Our 16 Weeks Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan is a great plan to build up a strong base and do well on your first half marathon.
It’s best suited for relatively new runners, or people who lead active lives but lack running experience.
You should ideally be able to run 3 miles / 5 km continuously – regardless of pace – before commencing this plan. That said, it can be used as a run/walk plan too.
16 Weeks Beginners Half Marathon Training Plan
Who is it for?:
Runners with a little experience, active people with no running experience. People looking to work hard to guarantee a good half marathon finish.
16 weeks // 4 Months.
This allows for a very gradual, controlled increase in your mileage – which minimises the risk of injury or overtraining issues.
The plan doesn’t have a speed or pace focus at all – the objective is to get the required mileage in. It includes 3 mid-week runs, to be performed at a comfortable pace, and one long-slow run each weekend to build your max mileage. The plan includes one cross-training day per week and two rest days.
Not convinced this is the plan for you?
How Many Days Per Week?:
The training plan features 5 days of training per week; 4 days of running and 1 day of cross training.
These are your classic training runs; do them in the mornings or after work, at a comfortable, sustainable pace.
These runs help add mileage to your training week and get your body used to running far!
Each week includes a cross training day; although these aren’t mandatory, I highly recommend them.
Cross training is meant to work on your cardiovascular health and strength some of the muscles weakened through running.
Recommended cross-training exercises include body weight exercises, light gym work, swimming, yoga, pilates, and cycling!
You should be factoring in one long, slow run every weekend. These runs are all about increasing your endurance gradually.
Remember to take it easy during them, don’t push things, and don’t worry about walking breaks – it’s all about building up that time on your feet.
Download The Training Plan Here
Enter your email and I’ll send you this free training plan now, in PDF and Google Sheets formats (completely customisable), in both miles and kilometers.
Check Out The Premium Version of The 16 Week Half Marathon Training Plan . . .
Access the plan via the TrainingPeaks website and app, track your workouts in real-time against the plan, and get performance data analysis on your progress.
The most comprehensive plan you will find
I had run a couple of half marathons and was in reasonable shape coming into the plan and it was a good rise in intensity throughout. You need to want to do an event like this – I was getting up at 3am to get my long run in before kids weekend sport etc and this was hard. When you combine the plan with the online community through the Marathon Handbook FB page and website, you get complete support. Have used this plan with great success and now looking at upping the pace in the marathon space… GREAT JOB!
Broken links - can't get the plan
Thanks for all the useful information here, it really helps me in my running journey. I used your 6-month plan to prep for a marathon, and it was a great experience! Now I wanted to download the 12 weeks plan for a half marathon but it seems to be a problem, and I can’t find the place to leave my email address / download the plan. Since I didn’t find any other contact info, I’m leaving this comment here in the hope you will read it and can send me the plan. I would really appreciate cause I know how much easier it makes the preparation. Thank you!
Couch to Half Marathon
So I am a fairly sedate person, but this year I turned 40, and for some odd reason I wanted to start doing some running. I’ve done some 5k races 5-6 years ago, but was never very ino running. There’s a run coming up in my home town at the end ofJuly, but it’s only a half marathon or 5k and I wanted to challenge myself to something harder than the 5k, so I started the couch to Half Marathon plan, but was fairly confident I wouldn’t be able to handle the mileage. It’s week 14 and although I haven’t been perfect, I’ve actually been able to get most of the workouts in. I have been totally amazed. 1 week until the half, and although I won’t be breaking any speed records, I’m fairly confident I’ll finish, which is my real goal. Thanks to Thomas for having a plan that works, even for old non active people 😁, I’m super excited and very grateful!!
I would like to download this training plan
But I don’t know how?!
Sending Training Plant
Please send me the training plan for Marathon in 6 months
Proven Training Plans by a UESCA-certified Running Coach
Every one of our training plans has been developed by Thomas Watson, a UESCA-certified running coach.
Thomas is also a podium-finishing ultra-marathon runner, and has dozens of marathons under his belt.
Each training plan has been road-tested by hundred of runners, refined and improved – and are free to download and customise to suit your needs!