Your 8-week half-marathon training plan

by | Jul 16, 2021 | Technical Articles

Is it possible to train for a half marathon in 8 weeks? We think so – and here’s a plan.

 What does it take to run a half marathon?

13.1 miles is no easy feat (which is why crossing the finish line is such a euphoric feeling!) Half marathon training builds your cardiovascular endurance, fitness, muscular endurance, and pace – as well as your mental endurance to cover the distance.

So can a beginner train to finish a half marathon in 8 weeks? We don’t think this is realistic for a true “from scratch” beginner runner. 8 weeks isn’t long enough to develop the strength and endurance in your muscles and connective tissue. And you will need deload weeks to rest and recover.

But if you can already run 3-5 miles comfortably, and regularly cover 10 miles as total weekly mileage, this plan should work for you. Ready? Here it is.

How this plan works

Expect to run 4 days a week, with 2 days of cross training (which could be cycling, yoga, an exercise class, swimming, or walking – the aim is to bolster your fitness levels without the impact of running). You’ll have one full rest day – you’ll need it.

Week 1

Monday: 3 mile mid-pace run

Tuesday: 30-45 minutes cross-training

Wednesday: 2.5 mile tempo run (race pace for middle 1.5 miles)

Thursday: 30-45 minutes cross-training

Friday: 3 mile easy run

Saturday: rest day

Sunday: 4.5 miles

Week 2

Monday: 3.5 mile mid-pace run

Tuesday: 30-45 minutes cross-training

Wednesday: 4 mile speed run (race pace for middle 2 miles)

Thursday: 30-45 minutes cross-training

Friday: 3.5 mile easy run

Saturday: rest (do some stretching and mobility)

Sunday: 6 mile long run

Week 3

Monday: 4 mile run

Tuesday: 45-60 minutes cross-training

Wednesday: 6-8 x short hill sprints

Thursday: 45-50 minutes cross training

Friday: 4 mile easy run

Saturday: rest (do some stretching and mobility)

Sunday: 8 mile long run

Week 4

Monday: 5 mile run

Tuesday: 45-60 minutes cross-training

Wednesday: 7 mile tempo run (middle 5 miles at race pace)

Thursday: 45-50 minutes cross-training

Friday: 5 mile easy run

Saturday: rest (do some stretching and mobility)

Sunday: 10 mile run

Week 5

Monday: 4 mile run

Tuesday: 60 minutes cross-training

Wednesday: 6-8 longer hill reps (60+ seconds per rep)

Thursday: 60 minutes cross-training

Friday: 4 mile easy run

Saturday: rest (do some stretching and mobility)

Sunday: 12 mile long run

Week 6

Monday: 5 mile run

Tuesday: 60 minutes cross-training

Wednesday: 8 mile tempo run (middle 6 miles at race pace)

Thursday: 60 minutes cross-training

Friday: 4 mile easy run

Saturday: rest (do some stretching and mobility)

sundae: 10 mile long run

Week 7

Monday: 5 mile run

Tuesday: 30 minutes cross-training

Wednesday: 4 mile run with negative splits

Thursday: 30 minutes cross-training

Friday: 4.5 mile easy run

Saturday: rest (do some stretching and mobility)

Sunday: 8 mile long run

Week 8

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 6 mile long run

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 4 mile tempo run

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3 mile easy run

Sunday: Half marathon day!

 

Windsor Half Marathon Sunday 26th September Click here to enter now