8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan: Your Friendly Guide to Success 2024

Ready to conquer a half marathon in just eight weeks? Our 8 week half marathon training plan makes it possible! We understand that training for a half marathon can be overwhelming, but our easy-to-follow plan gradually increases your mileage, allowing your body to adjust and build endurance at your own pace.

We’ve also included tips and strategies to help you stay motivated and injury-free. Join us on this exciting journey to become a confident and proud half marathon runner!

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05/15/2024 08:28 am GMT

8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan & 6 Running Tips

Our 8 week half marathon training plan has been carefully crafted to ensure you achieve your goal of running a half marathon in a safe and efficient way.

This plan is based on four key principles: a balanced training schedule, gradual increase in weekly mileage, a combination of long runs and mid-week runs, and a focus on endurance building.

Below is our 8 week half marathon training plan:

8 week marathon training plan sheet

Stay committed, stay motivated, and most importantly, enjoy the journey to completing your first half marathon!

Establishing Your Fitness Level

8 week half marathon training plan Crowd Running
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When starting an 8 week half marathon training plan, it’s essential to know your current fitness level to create a customized training schedule that suits your running skills.

Beginner Runners

If you’re new to running or haven’t run a long-distance race before, you’ll most likely fall into the beginner category. As a beginner, it’s crucial to start slow and build up your base mileage. Aim to increase your mileage volume by no more than 10 percent per week.

You can begin with shorter races like 5K or 10K to prepare both physically and mentally for your first half marathon. Focus on getting the right running shoes and incorporating strength training to help improve your endurance and prevent injuries.

Intermediate Runners

Intermediate runners have some experience with running and longer races, but may not yet have tackled a half marathon. You should already have a training base of about 15 miles per week and be able to run comfortably up to 6 miles at a time.

At this level, our 8 week half marathon training plan will include speed workouts to help you get used to race pace, as well as longer, slow-paced runs to build endurance. Additionally, make sure to include cross-training activities, such as cycling or swimming, to boost your overall fitness and strength.

Advanced Runners

Advanced runners have extensive running experience and may have already completed multiple half marathons or even full marathons. At this level, the focus should be on refining your technique and further building your strength and endurance.

Continue to incorporate speed workouts and long runs into your training plan, but also consider adding hill training and tempo runs to challenge your body and improve your race performance.

Key Workouts and Techniques

8 week half marathon training plan Finish
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If you’re gearing up for an 8 week half marathon training plan, we’ve got you covered with essential workouts and techniques designed to get you race-ready. From long runs to tempo runs, speed work to cross-training, we’ll walk you through the best practices for each workout.

  1. 🏃‍♂️ Long Run
  2. 🏃‍♀️ Tempo Runs
  3. 💨 Speed Work
  4. 🤸‍♀️ Cross-Training
  5. 💪 Strength Training
  6. 🙆‍♀️ Stretching and Foam Rolling

1. 🏃‍♂️ Long Run

During our training, we should aim to incorporate weekly long runs into our schedule. These gradual increases in distance help us build essential endurance, especially for tackling a 13.1-mile race. Keep a comfortable pace and don’t worry about speed during these sessions.

2. 🏃‍♀️ Tempo Runs

Tempo runs are another key workout for our half marathon training. They involve maintaining a consistent, moderately fast pace over a specified distance or time. Including tempo runs helps us improve our stamina and speed, preparing us for race day.

3. 💨 Speed Work

To increase our ability to hold a faster pace during the race, we’ll incorporate some speed work into our training plan. This may include interval training, hill repeats, or fartlek workouts. These high-intensity sessions challenge our bodies to adapt, helping us improve our overall speed and performance.

4. 🤸‍♀️ Cross-Training

During the 8-week plan, we’ll also take part in cross-training activities. These can include swimming, cycling, or bodyweight exercises. Cross-training offers a well-rounded workout routine, promoting muscle balance and reducing the risk of injury from constant running.

5. 💪 Strength Training

We mustn’t forget strength training as an essential part of our half marathon preparation. Incorporating weightlifting or bodyweight exercises into our routine will help us build muscle, increase power, and enhance overall running efficiency.

6. 🙆‍♀️ Stretching and Foam Rolling

Finally, to keep our muscles and tissues flexible, we must include stretching and foam rolling in our regimen. Incorporating dynamic stretches before our workouts and static stretches afterward is crucial for injury prevention. Foam rolling helps release muscle tightness, promoting better blood flow and faster recovery times.

Recovery and Rest Days

After an intense run or workout, we all need some time to bounce back to our full strength. In our 8 week half marathon training plan, recovery and rest days play a crucial role in helping us achieve optimal performance.

8 Week half marathon training plan table about recovery and rest days

Understanding Pace and Mileage

👉 Race pace and goal race pace are different, with race pace being the speed you can maintain throughout the half marathon and goal race pace being the pace you aim to maintain to achieve a specific time goal.

👉 Conversational pace is a pace that allows you to maintain a conversation without gasping for air, ideal for easy runs and training sessions.

👉 Mileage is crucial for building aerobic endurance and muscular strength, with runs of varying distances gradually increasing as you get closer to the race date.

👉 Most runs will fall within the 4 to 10-mile range, with the longest run typically around 10 miles to prepare for the 13.1 miles on race day.

