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12 WEEKS TO FITNESS: INTERMEDIATE HALF MARATHON TRAINING PLAN

Our easy-to-follow programme is guaranteed to have you ready to go the distance in under three months


We've teamed up with Brooks and expert PT Graeme Hilditch of GH Training to put together a 12-week training plan designed for regular runners looking to make the step-up to half marathon distance. 

 

Training should be challenging, but not so challenging that it drains you of every last ounce of energy. And above all training should be fun – so with that in mind we’ve kept technical jargon to a minimum, but in order to get the most out of the plan you will have to understand how to gauge your rate of perceived exertion, or RPE.

Rate of perceived exertion

One of the most common questions runners ask when training for an event is how fast they should be running each training session. The trouble is, how do you define “fast?” A fast pace for one person, may well be a slow pace for another. This is where RPE comes in handy as it lets people define their own pace by gauging how hard they feel they are working. Put simply, when applied to a training plan, RPE is a scale of exertion, in this case from 0 - 10.

 

RPE | Effort level

1         Sitting down chilling

2         Sunday stroll walk  

3         Brisk walk

4         Very gentle jog

5         Steady jogging pace

6         Tempo pace - quick jog

7         Quick but sustainable pace

8         Tough going

9         Running away from zombies

10       Usain Bolt pace

How to use the training plan

As frustrating as it is, life often has a habit of getting in the way of training. Working late, illness, social commitments and lunch with the in-laws can be difficult to balance with race preparation, but don’t panic; it’s something we all struggle with. And following these simple tips will help:

  • Avoid doing two high intensity runs (RPE of 6 or more) on consecutive days. ALWAYS leave at least 48 hours in between high intensity runs.
  • Feel free to swap training runs around. For example, if it’s more practical to train on a Tuesday than a Wednesday - or on a Thursday than a Friday that’s fine.
  • Avoid the temptation to run your long weekend runs too quick. Some people may be ok running at an RPE of 6, but the focus of these runs should be “time on your feet” rather than how fast you can run it.
  • Never run on an injury. Get it looked at and rest for a few days if necessary.
  • If you find your joints and muscles need a break from running, consider cross training - so cycling, swimming, cross training or rowing.
  • Always make sure you warm up well before a run (especially if it’s high intensity) and remember to stretch well 
  • If your body feels tired and your legs just aren't co-operating, take an extra day off and chill - rest is a vital part of training.
  • Smile and enjoy your training!

The Plan

Week 1

 

Monday: 20 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Jog 2-3 miles (RPE 4-5)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 4 min (RPE 4-5), run 3 min (RPE 6-7) (x 4)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 3-4 miles (RPE 5)


Week 2

 

Monday: 20 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Jog 2-3 miles (RPE 5)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 4 min (RPE 4-5), run 3 min (RPE 6-7) (x 5)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 4-5 miles (RPE 5)

Week 3

 

Monday: 20 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Jog 2-3 miles (RPE 5-6)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 3 min (RPE 4-5), run 4 min (RPE 6-7) (x 4)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 4-5 miles (RPE 5)

Week 4

 

Monday: 20 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Jog 4 miles (RPE 5-6)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 3 min (RPE 4-5), run 4 min (RPE 6-7) (x 4)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 5-6 miles (RPE 5)

Week 5

 

Monday: 30 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Jog 4 miles (RPE 6)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 3 min (RPE 4-5), run 4 min (RPE 6-7) (x 5)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 5-6 miles (RPE 5)

Week 6

 

Monday: 30 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Run 3-4 miles (RPE 6-7)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 3 min (RPE 4-5), run 4 min (RPE 6-7) (x 5)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 6-7 miles (RPE 5)

Week 7

 

Monday: 30 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Run 3-4 miles (RPE 6-7)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 3 min (RPE 4-5), run 4 min (RPE 6-7) (x 6)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 7-8 miles (RPE 5)

Week 8

 

Monday: 30 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Run 4-5 miles (RPE 6-7)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 2 min (RPE 4-5), run 3 min (RPE 7-8) (x 5)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 8-9 miles (RPE 5)

Week 9

 

Monday: 30 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Run 4-5 miles (RPE 6-7)

 

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 2 min (RPE 4-5), run 3 min (RPE 7-8) (x 6)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 10-11 miles (RPE 5)

Week 10

 

Monday: 30 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Run 5 miles (RPE 6-7)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 2 min (RPE 4-5), run 3 min (RPE 7-8) (x 8)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Jog 11-12 miles (RPE 5)

Week 11

 

Monday: 30 min light jog (RPE 4) or rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Run 5 miles (RPE 7)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 2 min (RPE 4-5), run 2 min (RPE 8) (x 10)

 

Saturday: Rest or 45 min quick walk

 

Sunday: Jog 6-7 miles (RPE 5)

Week 12

 

Monday: Rest

 

Tuesday: Rest

 

Wednesday: Jog 2-3 miles (RPE 4-5)

Thursday: Rest

 

Friday: Jog 2-3 miles (RPE 4-5)

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Race time!


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