Half Marathon Training Program for Recreational Runners

 

By Rick Morris

 

The half marathon, while not as popular as its big brother, the full marathon, has gained in participation numbers. The race is a good stepping-stone to the full marathon and also a good training tool and measure of fitness. This is a non competitive training plan.

 

 

 

12 Week training program

 

This is a 12-week program that is designed to prepare a recreational runner to complete a half marathon and run the entire distance. A recreational runner usually does not follow a specific training program. This type of runner runs only occasionally, but with some consistency. A recreational runner may enter from one to several races per year. Weekly mileage usually ranges from 5 to 15 miles per week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before beginning this program, you should be able to run at least 3 miles without stopping. If you cannot currently run 3 miles, gradually build up to that level with a period of base building, composed of easy running, before starting this program. You should get a physical exam and clearance from your doctor before beginning or increasing the intensity of any exercise program.

 

This program is general in nature. Feel free to make adjustments in order to accommodate scheduling conflicts and individual goals and rate of improvement.

 

The Workouts

 

This program contains easy runs, some hill workouts, some beginning speed workouts and rest days. It is designed to allow a recreational runner to compete in and finish a half marathon race. It is not designed to greatly improve performance or to allow you to finish in a specific time. The beginning speed workouts will moderatly improve your speed and performance.

 

Easy Runs

 

Easy runs should be run at a pace that feels fairly comfortable. You should be breathing hard, but should be able to carry on a conversation. If you are breathing so hard that you cannot talk, you are running too hard. If you can sing, you are running too easily.

 

Speed Workouts

 

The speed workouts in this program consist of short intervals that are performed at faster than your normal training speed. There are introductory level speed workouts and are designed to moderately improve your speed and performance in the race. The speed workouts call for paces that are at or near your 5K or 10K pace. If you have not run in a race and do not know this pace, run the speed workouts at a faster pace than your easy runs, but do not run at an all out pace. You should feel like you are working hard, but not maximal.

 

Hill Workouts

 

Hill workouts will help build strength and speed. These workouts are short, repeated runs up a hill of moderate grade.

 

Rest

 

Rest is a very important part of any training program. Without proper rest, your muscles and connective tissues will not have an opportunity to recover and strengthen properly. On the days calling for complete rest, do no strenuous activity. On the days calling for rest or cross training, you can rest totally or do some cross training. Cross training can be any activity other than running. You could go for a walk, swim, bicycle or do nothing. It is up to you.

 

 

 

Week 1

 

Monday – Rest.

Rest is an important part of any training program.

Tuesday – Run 2 miles easy.

Run at an easy “conversational” pace.

 

Wednesday – Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 4 x Hill repeats. Run up a hill of moderate grade. Run at a pace that feels like 5K pace. Your pace will be slower, but will feel 5K pace because of the added difficulty of the hill. Run up the hill for about 100 meters. Jog down the hill and repeat.

 

Thursday – Rest or cross train.

Rest or engage in a non-running activity.

 

Friday – Run 2.5 miles easy.

 

Saturday – Run 2 miles easy.

 

Sunday – Run 3 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 2

 

Monday – Rest

This program uses Monday as a rest day, because Sunday is your longest run of the week. You can adjust this to meet your needs, but take off the day after your longest weekly run.

 

Tuesday – Run 3 miles easy.

 

Wednesday – Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 4 x 800 meter repeats at around your 5K pace or about 15 seconds per mile faster than your 10K pace. Jog easily for 400 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday – Rest or cross train.

 

Friday – Run 3 miles easy.

 

Saturday – Run 2 miles easy.

 

Sunday – Run 4 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 3

 

Monday – Rest

 

Tuesday – Run 4 miles easy.

 

Wednesday – Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 6 x 400 meter repeats at 10 seconds per mile faster than your 5K pace or about 25 seconds faster than your 10K pace. Jog for 400 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday – Rest or cross train.

 

Friday – Run 4 miles easy.

 

Saturday – Run 2 miles easy.

 

Sunday – Run 5 miles easy.

You make another increase in mileage here. Remember to keep you pace easy. You will increase your longest run by one mile each week.

 

 

 

Week 4

 

Monday – Rest

 

Tuesday – Run 5 miles easy.

 

Wednesday – Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 6 x 800 meter repeats at around your 5K pace or 15 seconds per mile faster than your 10K pace. Jog for 400 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday – Rest or cross train.

 

Friday – Run 4 miles easy.

 

Saturday – Run 3 miles easy.

 

Sunday – Run 6 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 5

 

Monday – Rest

 

Tuesday – Run 5 miles easy.

 

Wednesday – Warm up and run 2 x 1600 meter repeats at you 10K pace. Jog for 800 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday – Rest or cross train.

 

Friday – Run 4 miles easy.

 

Saturday – Run 3 miles easy.

 

Sunday – Run 7 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 6

 

Monday – Rest

 

Tuesday – Run 6 miles easy.

 

Wednesday – Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 8 x 800 meter repeats at around your 5K pace or 15 seconds per mile faster than your 10K pace. Jog for 400 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday – Rest or cross train.

 

Friday – Run 5 miles easy.

 

Saturday – Run 3 miles easy.

 

Sunday – Run 8 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 7

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Wednesday - Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 3 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace. Jog for 800 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday - Rest or cross train.

 

Friday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Saturday - Run 4 miles easy.

 

Sunday - Run 9 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 8

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Wednesday - Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 8 x 400 meter repeats at 10 seconds per mile faster than your 5K pace or 25 seconds per mile faster than your 10K pace. Jog for 400 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday - Rest or cross train.

 

Friday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Saturday - Run 4 miles easy.

 

Sunday - Run 10 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 9

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Wednesday - Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 4 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace. Jog for 800 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday - Rest or cross train.

 

Friday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Saturday - Run 4 miles easy.

 

Sunday - Run 11 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 10

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Wednesday - Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 2 x 3200 meter repeats at 10K pace. Jog for 800 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday - Rest or cross train.

 

Friday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Saturday - Run 4 miles easy.

 

Sunday - Run 12 miles easy.

 

 

 

Week 11

 

Monday - Rest

 

Tuesday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Wednesday - Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 5000 meters at 10K pace. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday - Rest or cross train.

 

Friday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Saturday - Run 4 miles easy.

 

Sunday - Run 13 miles easy.

This will be your longest run. You are now running nearly the a half marathon. A half marathon is 13.1 miles. This will give you the fitness and confidence to complete your upcoming race.

 

 

 

Week 12

 

Monday - Rest

You will be tapering or reducing your mileage this week. Tapering will insure that your muscles will be fresh and strong for the race.

 

Tuesday - Run 6 miles easy.

 

Wednesday - Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of easy jogging. Run 4 x 800 meter repeats at 5K pace or 15 seconds per mile faster than your 10K pace. Jog easy for 800 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

 

Thursday - Rest or cross train.

 

Friday - Run 2 miles easy.

 

Saturday - Rest

 

Sunday - RACE DAY. HAVE FUN!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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