City Runs

Beginners Half Marathon

Anthony Whiteman

Sub 2 hour 20 half marathon

Ideally you should have completed the 12 week 10k beginner programme before starting this programme or be capable of a 60 min 10k. It is not ideal to try a half marathon as you first ever race so this programme includes a build up race. I have surmised that runners should be able to train 3 times a week building up to 4 times closer to the race. Times for intervals and steady runs are approximate. I am aiming for a gradual increase in training load certainly no more than 10% increase from one week to next. Shorter runs should be around half marathon target time pace but long runs can be slower. I would suggest a cross-training session alongside the shortest run or on a separate day. Assuming the best time to run is the weekend; intervals on Saturday and long run on Sunday so you can fit other runs/ cross training around work during the week. If you have only found a 3 min loop and wonder how you could do the increased rep length here is a tip. 3 mins is 1 lap, do 1 3/4laps and jog /Walk the remainder as your recovery for 5 mins and then 2 3/4 laps for 7 mins and jog/Walk the remainder as recovery. It does not have to be exact as I stated above.

Picture credit: jnthnhys

WEEK SESSION 1 SESSION 2 SESSION 3 SESSION 4
Week 1 25 mins 30 mins    
Week 2 3 x 3 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 30 mins  
Week 3 Intervals: 5 x 3 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 35 mins  
Week 4 Intervals: 3,5,3,5,3 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 40 mins  
Week 5 Intervals: 5,3,5,3 mins, 90 secs recovery 40 mins 40 mins  
Week 6 Intervals: 5,3,5,3,5 mins, 90 secs recovery 40 mins 45 mins  
Week 7 Intervals: 5 x 5 mins, 90 secs recovery 45 mins 50 mins  
Week 8 Intervals: 5 x 5 mins, 90 secs recovery ( rep 2 and 4 hard) 45 mins 55 mins  
Week 9 Intervals: 5 x 5 mins, 60 secs recovery 30 mins 45 mins 60 mins
Week 10 Intervals: 5,7,5,7,5 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 45 mins 65 mins
Week 11 Intervals: 5,7,5,7,5 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 45 mins 70 mins
Week 12 Intervals: 3 X 5 mins, 90 sec recovery 30 mins 30 mins 10k or 10 mile (preferred) RACE
Week 13 Intervals: 5 x 3 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 45 mins 70 mins
Week 14 Intervals: 5,7,5,7,5 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 45 mins 75 mins
Week 15 Intervals: 5,7,5,7,5 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 45 mins 80 mins
Week 16 Intervals: 3 x 5 mins, 90 secs recovery 30 mins 30 mins RACE