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?
That’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.
Here are 5 questions to help you consider if a half marathon is a good fit for you.
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.
Here's Karlie Kloss' experience training for a half marathon in a month! You've totally got this in 6 weeks time! :)
Let’s talk a little about your training schedule as a whole and what is scheduled during your 6 week half marathon training program.
During each week of training with this plan you will be running at least 4 days out of the week.
One of your running days each week, scheduled on each Saturday, you will perform a long run.
Your long run will progress each week be adding an additional 2 miles to your long run distance that you ran the week before with a final long run of 11 miles.
You will be increasing your weekly mileage by just 10% each week in order to stay healthy and strong throughout the duration of the training plan.
On the other 3 days you will be running shorter base runs or more volume building runs.
These shorter runs will help you to keep your endurance level and maintain your running fitness level.
Your rest days are scheduled in twice per week.
Take these days seriously and just rest!
You’re body needs it. It has to put up with you being so amazing.
Here is a 24 Hour Recovery Timeline that you can use after a long run and into your rest days.
Cross training workouts 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!
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.
I also have this Ultimate Guide to Running Workouts that you might want to refer to in order to see if you would like to include any of these types of workouts into your training.
You can walk or even run/walk a half marathon using this training schedule.
Just follow it just as it suggests but alter the pace for your needs.
If you ever must cancel a run during the week:
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!
Since this is such a short half marathon training program, try and find someone or something to hold you accountable to your training schedule.
You don't have time to be messing around and skipping out on runs since there is no room for make-ups.
This is Go Time!
A rest day doesn't mean that you don't have to do anything at all.
I suggest taking focused rest days.
This means that you should be trying to get some active, quality recovery in on your rest days.
This could be taking a bath, getting a massage, upping your Vitamin C, increasing your water intake, visiting the chiropractor, stretching, foam rolling, or taking a nap!
Here is a long run recovery timeline guide of things you might want to include in your routine after you complete a long run!
If you need some motivation or a little guidance on what to include before, during, and after your race then read this page!
Now challenge yourself and get out there.
There are only 1008 hours left until your training is complete!