Half Marathon Training Plan 12 Weeks Long

Are you seeking a half marathon training plan 12 weeks long? If so, I am glad you have made it here to RunDreamAchieve. My hope is that the resources you will find here will help you to set a new personal best over your chosen distance. The 21.1 kilometer or 13.1 mile distance is a highly aerobic event. So, you definitely need to work on your endurance.

In addition, continue to develop your leg speed. Runners need to spend at least 1 day focusing on training at their tempo run effort. Also, 1 day per week training at their vo2 max. We run at between 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate at vo2 max. So, it is most certainly going to be a challenge running at this intensity.

That being said, training at this type of intensity will help to make your goal half marathon race pace to feel easier. In addition, you will be able to sustain goal race pace longer than your competition. So, the overall goal is to work to improve your body’s lactate tolerance.

Is 12 Weeks Enough Time to Train for a Half Marathon?

Yes, 12 weeks is most certainly enough time to train for a half marathon. A half marathon training plan 12 weeks long is enough time to get in solid shape. That being said, a longer training build up is always best. The reason being is that it takes between 21 days to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to the hard training we do. So, a training plan that is 16 to 24 weeks is even better.

You will not be in a rush to get into great shape. Also, you will allot more time to adequately adapt to the hard training. I have training plans here that range from 8 to 24 weeks in length. Pace sustainment is one of the biggest challenges we face as runners. Of course, most of us can hold goal race pace for a portion of our races. It is a real challenge to handle it from start to finish of our races.

Can I Be Ready for a Half Marathon in 3 Months?

The world’s top runners run between 35 to 40 percent of their weekly mileage at their anaerobic threshold. So, they make it look easy for a reason. It is not simply because they are Kenyan or Ethiopian. It is because they are running more of their weekly mileage at faster paces. In addition, they are jogging on their recovery days.

We, here in America, get too caught up with how many miles or kilometers per week we run. What happens if you run too much of your mileage too slow? You will become a superior long, slow distance runner. Remember, the faster your goal times are the more that is going to be required out of you. So, 3 months is a descent time frame to prepare for a half-marathon.

As mentioned above, a build up of 16 to 24 weeks is event better. What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past training for your half marathon races? 3 miles? 5 miles? I would recommend lengthening that tempo run out to around 7 to 10 miles in length. Yes, it will take time. That being said, the longer you can spend training at your lactate threshold, the better.

Can I Run a Half Marathon if I Can Run 11 miles?

Absolutely. If you can run 11 miles prior to your goal race then you certainly can run an additional 2.1 miles. Remember, you will have competition to pull you along. Also, you will have tapered your mileage and intensity. So, you will go into your race refreshed and rested. I believe in doing a 10-day rather than a 3-week taper.

Also, all of my running courses and training plans have this strategy built into them. I see far too many runners dropping their mileage and intensity too soon. The result is they go into their races feeling lethargic and tired. You should never feel this way. So, continue to train hard up until 10 days before your goal half marathon.

10 days is plenty of time for the body to fully recover from the many months of training. You should always be working on your speed development even as a long distance runner. Again, the only way to get half marathon race pace to feel easier is by speed work.

So, you want to stress the energy systems of the body adequately. Again, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load being placed on it. So, be patient and the results will come. There are far too many runners who get too rushed. You have to believe in delayed gratification in this sport.

What is the Longest Distance You Should Run Before a Half Marathon?

I usually ran between 14 to 17 miles for my long runs training for half marathons. Of course, other runners may get superior results running between 10 to 12 miles for their long runs. I am a big believer in doing faster, varied paced long runs. There have been many RunDreamAchieve athletes who are getting legitimate results from this tactic. You can visit our testimonial page to read what they have to say.

I used this strategy to lower my half marathon best from 1:13 to 1:07:06. In addition, my marathon best from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. Of course, you should not run fast every single weekend. Remember, the real benefits of your hard training is going to come within the rest cycle. So, I recommend alternating a faster long run one weekend followed the next with an easy, relaxed long runs.

I also highly recommend you investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 myself. It helps me to stay at the proper intensities during my tempo runs and long runs. In addition, to ensure that I am running slow enough during my easy, recovery runs as well.

Is it OK to Run 2 Days Before a Half Marathon?

Yes, I usually ran 2 days before most of my half marathons as well. I normally would take the day off the day before or do a light jog of about 2 to 3 miles if I did run the day before. You might want to do 3 to 5, 100-meter strides 2 days before your marathon as a last minute reminder to your legs. Strides are too short to build up any large amounts of lactic acid.

So, you can do these short, 50 to 100-meter accelerations throughout your training cycle. Also, you can start these the first week of training that you do. Again, they are too short to cause fatigue. So, you can do these strides from the very first week that you start training for your half marathon. You will have spent several miles or kilometers at sprint paces over a 12 to 24 week block of training.

Closing Thoughts

How much time do you devote to mental training and rehearsal? I ask that because the vast majority of runners only focus on physical training. A half marathon training plan 12 weeks long or longer needs to focus on mental training. I credit mental training in helping me to break the 2:20 marathon barrier. Remember, our goals and aspirations have to start in the mind first.

So, start spending 10 to 15 minutes daily seeing yourself getting across the finish line with your goal time on the clock. Also, practice hydrating better in training. Nutrition plays a vital role in your success as a long distance runner. Unfortunately, many runners do not take in enough fluid and calories during their half marathons. So, do not make that same mistake. I would recommend dropping water bottles out every 3 miles or 5 kilometers during your long run route.

Watch your pacing too. I always recommend to my athletes to focus on a negative split. So, focus on running the second half of your half marathon races faster than you run the first half. Yes, a half marathon training plan 12 weeks is sufficient to get legitimate results. That being said, I strongly recommend investing in a 16 to 24 week plan. You will have more time to prepare. In addition, can fit in some other shorter races as tune-up efforts prior to your main race.

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