. Then, do the intervals/recoveries for the set number of repeats. Finish your intervals with a 10-minute cooldown.

Long run (LR): Some long runs will be done at a comfortable, conversational pace for the designated mileage. If your breathing is out of control, you're going too fast. Portions of some long runs will be done at a specific pace, based on your targeted half marathon pace (THMP). You can use a race time estimator calculator such as this one to get an estimate of your half marathon time by plugging in a recent time from a race of another distance.

Easy Runs (ER) and Cross-training: Cross-training or easy runs can be done on the other days of the week, as your schedule permits.

It’s recommended that you take at least one complete rest day per week. Like your long runs, easy runs should also be done at a comfortable, conversational pace.

Cross-training can be any activity other than running that you enjoy, such as cycling, dancing, rowing, swimming, yoga, or strength-training. You should do the activity at a moderate intensity. Aim for at least one day of strength-training per week; two days per week is even better. Your strengthening workout doesn’t have to be too long or intense. You don’t even need any special equipment—you can just do basic bodyweight exercises, as in this sample workout.



Warm-up and Cooldowns: For warm-ups and cooldowns, you should run at an easy pace or walk. You can also start with some dynamic stretching and warm-up exercises such as butt kicks and jumping jacks.

8-Week Half Marathon Training Plan


Week 1:

    Run #1: Tempo run (TR): 1 mile easy pace for warm-up; 1 mile at tempo pace; 1-mile cooldown
    Run #2: Interval run (IR): 10-minute warm-up; 6 x 400m at 10K pace with 90-second recovery (easy pace) in between; 10-minute cooldown
    Run #3: Long run (LR): 6 miles at easy, comfortable pace
    Run #4: Easy run (ER): 4 miles

Week 2:

    Run #1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up; 1 mile at tempo pace; 1-mile cooldown
    Run #2: IR: 10-minute warm-up; 4 x 800m at 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between; 10-minute cooldown
    Run #3: LR: 8 miles at easy, comfortable pace
    Run #4: ER: 4 miles

Week 3:

    Run #1: TR: 2 mile easy pace for warm-up; 2 miles at tempo pace; 1-mile cooldown
    Run #2: IR: 10-minute warm-up; 400m, 800m, 1200m, 800m, 400m at 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between; 10-minute cooldown
    Run #3: LR: 10 miles at THMP (targeted half marathon pace) + 30 seconds/mile
    Run #4: ER: 5 miles

Week 4:

    Run #1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up; 2 miles at tempo pace; 1-mile cooldown
    Run #2: IR: 10-minute warm-up; 4 x 800m at 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between; 10-minute cooldown
    Run #3: LR: 10 miles at easy, comfortable pace, then finish with 2 miles at THMP
    Run #4: ER: 4 miles

Week 5:

    Run #1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up; 3 miles at tempo pace; 5-minute cooldown
    Run #2: IR: 10-minute warm-up; 4 x 800m at 10K pace, with 90-second recovery in between; 10-minute cooldown
    Run #3: LR: 13 miles at easy, comfortable pace
    Run #4: ER: 3 miles

Week 6:

    Run #1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up; 3 miles at tempo pace; 5-minute cooldown
    Run #2: IR: 10-minute warm-up; 400m, 800m, 1600m, 800m, 400m at 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between; 10-minute cooldown
    Run #3: LR: 10 miles at easy, comfortable pace, then finish with 2 miles at THMP
    Run #4: ER: 3 miles

Week 7:

    Run #1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up; 3 miles at tempo pace; 1-mile cooldown
    Run #2: ER: 5 miles
    Run #3: LR: 6 miles easy pace
    Run #4: ER: 3 miles

Week 8:

    Run #1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up; 2 miles at tempo pace; 1-mile cooldown
    Run #2: ER: 3 miles
    Run #3: ER: 2 miles
    Race Day! Get tips on what to do the day of your half marathon.
 

How to Find a Half Marathon

You'll have to decide whether you want to run a big or small half marathon, and if you want to travel to a fun location or stay close to home. If you’re looking for something local, check with your local running club, neighborhood running store, or search Active.com. If you’d like to travel for a big race, check out these listings of some of the best half marathons in the U.S.:

Top Spring U.S. Half Marathons
Top Summer U.S. Half Marathons
Top Fall U.S. Half Marathons
Top Winter U.S. Half Marathons
 

A Word From Verywell

Completing your weekly training runs is only part of your preparation for running a half marathon. You’ll also need to mentally prepare yourself for the race by developing strategies for dealing with the discomfort and mental challenges that you'll undoubtedly experience during training and racing. You should also practice good self-care by getting plenty of sleep and practicing healthy eating habits. Listen to your body and pay attention to any potential warning signs of running injuries. If you experience pain that lasts longer than seven to 10 days, consult your healthcare professional to determine possible causes and treatment.

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