16 Week Half Marathon Train­ing Plan

May 16, 2010   //   by Evhen   //   Blog, Training, Training Plans  //  3 Comments

half marathon training

Half marathon train­ing for busy families

Find­ing time to work out and run con­sis­tently when you have a fam­ily is chal­leng­ing. Find­ing time to train for a dis­tance event like a half marathon is even harder!

But you can do it! This half marathon train­ing plan only requires three runs a week — two reg­u­lar runs, and one long run each week — and will get you ready for a half marathon in 16 weeks.

5K to Half Marathon in 16 Weeks

To use this plan, you should be able to run a 5K and should be healthy and injury free. The plan starts out with 3 mile runs, and grad­u­ally adds dis­tance to get you up to 13.1 miles for your half marathon.

To keep this work­able for work­ing fam­i­lies, the week­day runs are kept rel­a­tively short. There are two runs per week on week­days, start­ing at 3 miles and work­ing up to a 4 mile and a 5 mile run dur­ing the week­days dur­ing peak train­ing time. The plan shows the week­day runs on Tues­day and Thurs­day, but you can run them when­ever they fit in dur­ing the week.

Long runs are reserved for week­ends. The plan lists long runs on Sun­day because most half marathons fall on a Sun­day, but Sat­ur­days are fine too. You should run your long run when­ever it fits best into your fam­ily sched­ule — but make sure you run one long run each week! The long runs start at 3 miles and grad­u­ally work up to 12 miles. Dis­tance is care­fully added through­out the plan so that you don’t increase weekly mileage by more than 10% each week, with just a cou­ple of minor exceptions.

Because this plan is scaled back to only three runs per week, it is impor­tant that you stick with it! Make sure you don’t skip any runs, espe­cially the long runs. Try­ing to catch up on dis­tance is a great way to get your­self injured. It’s bet­ter to repeat a week, extend your plan, and pick another race, than to side­line your­self through injury and not be able to run at all.

If you do hap­pen to have time to squeeze in some extra work­outs, try cross-​​training! Swim some laps, use an ellipse or other car­dio machine, do an upper body work­out, or go for a bike ride.

The Plan

Down­load PDF » Down­load the 16 Week Half Marathon Train­ing Plan in PDF format.

Down­load XLSX » Down­load the Inter­ac­tive 16 Week Half Marathon Train­ing Plan in Excel for­mat. Enter your race date and the plan will auto­mat­i­cally update.

Creative Commons License
The 16 Week Half Marathon Train­ing Plan by Run­ning in the Fam­ily is licensed under a Cre­ative Com­mons Attribution-​​Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

3 Comments

  • I just wanted to tell you that my wife and I love your site. We’re using your Half Marathon pro­gram for our train­ing for the Wis­con­sin Dells Half Marathon on Oct. 24, 2010. We have five great kids so time is pre­cious and your pro­gram looks like it will work great for us. I pre­vi­ously ran a half in Spring­field, IL and found the train­ing pro­gram to be more com­plex and time con­sum­ing. Any­who — thanks much for the info and a great site!

    • Thank you so much for the com­ment! I’m glad that the train­ing plan fits your sched­ule. I wish you all the best with your train­ing, and good luck on your race!

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