This post is all about Half Marathon Training Plans For Beginners.

The Ultimate Half Marathon Training Plans For Beginners

If you've signed up for your first (or second) half marathon, congrats! Now it's the hard part... you have to put in the graft and dedicate time to make sure you stay consistent with your training plan. The sooner you start training for your half marathon, the better prepared you will be!

I ran my first half marathon in 2022 and I followed a 10 week training programme. Before starting training, I could only run 3-5km but I was so committed to my training programme. Each week, I saw my fitness get better and before I knew it, I'd managed to complete the half marathon in a respectable time.

Ideally, you would have 12 weeks until your half marathon but if you don't, not to worry I've got you covered with free 8 week, 10 week, 12 week or 16 week training plans and PDF documents for each so you can print them!

You've got this!

This post is all about Half Marathon Training Plans For Beginners.


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How long is a Half Marathon?

A half marathon is 21km (or 13.1 miles). Just as the name suggests it's exactly half the distance of a marathon, which is 42 km (or 26.2 miles). A half marathon is usually a good midpoint between a 10km and a marathon.

If this is your first time running a half marathon, you should expect to complete it anywhere from 1 hour 45 minutes to 3 hours. Depending on your fitness, age, gender and many other factors which will ultimately impact your time.


Three things you NEED to know before you start training

Here's three take aways I got from my own training that I need to tell you!

  1. Start slow - You need to gradually build up your fitness and runs. You can't go straight into running a 15km especially if you've not ran in a long time.
  2. Warm up and cool down - You NEED to warm up and cool down before and after every run if you want to reduce the risk of injury. This will help stretch out your muscles, joints and get your body prepared for running. There's some great warm up and cool down videos on YouTube, which are specifically targeted to runners.
  3. Add in other workouts/exercises to supplement your runs - Do weight-training and low impact cardio, such as swimming, yoga, to supplement your runs. The weight-training will help build your muscles, which will increase your endurance. Whilst, the low impact cardio will help increase your stamina without causing too much stress on the body

8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

If you've only got two months until your half marathon, then this training plan is perfect for you!

For a beginner, 8-weeks is not very long at all to train for a half marathon. This means the training plan is quite intense and starts with four runs a week and then, you'll need to build in additional workouts. Ideally before starting this training plan you should be training regularly and already be able to run at least 5 km (or 3.1 miles).

This 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan focuses on progressively building your running distance each week, rather than focusing on pace. It will take you from running 5 km (or 3.1 miles) to the full 21 km (or 13.1 miles) required for the half marathon.

Take this training plan and use it as a guide. Tailor it to you and your life. Feel free to move the workouts around and make sure you build in additional workouts like weight-training and low impact cardio to supplement your runs. However, also make sure you have at least one rest day a week - it's so important especially to avoid injury!

8 week Half Marathon Training Plan
8 week Half Marathon Training Plan

If you want to download the 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan PDF, click the link below (it's totally free!):

Having a PDF copy is great for printing out and marking off the runs you have done! I find this to be quite motivating for my own half marathon.


10 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

This was the exact training plan I followed for my own half marathon and it managed to take me from being able to run 3-5km to running the full 21km in 10 weeks.

Again, this training programme focuses on building up your running distance each week but at a slower, more comfortable rate than the 8 week training plan. This plan does not focus on improving your pace or speed. Ideally, before starting this plan, you should already be training regularly and be able to run 3-5km.

Like the 8 week plan, 10 weeks isn't an awfully long time to train for a half marathon so it's still quite an intense plan with 4 runs a week, 2 days for additional training and a rest day right from the get go.

If you dedicate time to follow this training plan, you'll notice your fitness improve rapidly and you'll be ready for the half marathon by the end of it!

Take this training plan and use it as a guide. Tailor it to you and your life. Feel free to move the workouts around and make sure you build in additional workouts like weight-training and low impact cardio to supplement your runs. However, also make sure you have at least one rest day a week - it's so important especially to avoid injury!

10 Week Half Marathon Training Plan
10 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

If you want to download the 10 Week Half Marathon Training Plan PDF, click the link below (it's free!):

Having a PDF copy is great for printing out and marking off the runs you have done! I find this to be quite motivating for my own half marathon.


12 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

This is the IDEAL time to start your half marathon training. If you've got 12 weeks to your half marathon then start now! With the 8 week and 10 week plans, they don't really allow you to account for injuries or other life things that might get in the way of your training.

However, with 12 weeks, the plan is less intense from the get go allowing you to gradually build up your running distance at a much more relaxed rate and also, you've got extra time to account for anything that might get in the way of your plan.

Also, if you're not a regular runner, then this plan is perfect for you! Starting with only 3 runs and 2 rest days for the first 4 weeks to help build up your fitness.

Take this training plan and use it as a guide. Tailor it to you and your life. Feel free to move the workouts around and make sure you build in additional workouts like weight-training and low impact cardio to supplement your runs. However, also make sure you have at least one rest day a week - it's so important especially to avoid injury!

12 Week Half Marathon Training Plan
12 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

If you want to download the 12 Week Half Marathon Training Plan PDF, click the link below (it's free!):

Having a PDF copy is great for printing out and marking off the runs you have done! I find this to be quite motivating for my own half marathon.


16 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

This training plan is best suited for those who are new runners or haven't ran in a long time. The plan starts very slowly and then, gradually builds up, allowing your body to comfortably adjust to the increase in runs each week. It's worth noting that this half marathon plan doesn't focus on pace or speed.

For the first 4 weeks of this plan, there are 3 runs a week with two rest days. This will allow you to build up your fitness. In the next 4 weeks, it still continues with 3 runs a week but with 2 weight-training days incorporated to help build up your endurance. Then, in the last 8 weeks, it increases to 4 runs a week to really get you prepared for your half marathon.

Take this training plan and use it as a guide. Tailor it to you and your life. Feel free to move the workouts around and make sure you build in additional workouts like weight-training and low impact cardio to supplement your runs. However, also make sure you have at least one rest day a week - it's so important especially to avoid injury!

16 Week Half Marathon Training Plan
16 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

If you want to download the 16 Week Half Marathon Training Plan PDF, click the link below (it's free!):

Having a PDF copy is great for printing out and marking off the runs you have done! I find this to be quite motivating for my own half marathon.


This post is a variety of training plans to help you get ready for your own half marathon.


I hope these plans help you to train for your own half marathon! Please let me know in the comments below!

Please consider subscribing to my blog to be kept up to date with new posts or sharing it to help others.

Kirsty x


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