Half Marathon Training Plan

The ZAP Endurance coaches have put together a FREE 12-week half marathon training plan to get you focused and fit for a half marathon!

This 12-week half marathon training plan will include a 5k at the 4-week mark and a 10k at the 8-week mark so you can test your fitness and gauge your progress. The plan will culminate with a half marathon at the end of the 12th week. To jump to the most recent week of training click here.

Every week we will provide the coming week of training here in the ZAP Newsletter. We are providing 3 different training plans: Groups A, B and C.

Coach Pete working with the ZAP team during half marathon training.

Group A is designed for beginners, or those coming back from a long break in training, whose primary goal is to finish the 13.1 mile distance. The plan for Group A will peak at roughly 20-23 miles per week and run 3-4 days per week.

Group B is designed for people who have been training more consistently and are ready to ramp up their training. This group will peak at approximately 35 miles per week and run 4-5 days per week.

Group C is designed for runners who have been training consistently and have a strong background of running up to 40-50 miles per week. This program will peak at approximately 50 miles per week and run 5-6 days per week.

Feel free to shift the easy days around a little bit to fit your schedule or to blend mileage from the various groups if you would prefer to be somewhere between 2 of the groups.

Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 1-4 Overview:

You can find more information on ZAP Personal Coaching here.

The primary goal in the first 4 weeks of the program will be to build our training volume up toward peak volume. Building training volume is one of the most important components for successful distance running, particularly as the distances get longer. For the half marathon we’ll want to establish a strong aerobic base of easy miles to build our more intense training upon.

Joe and Andrew run uphill strides during half marathon training.

We will supplement this mileage building window with some weekly hill workouts. Hill workouts are a great way to begin harder training because the impact stress is much lower than a similar intensity on flat ground. Hills are also a wonderful way to build strength.

These hills will help you build strength in your legs by improving muscle fiber recruitment. Running uphill with proper posture reinforces that posture and muscle firing patterns when you’re running on flat ground.

Think about leaning into the hill from your ankles while keeping your torso and spine tall and long. You want to get your feet off the ground quickly, driving your knees forward and your elbows back. In general, the hills are not meant to be all-out sprints. The goal is to focus on running smoothly and powerfully with good form.

Aim for a quick pace, but with the goal of trying to get a little farther each time. You should finish knowing you could have gone a little faster. Ideally, your hill will be a moderately steep grade, something along the lines of 3-4%.

If you have lower leg issues (history of achilles or calf pain) then skip the hills and perform the same duration repeats on flat ground.

Half Marathon Training Week 3

Group A

Monday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Tuesday: 3-4 miles easy running finishing the final 10min of the run with 4 x 20second uphill strides with a walk to the bottom between each

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 3 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 5-6 miles easy running

Sunday: 40-60min walk

Weekly Total: 12-13 miles in 3 runs + 2 Cross Training Sessions

Group B

Monday: 40-60min walk

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing the final 10min of the run with 4-6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 5-6 miles easily finishing the final 15min with 6 x 40sec uphill strides with a very easy jog to the bottom between each (be patient on the first 1-2, 40 seconds is a lot longer uphill thank you think!)

Thursday: 30-40min cross training or walk

Friday: 5-6 miles easy running with 4-6 x 20sec strides post run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 7-8 miles easy running

Weekly Total: 21-25 miles in 4 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group C

Monday: 40-60min walk

Tuesday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles easily finishing the final 20min with 8 x 45sec uphill strides with a very easy jog to the bottom between each (be patient on the first few, 45 seconds is a lot longer uphill thank you think!)

