3 Day a Week Half Marathon Training Schedule

Many people would be shocked to know that you can train to run a half marathon by completing just three runs a week. This doesn’t seem like a lot of training and in fact, most 5K training schedules start this way. 

There are so many excuses that people use to stop them from training. The most common being that you don’t have enough time. We can wholeheartedly debunk that.

We have come up with the perfect training plan for your half marathon run. It is simple to follow and includes a mixture of different workouts.

Along with your running workout, it’s always a good idea to incorporate some weight training to keep your body strong. 

3 Day a Week Half Marathon Training Schedule

Is This Half Marathon Training Schedule Right For Me?

Our training schedule is focused mainly on getting you to that half marathon distance in just twelve weeks! How do we do this? Well, we encourage you to complete three types of runs each week. 

The three runs that you will need to complete include a tempo run, an interval run and of course, a long run. Including these three sessions into your training will equip you to run the best half marathon.

Our training plan is aimed at experienced runners. If you are a newbie, then start out with one of our shorter distance training schedules first. You can work your way up to this one!

If you’re unsure if you are considered an experienced runner, answer the following questions. Can you cover 15 miles a week? Can you run up to 8 miles in one run? If this sounds like you, it’s time for you to dive into our 3 day a week half marathon training schedule. 

Before You Start Our Half Marathon Training Schedule

First things first, you will want to run a 10K. Make sure that you are recording your running stats with a fitness tracker or smartphone app. When you have completed a 10K run, take a look at your pace. 

You will now want to base your interval and tempo run pace from your 10K run. The 10K pace can also help to estimate your target half marathon pace (THMP). For your long runs, you will want this figure to compare your actual pace to. 

The stats are important and they help to keep track of your training. You will be able to easily spot where and when you need to improve on your endurance. 

The Three Types of Running in This Training Schedule

As we have already briefly mentioned, there are three types of runs that you will be completing each week.

Before you dive into the training schedule, you will need to make yourself familiar with each run.

  1. Interval Run (IR)

Interval runs are a popular way to get in some high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is a great way to improve your cardiovascular performance. These runs consist of running repeat segments of a fixed distance and adding in a recovery period in between each interval. 

One of our interval runs has the following structure: 8 X 400m runs at 10K pace with a 90 second recovery period in between. These runs are best carried out on the track. However, you can do them pretty much anywhere if you don’t have access to a track. 

If you have access to a gym and don’t fancy stepping outside for this type of run, that is fine. These interval runs have been designed to be carried out on the treadmill too. In fact, having the visual of the treadmill will allow you to track your distance and pace much easier than on the track. 

Using a smartwatch or fitness tracker can also keep track of your pace during these runs. Some trackers have the option to set up intervals so they will gently vibrate when each interval is up. This is fantastic as it keeps you on track without having to constantly check your watch. 

  1. Long Run (LR)

Long runs are a vital part of your training schedule. These are the runs that will allow you to increase your mileage. There will be a mixture of these runs, some that feel comfortable and others where you will be pushing yourself. 

The runs that seem a little more challenging will help you hit your target half marathon pace. This is the pace that you estimated from your 10K run previously. 

As the weeks go on, the runs will build and build. This will keep your training interesting and help you progress at a steady pace. You don’t want to rush into any of these types of runs as you could risk injuring yourself. 

There is nothing worse than a running injury as they can take you all the way back to the start of your training. Take care and make sure that you complete each run before moving onto the next.

  1. Tempo Run (TR)

Tempo runs will help build your anaerobic endurance. This is essential for faster runs. For the majority of our tempo runs, you will carry out the following intervals:

  • Begin the run at a comfortable pace.
  • For tempo runs 3 miles or under, you should then run next at your 10K pace. It should feel like a challenge.
  • For tempo runs longer than 3 miles, you should run the interval at your 10K pace + 15 seconds. This will push your performance to its limits. Ultimately improving your endurance levels.

With all of our runs, it is important to make sure that you are properly warming up and cooling down. Never skip these steps as they are there to prevent injury and help you get the best out of your training session.

Other Training to Compliment Your Running Workouts

  • Crosstrainer

Using a crosstrainer on your days off from your training schedule is a great idea. Cross Training is a gentler way to give your body a workout. You can run one of your shorter runs on a crosstrainer and it will be very beneficial. 

  • Weight Training

You may wonder why weight training would help out with your running training plan. Well, incorporating weight training into your routine will help build your core strength. 

