14 WEEK HALF MARATHON TRAINING PLAN
There are many reasons the half marathon distance is just right when it comes to running. Racing and training 13.1 miles is not easy, it takes time, determination and a level of commitment to consistent training, but load doesn’t seem like a part-time side gig!
A half marathon preparation is a great way to keep structure in your activity levels with the benefit of a bold end 13.1 mile goal.
For runners with the ultimate goal of a marathon, a half marathon is a natural step up in distance to start to build core endurance and speed, alongside leg strength and the chance practice fueling for the next step on the path to a full marathon.
TRAIN SMART FOR A HALF MARATHON
A good half marathon training plan will combine three essential elements: speed, endurance and recovery to get you ready. Knowing how to distribute these three types over a seven-day week for the optimal benefit from each, is the key to maximizing your performance on race day.
When it comes to approaching a training plan for a half marathon, it takes so much more than just running to become a better runner. A smarter runner will be a better runner and a good half marathon training plan will not only improve your running, it should also make you a smarter athlete which will stand you in good stead for the running decades ahead.
NIKE’S 14 WEEK HALF MARATHON TRAINING PLAN
Nike has created a comprehensive 14 week half marathon training plan covering the three types of workouts above, plus the all-important rest days, which together will get the fittest, strongest and fastest version of you to the finish line.
This comprehensive half marathon plan breaks down each of the 14 weeks into a structured schedule. Whle this is not uncommon amongst training plas, where this half marathon plan stands out amongst others is it appreciates and takes into consideration that everyone’s training journey is different.
It poses (and importantly answers) the questions, what if your schedule does not match the training schedule, what if you don’t know how to figure out your pace? What if you’re tired? And importantly, what if one week you find yourself lacking in motivation?
The coaches at Nike also advise how to adjust the program if you need to and what you should do if you’re hurt.
HALF MARATHON TRAINING STARTS WHEN YOU START
Already passed the 14 week deadline to start training? Oops. We've all been there.
The training plan is built to be inherently flexible to an athlete's needs and you can jump in at any week whenever it suits you. However, it is recommended that you plan on training for at least 6 weeks before race day and can comfortably complete the programmed workouts for the week you chose to start.
HALF MARATHON TRAINING: ACTIVITY TYPES
The four types of activity levels in the half marathon training run are speed runs, long runs, recovery runs and importantly rest days. Never dismiss a rest day, those are the days you absorb the hard work from the rest of the week.
SPEED RUNS: Building strength through speed training is important as you prepare. Throughout this plan you’ll be introduced to a variety of speed workouts and drills that will make you faster. You’ll get to do short and long intervals, fartlek, hill workouts and tempo runs
LONG RUNS: You need endurance training to help prepare your body and mind to go the distance on race day. You will work on endurance and pacing with weekly Long Runs. It also helps you get familiar with the physical and mental challenges that you might face during a race. This run should be run at a comfortable pace, and as a Progression Run
RECOVERY RUNS: Recovering from your workout days is just as important as the workouts themselves. Use these days to run easy and based on how you feel to help you recover at the highest quality possible after intense training. Each week of training includes two recovery runs. Remember, these are just as important as your hard workouts!
REST DAYS: Great running is dependent on respecting rest and recovery. These days are meant for you to recharge and recover.
HALF MARATHON TRAINING: PACING
Over the course of the three activity types, you will have to maintain different paces and efforts during the training program.
The Nike coaches have divided run paces into 6 speeds that are referenced throughout the training program.
BEST PACE (?? OUT OF 10 EFFORT)
This is the pace that makes you feel like you are at your best. Sometimes this may mean your fastest and sometimes this will mean running easier. The pace and effort you run will be your choice.
MILE PACE (9 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)
This is the pace you could race or run hard for one mile.
5K PACE (7-8 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)
This is the pace you could race or run hard for about 3 miles.
10K PACE (6-7 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)
This is the pace you could race or run hard for about 6 miles.
TEMPO PACE (6 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)
Teaching your body to be comfortable being uncomfortable by maintaining a hard pace and effort that is close to 30-35 seconds slower than your 5K pace.
VERY PACE (4-5 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)
A pace easy enough that you can talk, laugh or argue freely while running.
Are you ready to get started? Download the 14 week half marathon training plan and lace up.
BEST SHOES FOR HALF MARATHON TRAINING
When it comes to the best running shoes for a fourteen week training journey, some of our favorites are the Nike React Infinity Run for those needing a little support for the road ahead, the On Cloudswift with just enough cushioning to keep everyone happy and the Hoka Rincon, as a super-light weight shoe for those who want to feel as fast as the athlete they aspire to be on race day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MELANIE MITCHELL
Melanie Mitchell is a triathlete with a gear problem. Having raced for more years than she cares to mention, she’s run in most shoe types at some point or another. Originally from England, she started running in the rain and now runs in the Colorado sun.
As JackRabbit’s resident tri-geek, her goal is to keep racing long enough to qualify for Ironman World Championships in her 70s through sheer determination over talent. As a freckled ginger, she’s also holding out for sponsorship from a sunscreen brand at any moment.
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