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Training For A Half Marathon On A Treadmill

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By Simon Gould

A half marathon is quite a commitment. You're going to run 13.1 miles so this will take some training to reach. We would recommend only attempting this distance if you've run in one 10k at least or have some months of running under your belt. Half marathons may not be the ultimate distance of a full marathon but they are still held everywhere across the country. They make a great stepping stone if you want to run a full marathon at some point.

The half marathon plan

Although we assume you've run a 10k race before or have run nearly the amount of miles up to a half marathon. For this plan we're going to assume you currently run for 30 minutes 3 or more times per week. This plan will take many weeks to get the desired half marathon distance. We shall stick with the running for minutes time plan for the long run. Always modify part of the plan for your fitness level or if you've found some of the plan easy or hard.

We have incorporated some outside running, race pace and cross training. If you're not entering a half marathon to be run outside then ignore the run outside instruction. The most important part of the plan is when it approaches the race itself. There will be some reduction in time running so as to prepare for the final race or half marathon distance.

We have 2 rest days. On one of them you may introduce some strength training, we would advise the Friday so you still have the rest following the long run. Don't overdo the strength training, just some injury prevention work on your legs. That rest is needed to help your muscles recover. As always make sure you're hydrated and consider a sports drink or energy gel half way through or when you reach 60 minutes.

Key:

  • CT & LCT - This is a cross training day. You still need to do a cardio workout but the equipment changes. Try an elliptical, bike or swim on these days. LCT means a light cross training session to ease you into the long run on Sunday.
  • O - This means try and do this run outside. We recommend one a week or more if possible. Only if your half marathon race is outside.
  • RP - Run at race pace or faster when you see these initials on a day. This will help improve your time. These will be low in mileage to really allow the pace to be quick.
WeekMonTueWedThuFriSatSun
1Rest2 mile OCT2 mile RPRestLCT30 minutes
2Rest3 miles OCT2 miles RPRestLCT40 minutes
3Rest4 miles OCT3 miles RPRestLCT50 minutes
4Rest5 miles OCT3 miles RPRestLCT60 minutes
5Rest6 miles OCT4 miles RPRestLCT70 minutes
6Rest7 miles OCT4 miles RPRestLCT80 minutes
7Rest8 miles OCT5 miles RPRestLCT90 minutes
8Rest8 miles OCT5 miles RPRestLCT100 minutes
9Rest8 miles OCT5 miles RPRestLCT110 minutes
10Rest9 miles OCT5 miles RPRestLCT120 minutes
11Rest8 miles OCT5 miles RPRestLCT130 minutes
12Rest8 miles OCT5 miles RPRestLCT80 minutes
13Rest6 miles OCT4 milesRestRestHalf Marathon

For some runners who run a bit quicker than this plan allows. Adjust the minutes spent running on your long run on Sunday to match your own ability. Just make sure the highest minutes spent running ends up being about 15 miles. We want it longer than the race distance to give your muscles the best preparation.

So there is your 13 week training plan. That is exactly 3 months or a quarter of a year. We think this gives you good time to prepare for such a distance. There is no speed work as such apart from your Thursday race pace. Feel free to substitute some other speed work on this day to help you run faster. Good luck for the distance and we'll see you when the next full marathon comes up!

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Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.



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