Skip to main content

Half Marathon Training Plan For Beginners

Half Marathon Training Plan For Beginners: A Simple Programme

Hundreds of half marathon training plan for beginners exist to try and get individuals ready to complete a specific event. The following information does exactly that but also takes into account one other important goal…that’s to stay injury-free.

Below is a series of information on how to make your own half marathon training plan for beginners. A step by step guide to create a bespoke, tailored programme that fits around your lifestyle and ensures you peak just at the right time.

Beginner Runner = someone who has never run 5km or more

What’s The Goal?

  • Aiming to complete a half marathon

You Need A Baseline!

Before you start using the half marathon training plan for beginners, you must ideally be in one or more of the following categories:

Marathon Running Plan For Beginners
  • just completed the couch to 5k programme (C25K)
  • already be able to run 5km without any need for training
  • already be running twice a week, over a 6 week period, up to approx 5km

Novice runners and individuals who have not competed in regular sporting activity from a young age are proven to have a higher risk of injury and therefore maybe more susceptible to developing 1 of the top 5 running injuries. Therefore, it is essential that you have a baseline running ability before embarking on a half marathon training plan for beginners. All aimed at getting the body prepped for running regularly.

7 Days Of The Week

Don’t panic! This doesn’t mean you will be training every day of the week. Phew! Simply put, it’s to define which days are which, as a good half marathon training plan for beginners should have variety. Our bodies love movement, and more importantly, regular movement. It’s what makes us fitter and most importantly, healthier. However, it also loves variety of movement. Combat the repetitive nature of running by having different training days of the week. It will vastly reduce the risk the of injury.

Too many plans get runners running too much, too soon. Below are the 7 different days of the week that will make up your half marathon training plan for beginners:

  • the bread & butter of your training. A steady pace run (one in which you can still talk in sentences while doing so before having to catch your breath) that increases week by week
  • a shorter, quicker run (one in which you can only speak a few words at a time while doing so)
  • this day can be either an interval session (running quick repetitions called ‘cruise intervals’ of a very short distance), or if you play regular sports (i.e. hockey/football/netball/rugby etc) that involve repetitive, short sprints then this can be classed as your interval session
  • a simple workout that involves some strength & conditioning exercises to improve your muscle function, get your body ready for the regular impact of running, and significantly reduce the risk of injury. For example, a circuit or HIT class, Yoga or Pilates session, YouTube workout, etc. Check out our 7 Series workout videos for runners which give simple 7 minute routines.
  • anything that includes a light CV (cardiovascular) exercise for 30 mins. For example, easy walk, swim or cycle
  • usually some light mobility exercise for 30 mins, essentially like a cool down. For example, light Yoga, Pilates or our 7 Series Foam Roller workout
  • no need to explain this one

Putting It Together

As well as variety, a half marathon training plan for beginners needs a bit of structure. Doing certain runs and workouts at certain times can ensure your body recovers well, and is ready to go for the next session. All aimed at keeping you injury free. The following simple rules apply:

Long run day is always followed by a recovery day

Tempo run day is always followed by a rest day

Interval session or sports day is always followed by a light CV day

Strength day can be mixed somewhere in-between

Also note that there are no consecutive running days. Check out our blog on the perfect running week for more info and for runners just wanting to get fit.

The Plan

Marathon running plan for beginners

In order to peak at just the right time in preparation for your marathon, work back from the date of the event. Our half marathon training plan for beginners is approximately 12 weeks and aims to steadily, and progressively build your endurance and capacity, consolidating along the way. All aimed at keeping you injury free.

  • Working back from the day of the half marathon
  • Includes 2 weeks of tapering (slowly reducing the frequency but keeping your new fitness intensity up in the weeks prior to the big day, as the hard yards have already been done)
  • Finishes with the last long run approx 11 miles (there is no need to do the full amount of 13.1 miles. On the day adrenaline will get you through the final push)
  • Once you are approximately half the distance of the event you are training for, the plan ensures you complete the ‘2 green light run rule’ before progressing any long runs (this helps to reduce injury risk, physically consolidate your fitness and mentally strengthen your belief)

*Always complete our 7 Series Warm Up Workout prior to each run*

**If you experience any pain symptoms during your training stick to the ‘3 pain rules‘ in order to ensure you’re not making things worse. If your symptoms persists for 3 weeks or more despite relative rest please consult your Physiotherapist**

Like our Facebook page to keep updated on more useful tips to improve your running efficiency, and stay injury-free.


Running is Evolving. Keep up with the pace!