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Train Half Marathon – 8 Weeks

8 Week Half Marathon Plan!

The countdown has begun. How will you train for half marathon in 8 weeks? To start with, let me ask you a question – have you been running before? HalfMarathon With 8 weeks to go, I would expect you to have been hitting the road or treadmill regularly by now. If you are new to running, and have not been running at least 10-12 miles per week (15-20km) for the past 4-6 weeks, then I suggest you stop right here and reflect on your decision. Yes, it is possible to run a half marathon with less than 8 weeks training, and yes, I believe you can do it, but is it worth it? The chances of injury with so little training increase and the enjoyment may be stripped away, as very likely, you will not be able to find your pace and can burn out. So, unless you have a good personal trainer, please do not attempt such a distance on such short notice – 10k, why not? So on we go with our 8 week half marathon plan.

Week 8 – Week 6

It’s time to think about a longer run. Up to now, 3-4 mile (5-7 km) runs were all that was needed to get in stride and get moving. Do continue with this distance, however, 1 day a week, go for a longer run Route– ideally around the half way distance – 6-7 miles (10-12km). On the longer run, do not concentrate on the time, just make sure you are comfortable moving – see how your body responds to the distance. Find your speed during short runs, longer runs are for endurance.
You do not need to run a half marathon before in order to run a half marathon – hope you get the gist?

Week 6 – Week 4

By now, you will have put in one or two longer runs of about half the race distance. Next step, one final long run of about 9-10 miles (around 15k). Again, it’s not the speed that you need to look at. It’s getting your body used to movement for an extended period of time. You do not need to run this full distance. Include your warmup and warm down in it (this goes for all the other runs mentioned earlier). Do quick walking intervals in between, just make sure to keep on moving.

Week 4 – Week 2

You may still want to do the half distance runs once a week, but that is optional. Just make sure to keep on going at it at least 3-4 times per week. During this time, start thinking of a comfortable pace and how you will break the race down. If it is your first attempt at the distance, make it count. Make sure you remember it as an enjoyable experience. Nothing worse than going out there, murdering yourself and resenting you’ve ever considered running. Instead, make sure to plan things right, so that you will want to come back. Therefore, pace yourself well. Have one or two walking intervals in the middle of the race (I did just that and the final 3 miles were the most enjoyable and quickest).

2 Weeks To Go

You know your pace, you’ve done the longer runs, it is time to take things easy. Keep on going 3-4 times a week, keep fit and moving. There is no need now for longer runs. Now is a good time to focus on nutrition – that is, if you had not done so yet. The race will put a strain on your body, so do something for it. Help it cleanse itself. Do try to put aside sweets and alcohol,
throw in extra vegetables, lots of water and get good sleep, especially in the last few days.

Final Prep

Give yourself 1 or 2 days rest before the big day. Not more. Good sleep is very important! The day before, eat healthy – get in good fats (olive oil, fish, nuts) and nutrients (greens, fruit, vegetables). Yes, do have carbs, but you do not need to stuff yourself with them. Stay away from white carbs and reach for whole grain and ones that breakdown long (buckwheat, kidney beans). On the day, have a light but nutritious breakfast – oatmeal, bananas, salad! For extra energy, have some almonds
(pre-soak in water the night before – you can have them during your race as well). And most importantly, drink lots of water before.
At the race, ensure that you have a good warmup and empty your bladder. Have a mile by mile breakdown of what your target pace is (I actually wrote my on my arm). But whatever you do, listen to your body. Sometimes you will need to give it that extra push, but if you have to, slow things down. The key is to finish! Enjoy your experience and come back here to share it with others.

Week By Week Countdown

8 Weeks

Run 3-4 times per week: 3-4 miles (5-6k)
Run once per week 6-7 miles (10-12k)

7 Weeks

Run 3-4 times per week: 3-4 miles (5-6k)
Run once per week 6-7 miles (10-12k)

6 Weeks

Run 3-4 times per week: 3-4 miles (5-6k)
Run once per week 6-7 miles (10-12k) or 9-10 miles (15k)

5 Weeks

Run 3-4 times per week: 3-4 miles (5-6k)
Run once per week 6-7 miles (10-12k) or 9-10 miles (15k) if you had not done it the previous week.

4 Weeks

Run 3-4 times per week: 3-4 miles (5-6k)
Optional: Run once per week 6-7 miles (10-12k)
Start thinking about race pace

3 Weeks

Run 3-4 times per week: 3-4 miles (5-6k)
Optional: Run once per week 6-7 miles (10-12k)
Start thinking about race pace

2 Weeks

Run 3-4 times per week: 3-4 miles (5-6k)
Focus on nutrition

1 Week

Run 3-4 times per week: 3-4 miles (5-6k)
Rest 1 to 2 days before the race
Focus on nutrition
Get good sleep

On your marks. Get set. Go and enjoy the race!
Help Get Fit


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  1. Firefly Recovery - HelpGetFit says

    […] Train Half Marathon – 8 Weeks […]

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