Free Half Marathon Training Plan


It’s time to start your free half marathon training

At the High Altitude Training Institute, we want to help you get off the couch and train for either your first half marathon or your 10th! We created three video series to prepare you for race day. Each of the series highlights one of the following free half marathon training plans: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. 

Before you start, please read the following information and use the calculator below to determine which plan suits you best, and which training pace you should follow during your training. 

Each week, visit our YouTube channel to learn about your training. Each video is approximately 5 minutes long and presents the detailed training plan for the week as well as a section with tips about training. 

free half marathon training plan for beginners
free half marathon training plan for intermediate
free half marathon training plan for advanced

1. Which training plan should you follow

Each of these training plans is 20 weeks long. Selecting the appropriate training plan for this program is important. Use the following information to determine which free half marathon training plan best fits you. 

Beginner

The Beginner Free Half Marathon Training Plan is perfect for someone who has never completed a half marathon, but may have completed 5k or 10k races. 

This training program features:

  • 5 days of running per week
  • Starts at 15 miles per week, peaks at 25 miles per week
  • Longest run is 10 miles
  • One hard workout per week during Phase 2 and 3, plus a long run each week.
Intermediate

The Intermediate Free Half Marathon Training Plan is perfect for someone who has completed several races from 5k to half marathon and is looking to get more comfortable running the distance. 

This training program features:

  • 5 days of running per week
  • Starts at 20 miles per week, peaks at 40 miles per week
  • Longest run is 11 miles
  • Two hard workouts per week during Phase 2 and 3 plus a long run each week. 
Advanced

The Intermediate Free Half Marathon Training Plan is perfect for someone who is experienced running half marathons and is looking to take their training to the next level. If you want to finally break 1:30 or even 1:20 during a half, this is the plan for you! Warning: this is a very demanding plan, you will need to be committed! However, this is a high reward plan: if you put in the work, you will get results! 

This training program features:

  • 6 days of running per week
  • Starts at 35 miles per week, peaks at 65 miles per week
  • Longest run is 15 miles
  • Two hard workouts per week during Phase 2 and 3 plus a long run each week. 

Additional Information

Switching training plans

If you started a training plan and it’s either too fast or you can’t commit to the mileage, you can downgrade at any time. If you realize that the program is not challenging enough, you can upgrade to another training plan, but we recommend you do so between Week 20 (first week of training) and Week 16 (last week of Phase 1). 

Do I need to run all 20 weeks? 

The short answer is no. Our training plans are designed around four phases. Phase 1 is a mileage building phase. If you have been running consistently for the last four weeks and have built a solid mileage base, you can skip the first four weeks of training (Week 20 to Week 16). 

If your race is less than 16 weeks away, please consider purchasing one of our custom training plans. We will design something specifically around your schedule, your race goals, and your availability. 

Phase 2 and 3 are designed to build fitness. Phase 4 is a taper phase that will help you get ready for race day. Phases 1 and 4 are four weeks long, Phases 2 and 3 are six weeks long. 

2. Which week should I start with? 

Use this calculator

Use the calculator below to determine how many weeks are available to train. If the calculator says you have 18 weeks to race day, you should start with the “Week 18” video of the corresponding training plan. 

If you race is less than 16 weeks away, please consider purchasing one of our custom training plans. We will design something specifically for you. 

Why are the weeks going down and not up? 

Most training plans start with Week 1 and end at Week 20, the week of your race. We decided to go backward so it’s easy to figure out which video you should start with. 

3. Pacing guide

Fitness level calculator

Use this calculator to determine which fitness level you should use for pacing your workout. Your fitness level is a two-digit number that represents how fit you should/will be during race day. The higher the number, the fitter you are. Throughout your training plan, you will increase your fitness level.

If you complete all 20 weeks of training, your fitness level will increase every 5 weeks. This means that your training intensity and pace will increase every 5 weeks. At any point in time, if you feel like the pace is too hard, you can revert back to the previous fitness level. We want you to make progress but we don’t want you to get injured. 

Download the pacing guide

Now that you determined how many weeks you have to train, and that you know your fitness levels, go ahead and download the pacing guide. This guide contains various paces (marathon pace, half marathon pace, threshold pace, etc) for each fitness level. Simply refer to the guide based on the level you calculated above.  

Coaching Services

VDOT O2 long distance running coachWhether you are looking to get faster or simply improve your fitness, we are here to help. Our VDOT O2 certified coaches can help you design a custom training plan to prepare for your next race. And yes, we can help you if you want to run as short as an 800m race on the track all the way to an ultra marathon. Figure out your goals today and meet them.

If you ever feel helpless or lost after signing up for a race, let us do the work for you. And if you have trouble staying motivated, we hold you accountable. If you often get injured, we select paces and workouts that keep you healthy. Choose between our monthly coaching service or simply purchase a training plan.

Achieve your potential today

free half marathon training plan for beginners
free half marathon training plan for intermediate
free half marathon training plan for advanced