If you would like to know how to train effectively, without accumulating unnecessary miles, choose a training plan.



7-Week Half Marathon Training Plan [FREE PDF]


This half marathon training plan is for runners who have run a half marathon but want to improve their time and only have 7 weeks until their goal race. In this article, you can also download a PDF 7 week half marathon training plan for FREE.

Before you start following the plan, it is recommended that you have already run at least one half marathon.

The training plan includes 7 weeks of training with 5 training sessions per week. For better clarity, it is divided into two parts:

  • 1-6 – Specific – intensive and specific workouts
  • 6-7 – Taper – lower-volume training before the race
7 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

Tip

Every runner is an individual for themself and each of us knows our body best. Therefore, adjust the training plan to your abilities. If you feel tired, rest that day. However, don’t let a lack of discipline and motivation stop you from sticking to the plan and achieving your goal.

Below is a 7-week half marathon training plan (in miles).

WEEKMONTUEWEDTHUFRISATSUN
WEEK 1RESTEASY RUN
4mi + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
 10 x 400m, P 1′
EASY RUN
5mi
RESTTEMPO RUN
3 x 1.2mi, P 3′
LONG RUN
 7mi
WEEK 2RESTEASY RUN
4mi + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
6 x 800m, P 2′
EASY RUN
5mi
RESTTEMPO RUN
2 x 2mi, P 3′
LONG RUN
 8mi
WEEK 3RESTEASY RUN
4mi + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
12 x 400m, P 1′  
EASY RUN
5mi
RESTTEMPO RUN
3mi
LONG RUN
10mi
WEEK 4RESTEASY RUN
4mi + 3 x 100m strides
FARTLEK 40′
10′ + 20′ (2′-1′) + 10′
EASY RUN
5mi
RESTEASY RUN
4mi
LONG RUN
 9mi
WEEK 5RESTEASY RUN
4mi + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
6 x 1000m, P 2′
EASY RUN
5mi
RESTTEMPO RUN
4mi
LONG RUN
 10mi
WEEK 6RESTEASY RUN
3mi + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
8 x 500m, P 1′
EASY RUN
4mi
RESTTEMPO RUN
2 x 2mi, P 3′
LONG RUN
 8mi
WEEK 7RESTEASY RUN
3mi
INTERVALS
4 x 1000m at race pace, P 2′
RESTRESTEASY RUN
3mi + 3 x 100m strides
RACE

Below is a 7-week half marathon training plan (in kilometers).

WEEKMONTUEWEDTHUFRISATSUN
WEEK 1RESTEASY RUN
6 km + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
 10 x 400m, P 1′
EASY RUN
8 km
RESTTEMPO
3 x 2 km, P 3′
LONG RUN
 12 km
WEEK 2RESTEASY RUN
6 km + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
6 x 800m, P 2′
EASY RUN
8 km
RESTTEMPO
2 x 3 km, P 3′
LONG RUN
 14 km
WEEK 3RESTEASY RUN
6 km + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
12 x 400m, P 1′  
EASY RUN
8 km
RESTTEMPO
5 km
LONG RUN
16 km
WEEK 4RESTEASY RUN
6 km + 3 x 100m strides
FARTLEK 40′
10′ + 20′ (2′-1′) + 10′
EASY RUN
8 km
RESTEASY RUN
6 km
LONG RUN
 14 km
WEEK 5RESTEASY RUN
6 km + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
6 x 1000m, P 2′
EASY RUN
8 km
RESTTEMPO
6 km
LONG RUN
 16 km
WEEK 6RESTEASY RUN
5 km + 3 x 100m strides
INTERVALS
8 x 500m, P 1′
EASY RUN
6 km
RESTTEMPO
2 x 3 km, P 3′
LONG RUN
 12 km
WEEK 7RESTEASY RUN
5 km
INTERVALS
4 x 1000m at race pace, P 2′
RESTRESTEASY RUN
5 km + 3 x 100m strides
RACE

Download FREE 7-week half marathon training plan

The structure of 7 weeks half marathon training plan

This 7-week half marathon training plan includes a combination of different types of training: easy run, fartlek, interval, tempo run, long run, and strength training.

EASY RUN

Goal: it serves as a warm-up before a particular workout, as a cooldown after training, or for recovery, as a separate workout

Warm-up: if you are doing an easy run as a separate workout, for warm-up do mobility exercises and dynamic stretches

Cooldown: if you are doing an easy run as a separate workout, for cool-down do static stretching exercises

Pace: run by feel at a light intensity, you should feel comfortable and relaxed while running

Tip

You can’t run too slow when you jog, just too fast. A common mistake runners make is running too fast on days when they should be doing low-intensity workouts.

