You’ve come to the right place.
I do want to caution runners that are planning a 20 week half marathon training block though.
16 weeks or 4 months is plenty of time to prepare for a half marathon optimally.
Obviously, you can still succeed training for 5 months.
I would spend the first 4 weeks running easy base mileage with no concern about pace.
Focus on doing strides every 2 days the first week of your 20 week half marathon training program.
This will keep your legs reminded of what you are wanting them to do.
The length of these strides should be between 100m to 150m long and can be run all out or hard.
Give yourself full recovery between each repetition.
The great thing about strides is you can run them all out and not build up any significant lactic acid.
Why A 16 Week RunDreamAchieve Training Plan Can Help
I have been trained by some of the world’s top distance running coaches.
Jack Hazen, Lisa Rainsberger (1985 Boston Marathon champion) and Dr. Joe Vigil being three of them.
All focused on 16 week training blocks.
The farther you go out in your build up the more careful you have to be in timing your taper.
Its most certainly a good thing to build a good, strong base so 20 weeks can surely still work.
The key is to just have a solid plan in place in knowing how to set up those 20 weeks.
Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
The 16 week half marathon training schedules I created here at RunDreamAchieve are built for results.
If you have a specific time goal in mind you can choose from our beginner or advanced level half marathon training schedules.
Race pace training helps you to get that specific race pace you are seeking to run at to feel more comfortable.
If, for example, you are seeking to run a sub 2 hour half marathon you have to get used to 9:09 per mile pace.
9:09 per mile has to feel far more controlled and less aggressive.
The training schedules I created here help you to do exactly that.
One of the biggest reasons many runners fail to sustain pace is not for a lack of trying.
Nor is it a lack of ability.
It is a lack of quality miles put in and far too many easy miles run.
Easy, base mileage is critical to succeed and important.
Second guessing yourself is the last thing you want to do but is very common with runners.
Results don’t come fast enough and we begin to doubt our capabilities.
All that needs to take place is sometimes just a few small changes. For me, it was changing up the speeds at which I was conducting my long runs.
Sure, I kept a focus on track sessions, hill sprints, fartleks and tempo runs but that long run was and still is my bread and butter.
If you are training to run the half marathon in a specific time, then specific training is needed.
13.1 miles is a long race and unlike the 5K or 10K you need stamina and strength.
16 weeks is the general rule when it comes to preparing for the half marathon.
20 weeks can be better as long as you take those first 4 weeks and run easy.
Allow your body to adapt and give yourself time to get into shape.
Work on your strides a few times a week leading into the 16 week half marathon training schedule.
Now that you have those first 4 weeks of mileage put in then you can start focusing on your main build up.
Implement harder long runs into your routine followed by 1 or 2 weeks of easier long runs.
I think you’ll find out that by doing so will yield enormous returns on your race performances.
The long run is the hardest workout I do.
Not track sessions, hill repeats or tempo runs.
Thought long runs were supposed to be relaxed and easy?
Yes, they are but you need to implement some race pace specific effort into your long run.
This is the main reason I was able to drop my half marathon best from 1:10:29 to 1:07:06.
It also helped me drop my marathon best from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35.
If you are serious about getting faster at the half marathon or marathon distance give your training plans a try.
Focus on your 20 week half marathon training build up.
Leave a comment if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing about your new personal record.
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