Half Marathon Walk Training Schedule

Use This Schedule to Prepare for a Half Marathon Walk

Half Marathon Finishers
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The 13.1-mile or 21-kilometer half marathon distance is a good challenge for walkers and is very popular with those who do a run/walk technique. Training for a half marathon walk should be done by steadily building up your walking distance over a period of three to four months. Here is a training schedule to use to get ready to go the distance.

Find a Walker-Friendly Half Marathon and Set the Date

Your first step is to find a walker-friendly half marathon where you will be well-supported at a slower pace than runners.

Look for one that will take place four months or more in the future so you can begin training well in advance.

Build Your Base Mileage First

If you are a beginner, or you've been inactive for a couple of months (such as over the winter), you should start by building up your base mileage to the point where you can walk four miles comfortably every-other day. If you aren't already walking four miles comfortably, you'll need to add a few more weeks to the schedule so you are at that level before you begin half marathon training.

This half marathon training schedule steadily increases the long distance workout walk each week. This longer walk builds endurance and the blood supply and energy systems for muscles. You also need a long distance walk each week to toughen your feet to prevent blisters, practice proper hydration and energy snacking during a long walk.

Prerequisites for the Half Marathon Mileage-Building Schedule

Before you start this schedule, you need to meet these requirements:

  • You must be able to walk comfortably for 4 miles on your long day and for 3 miles three days a week.
  • You must be able to commit to one long day per week, from 2 to 5 hours.

Weekly Schedule for Half Marathon Walk Training

  • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: walk three to four miles. You can mix up the kind of walk you enjoy to build both speed and endurance on these walks. Use these suggested walking workouts
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Days off. You can enjoy easy strolls or other fitness activities.
  • Sunday: Mileage building day - long slow distance walk. This is a key part of the training plan as you will be giving your body the distance challenge it needs. See more about why you need a long slow distance walk each week for distance training.
  • You may vary the exact days of the week, but generally you should take a day off between each walking day, or take just an easy walk on the off day.
  • Your longest training day should be three weeks before the half marathon, then you begin to taper mileage. The taper gives your body time to fully develop new muscle and have full energy stores for your half marathon. Learn more about tapering for long distance walks.
  • If you are already walking longer walks, you can jump into the schedule at the point that matches your longer walks.

Half Marathon Training Chart - Miles

Week

Sun.

Mon.

Tue.

Wed.

Thur.

Fri.

Sat.

Week Total

1

4 miles

Off

3 miles

Off

3 miles

Off

3 miles

13 miles

2

5

Off3Off3Off3

14

3

6Off

3

Off

3

Off

3

15

4

7Off3Off3Off417

5

7Off3Off

4

Off

4

18

6

7

Off

4

Off

4

Off

4

19

7

8

Off4Off4Off

4

20

89Off4Off4Off

4

21

9

10Off4Off4Off422

10

8Off4Off4Off420

11

12Off4Off4Off424

12

8Off4Off

4

Off

4

20

13

14Off

4

Off

4

Off

4

26
146Off

4

Off

4

Off

4

18
156Off4Off4Off

4

18
1613.1 miles (race day)

 

Time of Day for Half Marathon Training

You should also try to walk the long training day at the time of day the half marathon walk will be held. This way, you are used to how your body feels and how you need to eat and drink in preparation for the starting time.

Train with Your Half Marathon Shoes and Gear

In the final six weeks leading up to your half marathon, you should wear the shoes, socks, and clothing you plan to wear during the half marathon. This will show you whether these items perform well at high mileage. Remember the golden rule of "nothing new on race day." Give it all a shakedown during your training.

As you progress with your training, you will have a better idea of what your finish time will be for the half marathon. See more about how to predict your finish time.

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