Are you looking for a half marathon training walking program?
You're in the right spot!
Choosing to walk a half marathon is a great goal for those who want to bump up their exercise, maybe ease into running later on, or even just to receive 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.
And yes! There is a free half marathon walking training program at the bottom of this page!
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.
1. You may want to see your health care provider for a physical and a green light to exercise depending on your age and fitness level.
Even though walking is considered a safe and healthy activity for everyone, you may want to consult your doctor if you answer these questions on the PAR-Q+ form and they lead you to the result that you should talk with your health care provider.
Here's a reference of those questions that are asked on that form:
These questions are especially important in men 45 years and older and women 55 years and older or if you have any pre-existing or previous health conditions this becomes more important.
It's a good place to start to see if you do need to schedule a visit.
2. Be able to walk at least 1 mile.
This half marathon program builds up your walking endurance at a slow and steady rate.
Therefore, 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!
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 definitely can walk a half marathon in 3.5 hours which would be walking at a pace of 16 minutes per mile.
If you would like tips on power walking, I wrote a page just for you!
You can use my free half marathon (and marathon) finishing time chart 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.
Or plug your goal pace per mile into the following calculator!
All you need to do is:
Where should you train for your half marathon 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.
You can also use Google Maps, or your smart running watch (I enjoy the FitBit Versa)
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 tick away.
Keep your pace steady when you are doing a scheduled walk and set your incline to a level 1 which mimics outdoor walking.
Save the hills for more natural settings like outside unless you know your half marathon will be on a hilly course. If it is, sprinkle some hill segments into your walk every now and then to acclimate your body.
Find a high school track or football field.
Most tracks are a quarter of a mile in length (4x around = 1 mile). This can add up to a lot of turns along the track however the surface, accuracy, and stability of the track may be something you enjoy.
If you have kids this is a great option to get them outside to play while keeping an eye on them. They might even join you for a couple of laps or realize that they are interested in walking and staying active as well!
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!
Build up to walking 1 mile and then get ready to start this program!
Your Half Marathon Training Plan is included below this explanation!
The First 3 Weeks:
The goal of the first three weeks is to ease 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.
As I mentioned before, this is a beginner, entry level program and I want to meet you where you are currently at even if that is just 1 mile!
If you feel like you can comfortably complete these walks (and already walk at least 3x a week for about 30 minutes) then feel free to skip the first 3 weeks and jump straight into Weeks 4-16 making it a 12 week half marathon walking program!
Weeks 4 - 16:
Your Scheduled Walks:
ne walk scheduled is based off of time in minutes (20'-50') rather than mileage.
This is to take the focus off of how many miles you are going and help you to build endurance in regards to time.
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.
Your Cross Training:
Cross Training (scheduled as XT on the training schedule) is incorporated into the program to help work the muscles that are ignored when walking.
This will help to keep them strong and flexible as you continue to build your walking routine.
Your cross training should involve other low impact aerobic activities such as swimming, cycling, skiing, etc. or some sort of strength training program.
Here's a list of my favorite YouTube Cross Training Workouts for Runners! It includes a mix of aerobic and strength training workouts.
Your Pace during this half marathon training walking program:
Your pace during your weekly walks 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 especially an overuse injury such as shin splints.
Therefore do 2 of your walks during the week at an easy pace, and one at a slightly harder power-walking pace.
As you begin to feel more and more comfortable with walking and pushing the paces then if you choose, you can gradually make all of your walks power walking sessions.
Your long walk of the week (on the weekends) should also 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 test.
Alterations to the half marathon training walking schedule:
This program could be turned into a Run/Walk Program where you alternate a minute to several minutes of walking to a minute or several minutes of running.
That being said, it also could be used by a runner who wants to run all the scheduled training runs!If you need to take more time with this half marathon training walking program feel free to add more weeks into the plan where they are necessary.
This training plan is made for you to be flexible with and is 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.
Here is your half marathon training walking schedule!
|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!|
Hope you have a great time doing this Half Marathon Training Walking Program!
I would love to hear how your race goes!
This Challenge is for walkers or runners (you get access to 3 different training plans one specifically for walkers) and focuses on weight loss through the half marathon training plan, strength training, and your nutrition!