beginner 16 week half marathon

Let’s Begin!

If you are considering a half marathon – you probably already know that a running workout is a great calorie crusher, mood enhancer and has many other benefits. Stepping up to a half marathon is awesome for women, so awesome in fact, that nationally, women represent about 65% or more of the participants in half marathons around the country! The most important thing is to have fun with it, make friends, and incorporate it into your lifestyle!  So, let’s begin!

Before Starting

Before starting a half marathon training program, you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training.  The half marathon training should not be taken lightly.  Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step!  You should be able to run comfortably for at least 30 – 45 minutes before beginning a half marathon 16 week training plan.

 Recommended Beginner Half Marathon Training Program

Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday*

Sunday*

1

3 easy

3 easy

XT – rest

3 easy

XT – rest

4 miles

rest

2

3 easy

3 easy

XT – rest

3 easy

XT – rest

5 miles

rest

3

3 easy

4 easy

XT – rest

4 easy

XT – rest

5 miles

rest

4

3 easy

3 easy

XT – rest

4 easy

XT – rest

6 miles

rest

5

3 easy

4 easy

XT – rest

4 easy

XT – rest

6 miles

rest

6

3 easy

4 easy

XT – rest

4 easy

XT – rest

7 miles

rest

7

3 easy

5 easy

XT – rest

4 easy

XT – rest

7 miles

rest

8

3 easy

5 easy

XT – rest

5 easy

XT – rest

8 miles

rest

9

3 easy

5 easy

XT – rest

5 easy

XT – rest

8 miles

rest

10

3 easy

6 easy

XT – rest

5 easy

XT – rest

9 miles

rest

11

3 easy

6 easy

XT – rest

5 easy

XT – rest

9 miles

rest

12

3 easy

5 easy

XT – rest

5 easy

XT – rest

10 miles

rest

13

3 easy

6 easy

XT – rest

4 easy

XT – rest

11 miles

rest

14

3 easy

5 easy

XT – rest

4 easy

XT – rest

9 miles

rest

15

3 easy

4 easy

XT – rest

4 easy

XT – rest

7 miles

rest

16

3 easy

3 easy

XT – rest

3 easy

rest

2  easy

13.1

* Saturday and Sunday “long runs” may be either day – with the other day being a rest day. 

** XT is cross training which can include biking, core workouts, upper body workouts, yoga, pilates, stretching, etc.

Tips & Terms

The following is the running terminology used for training – obviously, the more experience you have – the more training options and speed/track workouts you will use for form, technique and conditioning.

Easy Runs

This means running totally comfortable and controlled.  When running alone or with your runhers training partner or group, you should be able to converse easily. You’ll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don’t. Here’s some incentive to take it easy: You’ll still burn about 100 calories for every mile that you run.

Walking & Taking Breaks

If you feel the need to walk or take a break in your long run or during any of your training runs, by all means do so.  Since you are just beginning the half marathon, with finishing as your goal, just listen to what your body is telling you.  

Long Runs and/or LSD (Long, Slow Distance)

These are any steady run at or longer than race distance designed to enhance endurance, which enables you to run longer and longer and feel strong doing it. A great long-run tip: Find a weekly training partner around your pace and ability for this one.   You’ll have time to chat about anything that comes up.

Speedwork

 This means bursts of running shorter than race distance, some at your race goal pace, some faster. This improves cardiac strength, biomechanical efficiency, running economy, and the psychological toughness that racing demands.

Race Day Rules

Run slower than you feel like you should be running over the first 6 – 7 miles. Look around; chat a bit with those around you. And walk if you need to through the aid stations, drink fluids, take a little break, then resume your running.