Half Marathon Training Plan for BeginnersOriginal by Marvin Ronsdorf

Intermediate runners can prepare for a marathon in sixteen weeks. Beginners will need sixteen weeks for a half marathon. A half marathon is twenty one kilometers and ninety eight meters or thirteen miles & seventeen hundred and sixty yards. Here is a comprehensive half marathon training plan for beginners spanning sixteen weeks. This guide focuses only on exercises or the entire training routine, not diet or other essential aspects of health.

Week One

Sunday is general endurance training. Run for half an hour. Train your core muscles with back raises, crunches, push-ups and sit-ups. Rest on Monday or do some cross training for half an hour. Tuesday is about general endurance and a half an hour jog. You may do Pilates, yoga or another stretching routine as per your preference. Rest on Wednesday. Core training on Thursday and a jog for half an hour, Friday is again a rest day or you can do some cross training for half an hour and Saturday is an easy jog for half an hour. You may choose cross training or flexibility training instead.

Week Two

Rest on Sunday. On Monday, stretch to warm up and train your core, collectively for up to half an hour, then go for a jog for thirty minutes. Tuesday is half an hour cross training, Wednesday is forty minutes run and general endurance, Thursday is rest or half an hour of cross training, Friday and Saturday would be for general endurance and thirty five minutes run.

Week Three

Repeat the routine for week two. Increase the distance you run or jog longer. Include short hill sprints, two laps or more of ten seconds each, on Wednesday.

Week Four

The same as week three with the inclusion of strides and you must run longer, faster and increase reps of short hill sprints.

Week Five

Interchange the exercises on respective days. Aim for longer distances and shorter times, hence faster runs. Increase laps of short hill sprints. Strides should be fast. Aim for four legs of twenty seconds of fast strides. Finish the week with a seventy minutes run on Saturday.

Week Six

Begin with rest on Sunday. General endurance for up to half an hour and forty five minutes run on Monday, half an hour of cross training on Tuesday, short hill sprints and general endurance on Wednesday, you may rest on Thursday or work on core & flexibility, Friday is strides but faster and more reps, preferably six, and Saturday is an hour and a half long run followed by flexibility and core training.

Week Seven

Rest on Sunday. Begin Monday with a fifty minutes run, followed by general endurance training. Cross training for half an hour on Tuesday, Wednesday is up to an hour long run, six reps of short hill sprints, each lasting ten seconds with full recovery after every leg, rest on Thursday or cross train for half an hour, Friday is strides and you should aim for eight reps of twenty seconds fast exercises and Saturday is a half an hour long run to be finished with extensive general endurance training.

Week Eight

Rest on Sunday. Easy run on Monday for about forty minutes and general endurance training, Tuesday is again a rest day, Wednesday is short hill sprints and an easy run for forty minutes, Thursday can again be a rest day or you can train your core, Friday is a repeat of the last week and

Saturday is a seventy minutes long run to be finished with flexibility and core training.

Week Nine

This is the same as the last week but you should run longer and farther. Increase the reps of short hill sprints and strides. Increase the pace if you can. Saturday should be a five thousand to ten thousand meters run. You may choose a hundred minutes long run.

Week Ten

Repeat week nine but increase the reps and run longer. You should aim for a two hour run on Saturday. If you want, rest on Friday so you are fully fit and raring to go.

Week Eleven

Repeat week ten with more reps of short hill sprints, faster strides and a two hour long run on Saturday.

Week Twelve

Rest on Sunday. Begin Monday with an hour long run and then general endurance training, Tuesday is an hour long cross training, Wednesday should be ten or more short hill sprints with each leg being ten seconds or longer, a forty five minutes run and ten minutes jog, Thursday is rest or cross training, Friday is the same as the week before and Saturday should be for a long run up to a hundred and forty minutes. Finish with general endurance.

The Last Four Weeks

By the end of the third month, you should be able to run a half marathon, all by yourself. If you cannot or if you take up to three hours, perhaps more, then you should intensify your endurance training. The last four weeks are not about challenging yourself but testing where you are and how you fare. If you are capable of running a half marathon in around two hours, then you are ready. Otherwise, you must practice longer runs at faster speeds throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth week to improve your fitness.

The last two weeks should be about rest, eating right, sleeping well, staying off everything that is deemed a vice, which would be anyway necessary during the sixteen weeks of training, and finally preparing for the race day. Running a half marathon is much simpler than running a marathon but beginners will find it equally challenging. It is better if you run a five or ten thousand meters marathon before you attempt a half marathon. This does not imply you cannot try to prepare for or succeed at a half marathon. If you follow this half marathon training plan for beginners without deviating from the recommended exercises, laps or reps, durations and intensities, then you should be ready in sixteen weeks.