Intermediate Half-Marathon Training Schedule

Improving Your Half-Marathon Time

Runners at race
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If you've already run at least one half -marathon (13.1 miles) you can move on to your next goal—beating your time. Use this 12-week training schedule to help you run a personal record (PR) in your next half-marathon.

To start this plan, you should already be running about 30 to 60 minutes a day, four to five days a week. If you're not up to that, you may want to try the beginners half-marathon schedule or the advanced beginner half-marathon schedule. If this schedule doesn't seem challenging enough, try the advanced half-marathon schedule. If you want to track your pace during this training program, try out our pace calculator.

Half-Marathon Training Schedule for Intermediate Runners

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 CT 30 minutes tempo Rest or CT 4 miles Rest 5 miles 3 miles EZ
2 CT 4 x 400 IW Rest or CT 4 miles Rest 6 miles 3.5 miles EZ
3 CT 35 min. tempo 4 miles 3 miles Rest 7 miles 3 miles EZ
4 CT 5 x 400 IW Rest 4 miles race pace Rest 7 miles 3 miles EZ
5 CT 35 minutes tempo 5 miles 3 miles race pace Rest 8 miles 4 miles EZ
6 CT 6 x 400 IW 5 miles 4 miles race pace 2 miles EZ Rest 10K race
7 CT 40 minutes tempo 5 miles 4 miles race pace Rest 9 miles 4 miles EZ
8 CT 6 x 400 IW 6 miles 3 miles race pace Rest 10 miles 4 miles EZ
9 CT 45 minutes tempo 5 miles 4 miles race pace Rest 11 miles Rest
10 CT 7 x 400 IW 5 miles 3 miles race pace Rest 12 miles 3 miles EZ
11 CT 45 minutes tempo Rest 3 miles race pace Rest 5 miles 3 miles EZ
12 Rest 4 miles 30 minutes 10K pace 2 miles Rest 20 min. Race Day

Structure of the Half-Marathon Training Schedule

You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. If you're busy one day, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day. These are the details of the types of workouts you will do throughout the week.

  • Cross-training (CT): Cross-training activities allow you to give your joints and running muscles a break, while still working on building your endurance and strength. When the schedule calls for CT, do a cardio activity other than running (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer) at a moderate effort for 45 to 60 minutes. Strength-training, especially your lower body and core, is also very beneficial for long distance runners.
  • Tempo Run: Tempo runs help you develop your anaerobic threshold, which is critical for faster racing. For a 40-minute tempo run, for example, start your run with 5 to 10 minutes of easy running, then continue with 15 to 20 minutes of running at about a 10K pace. Finish with 5 to 10 minutes of cooling down. If you're not sure what your 10K pace is, run at a pace that feels "comfortably hard."
  • Pace runs: After a 10-minute warm-up, run at your anticipated half-marathon pace for the designated mileage.
  • Interval workouts (IW): After a 10-minute warm-up, run 400 meters (one lap around most tracks) hard, then recover by jogging or walking 400 meters. For example, 3 x 400 would be three hard 400s, with a 400-meter recovery in between.
  • Rest: Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don't ignore rest days. Your muscles actually build and repair themselves during your rest days. Fridays are a good day for rest since you will have run on Thursday and you'll have your longest run of the week on Saturday.
  • Saturday long runs: Run at a comfortable, conversational pace for the designated mileage. You can figure out the mileage of your outdoor routes with resources such as MapMyRun.com.
  • Sundays: This is an active recovery day. Your run should be at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles and gets you more comfortable with running on fatigued legs.
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