8 Week Half Marathon Training Tips for Success

Seeking a legitimate 8 week half marathon training plan? If so, I am glad you have made it here to RunDreamAchieve. No matter if it is your inaugural half marathon or time improvement goal, this eight-week plan provides the ideal framework for training.

This plan includes four days of running and two of cross training or rest, although you are free to modify as necessary. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. My goal is to create new, weekly content there to help runners like you make massive gains and PR.

Week 1 of the 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

Running a half marathon takes dedication, sweat and tears, Yes, and some blackened toenails. That being said, you will forget all of the pain and frustration after you set a new personal best. Week one of the 8 week half marathon training plan we focus on light workouts. Also, doing strides, tempo runs and long runs. Running a half marathon can help you lose weight, raise awareness for charity causes, if you so choose.

We will focus on increasing your running endurance through several long runs and strength workouts designed to build it gradually. RunDreamAchieve 8 week half marathon training plans are an excellent option for newcomers or elite level athletes. We start off with shorter base-building phases and then building more gradually over time.

An important element of training is finding a balance between exertion and recovery. So, getting enough sleep, eating the appropriate foods, foam rolling and mobility work are vital for success.. In addition, taking ice baths when needed and getting regular massages. Remember, without enough rest your body won’t be able to adapt. The real benefits of your hard training occur within the rest period.

What is the Optimal Time Frame

You can use a 8 week half marathon training plan to get into great shape. That being said, I would recommend a minimum of 16 and preferably 20 weeks if you want to set a new personal best. Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load being placed on it.

Our 8 week half marathon training plan is tailored for runners who have already been running regularly for some time. So, it provides athletes such as yourself with a solid base of fitness and endurance.

You will do long runs every weekend with a gradual focus in lengthening the duration of the run. Also, varied paced long runs every other weekend. Never skip your long runs. Remember, you want to make them work for your schedule by changing days or other elements of training to fit. Running long distance requires dedication and discipline. Our 8 week half marathon training plan gives you enough flexibility so that race day stays on schedule!

Stay Focused

Half marathon training requires an immense commitment. The end goal is to improve the body’s lactate tolerance. Also, to sustain goal half marathon race pace longer than our competition.

The RunDreamAchieve 8 week half marathon training plan is ideal for runners who have developed enough leg, core and cardiovascular strength to comfortably cover several miles. This training schedule combines low intensity workouts (such as easy runs, fartlek or interval training) with higher intensity workouts. For example, tempo or hill repetitions. In addition, one long run will be scheduled each week as mentioned above.

The goal is to not run long, slow and easy every single weekend during long runs. The result if you do is that you will be a superior, long, slow distance runner. Remember, we want you to get that new personal best you have been working hard to achieve.

The Body Always Adapts

As time progresses, your body adjusts to your workload and endurance increases. Some workouts during mid- phase of our 8 week half marathon training plan will include tempo runs and intervals. These workouts are designed to test your ability to maintain an aggressive pace without tiring. We want to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up.

It is crucial that you listen to and honor the needs of your body while following this 8 week half marathon training plan. An effective training plan should include a taper period during the final week before your race. I believe in a 10-day rather than a 3-week taper. A common mistake I see runners making is dropping volume and intensity too far out. So, do not do that. Workouts are gradually decreased during the 10-day taper. Your last workout will be a 3 mile run at goal half marathon race pace 4 days out from your goal race.

Work on Your Leg Speed

As your race approaches, now is the time to increase your training intensity and build endurance. However, be careful not to overtrain and risk straining a muscle on race day. Remember, coordinating all aspects of your 8 week half marathon training plan effectively is key. The goal with speed training is to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these we can recruit the more efficient we are going to race.

For example, repeat 400-meter repetitions on the track at your 5k to 10k race pace. Again, training at faster speeds will help to make goal half marathon race pace to feel that much easier.

Half marathons require less time and energy than full marathons. Thus, making them perfect for runners who want to test their limits. I would recommend stretching, doing foam rolling, and doing ice baths after hard workouts to aid in recover. JOG on easy days. A common mistake runners still make is to run too fast on easy days. In addition, too slow on faster, anaerobic workouts. The goal of this 8 week half marathon training plan is to ensure you do not do that.

Week 6

Our 8 week training plan features three to four midweek runs to be completed at an easy pace and one tempo run. Also, one long-slow run over the weekend to gradually build your mileage. We always alternate an easier long run followed the next week with a faster, varied paced long run.

Remember, be consistent in your workouts. That being said, don’t stress if you miss a day or need a rest day from time to time. You are not going to lose any fitness with a few days off. Finding a balance between life and workouts will bring success much sooner. Also, make sure to hydrate well before, during and after workouts.

Final Weeks

The final week will focus on reducing mileage and increasing recovery time 10 days out. Although this can be challenging, this step is vital to your success as without sufficient recovery you won’t be able to train consistently. The taper phase is usually the most difficult for most runners. We think by doing less training we, somehow, are going to get out of shape.

The last few days of training we focus on maintenance workouts. Also, doing strides two to three times per week.

Strength training should also be incorporated into your weekly regimen. You don’t need to be in the gym more than once per week. Remember, your goal isn’t to look like Arnold. So, focus on light weight and high reps. Also, work on strengthening the running muscles of the body. Strength training can prevent injury, improve running economy and speed. In addition, increase power output and promote better posture and form.

Our training plans are great for all runners.

Closing Thoughts

This 8 week half marathon training plan is perfect for casual runners who have already run at least several miles or kilometers weekly and comfortably. Also, for those who want to build up endurance over the coming weeks. There are speed work, hill running, easy and long runs included with this plan. You will also have 1 to 2 rest days within the plans as well.

Be sure to check out all of the resources available to you here. I also have created running courses and coach athletes on a monthly basis as well, if interested. Keep in touch with me at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. Leave a comment below any of my videos and I will make sure to respond to you. I hope that this post has been helpful.

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