12-Week Half-Marathon Plan For Beginners

Are you running your first half marathon? Follow this 12-week beginner half-marathon training programme to run your best race!


RW Editors |

Are you running your first half marathon? Follow this 12-week beginner half-marathon training programme to run your best race! – By RW Editors

Created by Freepik
Created by Freepik

“It’s the ultimate distance,” says Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon champion and US Runner’s World Editor-at-Large. “It’s a true test of fitness, endurance, and speed, meshed all together.”

To help you prepare, our resident coach Bart Yasso has devised this 12-week training plan.

This beginner plan is for those who are consistently running 25 to 30 kilometres a week, with a long run of at least 10km.

Not quite there yet? Find a more suitable training programme: beginner, 5km, 10km or 21km.

Keep these beginner half marathon training tips in mind if you’re training for your first half marathon.


Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun  Total
1 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 5km Rest/XT Rest/XT 6km LSD 14km
2 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 5km Rest/XT Rest/XT 8km LSD 16km
3 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 6km Rest/XT Rest/XT 8km LSD 17km
4 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 8km Rest/XT Rest/XT 10km LSD 21km
5 Rest/XT 5km Rest/XT 10km hills Rest/XT Rest/XT 12km LSD 27km
6 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 10km with 6km @ HMP Rest/XT Rest/XT 10km LSD 23km
7 Rest/XT 6km Rest/XT 10km hills Rest/XT Rest/XT 10km LSD 26km
8 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 12km with 6km  @ HMP Rest/XT Rest/XT 12km LSD 27km
9 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 12km hills 3km Rest/XT 16km LSD 34km
10 Rest/XT 5km Rest/XT 12km with 8km miles @ HMP 3km Rest/XT 16km LSD 36km
11 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 12km with 6km  @ HMP 3km Rest/XT 15km LSD 33km
12 Rest/XT 3km Rest/XT 8km with 5km  @ HMP Rest/XT Rest/XT Race Day 32.1km

Key:

Unless otherwise noted, run all kilometres at a comfortable pace, easy enough that you can maintain a conversation. To figure out a realistic half-marathon pace (HMP) and appropriate training paces, us the training calculator here.

Rest/XT: Take a rest day or do moderate cross-training with a no-impact activity like yoga or swimming. LSD: This is a long, slow distance run to build endurance. These should be done at an easy conversational pace. It’s okay to walk if you need to, just focus on covering the distance for the day. Hills: Run the mileage for the day on the hilliest course you can find. Focus on sustaining an even effort as you climb and descend. HMP – Half-Marathon Pace. This is the pace that you hope to maintain in the race.

Find a half marathon to run here on the race calendar.

READ MORE ON: 21-1km beginners half-marathon