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How to Run a Half Marathon (We’re in the Big Leagues Now!)

Once you’ve done the half-marathon training, the race is the fun reward! Enjoy it! Credit: lululemon athletica

How to Run a Half Marathon: Your Plan

Eight weeks to a completing a half marathon: you can do it. Now that you’re in the big leagues, you can use nice round numbers for training runs. Cross-training is also important, so consider turning one (or even two) of your short, three-mile runs into a cross-training day by lifting weights, biking or enjoying any other physical activity beside running. Be sure to listen to your body, don’t be afraid to take walk breaks and, most importantly, have fun!

Week 1: 3-mile run, 3-mile run, rest, 3-mile run, 3-mile run, rest, 4-mile run

Week 2: 3-mile run, 4-mile run, rest, 4-mile run, 3-mile run, rest, 6-mile run

Week 33-mile run, 4-mile run, rest, 4-mile run, 3-mile run, rest, 8-mile run

Week 4: 3-mile run, 4-mile run, rest, 4-mile run, 3-mile run, rest, 8-mile run

Week 5: 3-mile run, 4-mile run, rest, 4-mile run, 3-mile run, rest, 10-mile run

Week 6: 3-mile run, 4-mile run, rest, 4-mile run, 3-mile run, rest, 10-mile run

Week 7: 3-mile run, 4-mile run, rest, 4-mile run, 3-mile run, rest, 8-mile run

Week 8: 3-mile run, 4-mile run, rest, 3-mile run, 3-mile run, rest

Race Day! 13.1-mile run (then, have a beer!)

Are you training for a half marathon? Have you already crushed one and have tips to share? Let us know! —Kelly


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  1. Dorie says:

    I just finished my first half last weekend! It was awesome! Training was difficult in the heat of the summer, so I did some training runs on a treadmill. All my hard work paid off when they put that medal around my neck! But the Chicago deep dish pizza and beer offered at the finish line? Not so much. There’s no way I could have stomached that after running 13.1! Maybe next time…

  2. Joyce says:

    I LOVE the half marathon distance. I have done 2 marathons and 8 halfs. I would much rather run a half. Its far enough but not too far. You don’t have to kill yourself training for it. You can be ready for a half in 8 weeks as you said, whereas a full, it takes 4 months or longer to fully train.

  3. LaShaune says:

    Training for Rock n Roll half in San Antonio for my 40th bday. I’m having a hard time getting in long runs, so I’ve registered for 3 10k over the next 2 months.

  4. amanda says:

    I have run two half marathons this year and I am running a third in 3 weeks! I love them. They are addicting. Always ALWAYS listen to your body, though. You never want to injure yourself weeks or days before the race. Rest days are just as important as running days! AND TAPER!! Be sure you eat enough, too. Running does burn a lot! You need those glycogen stores!

  5. I ran my first half marathon last October and signed up for the same one again this year. I thought that was the soonest I would be doing one, but then I won an entry into a half this Sunday! I’m very excited, but also nervous. I’m going to take it fairly easy and not worry about my time. This is a warm-up race for the one I’m doing Columbus Day weekend.

  6. Susan says:

    I just signed up for my first half marathon. This was very helpful advice. For me, a half is much more realistic than a full, but i have heard once you complete a half you get the itch to do a full. I guess we’ll see. One goal at a time…

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