Thursday: 4-5 miles easily

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 5-6 miles easy running with 4-6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 10-11 miles easy running

Weekly Total: 32-37 miles in 5 runs + 1 Walk

Half Marathon Training Week 2

Group A

Monday: 30-35 minutes Cross Training

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing the final 10-15min of the run with 6 x 30second uphill strides with a very easy jog to the bottom between each

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 6-7 miles easy running

Sunday: 40-60min walk

Weekly Total: 15-16 miles in 3 runs + 2 Cross Training Sessions

Group B

Monday: 40-60min walk

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing the final 10min of the run with 4-6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 5-6 miles easily finishing the final 15min with 8 x 45sec uphill strides with a very easy jog to the bottom between each (be patient on the first few)

Thursday: 30-40min cross training or walk

Friday: 6-7 miles easy running with 4-6 x 20sec strides post run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 9-10 miles easy running

Weekly Total: 24-28 miles in 4 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group C

Monday: 40-60min walk

Tuesday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 8-9 miles easily finishing the final 20min with 10 x 60sec uphill strides with a very easy jog to the bottom between each and an additional 90sec rest at the bottom after #5 (be patient on the first few, 60 seconds is a lot longer uphill thank you think!)

Thursday: 5-6 miles easily

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 12-13 miles easy running

Weekly Total: 37-42 miles in 5 runs + 1 Walk

Half Marathon Training Week 3

Group A

Monday: 2-3 miles easy running

Tuesday: 4 miles easy running finishing the final 15min of the run with 2 x (45 second uphill stride / 30 second uphill stride / 15 second uphill stride) with a very easy jog to the bottom between each stride and 2 minutes rest at the bottom between sets. Aim to run the shorter strides a touch faster than the longer strides and to progress farther on each set.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8-9 miles easy running

Sunday: 40-60min walk

Weekly Total: 17-20 miles in 4 runs + 1 Optional Cross Training Session

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing the final 10min of the run with 4-6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 6-7 miles easily finishing the final 20min of the run with 3 x (50 second uphill stride / 35 second uphill stride / 20 second uphill stride) with a very easy jog to the bottom between each stride and 2 minutes rest at the bottom between sets. Aim to run the shorter strides a touch faster than the longer strides and to progress farther on each set.

Thursday: 3-4 miles easily

Friday: 30-40min cross training or walk

Saturday: 3-4 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 11-12 miles easy running

Weekly Total: 28-32 miles in 5 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 8-9 miles easily finishing the final 20min of the run with 4 x (60 second uphill stride / 45 second uphill stride / 30 second uphill stride) with a very easy jog to the bottom between each stride and 2 minutes rest at the bottom between sets. Aim to run the shorter strides a touch faster than the longer strides and to progress farther on each set.

Thursday: 4-5 miles easily

Friday: 6-7 miles easily

Saturday: 3-4 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 14-15 miles easy running

Weekly Total: 42-47 miles in 6 runs

Half Marathon Training Week 4

Group A

Monday: 2-3 miles easy running

Tuesday: 4 miles easy running finishing the final 15min of the run with 2 x (60 second uphill stride / 40 second uphill stride / 20 second uphill stride) with a very easy jog to the bottom between each stride and 2 minutes rest at the bottom between sets. Aim to run the shorter strides a touch faster than the longer strides and to progress farther on each set.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4-5 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 9-10 miles easy running

Sunday: 40-60min walk

Weekly Total: 19-22 miles in 4 runs + 1 Optional Cross Training Session

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing the final 10min of the run with 4-6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles easily finishing the final 20min of the run with 5 x (60 second uphill stride / 45 second uphill stride / 30 second uphill stride) with a very easy jog to the bottom between each stride and 2 minutes rest at the bottom between sets. Aim to run the shorter strides a touch faster than the longer strides and to progress farther on each set.

Thursday: 3-4 miles easily

Friday: 30-40min cross training or walk

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 12-13 miles easy running

Weekly Total: 30-35 miles in 5 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 8-9 miles easily finishing the final 25min of the run with 4 x (60 second uphill stride / 45 second uphill stride / 30 second uphill stride / 15 second uphill stride) with a very easy jog to the bottom between each stride and 90sec minutes rest at the bottom between sets. Aim to run the shorter strides a touch faster than the longer strides and to progress farther on each set.

Thursday: 4-5 miles easily

Friday: 6-7 miles easily

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 15-16 miles easy running

Weekly Total: 44-49 miles in 6 runs

Half Marathon Training Week 5

Overview: This week is our first “down week” of the training plan, meaning we will run a little bit less overall this week and our long run will be shorter. We spent the first 4 weeks building our volume and now we’ll take a pull back week with 1 less day of running than the previous week.

