8 Week Training Program Half Marathon Tips for Success

Are you searching for a new 8 week training program half marathon? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. If you’re just getting started running or have recently transitioned into half marathon distance running, this training plan may be just what’s needed to slowly increase mileage safely and steadily.

For maximum effectiveness of this 8 week training program, it is ideal if you already have the habit of running regularly each week. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new weekly training videos there to help runners like you make major gains in fitness and racing.

Long Runs in Your 8 Week Training Program Half Marathon

Running a half marathon takes endurance and stamina. Long runs in our 8 week training program half marathon develop the legs and lungs. In addition, so runners can cover this distance without becoming easily fatigued. Also, while simultaneously training their bodies to store more glycogen. I also believe in doing faster, varied-paced long runs every other weekend. A common mistake runners make is running long, slow and easy every single weekend. Runners should aim for conversational pace or slower during recovery long runs.

That being said, to improve the body’s lactate tolerance, you need to run at faster paces. Of course, this will take some time. I always recommend a 16 to 20 week build up if you want to get the half marathon right. I have created training plans that range in duration from 8 to 24 weeks here for that reason. Also, running courses where I teach you how to master the longer races in in-depth detail.

Beginners should limit the length of their longest run until they become experienced runners; experienced runners may increase its length gradually over time. Beginning runners should keep it short to prevent injury and overtraining. Two weeks prior to your race, weekly mileage should gradually decline in order to taper off for race day; it is essential to rest and recover during this time so your body can make the necessary changes before hitting the starting line.

Designed for All Runner Types

The RunDreamAchieve 8 week training program half marathon typically covers all angles of training. For example, interval training, tempo runs, easy efforts, long runs and fartlek training.

Hill repeats prepare the body for endurance demands of running a half marathon. In addition, other forms of speed training help to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. Remember, the more of these we can recruit the more efficient we are going to race at. Easy running does not produce this physiological adaptation. So, you need to get outside of your comfort zone. Thus, being one of the reasons I created this 8 week training program half marathon.

Runners should find their weekly mileage gradually increasing until the last 10 days before their race, when the highest mileage week occurs. It is essential that runners ensure all their gear is ready. For example, running shoes that fit properly, sweat-wicking clothing and hydration packs/belts to store food. Also, water and other supplies. In addition, investing in sports massage can also be beneficial in keeping muscles loose, preventing injury and aiding recovery. I would advise paying special focus on the quads and hamstrings which might require special treatment during recovery.

Speed Workouts

It is important to first build effective base mileage before starting this 8 week training program half marathon.You will be introduced to speed workouts into this training regimen. So, you want to have at least built a few weeks of easy, aerobic mileage first. Speed workouts consist of shorter, faster-paced runs broken up by short periods of slower running or rest. They should be conducted at a pace which challenges but still allows you to maintain good form. These workouts aim to develop your ability to run at faster paces. Again, the goal is to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up.

The goal of this 8 week training program half marathon is to improve the body’s lactate tolerance. 2 months is sufficient time to get into good shape for a half marathon. That being said, I would recommend longer preferably 16 to 20 weeks. You will do workouts that focus on specific drills for running faster. In addition, others which aim at increasing overall endurance through form improvement. For example, fartleks (Swedish for “speed play”).

No matter which speed workout you choose, be sure to build up the intensity of your workouts gradually. Otherwise, rushing into speed workouts too quickly could leave you injured or burnt out. Strides are an excellent way to ease into faster runs. For example, four or six strides repeated two or three times weekly should give your body time to adapt.

The 8 week training program half marathon is an excellent solution for runners who are training for a 13.1-mile distance race. Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load being placed on it. So, 8 weeks is a rushed set of time. That being said, you can still get in great shape.


Cross-training should be part of your half marathon training regimen as an important way to develop strength for race day. For example, cycling or pool running. It is also a great alternative to doing speed and longer runs. That being said, do cross training sparingly as nothing can equal running itself. Cross-training also serves to minimize injury risk during training by offering less demanding workouts on muscles and joints than running itself.

Cross-training can provide runners a significant edge when added to their weekly exercise regime. A cross-training workout includes various forms of physical fitness exercises designed to boost overall physical fitness. For example, swimming laps in the pool and weight lifting are great forms of cross-training. It will not only strengthen muscles but also boost balance coordination and flexibility.

Cross-training must not become excessively intense or too extreme for your body to handle. People become overzealous when starting more intensive workouts into their schedule. The result is they end up overtraining. So, be smart about the amount of cross training that you do. You can add in extra workouts to this 8 week training program half marathon but be smart about it.

Be Consistent

Cross-training should complement your running workouts, not take their place. Running and jumping are high impact activities which place too much strain on bones and joints. So, when selecting cross-training exercises it is crucial to select those which offer similar workouts without as much strain on your body. For example, if you do a hill repeat workout on Monday try engaging in low impact cross-training such as biking or walking on Tuesday to maximize results from both.

Our 8 week training program half marathon is tailored for runners with prior running experience looking for a new strategy. The plan entails long distance runs, track sessions and tempo workouts. Also, a few recovery runs per weekend in order to ensure adaptation occurs.. In addition, one to two rest days each week, as needed.

Rest Days

Marathon training programs typically last 16-24 weeks, our 8 week training program half marathon can get you from ‘getting started’ phase to the finish line in eight. It gradually builds your endurance while targeting half marathon distance without overexertion. Thus, allowing your body time to adapt and prevent injuries during training.

Rest days are essential components of a healthy training routine. In addition, provide your body with time to recover after running mileage, speed work, cross training or hill repeats. Incorporating rest days into this 8 week training program half marathon helps protect you against overtraining. Also can lessen the likelihood of injuries, plateaued performance or general fatigue. Further, helping muscles repair any damage done during workouts and speed recovery between runs.

However, some runners find it difficult to know when it is appropriate to take a rest day. We often push through pain instead of resting properly and taking an adequate rest day. Remember, train smarter, not harder. Do not try to continue to train through any form of injury. You will lose very little fitness with 7 days off. So, take some time to heal before continuing to train.

Closing Thoughts

I hope that this post on our 8 week training program half marathon options has been helpful. Be sure to keep in touch with me over at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. Leave a comment below any of my videos and I will be sure to respond back to you. I definitely look forward to hearing about your upcoming new personal bests.

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