Free Printable 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan:
2 months to the finish line!

This 8 week half marathon training plan is great for a beginner/casual runner! 

There is no speed work or hill training involved although that can be added to suit your needs if wanted.

This plan simply helps you progressively build up your long runs so that you are able to run 13.1 miles at the end of 8 weeks of training.


8 Week Half Marathon Training Schedule

Yes!

In 2 months you can be crossing a half marathon finish line! 

And yes! 

There is a free printable marathon training schedule pdf download at the bottom of this page! 


What should you consider before starting this plan?

Here are 5 Questions you might want to ask yourself before beginning any half marathon training plan. 

However for this 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan focus on:


1. Your Fitness Level:

If you can run 3 miles then you are ready to start this plan!

(If you are not quite ready to run 3 miles then try this beginner 10K Plan or this How to Run 30'minutes Without Stopping Plan.) 


2. Your time that you have available

I believe that anyone can train for a half marathon whether they be a walker or a runner.

It does not have to be complicated nor overly intense.

However when you are focusing on the half marathon for a "shorter" amount of time (assuming that you are a beginner) then it might feel intense and your body might react differently than if you were to take your time.

Here are some more tips for finding time to train for a marathon or half marathon.

Therefore, look at your schedule and calendar for the next two months and make sure that this is a realistic goal that you can devote your time too. 

Don't stop there though, consider your loved one's schedules as well.

If you have children will you have the support and child care to do long runs?

Does it mesh with your spouse's schedule and not create too many upsets?

Is your mother having major surgery during the next 2 months?

Step back and take a look at all the pieces that will compose the following months. 

If it is, then it is time to...


3. sign up for the half marathon! 

Yes!

I like to encourage runners to sign up for their race before they begin training or in the first few weeks of their training.

This way you have a strong motivator to help to help you stick to your running schedule!

It's not some goal that is "up in the air" but it is something that is on the calendar and is going to happen! 

This will help to hold you accountable to the goals that you have set! 


Anatomy of this 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

By "anatomy" I am talking about how this training plan is designed so that you can meet your goals.

For this 8 week training plan:

Your weekly mileage during the 8 week half marathon training plan

Your mileage: will increase each week by roughly 10% so as not to overly tax yourself and to allow for adjustment throughout your training.

During your first week of training you will be running a total of 13 miles.

During the last week of training (Week 8) you will max out your weekly mileage at 20 miles. 

Your weekly mileage will fluctuate as you find the balance between increasing your endurance and building rest into your schedule.

This makes it the perfect plan for beginner half marathoners! 


Your weekly long runs

Your long runs are scheduled for Saturday each week and will increase by 2 miles each week.

You can always choose to alternate which day of the week you do your long runs on, simply shift the rest of your training over to allow your long run to fall on your desired day of the week.

Here is how to run successful long runs plus a recovery timeline for once you have finished your long run for the week.


LEt's look at a breakdown of each week of training during this 8 week plan:

Week 1

Week 1 is your "warm-up week" to help you:

  • get set into a routine and find what time of day works best for you, 
  • how you are going to be nutritionally eating during your training, and 
  • what your training week is going to look like. 


Get into good habits during this week:

  • lay your running clothes out each night, 
  • maybe do some easy meal prep to help you stick to healthy eating goals during the week, 
  • focus on your hydration and making sure you are drinking adequately throughout the day, 
  • gather any running gear that you might need throughout training, etc. 

Week 2

Your long run is increasing here from 4 miles to 6 miles.

Your shorter run mileage though will stay the same. 


Week 3

Again, your shorter runs will stay at 3 miles in length but your long run will increase by another 2 miles for a total of 8 miles.

Don't worry though, next week you get a break in your long run! 


Weeks 4 and 7

There is a slight break in the training and you will not increase your total mileage this week.

Rest is extremely important and it's all about finding that perfect balance of pushing through and challenging yourself and resting and allowing those adaptions to fully take place.


Week 6

Puts you at your longest long run mileage of 11 miles before the half marathon!

You have done the majority of the hard work while hopefully staying injury free


WEek 8

This is your taper week.

You can read all about the benefits, how and why you should be tapering over here but your mileage leading up to your half marathon is reduced.


How to modify this half marathon training plan:

For Beginners

Schedule 3 rest days, 1 cross training (instead of one of your shorter training runs during the week), and 3 running days.

Never skip your scheduled long run!

This is the biggest predictor of your half marathon success!

If you must, choose to opt out of one of your cross training first and if then a shorter training run if you must.


for intermediate runners

Schedule 2 rest days, 1 cross training day (instead of one of your shorter training runs during the week), and 4 running days.

One of those running days can be a quality run if you choose. 

A quality run could be a tempo run, hill training workout, interval run, fartlek, etc. 

However, I would suggest doing some speed work on Tuesdays in the form of a tempo run or interval training if you are trying to become faster or stronger. 


Notes on cross training while using this training plan:

If you would like to add cross trainingthen see the above notes on modifying your training plan to incorporate this.

A lot of the ability of being able to run a half marathon comes from having a total body fitness level and that is why cross training is important.

It gives those running muscles a break while working out other areas of your body.

Try to stick to low impact aerobic activities and weight lifting during these days.


How long should you cross train for on cross training days?

I would recommend about 20-30 minutes for strength training and up to 40 minutes for aerobic type exercise. 

However if you have more strenuous goals such as setting a PR (personal record) or even just becoming faster for this half marathon, I would focus on adding in another running day and make it a speed training workout instead of doing a cross training workout. 


I'd love to send you a FREE download to your 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan!



Your 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan! 

here's a look at your 8 week half marathon training schedule!

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On a tighter schedule? Want to challenge yourself to train for that half marathon in 6 weeks?



We also have the 6 Week Half Marathon Training Challenge schedule that takes you step by step of your half marathon training process with coaching videos, mental training techniques, recipes, and cross training challenges! 



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