This will help you push yourself further even when you’re running the half marathon distance. Having upper body strength and a strong core are vital to becoming a top runner. 

  • Yoga

Yoga is a fantastic workout to fit in once or twice a week on your non-running days or after your run. It will help to relieve any tension in your muscles. It can also be a great way to stretch your calf muscles. 

As well as the obvious above benefits, yoga can also be used to help improve your breathing technique. Breathing correctly when running is so important. This is especially true when it comes to long distance running. 

If you decide to add more exercise into your routine, remember to take a rest day. It is highly recommended to take at least one day to fully recover your body. It helps to prevent injuries too so don't think that you’re slacking!

The 3 Day a Week Training Schedule for a Half Marathon

Week 1

Run 1: Tempo run (TR):  2 miles warm-up / 2 miles @ short tempo pace / 2 mile cooldown

Run 2: Interval run (IR):  10 minute warm-up/ 8 x 400m @ 10K pace with 90 second recovery (easy pace) in between/ 10 minute cooldown

Run 3: Long run (LR): 8 miles at easy, comfortable pace

Week 2

Run 1: TR: 2 miles easy pace for warm-up/ 2 miles @ short tempo pace/ 2 mile cooldown

Run 2: IR: 10 minute warm-up/ 5 x 800m @ 10K pace with 90 second recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown.

Run 3: LR: 9 miles at THMP (target half marathon pace) + 30 seconds/mile

Week 3

Run 1: TR: 2 miles easy pace for warm-up/ 2 miles @ short tempo pace/ 2 mile cooldown

Run 2: IR: 10 minute warm-up/ 4 x 800m @ 10K pace + 4 x 400m, all with 90 second recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown.

Run 3: LR: 10 miles at easy, comfortable pace

Week 4

Run 1: TR: 2 miles easy pace for warm-up/ 1 mile @ short tempo pace/ 1 mile easy/ 1 mile @ short tempo pace/ 1 mile cooldown

Run 2: IR: 10 minute warm-up/ 4 x 1200m @ 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown.

Run 3: LR: 11 miles at THMP + 30 seconds/mile

Week 5

Run 1: TR:  2 miles easy pace for warm-up/ 3 miles @ short tempo pace/ 1 mile cooldown

Run 2: IR: 10 minute warm-up/ 6 x 800m @ 10K pace, with 90s recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown.

Run 3: LR: 10 miles at easy, comfortable pace, then finish with 2 miles at THMP

Week 6

Run 1: TR:  2 miles easy pace for warm-up/ 3 miles @ short tempo pace/ 1 mile cooldown

Run 2: IR:  10 minute warm-up/ 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m @ 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown

Run 3: LR: 11 miles at THMP + 30 seconds/mile

Week 7

Run 1: TR:  1 mile easy pace for warm-up/ 4 miles @ long tempo pace/ 1 mile cooldown

Run 2: IR:  10 minute warm-up/ 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m @ 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown

Run 3: LR: 12 miles at THMP + 30 seconds/mile

Week 8

Run 1: TR:  1 mile easy pace for warm-up/ 3 miles @ short tempo pace/ 1 mile cooldown

Run 2: IR:  10 minute warm-up/ 3 x 1600m @ 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown

Run 3: LR: 13 miles at easy, comfortable pace

Week 9

Run 1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up/ 5 miles @ long tempo pace/ 5-minute cooldown

Run 2: IR: 10 minute warm-up/ 6 x 800m @ 10K pace, with 90s recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown.

Run 3: LR: 12 miles at THMP + 30 seconds/mile

Week 10

Run 1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up/ 4 miles @ long tempo pace/ 5-minute cooldown

Run 2: IR: 10 minute warm-up/ 200m/ 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m/ 200m @ 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown

Run 3: LR: 10 miles at easy, comfortable pace, then finish with 2 miles at THMP

Week 11

Run 1: TR: 1 mile easy pace for warm-up/ 4 miles @ long tempo pace/ 5-minute cooldown

Run 2: IR: 10 minute warm-up/ 4 x 1600m @ 10K pace, with 400m recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown

Run 3: LR: 6 miles at easy, comfortable pace

Week 12

Run 1: IR: 10 minute warm-up/ 6 x 400, with 400m recovery in between/ 10 minute cooldown

Run 2:  3 miles easy pace

Run 3: Race day!  13.1 miles @ THMP

Suzie

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