This week is also our introduction to fartlek running. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and refers to a workout where the speed changes within the run.

For each group the fartlek will be broken into sets where the quicker portions within each set get a little shorter and faster.

The fartlek will start with a longer piece, either 3 or 4 minutes, that should be run at half marathon effort. As the pieces get shorter the goal is to run 5-10 seconds/mile quicker on each shorter piece. You should keep the recovery portions at your normal easy day pace. The goal is to run this at an effort where you finish feeling like you could run another set if you had to.

We have also added explanations for warming up and cross training in the key terms section below. So be sure to check that out if you have any questions.

Group A

Monday: 25-30 minutes cross training

Tuesday: 4-5 miles total; 1.5-2 mile easy warm-up; fartlek run of 2 x (3 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 90 seconds quicker, 45 seconds easily, 45 seconds quicker) with an easy 3 minutes of easy running between sets; easy cool down to finish

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4-5 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 7-8 miles easy running

Sunday: 40-60min walk

Weekly Total: 15-18 miles in 3 runs + 2 Cross Training Sessions

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing the final 10min of the run with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles total; 2-3 mile easy warm-up; fartlek run of 3 x (3 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 90 seconds quicker, 45 seconds easily, 45 seconds quicker) with an easy 3 minutes of easy running between sets; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: 30-35 minute cross training or walk

Friday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 9-10 miles easy running finishing the final 25 minutes of the run with 8 x (30sec pickup / 2min30sec easily). The goal for the pickups is to run a little faster at the end of the run. Think roughly 20-30sec/mile quicker than your long run pace, keeping the 2min30sec easy at the same pace you were running for your long run before you began the pickups

Weekly Total: 26-30 miles in 4 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 8-9 miles total; 3 mile easy warm-up; fartlek run of 2 x (4 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 3 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 2 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 1 minute quicker). Take an easy 3 minutes of running between sets; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: 30-40 minute cross training or walk

Friday: 6-7 miles easily

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 12-13 miles easy running finishing the final 32 minutes of the run with 8 x (30sec pickup / 3min30sec easily). The goal for the pickups is to run a little faster at the end of the run. Think roughly 20-30sec/mile quicker than your long run pace, keeping the 2min30sec easy at the same pace you were running for your long run before you began the pickups

Weekly Total: 36-41 miles in 5 runs and 1 optional cross training session

Half Marathon Training Week 6

Overview: We are back with a higher mileage week after last week’s “down week.” All groups will see a return to their longest long run to date as well as their highest mileage weeks.

The workout this week is a split tempo run with 2 pieces of tempo running split by a recover walk or jog..

The split tempo is a good transition toward the longer steadier effort of a half marathon. The opening piece will be run at half marathon pace followed by a 2-3 minute recovery period.

For Group A the second piece will be a little faster than the opening piece. For Groups B &C the second piece will be a progressive piece that will start a little slower than half marathon pace and finish a little quicker.

Group A

Monday: 2-3 miles easy running

Tuesday: 4 miles total; 1.5 mile easy warm-up; 1.25 miles at half marathon pace; 2min30sec walk recovery; .75 mile run 10-15sec/mile faster than half marathon pace; easy cool down to finish mileage.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4-5 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 9-10 miles easy running

Sunday: 40-60min walk

Weekly Total: 19-22 miles in 4 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles total; 2-3 mile easy warm-up; 2.5 miles at half marathon pace; 3min very easy recovery jog; 2 miles starting 10-15sec/mile slower than half marathon pace and progressing forward 5-8sec/mile every 1/2 mile; easy cool down to finish

Thursday: 3-4 miles easily

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 12-13 miles easy running finishing the final 40 minutes of the run with 10 x (30sec pickup / 2min30sec easily). The goal for the pickups is to run a little faster at the end of the run. For the pickups think roughly 20-30sec/mile quicker than your long run pace, keeping the 3min30sec easy at the same pace you were running for your long run before you began the pickups

