Half Marathon Training Walking Program

A Half Marathon Training Walking Program is a good route to take for those who want to bump up their exercise, maybe ease into running later on, or even just to get that sense of personal accomplishment while working towards a healthy goal. Yes, a lot of half-marathons are for runners but there are many half marathons that happily welcome walkers into their ranks.

Are you ready to walk a half marathon?

Any healthy individual who can walk can train themselves for walking a half-marathon. You just have to have the mental outlook that you are in training. Walking 13.1 miles is not easy to do especially without having built the endurance to walk that far. Your body will need to under go a certain amount of adaptation. With training though and a good half marathon training walking program you will be able to complete the distance.

To prepare yourself, to start this training program:

1. Depending on your age and fitness level you may want to see your health care provider for a         physical and a green light to exercise. This is especially important in men 45 years and older and women 55 years and older. Also, if you have any pre-existing or previous health conditions this becomes more important. 

2. This program builds up your walking endurance at a slow and steady rate. So you do not need much of a base to start with. However if you are a regular walker and can walk at least a mile then you have a head start!

How long will it take to walk 13.1 miles?

This is of course a very general question, dependent on the person, pace, elements, etc. 

On average though, a mile can be walked in about 15-20 minutes. Therefore walking a half-marathon will take an average of 3-4 hours depending on how fast you are walking per mile.

You can also use this pace calculator to see what your finishing time will be and to determine how long it will take you based off of how long it takes you to walk a mile.

Where Should You Train?

This of course will depend on where you live and what your preferences are. However it can be difficult to find a long walking route for a half marathon training walking program so here are some suggestions:

  • Find a walking trail. Make sure it is not a hiking trail as this brings different elements such as elevation, roots, large bypasses, etc. into play. Not only will trail hiking take you longer it will also stress your body more than just walking on a path. Your focus needs to be kept on the walking.
  • Clock a walking route that you enjoy with a car or walking odometer and map out different routes. Find a 3 and 4 mile route that you can walk easily since the bulk of the  walks done during the week will be around this length.
  • Walk on the treadmill. Put a movie on, listen to a podcast and watch the mileage. Keep your pace steady and don't use the elevation controls. Just walk on a level surface and save the hills for more natural settings like outside. It is easy to get carried a way on the treadmill so be careful. 
  • Find a high school track or football field. Most tracks are a quarter of a mile in length (4x around = 1 mile). If you have kids this is a great option to let them outside to play while keeping an eye on them. 

Basics of the Half Marathon Training Walking Program

Your Half Marathon Training Plan is included below this explanation! 

Note: This half marathon training walking program is for those who are recreational walkers, or beginners. If you have not exercised in a while then this program is for you too!

The First 3 Weeks:

Are for easing you into a regular walking schedule, helping you to make it a part of your daily life. Therefore we wont be building mileage in the first 3 weeks.

For those of you who are regular walkers (those who walk 30 minutes at least 3 times a week):you may skip the first 3-4 weeks and make it a 12 week program.

Weeks 4 - 16:

  • One walk during the week is based off of time in minutes (20'-50') instead of mileage. This is to take the focus off of how many miles you are going. If you want then of course you will be able to estimate how far you walk based off of how many miles you can walk per hour.
  • The 3 other scheduled walks for the week work on building your mileage and helping your body adjust to walking farther and farther.
  • Cross Training (XT) is incorporated into the program to work out your other non-running muscles, keeping them strong and flexible. Your cross training should involve an aerobic activity (swimming, cycling, skiing, etc.) or some sort of strength training program. If you opt for strength training though don't make it too strenuous. You can follow this beginner strength plan.
  • Your Pace during the week should be easy.  You should be able to hold a conversation with a friend. As a beginner you don't want to push hard through every training walk that you do as that can set you up for injury. Therefore do 2 of your walks during the week at an easy pace, and one at a slightly harder pace. Your long walk of the week (on the weekends) should be at a comfortable pace. The idea of this walk is to build up your endurance and mimic race day situations so use them as a mock run.

If you need to take more time with the program feel free to add more weeks. This is for you and not something that needs to be accomplished within a certain time span. The key is to work at your own pace and train regularly and consistently.

Hope you have a great time doing the Half Marathon Training Walking Program!

16 Week Half Marathon Training Walking Program


Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 1 mile XT Rest 20' 2 miles Rest 2 miles
2 1 mile XT Rest 20' 2 miles Rest 2 miles
3 2 miles XT Rest 20' 2 miles Rest 2 miles
4 2 miles XT Rest 30' 2 miles Rest 2 miles
5 2 miles XT Rest 30' 3 miles Rest 3 miles
6 2 miles XT Rest 35' 3 miles Rest 4 miles
7 3 miles XT Rest 35' 3 miles Rest 5 miles
8 3 miles XT Rest 40' 3 miles Rest 6 miles
9 3 miles XT Rest 40' 3.5 miles Rest 7 miles
10 3 miles XT Rest 45' 3.5 miles Rest 8 miles
11 4 miles XT Rest 45' 4 miles Rest 4 miles
12 3 miles XT Rest 45' 4 miles Rest 9 miles
13 3 miles XT Rest 50' 4 miles Rest 10 miles
14 3 miles XT Rest 50' 4 miles Rest 11 miles
15 3 miles XT Rest 45' 4 miles Rest 12 miles
16 2 miles XT Rest 20' Rest Rest Half Marathon!
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Want to Walk a Half Marathon & Lose Weight?

Our 12 Week Half Marathon Weight Loss Challenge gives you access to 3 different training plans - a plan for Walkers, Run/Walkers, and Runners! Join the Challenge!

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