Looking For An Effective – 12 Week Half Marathon Training Schedule?

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Are you in for a half marathon challenge? A 12 week half marathon training schedule is a perfect solution for those who want to run a half marathon three months from now.

The half marathon is not an easy distance! You should be able to run at least five miles in one time before thinking about your half marathon preparation. A background of three to six months of running will do.

Your time goal? Don’t think too much about your pace if this will be your first half marathon. That will come later! Set a realistic goal if you are a more experienced runner.

Why Run A Half Marathon?

The half marathon is more challenging than a 10K, but provides more flexibility than a marathon preparation program. Along the way you will find out whether you like to run those long distances. A half marathon is both a mental as well as physical challenge.

Running a half marathon can be a perfect milesone towards your first marathon! A 12 week half marathon training schedule will get you ready for this!

12 week half marathon training schedule

Half Marathon Training Programs

Everywhere, in books, on the internet, you can find half marathon training programs. They roughly vary from 10 to 20 weeks of preparation.

A certain training program will never fit the needs of all runners. Runners are different and so are the schedules. So keep in mind that a training schedule only provide a set of guidelines for your preparation. Follow them and adapt them to your own needs.

12 Week Half Marathon Training Schedule

Based on my knowledge and experience I made two different half marathon training schedules.

The first one is aimed at beginning runners who run at least 15-20 miles per week and expect to run the half marathon in about two to two and a half hours. Or just participate with the goal of finishing the half marathon. It involves four days of running per week.

The second one is aimed at intermediate runners who run at least 25-35 miles per week and expect to run the half marathon in about one hour thirty to one hour forty five minutes. It involves five days of running per week.

12 Week Half Marathon Training Schedule For Beginners

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest
or CT
4 mi fartlek Rest or CT 4 mi recovery Rest or CT 3 mi recovery 6 mi
long run
2 Rest
or CT
4 mi fartlek Rest or CT 5 mi recovery Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 7 mi
long run
3 Rest
or CT
5 mi fartlek Rest or CT 5 mi recovery Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 8 mi
long run
4 Rest
or CT
4 mi fartlek Rest or CT 4 mi recovery Rest or CT 3 mi recovery 6 mi
long run
5 Rest
or CT
5 mi fartlek Rest or CT 6 mi recovery Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 9 mi
long run
6 Rest
or CT
5 mi / 3-4 hills Rest or CT 6 mi recovery Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 10 mi long run
7 Rest
or CT
4 mi fartlek Rest or CT 6 mi recovery Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 11 mi long run
8 Rest
or CT
4 mi fartlek Rest or CT 5 mi recovery Rest or CT 3 mi recovery 8 mi
long run
9 Rest
or CT
6 mi / 4-5 hills Rest or CT 7 mi recovery Rest or CT 5 mi recovery 11 mi long run
10 Rest
or CT
6 mi / 4-5 hills Rest or CT 7 mi recovery Rest or CT 5 mi recovery 12 mi long run
11 Rest
or CT
5 mi recovery Rest or CT 4 mi recovery Rest or CT 3 mi recovery 8 mi
long run
12 Rest
or CT
4 mi recovery Rest 3 mi recovery Rest 3 mi recovery 1/2M Race!

12 Week Half Marathon Training Schedule For Intermediates

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest
or CT
6 mi fartlek 4 mi recovery 4 mi aerobic Rest or CT 3 mi recovery 8 mi
long run
2 Rest
or CT
4 mi fartlek 5 mi recovery 5 mi aerobic Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 9 mi
long run
3 Rest
or CT
6 mi / 3-4 hills 5 mi recovery 5 mi aerobic Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 10 mi long run
4 Rest
or CT
4 mi fartlek 4 mi recovery 4 mi aerobic Rest or CT 3 mi recovery 8 mi long run
5 Rest
or CT
5 mi / 4-5 hills 6 mi recovery 6 mi aerobic Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 11 mi long run
6 Rest
or CT
5 mi / 4-5 hills 6 mi recovery 6 mi aerobic Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 12 mi long run
7 Rest
or CT
6 mi / 3×1 mi tempo 6 mi recovery 6 mi aerobic Rest or CT 4 mi recovery 13 mi long run
8 Rest
or CT
4 mi fartlek 5 mi recovery 5 mi aerobic Rest or CT 3 mi recovery 10 mi long run
9 Rest
or CT
6 mi / 3×1 mi tempo 7 mi recovery 7 mi aerobic Rest or CT 5 mi recovery 13 mi long run
10 Rest
or CT
6 mi / 3×1 mi tempo 7 mi recovery 7 mi aerobic Rest or CT 5 mi recovery 14 mi long run
11 Rest
or CT
5 mi recovery 4 mi recovery 4 mi recovery Rest or CT 3 mi recovery 8 mi
long run
12 Rest
or CT
4 mi recovery Rest 3 mi recovery Rest 3 mi recovery 1/2M Race!

Terms Used In 12 Week Half Marathon Training Schedules

Recovery runs
Recovery runs are short distance runs at an easy pace to accelerate your recovery for your next work-out.

Cross Training (CT)
Cross training refers to easy walking, cycling or swimming. Take a complete rest if you feel tired. Do some light cross training if you feel you want to go for a run.

Aerobic runs
A moderate-effort run which is a standard element of your half marathon preparation. These runs are usually done at a pace of around 25 percent slower than half marathon race pace.

Long runs
The main goal of the long run is to build enough endurance for your half marathon. In the schedules you can see that the distance slowly builds up to the length of a half marathon race.

Fartlek and Hills

Details about these sessions you can find on the how to run faster page.

3 x 1 mi tempo
A training session in which you run 3 times a mile at 5-10K pace with walking breaks in between.

These 12 week half marathon training schedules are suggestions from my side. Adapt them to your own needs.

In addition, Half-Marathon – You Can Do It will provide you with all the information you need to run a great half marathon!


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