Weekly Total: 30-35 miles in 5 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 9-10 miles total; 3 mile easy warm-up; 3 miles at half marathon pace; 3min easy recovery jog; 2 miles starting 10-15sec/mile slower than half marathon pace and picking up the pace 5-8sec/mile each 1/2 mile; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: 4-5 miles easily

Friday: 6-7 miles easily

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 15-16miles easy running finishing the final 40 minutes of the run with 10 x (30sec pickup / 3min30sec easily). The goal for the pickups is to run a little faster at the end of the run. For the pickups think roughly 20-30sec/mile quicker than your long run pace, keeping the 3min30sec easy at the same pace you were running for your long run before you began the pickups

Weekly Total: 45-50 miles in 6 runs

Half Marathon Training Week 7

This week is another bigger week of training for each group as well as our first dive into interval training.

However, don’t let the term “interval” scare you away, this tempo interval workout is designed to be run at an effort where you could finish feeling like you could do a few more repeats if you had to.

The length of the repeats will vary depending on the group, but overall think about running these at a pace where you are relaxed and in control. You should finish each repeat knowing you could keep going if you had to.

Group A

Monday: 2-3 miles easy running

Tuesday: 4 miles total; 1.5 mile easy warm-up; 4 x 4 minutes with a 90sec walk between each; run the first repeat at 10k pace and aim to get a few sec/mile quicker on each subsequent piece; easy cool down to finish mileage.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4-5 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 10-11 miles easy running

Sunday: 40-60min walk

Weekly Total: 20-23 miles in 4 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles total; 2-3 mile easy warm-up; 6 x 5 minutes with a 1min45sec easy recovery jog between each repeat; aim to run these at roughly 10k pace; easy cool down to finish

Thursday: 3-4 miles easily

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 13-14 miles easy running finishing the final 50 minutes of the run with 8 x (1min pickup / 4min easily). Execute pickups just like the last 2 weeks. Aim to run them roughly 20-30sec/mile quicker than your long run pace, keeping the easy 5 minutes at the same pace you were running for your long run before you began the pickups.

Weekly Total: 31-36 miles in 5 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 9-10 miles total; 3 mile easy warm-up; 5 x 1 mile with 2min easy jog between each. Run the first 1-2 repeats at half marathon pace and then run each subsequent repeat a few sec/mile quicker, finishing near 10k pace for the final repeat; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: 4-5 miles easily

Friday: 6-7 miles easily

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 15-17 miles easy running finishing the final 60 minutes of the run with 10 x (1min pickup / 5min easily). Execute the pickups just like last 2 weeks. Aim to run them roughly 20-30sec/mile quicker than your long run pace, keeping the 5 minutes easy at the same pace you were running for your long run before you began the pickups.

Weekly Total: 45-51 miles in 6 runs

Half Marathon Training Week 8

This week will be a “down” week after the last 2 bigger weeks of training volume. This week we will also see a tune-up race, 4 weeks out from the half marathon.

If you’re looking for a 5k virtual race opportunity we would encourage you to check out the Oasis Virtual 5k, run as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Oasis is a local organization here in the High Country that serves survivors and victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

You can also choose to run a 10k as part of this week’s training, either distance will set you up well for a half marathon in 4 weeks. We will also have a mid-week workout just as we have each week of the training plan, but it’s important to remember the harder effort is designed to be the race effort on the weekend. Each group will do a light progression run followed by some short strides. Just keep in mind the progression is intended for you to finish feeling like you could continue to progress forward if you had to. The strides should be run at sub-maximal speed where you are focused on running smoothly with good form and staying relaxed throughout.

