The Simplest Half Marathon Training Plan Ever??

Ready or not…let’s run a half marathon!

A half marathon may seem daunting if you’ve never run one before. It might seem as if it’s a super tough challenge and anyone that runs that far is crazy! On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned runner…the half marathon could be your favorite distance…heck you might run one every single week as part of your training plan. We get it…there are athletes of every ability level throughout this spectrum.

While there are hundreds upon hundreds of ways to train for a half marathon and many of them can be specific to a course or race you’ve been thinking about, we think this one might be super simple for any athlete at any level of ability.

STEP ONE – How much time is there until your race? Optimally we suggest 3-4 months but as little as 1 can work just fine.

STEP TWO – Get checked out. Before starting any workout or training plan, make sure you’re healthy enough to do so. Talk with your medical professional to ensure you have the green light.

STEP THREE – Starting! This admittedly can be the hardest step. That first walk/jog…the first mile…those first steps of movement. Go easy on yourself and start slow. The first WEEK of training should be surrounded by support and patience with yourself as you get into training.

THE ACTUAL PLAN – Now this section can vary based on your ability, but the concepts in practice can be applied the same. This is a TWO + ONE plan…meaning…It’s two weeks of working out / training with one week of cross-workout-recovery. It’s a way to gradually build up your mileage or time and overall ability. Each day for the first two weeks add in 5 minutes of time to your workout.

Build up the time & distance this way.

On week three, cut your regular run workout time down by 50% but add that time into cross training (swimming, cycling, yoga, strength training etc.).

As you start week FOUR, pickup with the amount of time you had reached at the end of week ONE and continue adding 5 minutes each day for the next two weeks. At the end of these two weeks, repeat the 50% cut and cross workout plans again. Repeat this THREE-WEEK cycle for however many weeks there are until race week.

So, the simple math based on starting your training THREE months out from race day is essentially FOUR of the above cycles.

When you get to the final race week, taper your run time to 25% of the last two week cycle and do only 50% of your cross workouts that week. Make sure you get a full rest day TWO days before your event and on the day before practice some light yoga, stretching and movement activities.

The above plan and routine may not be for everyone…but it’s simply to follow, gradually builds your abilities up and can help ensure you have a really fun half marathon event without feeling huge pressure to ‘race’, ‘compete’ or explode on race day.

Join us at the NOCO HALF MARATHON and put your training into action 🙂