6 Month Half Marathon Training Plan | PR NOW

Are you seeking more information on how your 6 month half marathon training plan should be set up? If so, welcome to rundreamachieve.com. I am glad you have found this website as I am certain you will get some legitimate tips here. I have run 1:07:06 for the half and 2:19:35 for the marathon. My goal is not to write that to impress you but to impress upon you what you can do with enough focus and determination. I never had a lot of talent. What I did have was the ability to make use of my work ethic.

What you lack in talent can be made up with your hard and smart work. I am an example of this. So, my goal with this post to share some tips and strategies that will help set you up for success. We have 16 week half marathon training plans here. That being said, my top recommendation is to spend 8 weeks running easy, relaxed aerobic miles first. Thus, you will have built a legitimate foundation of mileage before moving into the 16 week half marathon training plan that I have built here at rundreamachieve. Also, I have built a running course for runners seeking to break the 2 hour half marathon here as well. So, there are some significant resources here that will help set you up for success.

Is 6 Months Enough Time to Train for a Half Marathon?

6 months is more than enough time to train for a half marathon. Again, the key thing I want you to remember here is work on quality versus quantity. The area we need you to work on now is improving your body’s lactate tolerance. Your ability to handle lactic acid and sustain pace longer than your competition is what we want. The athlete that lays a legitimate 8 weeks of base mileage first will do damage against their competition. One, you will be ready when you do start a 16 week half marathon training plan built around specific workouts. Two, you will be able to also handle faster paces because you are aerobically fit. Lastly, you will have pre-planned correctly giving yourself the highest chance of success.

You cannot rush fitness. It comes on its own time. In fact, it takes anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load being placed upon it. So, the benefits of the workouts you are doing today will be sent several weeks from now. I am a believer in faster, varied pace long runs. For example, below are a few of the types of workouts I teach in my running courses and training plans here at rundremachieve…

  • 2 mile warm-up, 10 miles steady at 160 beats per minute (85% of max heart rate), 2 mile JOG, 1 mile@5K race pace
  • 1 mile warm-up, 8 miles@goal half marathon race pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile all out, 3 miles JOG

Is 20 Weeks Enough Time to Train for a Half Marathon?

You can train properly for a half marathon from 12 to 16 weeks. Of course, having a 6 month half marathon training plan in place is probably best. Again, spend 8 weeks running easy mileage first. Of course, you can do strides 2 to 3 times per week. I would recommend doing 5 to 6x100m strides during your easy runs. Strides are too short to build up any lactic acid build up. In addition, they are great for working on your acceleration and from. As mentioned above, we focus on faster, varied pace long runs. That being said, the following week is always a relaxed, easy long run to ensure you are recovering. I see far too many runners conducting their long runs far too easy. Why do the best half marathoners and marathoners make it look so easy?

6 month half marathon training plan
Running with the leaders of the 2007 California International Marathon (finished 4th overall, top American with a time of 2:19:35)

They spend sufficient time training at, near and far below their goal half marathon race pace. I talk about this all of the time at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe to get the latest updates. I create video content there each week to help athletes such as yourself get the best results possible. Again, the focus is to improve your lactate tolerance and sustain race pace longer than your competition. Easy running certainly is important. You have to be able to recover from the hard training you are doing. That being said, easy running will not produce this physiological adaptation. Fast running will.

Can I Train for a Half Marathon in 6 Months

6 months is sufficient time to train well for a half marathon. I believe 16 weeks is the sweet spot though. Of course, by you putting in 8 weeks of easy aerobic mileage you will set yourself up for success. Again, you will built that strong foundation first before moving into harder, anaerobic workouts. So, a 6 month half marathon training plan is a legitimate way to set a new personal best over this distance. What percentage of your weekly volume do you think you train at, near or far below your goal half marathon race pace? Is the percentage is under 20 percent you are not training like a professional. I would recommend around 40 percent of your weekly volume should be training at this intensity. Again, you want to ensure you get race pace to feel more in control.

We also focus on longer tempo runs with your 16 week half marathon training plans. A common mistake I see runners make is running too short of a period of time at their anaerobic threshold. Remember, you will be racing your half marathon right around this intensity. So, you definitely want to learn to spend longer durations at this effort. As mentioned above, the goal is to improve the lactate tolerance. So, you sustain pace for the entire race and not slow down as badly as your competition. Does that make sense?

How to Train for a Half Marathon in 6 Months

Spend 8 weeks running easy mileage building your foundation first. We then move into 16 weeks of specific training to prepare at, near and far below goal half marathon pace. Lastly, we focus on a 10-day rather than a 3-week taper. Of course, 3-week tapers do work for many athletes. That being said, I have set personal best from 5K to the 50K using a 10-day taper. So, I have shared this training secret and tip with the athletes that I coach online. If you are seeking an ongoing coach online definitely check out our private running community. We have weekly calls and I work closely with athletes answering questions, creating personal videos catered to their needs. Also, you get access to all of our courses as well.

Closing Thoughts

So, is will a 6 month half marathon training plan work? Of course, 16 weeks is best though. Again, you can spend 8 weeks running aerobic base mileage and then work into your 4-month build up for your half marathon. Pre-planning is essential for overall success. You also need to mentally train as well. A big mistake runners make is spending all of their focus only on physical training. The best middle to long distance runners know that mental rehearsal helps to get to the next level. So, you have to see yourself performing at the level you are dreaming about in your mind fist. It has to start in the mind before it ever becomes a reality in real life.

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