How to train for half marathon beginner

Woman Running on a Running Track

Using cross-training, a training program, a training schedule and more to help you train for a half marathon

Being a beginner isn’t easy. There is a lot to think about, and a half-marathon training schedule probably feels like a lot. A beginner half marathon training plan doesn’t need to be intensive, it just needs to be done with integrity. Half marathon training plans need a bit of composition, sure, but you’ll probably find that the more you think about it, the more you get energised and motivated to do it.

Either way, there are loads of tools and techniques to help run that half-marathon distance. Your first half marathon will definitely benefit from these, so take note and don’t disregard any of them.

Full-fledged schedule

To get a fully-fledged schedule, you might need to do the following – firstly, you’ll need to think about your weekly planner, making use of what to do on which days.

On Monday, you could rest to help with recovery.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can set a goal to run 5k or 10k at a moderate pace (tempo run).

On Wednesday, you may be tempted to incorporate some wide fitness-level workouts. Stuff like biking, walking, swimming, and so on. You could also lift on these days to increase endurance strength.

On Fridays, a great idea would be to utilise cross-training again to help with that strength-building. You’ll need to do stuff like swimming to help with all round body strength, reducing fatigue and muscle strain when it comes to your half marathon.

Saturdays are reserved for a conversational pace, slow, distance run. It’s too easy to be tempted to run fast but in reality, getting your body ready for long distances isn’t all about strength. Finish your run with some gentle stretching.

If you want the full schedule that this was based on, then check it out here.

Extra tips

Get the right gear – there’s nothing worse than not having the appropriate gear; you will severely suffer from this disadvantage so invest in the right running shoes, the right clothes, and so on. Your half marathon success may depend on it.

Run shorter races first – Just like a band, it’s good to get some smaller gigs in. Running in smaller races is really good for your half-marathon training plan. Half marathon races are pretty demanding, so to get your mental game right get some practice in.

Race pace – Identify your race pace early on, experiment to see what best suits you, and realise that when it comes to race day. Cross-training days will help you with race pace, but they won’t make you understand which one’s best.

Finish line (conclusion)

Always be ready with your mental game too. It’s so important to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and prep isn’t reserved for the physical world. A full marathon takes time, strength training, and training runs, but if you wear out your mental energy, you might be short on race day.


Are half marathons considered hard?

Half marathons are no easy feat. You’ll need solid prep and a good attitude, with rigorous practice sessions too. Don’t take this race lightly.

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