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Advanced Beginner Half Marathon Training Schedule

Get Ready to Run a Half Marathon in 12 Weeks

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Updated April 05, 2014

halfmarathonrace.jpg Peter Larsen/Getty

You've already run at least one half marathon (13.1 miles) road race, or you've done a 5K or a 10K and you're ready to race a half marathon. If the beginner runner half marathon schedule seems too easy or the intermediate half marathon schedule seems too challenging, try this 12-week advanced beginner half marathon schedule (see chart below).

This schedule is geared toward runners who can run 4 miles comfortably and can run 4 to 5 days per week.

Notes about the schedule:

Mondays and Fridays: Mondays and Fridays are usually rest days. Don't ignore rest days -- they're important to your recovery and injury prevention efforts. Your muscles build and repair themselves during your rest days. You're not going to gain much strength and you're increasing your risk of injury if you don't take some rest days.

Tuesdays and Saturdays: After you warm up, run at a comfortable pace for the designated mileage.

Wednesdays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (such as biking or swimming) at an easy to moderate effort for 45 to 50 minutes.

Thursdays: At Week 4, you'll start to do race pace runs. After a one-mile warm-up (WU), run for the indicated distance at your half-marathon race pace. Then run a one-mile cooldown (CD) at your easy, conversational pace. If you're not sure what your half marathon pace is, run at a speed that you think you could hold for 13.1 miles.

Sundays: Sundays are active recovery days. Run at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace to help loosen up your muscles.

Note:
You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So, if you prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day.

Advanced Beginner Half-Marathon Training Schedule

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 3 mi CT 4 mi Rest 4 mi 2.5 mi EZ
2 Rest 3 mi CT 4 mi CT 5 mi 2.5 mi EZ
3 Rest 3.5 mi CT 5 mi Rest 6 mi 3 mi EZ
4 Rest 3.5 mi CT 1 mi WU / 1 mi race pace / 1 mi CD Rest 7 mi 3 mi EZ
5 Rest 4 mi CT 1 mi WU / 1.5 mi race pace / 1 mi CD Rest 8 mi 3.5 mi EZ
6 Rest 4 mil CT 1 mi WU / 2 mi race pace / 1 mi CD Rest 9 mi 3.5 mi EZ
7 Rest 4 mi CT 1 mi WU / 2.5 mi race pace / 1 mi CD Rest 10 mi 3.5 mi EZ
8 Rest 4.5 mi CT 1 mi WU / 3 mi race pace / 1 mi CD Rest 8 mi 4 mi EZ
9 Rest 5 mi CT 1 mi WU / 3 mi race pace / 1 mi CD Rest 10 mi 3 mi EZ
10 Rest 4.5 mi CT 1 mi WU / 4 mi race pace / 1 mi CD Rest 12 mi 3 mi EZ
11 Rest 4 mi CT 1 mi WU / 2 mi race pace / 1 mi CD Rest 5 mi 2.5 mi EZ
12 Rest 1 mi WU / 1.5 mi race pace / 1 mi CD 30 minutes Rest 20 minutes Race Day! Rest Day!
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