Group A

Monday: Rest or optional 25-30 minutes cross training

Tuesday: 4-5 miles total; 1.5-2 mile easy warm-up; 2 miles progressively starting roughly 20sec/mile slower than half marathon pace and picking up the pace roughly 10sec/mile each 1/2 mile to finish a little quicker than half marathon pace the final 1/2 mile; 4 minutes rest; 4 x 20sec strides with 80sec rest between each; easy cool down to finish mileage.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4-5 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 5-9 miles total (depending on race distance choice); 1.5-2 mile easy warmup; 5k or 10k Race; short cool down

Sunday: 40-60min walk

Weekly Total: 15-19 miles in 3 runs + 1 or 2 Cross Training Sessions

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles total; 2-3 mile easy warm-up; 3.5 mile progression run starting 25-35sec/mile slower than half marathon pace and picking up the pace roughly 5-7sec/mile each 1/2 mile to finish the final 1/2 mile a little quicker than half marathon pace; 4 minutes rest; 6 x 30sec strides with 90sec rest between each; easy cool down to finish

Thursday: 30-35 minute cross training or walk

Friday: 5-6 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 7-10 miles total (depending on race distance choice); 2-3 mile easy warmup; 5k or 10k Race; easy cool down

Weekly Total: 24-29 miles in 4 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6-7 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 9-10 miles total; 3 mile easy warm-up; 4 mile progression run starting 25-30sec/mile slower than half marathon pace and progressing roughly 10sec/mile each mile to finish at or just under half marathon pace; 4 minutes rest; 6 x 45sec strides with 90sec rest between each; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: 30-40 minute walk

Friday: 5-6 miles easily

Saturday: 3-4 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 8-11 miles total (based on race distance choice); 3 mile easy warmup; 5k or 10k race; easy cool down

Weekly Total: 33-38 miles in 5 runs

Half Marathon Training Week 9

We are in the final “up” cycle of the buildup with these next 2 weeks of higher volume before we begin the taper into race week.

This week will feature another interval workout that will be run a little faster than goal half marathon pace as well as a longer run with some quicker running over the final stages for Groups B & C.

Just like last week the length of the repeats will vary depending on the group. However, all groups should think about running these at a pace where you are relaxed and in control. You should finish each repeat knowing you could keep going if you had to.

Group A

Monday: 2-3 miles easy running

Tuesday: 4 miles total; 1.5 mile easy warm-up; 8 x 2 minutes with a 60sec walk between each and 2min30sec walk after #4. Run the first 4 repeats 5-10sec/mile quicker than 10k pace and the last 4 repeats 15-20sec/mile quicker than 10k pace; easy cool down to finish mileage.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4-5 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 10-11 miles easy running

Sunday: Rest or short walk

Weekly Total: 21-24 miles in 4 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles total; 2-3 mile easy warm-up; 10 minutes run 5-10sec/mile quicker than half marathon pace; 2min30sec easy recovery jog; 5 x 4 minutes starting at 10k pace for the first repeat and gradually working forward to finish 7-10sec/mile quicker than 10k pace; take a 1min45sec very easy jog recovery between each 4min piece; easy cool down to finish

Thursday: 3-4 miles easily

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 14-15 miles total running; 9-10 miles easy running followed by a 4 mile progression starting 5-10sec/mile slower than marathon pace and progressing forward roughly 7-10sec/mile each mile to finish at or just a hair slower than half marathon pace; 1 mile easy to finish

Weekly Total: 32-37 miles in 5 runs

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5-6 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 9-10 miles total; 3 mile easy warm-up; 2k (1.25 miles); 2min30sec very easy recovery jog; 5 x 1k (.62 mile) with 1min45sec easy jog between each 1k; easy cool down to finish mileage. Run the 2k at half marathon pace. Start the 1k repeats 5-10sec/mile slower than 10k pace and pickup the pace a few sec/mile on each 1k to finish with #5 at 5-10sec/mile quicker than 10k pace.

Thursday: 4-5 miles easily

Friday: 6-7 miles easily

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

16-18 miles total running; 10-12 miles easy running followed by a 5 mile progression starting 5-10sec/mile slower than marathon pace and progressing forward roughly 7-10sec/mile each mile to finish at or just a hair slower than half marathon pace; 1 mile easy to finish

Weekly Total: 45-51 miles in 6 runs

Half Marathon Training Week 10

This is the final “up” week of training before the taper begins next week!

This week will feature another interval workout that will be run a little faster than goal half marathon pace as well as a longer run with some quicker running over the final stages for Groups B & C.

