Really? You ask. A 6 Week Half Marathon Training Program? Is it even possible.
It totally is!
This program was designed for you in mind, my time-constrained, race-junkie, run-loving friend. You are run-loving, right?
FACT: Did you know that only 0.00589% of the United States population ran a half marathon in 2013 according to a Running USA report? T
hat’s less than 1% of the American population having all the fun! :)
Since there are only 6 weeks to this training plan there are certain runners who would benefit more from using this plan than others.
These runners make good candidates:
Who is this NOT ideal for?
Since the focus is on the long run and completion, I do not suggest this plan for someone who wants to set a PR in their next half marathon.
It can be done, but the plan is more designed to just bring you to the finish line and that is why there are only easy runs and endurance building long runs versus a variety of hills, tempos, interval training, etc.
That's not to say you cannot revise the schedule to fit your needs! I offer suggestions on how to do that in the information below.
That is a very subjective question.
Besides building up your endurance, the training week probably looks very similar to a regular running week that you undertake right now.
The only real difference is that we are building that endurance level through the long run on the weekend.
The difficulty lies in the increasing progression of the long run at a fast pace since we only have 6 weeks.
Let’s talk a little about your training schedule as a whole and what is scheduled during your 6 weeks.
Each week you will be running at least 4 days.
Long Runs: One of those days (scheduled on each Saturday) is considered your long run which will progress by an additional 2 miles each week (10% increase) with a final long run of 11 miles.
Short Runs: On the other 3 days you will be running shorter base runs or more volume building runs. These will help you to keep your endurance level and maintain your running fitness level.
Rest days are given twice a week. Take these seriously and just rest! You’re body needs it. It has to put up with you being so amazing.
Cross training will be done on Thursday and is marked on the training plan as, “XT”. If you choose to do aerobic exercises for cross training then work for about 30-40 minutes. If you choose strength training as your cross training then limit yourself to no more than 20-30 minutes.
Here is a list of great cross training activities for runners and here is a YouTube video list of some of my favorite cross training videos to do as a runner!
Modifying this Training Plan:
This training plan is not geared towards more competitive runners looking for time goals to meet since it is only 6 weeks long. However if you feel that you must have tempo, hill, and speed workouts, include those on the Tuesday of each week. (See these pages for more information on hill training or speed training for competitive runners)
If you ever must cancel a run: then only cancel 1 of the shorter runs each week. Your body needs at least 3 runs every week to maintain it's running fitness.
I should add to that: NEVER cancel that long run. This plan is too short to make up the difference of missing out on one of the long runs. Remember, long runs are the greatest predictors of your half marathon success!
Now challenge yourself and get out there. There are only 1008 hours left until your training is complete!