Are you seeking 16 week half marathon training plans to take you running to the next level? If so, I am glad you have made it here to rundreamachieve, the home of running tips. The half marathon takes a lot to perfect. My job as your onlin coach is to speed up the process. I encourage you subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve Youtube channel. I work to create new video content there each week to ensure athletes such as yourself get legitimate results. You are also more than welcome to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my background in our sport. One of the biggest mistakes I see runners making is running too slow on fast days. Also, running too fast on easy days.
Remember, the benefits of the hard work you put in today will be seen several weeks from now. So, resting from the harder anaerobic workouts you are doing is essential. You cannot continue to push the body hard and expect high returns on your investments. The 16 week half marathon training plans here at rundreamachieve are built with a purpose in mind. I want to ensure the athlete is stressed but more important, recovering from those workouts. Also, to taper 10 days rather than 3 weeks out from the main race. There are far too many runners dropping their volume and intensity too far out. I see many runners doubting themselves when they don’t see the results come quickly enough.
Is 16 Weeks Enough to Train for a Half Marathon?
Yes, 16 weeks is optimal time to prepare properly for a half marathon. In fact, I have training plans here built for runners focused on the 5K to the 50K ultramarathon distance. 4 months is sufficient time to get ready for your main race. Remember, you need to spend a solid 4 weeks running easy, relaxed mileage first. None of us can just jump into doing tempo runs and track workouts without laying a foundation first. What percentage of your weekly mileage in the past have you spent training at, near or far below your goal half marathon race pace? Is it 15%? 20%? The goal should be closer to 40 percent of your weekly volume. Why do the best middle to long distance runners make it look so easy? They have trained well below goal half marathon race pace and often.
I routinely trained well below 5 minute mile pace in training. I am certain that was the reason I was able to run 1:07:06 for the half-marathon. In addition, 2:19:35 for the marathon going out the first half in 1:07:09. So, the key is to get that goal half marathon race pace you have in mind, easier. No, race pace is never simple. That being said, the workouts we focus on here will help make that pace less aggressive. You also need to start hydrating better than you have in the past. There are far too many runners sipping and not drinking during their races. You may be able to get away with this in a 5K or 10K. That being said, we are talking about the half marathon here.
Can You Train for a Half Marathon in 16 Weeks?
Absolutely. I am a big believer in speeding up the pace of your long runs too. Of course, my athletes do not run fast every single weekend. The goal is to do a faster, varied pace long run followed the next weekend with an easy, relaxed long run. So, the focus is always on recovery. The long run was the hardest workout I did training for my half marathon and marathon races. I am certain using this tactic also helped me to run my PR of 14:18 for 5K on the roads as well. One of the biggest mistakes runners make is running long and slow for their long runs. Yes, running easy is still very important. That being said, too much of aerobic running will make you an outstanding easy runner.
I am sure you have a specific time goal in mind. The 16 week half marathon training plans I built work to get that goal race pace to feel more in control. Also, the plans come in different time categories. So, you may be seeking to break 2 hours for the marathon or breaking 1:10. There are numerous options available for athletes of all capabilities and backgrounds. I want you to also start thinking about longer tempo runs. Of course, no one starts out running tempo runs for long durations overnight. We start off around 3 miles and work toward tempo runs closer to 8 to 10 miles in length. Again, the end goal is to be better prepared than our competition. In addition, to sustain pace more efficiently than them, respectfully.
Is 5 Months Enough to Train for a Half Marathon?
Yes. Remember, more doesn’t always guarantee better results. I always remind my visitors of this and those at the RunDreamAchieve Youtube channel. The goal is to work smarter, not harder. You can run easy for 4 weeks and then start one of our 16 week half marathon training plans. My best recommendation is to invest in yourself. It takes all of the guesswork out of wondering what workouts you need to be doing in order to get the best results. I want you to start sitting out water bottles during your long runs if you haven’t already made this a habit.
The reason is you get to practice drinking during training. So, find out how much your stomach can withstand during your long runs. You don’t want to sip in a half marathon especially on warmer race conditions. Have you ever watched the pros? They grab their water bottles and hold them and drink during their races. Of course, you may not always have access to water bottles like professionals. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t grab a couple dixie cups at each aid stations and drink them down. Also, there is nothing stopping you from one day going professional if you want it bad enough.
Lastly, start taking mental training even more seriously. The majority of athletes focus heavily on physical training and neglect mental training. Remember, it has to start in the mind before it can become a reality in real life. I always envisioned myself breaking 2:22:00 for the marathon even when I was a 2:43:36 marathoner. I credit mental training to me eventually breaking the 2:20:00 barrier and running 2:19:35 for the distance. So, spend 10 to 15 minutes each day with no devices nearby seeing yourself performing the way you are dreaming about. Also, make sure to stay as relaxed as you can in training. There is no use in wasting precious energy on muscle tension and being nervous.
So, make training the most difficult process of your half marathon preparation. Race day is your celebration of all your hard work. Let your competition be up tight and overly nervous the morning of the race, not you. Your preparation will give you the confidence and tact to be as calm and motivated as possible come race morning. In addition, there is nothing your competition is going to throw at you that you have’t already experienced in training. I am looking forward to hearing about your results. Are you seeking monthly coaching? If so, check out our private running community where I work one-on-one with athletes outside of just the training plans and courses.