Basic Half Marathon Training Schedule for Beginners

Run Your First Half Marathon

People running on puddles in concrete
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Congratulations on your decision to train for your first half-marathon! This schedule (see table below) is perfect for a beginner runner and a first-time half-marathoner whose goal is to finish the 13.1-mile race. To start this plan, you should have been running for at least two months and should have a base mileage of about 8-10 miles per week. If you prefer a run/walk program, try this run/walk half-marathon training schedule.

If you're not new to running and this training schedule seems too easy, try the advanced beginner half-marathon training schedule. Or see more Half Marathon Training Plans.

If you haven't already had a recent physical, visit your doctor for medical clearance to train for a half marathon.

Notes about the schedule:

Mondays: Most Mondays are rest days. Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don't ignore rest days.

Tuesdays and Thursdays: After your warm up, run at a moderate pace (slightly faster than your long run pace) for the designated mileage. Cool down and stretch after your run.

Wednesdays: Some Wednesdays are designated rest days. Others are cross-training (CT) days when you should do a cross-training activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer, etc.) at easy-to-moderate effort for 30 to 45 minutes. It's also beneficial to do overall body strength training at least once a week.

Fridays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer, etc.) at easy-to-moderate effort for 30 to 45 minutes. If you're feeling very sluggish or sore on Friday, take a rest day. It's important that you're feeling strong for your Saturday long run.

Saturdays: This is the day for your long, slow, distance run.

Run the designated mileage at an easy, conversational pace. Use your breathing as your guide. You should be able to breathe easily and talk in complete sentences comfortably during your run.

Sundays: This is an active recovery day. Your short run should be at a very easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles. You can also do a run/walk combination or cross-train.

Note:
You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So if you're busy on another day and prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day. If you need to convert the distances to kilometers, see these miles to kilometers conversions.

Beginners' Half Marathon Training Schedule

WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1Rest2 miRest2.5 miRest3 mi20-30 min EZ run or cross-train
2Rest2 milesRest3 miCT or Rest4 mi20-30 min EZ run or cross-train
3Rest2.5 miCT3 miRest5 mi20-30 min EZ run or cross-train
4Rest3 miCT4 miRest6 mi20-30 min EZ run or cross-train
5Rest3 miCT3 miRest7 mi30 min EZ run or cross-train
6Rest4 miCT4 miRest8 mi30 min EZ run or cross-train
7Rest4 miRest4 miCT9 mi30 min EZ run or cross-train
8Rest4 miCT3 miRest10 mi30 min EZ run or cross-train
9Rest5 miCT4 miRest11 miRest
1030 min EZ run or cross-train4 miRest3 miCT12 mi30 min EZ run or cross-train
11RestCTRest3 miCT5 mi30 min EZ run or cross-train
12Rest2 mi20 minutesRest20 minutesRace Day!Rest Day!

FAQs About Half Marathon Training

Half Marathon Race Day Tips

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