Just like last week the length of the repeats will vary depending on the group. However, all groups should think about running these at a pace where you are relaxed and in control. You should finish each repeat knowing you could keep going if you had to.

Group A

Monday: 2-3 miles easy running

Tuesday: 4 miles total; 1.5 mile easy warm-up; 1 mile at 10k pace; 2min30sec walk; 1 mile run 10-15sec/mile quicker than 10k pace; 2min30sec walk; easy cool down to finish mileage.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4-5 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 10-11 miles easy running

Sunday: Rest or short walk

Weekly Total: 20-23 miles in 4 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles total; 2-3 mile easy warm-up; 2 miles at half marathon pace; 2min30sec very easy recovery jog; 1 mile run 5-10sec/mile faster the half marathon pace; 2min30sec easily; 1 mile at roughly 10k pace; easy cool down to finish

Thursday: 3-4 miles easily

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 13-14 miles relaxed running finishing the final 65min with alternating 1min and 2min pickups with 5 minutes between each. Start the pickups at marathon effort and then move forward a bit on each pairing. Keep the 5min between at your normal long run pace.

Weekly Total: 31-36 miles in 5 runs

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5-6 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 9-10 miles total; 3 mile easy warm-up; 2 miles at half marathon pace; 2min30sec very easy recovery jog; 2 miles run 5-10sec/mile quicker than half marathon pace; 2min30sec very easily; 1 mile run at roughly 10k pace; easy cool down to finish.

Thursday: 4-5 miles easily

Friday: 6-7 miles easily

Saturday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 14-16 miles relaxed running finishing the final 65min with alternating 1min and 2min pickups with 5 minutes between each. Start the pickups at marathon effort and then move forward a bit on each pairing. Keep the 5min between at your normal long run pace.

Weekly Total: 44-49 miles in 6 runs

Half Marathon Training Week 11

It’s taper time!

This week will feature a workout very similar to the workout from Week #7, but as your fitness has advanced the goal is to trim the recovery and run just a hair faster. It’s important to note the effort should be similar, the goal is to advance the workout as a reflection of your fitness improving.

The long run this weekend will be dialed back significantly as we approach a week out from race day. As we move into the 2nd half of this week, particularly, the focus shifts from putting in the hard work to recovering well and getting ready for race day.

Group A

Monday: Rest or optional 25-30 minutes cross training

Tuesday: 4 miles total; 1.5 mile easy warm-up; 4 x 1/2 mile with a 90sec walk between each; run the first repeat at 10k pace and aim to get a few sec/mile quicker on each subsequent repeat; easy cool down to finish mileage.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training

Thursday: 4-5 miles easy running

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 6 miles easy running

Sunday: Rest or short walk

Weekly Total: 14-15 miles in 3 runs + 1 Cross Training Session

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running finishing with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 7-8 miles total; 2-3 mile easy warm-up; 4 x 1 mile with 90sec very easy jog between each. Run the first repeat at half marathon pace and then run each subsequent repeat a few sec/mile quicker, finishing near 10k pace for the final repeat; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: 30-35 minute cross training or walk

Friday: 5-6 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 7-8 miles easy running finishing the final 25min with 8 x (30sec pickup / 2min30sec easily); for the pickups think about starting these at half marathon effort and then working forward a little every 2 pickups, keep the 2min30sec easily at your long run pace.

Weekly Total: 23-27 miles in 4 runs

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5-6 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 9-10 miles total; 3 mile easy warm-up; 5 x 1 mile with 90sec easy jog between each. Run the first repeat at half marathon pace and then run each subsequent repeat a few sec/mile quicker, finishing near 10k pace for the final 1-2 repeats; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: Rest or Walk

Friday: 5-6 miles easily

Saturday: 3-4 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: 9-10 miles easy running finishing the final 25min with 8 x (30sec pickup / 2min30sec easily); for the pickups think about starting these at half marathon effort and then working forward a little every 2 pickups, keep the 2min30sec easily at your long run pace.

