12-week improver half-marathon training plan


by Sam Murphy

Schedule key

Start all hill and speed sessions with 15 mins easy running and end with 5 mins easy

GHMP: Goal half-marathon pace

Challenging: A pace that’s on the edge of your comfort zone. An effort of 8 out of 10

Negative split: Running the second half of the distance quicker than you ran the first

Strides: Run 50-100m faster than your 5K pace, maintaing good form. 100m jog recoveries


12-WEEK IMPROVER HALF-MARATHON TRAINING PLAN


WEEK 1

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3 miles easy

Wednesday: 5-6 x 3 mins or 800m at 5K pace, 2 mins rest. Total 5K effort not to exceed 20 mins

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 1 mile easy, 3 miles GHMP, 1 mile easy

Saturday: Rest/cross-train

Sunday: Long run 8-9 miles easy


WEEK 2

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3 miles easy

Wednesday: 3-4 x 1 mile at 10K pace, 3 mins jog (10K pace segment not to exceed 30 mins)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 4 miles easy, including 6 x 30-second hills

Saturday: Cycle, swim, walk or cross-trainer easy 60 mins

Sunday: Long run 9-10 miles easy


WEEK 3

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday: 5-6 x 3 minutes or 800m at 5K pace, with 2 mins rest (total 5K effort not to exceed 20 mins)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Progression run: 30 secs slower than GHMP, speeding p by 10 secs per mile for 5 miles in total

Saturday: Rest/Cross-train or Parkrun

Sunday: 60 mins offroad


WEEK 4

Monday: 3 miles easy

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 2 x 1.5 miles at 10K pace, with 3-min job

Thursday: 4 miles easy

Friday: 5 miles easy, including 6 x 45-second hills

Saturday: Rest/Cross-train

Sunday: Long run: 10 miles with negative split (out-and-back course is ideal)


WEEK 5

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday: 1 mile easy, 5 x 6 mins threshold intervals (approx 5 secs slower than 10K pace per mile)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 1 mile easy, 4 miles GHMP, 1 mile easy plus 3 x 60m strides

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 10K race. Use your time to refresh predicted half marathon and 10K paces


WEEK 6

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday: 3 x 2 miles at GHMP, with 3 mins recovery jog between each

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 5 miles easy, including 6 x 1-min hills

Saturday: Rest/Cross-train

Sunday: Long run 12 miles easy


WEEK 7

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday: 2 x 18 mins tempo (approx 10 secs slower than 10K pace per mile)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 5 miles steady plus 4 x 60m strides

Saturday: Cross-train or 3 miles easy

Sunday: Long run 12 miles, with miles 7-11 at goal GHMP


WEEK 8

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday: 10 x 90 secs or 400m at 5K pace, with 1-min rest (Total 5K effort not to exceed 20 mins)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 1 mile easy, 2 x 3 miles at GHMP with 3 mins recovery jog between, 1 mile easy

Saturday: Parkrun or 5 miles steady, inc. 8 x 1-min hills (or run a 5K/hill session on Sunday and rest today)

Sunday: Rest/Cross-train


WEEK 9

Monday: 4 miles easy

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Progression run: 1 mile easy, 3 miles GHMP, then 2 miles tempo

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 1 mile easy, 6 x 6-min threshold intervals, with 1-min recovery

Saturday: Rest/Cross-train

Sunday: Long run 14 miles easy


WEEK 10

Monday: 4 miles easy

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 5 miles GHMP

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 45 mins easy plus 4 x 60m strides

Saturday: Cross-train or 3 miles easy

Sunday: Long run 14 miles, with final 4 miles at GHMP


WEEK 11

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday: 1 mile easy, 4 x 8 mins threshold intervals, with 90-sec recoveries

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 4 miles GHMP

Saturday: 5 x 90 secs or 400m at 5K pace, with 1-min rest. (Total 5K effort not to exceed 20 mins)

Sunday: Long run 14 miles, with final 4 miles at GHMP


WEEK 12

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 1 mile easy, 2 miles GHMP, 1 mile at 10K pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 45 mins easy

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 20 mins easy plus 3 x strides

Sunday: Race day!


Next article
12-week beginner half-marathon training plan

 
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