This 6 Week Half Marathon Training Program is for the intermediate/advanced runner. The program is designed for a 6 week period however the rule of the 12 week Half Marathon Training plan holds for this plan as well: Feel free to modify according to your schedule and fitness level. Don't worry about having to go back a week. Just put in the training and miles, don't skimp and you will be on your way to a fantastic Half Marathon.
As with the 12 week program there is cross training (XT) incorporated into this plan. Any aerobic activity is good as it will work the heart and different muscles while taking away the stress put on the body by running.
It would be good (actually best) though in this training plan if you did strength training on your cross training days. Strength training can play a decisive role in running as a strong upper body will help with your stamina and let you go the distance faster. A strong core and upper body will help to lessen the effects of fatigue as you get into the later miles of a race.
Cross Training should be done for 30 minutes to 45 minutes for aerobic activities. If you are doing strength training opt for approximately 20 minutes. Don't push yourself too hard and too long when strength training as it can be very taxing on the body and you want to save the high stress activities for your running as this is a Half Marathon Training program.
For advanced runners looking for a PR add speed training once a week to your training program. Speed training is not recommended for those who are using this as a beginning training program as speed work is very stressful. Crossing the finish line should always be your first goal for any first time half or full marathoner.
As always, you are tapering during the last week of training. Don't skip your rest days for a workout. Rest days are crucial to increasing your energy reserves for the race and will benefit you far more than a long or hard run. You earned them and your body will thank you during the race.
Happy Half Marathon Training!