FARTLEK

Goal: improves speed and endurance, makes it easier to overcome the changes in pace during the race

Warm-up: 10 minutes of light, continuous running, without stopping, moving on to the main part of training

Cooldown: 10 minutes of light jogging, static stretching exercises

Pace: run by feel, without tracking your pace. Listen to your body. The pace varies from slow running up to 70% of your maximum speed. Run fast sections at a faster but controlled pace, at about 70% of your maximum, and run slow sections at an easy pace to recover and prepare yourself for a faster section.

Example: FARTLEK  40′ = 10’ + 20′ (2′-1′) + 10′

  • 40′ – total duration of fartlek is 40 minutes
  • 10′ – 10 minutes of warm-up running at a light intensity
  • 20′ (2′-1′) – 20 minutes are the part in which you alternate between fast and slow sections, that is, 2 minutes of faster running followed by 1 minute of slower running
  • 10′ – 10 minutes of very light jogging (cooldown)

Read more: What is Fartlek? (12 Creative Fartlek Training Examples)

INTERVALS

Goal: improve endurance and speed endurance, running economy, the body’s ability to break down lactic acid (increase the lactate threshold), and develop a sense of pace

Warm-up: 10 minutes of light jogging, mobility exercises and dynamic stretches, running drills – 2 x 40m (ankling and high knees), 3x 60m strides

Cooldown: 10 minutes of light jogging, static stretching exercises

Pace: run the shorter intervals (400m, 500m) at a 5K race pace, and the longer intervals (800, 1000m) at a 10K race pace

Example: INTERVALS 6 x 800 m, P 2′

  • Warm up as directed. Rest. Then run a total of 6 intervals of 800m. After each interval, there is a break of 2 minutes of standing still. After you finish the main part of the workout, continue jogging (cool down according to the instructions).

TEMPO RUN

Goal: teaches your body to handle more lactic acid, improves endurance, improves running economy, delays tired legs, increases tolerance to discomfort, and helps control emotions when it becomes difficult

Warm-up: 2 miles of light jogging

Cooldown: 1 mile of light jogging

Pace: a pace at which you can run for about 60 minutes, between half-marathon pace and 10-mile run pace

Example: TEMPO RUN 2 x 2mi, P 3′

  • Warm up as directed. Rest. Then run a total of 2 intervals of 2 miles each. After each interval, there is a break of 3 minutes of standing still. After you finish the main part of the workout, continue jogging (cool down according to the instructions).

Example: TEMPO RUN 3mi

  • Warm up according to the instructions and, without stopping, move on to the main part of the workout, that is, 3 miles of running at the set pace. After the main part of the training has been done in continuity, do a cooldown according to the instructions.

LONG RUN

Goal: improves endurance, teaches the body to use fat as a fuel source, not glycogen or stored sugar, which results in a longer duration of glycogen stores and helps you avoid “hitting the wall”, builds your self-confidence and mental strength, enables you to test your equipment and try out refreshments to avoid possible inconveniences on race day

Warm-up: mobility exercises and dynamic stretches

Cooldown: static stretching exercises

Pace: conversational pace, a pace at which you feel comfortable and are able to talk

Read more: What is Considered a Long Run? (5 Long Run Examples)

STRIDES

Strides are gradual accelerations over distances between 60 and 100 meters. In this training plan, you will do them after light jogging or as a part of the warm-up before interval training.

Goal: developing speed and improving your running technique

Pace: they are performed at a pace that ranges from very light to 90% of your maximum speed

Read more: What Are Running Strides And How To Do Them?

STRENGTH TRAINING

In addition to running, add strength training. By strengthening the entire body, you will reduce your risk of injury, improve strength and stability, correct muscle imbalances, and therefore become faster.

Do strength training at least twice a week on days that suit you best.

Research has shown that it is optimal to do strength training 2 to 3 times a week in order to improve the running capabilities of more advanced middle- and long-distance runners.

During the last two weeks of training (weeks 6 and 7), avoid strength training so that you are rested before the start of the half marathon

See strength training with all exercises in the article Strength Training for Runners (Top 19 Workout Exercises).

REST DAY

For progress, in addition to diversity, rest is also important. Don’t neglect your rest days, no matter how good you feel.

Tip

Adequate recovery is just as important as training. More training does not mean faster progress but, on the contrary, a greater risk of injury and overtraining.

Is 7 weeks enough time to train for a half marathon?

Generally speaking, 7 weeks of training is enough to prepare for a half marathon for experienced runners, while it is not recommended for beginners. How long it takes to train for a half marathon depends on the runner’s current fitness level and running experience.

If you are a beginner, take more time for training, at least 10 weeks before the half marathon. Otherwise, you risk injury or overtraining, which will take you away from your goal.

Be patient, follow a training plan that is tailored to your goals and abilities, and you’ll be ready to tackle your half marathon in no time.

You can see my training plans here.

7-week half marathon training plan (PDF)


matea-matosevic-running

Matea Matošević

Hi, I’m Matea! I’m an Olympic Marathon Runner, founder, and writer behind OLYRUN.com. On this site, I provide help in the form of my knowledge and experience to all who love running and active living. Read more…