Intermediate Half-Marathon Training Schedule

Improving Your Half-Marathon Time

runners at race
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If you've already run at least one half -marathon (13.1 miles) you can move on to your next goal—beating your time. Use this 12-week training schedule to help you run a personal record (PR) in your next half-marathon.

To start this plan, you should already be running about 30 to 60 minutes a day, four to five days a week. If you're not up to that, you may want to try the beginners half-marathon schedule or the advanced beginner half-marathon schedule.

If this schedule doesn't seem challenging enough, try the advanced half-marathon schedule.

Half-Marathon Training Schedule for Intermediate Runners

WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1CT30 min. tempoRest or CT4 milesRest5 miles3 miles EZ
2CT4 x 400 IWRest or CT4 milesRest6 miles3.5 miles EZ
3CT35 min. tempo4 mi3 milesRest7 miles3 miles EZ
4CT5 x 400 IWRest4 miles race paceRest7 miles3 miles EZ
5CT35 min. tempo5 mi3 miles race paceRest8 miles4 miles EZ
6CT6 x 400 IW5 mi4 miles race pace2 miles EZRest10K race
7CT40 min. tempo5 mi4 miles race paceRest9 miles4 miles EZ
8CT6 x 400 IW6 mi3 miles race paceRest10 miles4 miles EZ
9CT45 min. tempo5 mi4 miles race paceRest11 milesRest
10CT7 x 400 IW5 mi3 miles race paceRest12 miles3 miles EZ
11CT45 min. tempoRest3 miles race paceRest5 miles3 miles EZ
12Rest4 miles30 minutes 10K pace2 milesRest20 min.Race Day

Structure of the Half-Marathon Training Schedule

You can switch days to accommodate your schedule.

If you're busy one day, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day. These are the details for the types of workouts you will do throughout the week.

  • Cross-training (CT): Cross-training activities allow you to give your joints and running muscles a break, while still working on building your endurance and strength. When the schedule calls for CT, do a cardio activity other than running (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer) at moderate effort for 45 to 60 minutes. Strength-training, especially your lower body and core, is also very beneficial for long distance runners.
  • Tempo Run: Tempo runs help you develop your anaerobic threshold, which is critical for faster racing. For a 40-minute tempo run, for example, start your run with 5 to 10 minutes of easy running, then continue with 15 to 20 minutes of running at about a 10K pace. Finish with 5 to 10 minutes of cooling down. If you're not sure what your 10K pace is, run at a pace that feels "comfortably hard."
  • Pace runs: After a 10-minute warm-up, run at your anticipated half-marathon pace for the designated mileage.
  • Interval workouts (IW): After a 10-minute warm-up, run 400 meters (one lap around most tracks) hard, then recover by jogging or walking 400 meters. For example, 3 x 400 would be three hard 400s, with a 400-meter recovery in between.
  • Rest: Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don't ignore rest days. Your muscles actually build and repair themselves during your rest days. Fridays are a good day for rest since you will have run on Thursday and you'll have your longest run of the week on Saturday.
  • Saturday long runs: Run at a comfortable, conversational pace for the designated mileage. You can figure out your mileage of your outdoor routes with resources such as MapMyRun.com.
  • Sundays: This is an active recovery day. Your run should be at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles and gets you more comfortable with running on fatigued legs.

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