Beginner Half Marathon Training - A Complete Guide
Take a look around the web and you'll find several beginner half marathon training guides. This article is no different from the others that you see, except for one very important factor. Tips4Running offers you a complete guide. One that focuses on the running schedule, how much rest you should get, what to do the day of the race to ensure you're ready, and so much more.
This guide is the same one I am currently using to train for my first half marathon. It's called the 100 Day Marathon Training Plan. You can use it for half marathon training or for an entire marathon.
I'm not going to lie about this plan. It does cost $47 USD. That is kind of expensive when you can look anywhere for a beginner plan and find a schedule for free. But, think about the price of running a half marathon. You need shoes, clothes, and have to pay a registration fee for your race. Paying for a complete guide to make sure you get it right is only a fraction of the price, not to mention the peace of mind that you get for using something that will guide you from start to the finish line in every aspect of your training.
I have constructed a bare bones half marathon training guide for people right here, but this is just how much you should run week to week. This is the same thing you'll see from plans like Runner's World or from Hal Higdon. Every week you need to keep building up the long run that you do. Besides that, there isn't much that varies from week to week. I call these plans "Survival Half Marathon Guides." You might be able to get through the training, but it could be a struggle.
Week One - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 5 miles.
Week Two - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 6 miles.
Week Three - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 6 miles.
Week Four - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 7 miles.
Week Five - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 8 miles.
Week Six - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 8 miles.
Week Seven - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 9-10 miles.
Week Eight - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 9-10 miles.
Week Nine - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Long run of 7 miles.
Week Ten - 2-3 easy runs of 3-4 miles. Run your Half Marathon Race!
Now if you don't want to just do this, and want to be sure of what you are doing everyday, try the 100 Day Marathon Training Plan.
That's me on the right. I printed out a nice florescent yellow Tips4Running t-shirt to run around town with to promote my site. Pretty sweet huh! Back to the training. I just finished the "pre-season" section of the 100 Day Marathon Training Program. Now I am stepping into the first week of the schedule. I love it so much. I already have started losing some weight I couldn't shake for years. My legs still feel good, and I am confident that I will be able to "enjoy" my half marathon on race day, instead of "survive" or even worse, not finish at all.
By following this plan, I do have a distinct advantage. Marius Bakken, the creator of the plan, is a Dr. and former Olympic Distance runner. He knows what he's talking about. As an added bonus, he answers your questions if you simply email him after you have purchased the marathon plan. I asked him once about my higher heart rate as I was running the easy runs. He said this was normal, and it should (and has) get lower as you get further into the training.
The two reasons why I think this plan is better than the one I outlined above, and so many others is it is based on effort level, not predetermined mileage. You can run at a certain pace, or heart level. It also mixes up the workouts a lot. You won't be doing just a bunch of boring distance runs. This isn't a week to week schedule. It is a day to day guide that not only tells you what you need to do, but it explains the reasoning behind it.
For instance, many of the workouts are based on effort level. The reasons for this include it helps you from burning out on your training, it keeps you from getting injured, and most importantly, you will get in the best shape of your life.
Good luck on whatever beginner half marathon training you choose to follow. Tips4Running is focused on making running enjoyable. Running is a lifestyle sport. I am very excited for you that you are going to attempt a half marathon, but I hope you choose a plan that makes you enjoy running instead of suffering through it.
- Written by David Tiefenthaler
- Marius Bakken Interview about his Marathon Plan
- Train for Marathon Running
- Training for a 5K
- Running Workouts
Return from Beginner Half Marathon Training to the Running Tips Homepage.