Nutrition and Hydration

Dennis Heinrich after Mallorca Marathon 10.2023 Bild1

Dennis Quick tips:

– Ensure a steady intake of complex carbs and protein throughout your training.
– Hydrate consistently and not just during your runs.


We know how crucial nutrition and hydration are in achieving success in your 8 week half marathon training plan. Tips to keep you fueled and hydrated throughout your training journey:

8 week half marathon training plan table about nutrition and hydration

Don’t forget about electrolytes, which help in regulating muscle function and maintaining fluid balance. You can replenish electrolytes through sports drinks, gels, or even natural sources like bananas.

Injury Prevention and Overtraining

8 week half marathon training plan Injury
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👉 Listen to your body and take a step back if you experience pain or discomfort.

👉 Incorporate cross-training activities like swimming, cycling, or walking to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries.

👉 Wear properly-fitted running shoes that offer the right support and cushioning.

👉 Make stretching and mobility exercises a priority to maintain flexibility and reduce muscle tightness.

Choosing the Right Equipment

As you embark on your 8 week half marathon training plan, it’s crucial to choose the right equipment to ensure a successful and enjoyable journey. In this section, we will discuss the importance of selecting the perfect running shoes and preparing for different training conditions.

Running Shoes

8 week half marathon training plan Running Shoes
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The foundation of any successful half marathon training is a pair of high-quality running shoes. Since you’ll be running on various surfaces such as roads and trails, it’s essential to find shoes that provide ample support, cushioning, and grip to keep your feet comfortable and safe.

When selecting running shoes, consider the following factors:

  • Foot type: Determine your foot type (neutral, overpronation, or underpronation) to find the most suitable shoe for you.
  • Fit: Ensure your shoes fit comfortably without being too tight or too loose. There should be about a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
  • Road vs Trail: If your training will primarily be on paved surfaces, opt for road-specific shoes that provide the ideal balance of support and cushioning. Conversely, if you plan on training on trails, choose shoes with sturdier construction and enhanced grip for uneven terrain.

Training in Different Conditions

Part of a successful 8 week half marathon training plan involves adapting to diverse weather conditions and environments. Whether you’re training outside or indoors, it’s important to be prepared for varying circumstances:

  • Weather: Anticipate fluctuating temperatures and potential precipitation, and dress appropriately with moisture-wicking, breathable layers.
  • Sun protection: When training outdoors, always wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
  • Hydration: Regardless of the conditions, stay well-hydrated by carrying a water bottle or hydration pack during long runs.

Sebastian´s Option:

“Choosing the right equipment and being prepared for different conditions are essential aspects of a successful 8 week half marathon training plan.”

Sebastian Gradl after Running a Charity Run 09.2023

Tips for Race Day

As we approach the end of our 8 week half marathon training plan, it’s important to share a few helpful tips that will ensure a smooth race day. We’ve compiled some advice below that will help you make the most of your half marathon experience and achieve your goals.

8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan Table about tips for race day

Extra Training Options

We all know that an 8 week half marathon training plan can be challenging and incorporating additional workouts can greatly benefit your overall performance.

🏊‍♂️ Swimming

Swimming is a fantastic low-impact workout that complements your running sessions. It’s a full-body exercise that increases lung capacity, improves cardiovascular health, and helps with muscle recovery. Start with shorter distances and focus on improving your technique. As your stamina increases, gradually up your swim distance.

🚴‍♂️ Cycling

Cycling is another excellent option to include in your training plan. It provides an opportunity to cross-train and offers a break for your joints while still building leg muscles and cardiovascular endurance. Set a reasonable goal for your cycling sessions, such as a 30-minute ride or a specific distance to cover.

🧘‍♀️ Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are great choices for improving flexibility, balance, and core strength, which are essential for successful long-distance running. Both practices focus on breath control and body awareness, helping you maintain proper running form and prevent injuries.

Our Tips on the 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

Our 8 week half marathon training plan is designed to get you prepared and ready for race day in just two short months.

It’s essential to be consistent with your workouts. Our plan includes four days of running, two days of cross-training, and one day of rest each week. As you progress through the plan, make sure to adhere to this schedule as closely as possible to maximize your results. 

Next up, ensure you’re including proper cross-training activities that complement your running workouts. We suggest activities like swimming, cycling, or yoga to help improve cardiovascular fitness, increase flexibility, and build overall strength. Keep in mind, though, that rest is just as important as training, and dedicating one full day each week to recover will allow your muscles to repair and grow stronger.

As you approach the halfway mark of your 8 week half marathon training plan, you should start to notice significant improvements in your overall strength and endurance.

FAQ

What is an 8 week half marathon training plan?

It is a structured program designed to prepare runners for a half marathon in 8 weeks. 

What should be included in an 8 week half marathon training plan?

It should include a mix of running, strength training, rest days, and cross-training activities. 

How should a beginner approach an 8 week half marathon training plan?

Beginners should start with a base of running 3-4 times a week and gradually increase mileage, incorporating rest days and cross-training to prevent injury.

What is your option on the 8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan? I would love to hear it in the comments. I’m sure you also like reading our Marathon Checklist or Can You Run a Marathon Without Training.

Sebastian Gradl 26.09.2023
Sebastian Gradl

Nice to meet you, I´m Sebastian Gradl!

I write the articles on runfitjourney.com.

I hope I can awaken your passion for running too and would be happy to take you on the runfitjourney!

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