Weekly Total: 31-36 miles in 5 runs

Half Marathon Training Week 12

It’s race week!

One thing to keep in mind the week of a race is you do want to pull back a little bit on the overall volume of your training. However, it is important to stick with the routine you’re used to. That includes continuing to incorporate a mid-week workout. This week’s workout will be a touch shorter and easier than what you’ve seen in recent weeks. Be sure you’re finishing each workout feeling like you could do it again if you had to. This workout is just to keep your routine in place and give you a little bit of “pop” for race day.

You should aim to get in a short warm-up before the half marathon. For those in Group A this may consist of walking for 10-15 minutes while Groups B & C should aim to do a short warm-up similar to what you’re used to doing before the mid-week workout. This warm-up will have to ready once the race begins, making the early stages of the race more comfortable and leaving you with more energy for the end.

Group A

Monday: Rest or optional 25-30 minutes cross training

Tuesday: 3-4 miles total finishing the final 15min with 8 x (30second stride / 90 seconds easily); start the strides around 10k effort and work down every couple so you’re finishing around 5k effort. This should be a very light workout, just something to stick with the rhythm of the week and put a little “pop” in your legs.

Wednesday: 25-30 minutes Cross Training Or Rest

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 3-4 miles easy running

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Half Marathon!

Weekly Total: 19-21 miles in 3 runs + 1 Optional Cross Training Session

Group B

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3-4 miles easy running finishing with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 6 miles total; 2-3 mile easy warm-up; fartlek run of 2 x (3 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 90 seconds quicker, 45 seconds easily, 45 seconds quicker) with an easy 3 minutes of easy running between sets; run the 3min piece at half marathon pace, the 90sec at 10k pace, and the 45sec at roughly 5k pace; keep the recovery jogs at or a little slower than your normal easy day pace; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: 30-35 minute cross training or walk or rest

Friday: 3-4 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Race Day! Run an easy 1.5-2 mile warm-up before you begin.

Weekly Total: 26-29 miles in 4 runs

Group C

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4-5 miles easy running with 6 x 20second strides post run

Wednesday: 8 miles total; 3 mile easy warm-up; fartlek run of 2 x (4 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 3 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 2 minutes quicker, 90 seconds easily, 1 minute quicker). Take an easy 3 minutes of running between sets. Aim to run the 4min piece at roughly half marathon pace and then run each piece roughly 5-10sec/mile quicker than the previous piece and keep your recovery jog at or a little slower than your normal easy day pace; easy cool down to finish mileage

Thursday: 4-5 miles easily

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3 miles easy running with 6 x 20sec strides post run

Sunday: Race Day! Run an easy 2-3 mile warm-up before you begin.

Weekly Total: 33-37 miles in 5 runs

Key Training Terms:

  1. Running Easily: This is a pace where you could hold a casual, full-sentence conversation. Your breathing should remain relaxed and comfortable, not labored. For Group A folks this may necessitate a 1 minute walk every 5-8 minutes of your easy runs. Typically, this pace is going to be somewhere between 1 and 2 minutes slower than your half marathon pace. Let the effort be your guide though, not the pace, even if it falls outside that pace range. This last point is critical for recovery and being able to adapt to the training and improve.
  2. The abbreviation “sec”is short for seconds, and “min” in short for minutes.
  3. Strides: Unless otherwise indicated strides should be done after you finish your run. These are designed to improve your running mechanics and get your body comfortable with running more quickly. Take as much rest between each of them as you need to feel fully recovered. And remember, these are not top speed. They are quick, but  you should ease back into them and focus on maintaining a smooth, relaxed stride throughout. Focus on good form rather than attaining top end speed.
  4. Warm-up: Should consist of easy running but finishing the last few minutes a touch quicker to get your HR elevated. After your warm-up run take a few minutes to do some active mobility / stretching and then a few light strides to open up the legs. The goal is to prepare the body for faster running by bridging the gap between a rested state and a workout state.
  5. Cross Training: Any type of non-running aerobic exercise. We love the ElliptiGo, but other options could include swimming, biking, elliptical, hiking, rowing, etc.

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