The Elite half marathon training plan is for experienced runners with a history of consistently running a minimum of 50-60miles/week. To complete this half marathon plan you require a high level of experience of interval, hill training as well as threshold/tempo training. You should be used to running 2-3 quality training sessions, have completed adequate aerobic base training including regular long runs.

Below the Elite half marathon plan is information about target paces, recovery periods and target heart rates for each session.

The Elite half marathon plan can be run as either an 8-week plan, or, 12-week plan if you complete the initial 4-week conditioning phase. However, the conditioning phase is recommended to get the most from the training plan.

Elite Half Marathon Training Plan: Phase 1 (Conditioning Phase)

Day Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Mon 40-50 mins easy 40-50mins easy REST DAY REST DAY
Tues *4 x (3km at LT, 2-3min jog rec) *5 x (2000m at 10k pace, 400m easy jog rec) + 4 x (150m at Mile/3k pace, 250m easy) *3 x (4k at LT, 3-4min jog rec) 50-60mins easy
Wed 40-50mins easy 45-55mins easy 50-60 mins easy *8 x (800m at 5k Pace, 200m easy jog rec) + 4 x (150m at Mile/3k pace, 250m easy)
Thur 60-70mins easy / steady 65-75mins easy / steady 70-80 mins easy/steady 25-30 mins easy / recovery
Fri **Hills – 6 x 1:45-2:00, or, 12 x 45-60secs REST DAY **Hills 7 x 1:45-2:00, or, 14 x 45-60secs 50-60mins easy
Sat REST DAY *2 x (10min LT, 2-3mins easy) + 5mins easy + 15min HM pace 40-50mins easy / recovery 70mins inc 2 x (20mins at HM pace, 5mins easy)
Sun Long run: 90-100 mins easy pace Long run: 100-110 mins easy pace Long run: 110-120 mins inc 15-20mins at HM pace Long run: 85-95 mins easy pace

HM pace = Half Marathon Pace. LT = Threshold pace.

*Track intervals, hills and threshold intervals include 10-15min warm up and a minimum of 5-10min cool down. See notes at bottom of page

**Hills: 1) 45-60s hills = 3k intensity, with jog down recovery. 2) 1:45-2:00 hills = 3k/5k intensity, with jog down recovery.

Elite Half Marathon Training Plan: Phase 2 (Main Training Phase Part A)

Day Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Mon REST DAY REST DAY REST DAY REST DAY
Tues 4K LT + 5mins easy + 5 x (800m 10k pace, 200m rec) + 5mins easy + 4k HM pace 50-60mins easy / steady 4K LT + 5mins easy + 6 x (800m 10k pace, 200m rec) + 5mins easy + 4k HM pace 50-60mins easy
Wed 50-60 mins easy 6 x (1200m at 5k pace, 300-400m rec) + 4 x (150m at Mile/3k pace, 250m easy) 50-60 mins easy 6 x (1000m at 3k pace, 600m rec) + 4 x (150m at Mile/3k pace, 250m easy)
Thur 70-80mins easy / steady 30-40 mins easy / recovery 75-85mins easy / steady 25-30mins easy / recovery
Fri Hills 8 x 1:45-2:00, or, 16 x 45-60secs 70-80mins easy / steady *20min tempo hills + 5mins easy + 15-20mins HM pace 50-60mins easy
Sat 40-45mins easy / recovery 2 x (12mins LT, 2-3mins easy) + 5mins easy + 20mins HM pace 40-45mins easy / recovery 75mins inc 1 x 25mins at HM pace + 5mins easy + 1 x 20mins at HM pace
Sun Long run: 110-120 mins inc 20-25mins at HM pace Long run: 100-110 mins easy Long run: 120-130 mins inc 25-30mins at HM pace Long run: 85-95 mins easy

*20min Tempo Hills +5mins easy +15-20min HMP (Half Marathon Pace). For Tempo hills run continuous hills of 30-60 second duration – uphills should be ~5k intensity, downhills are run at a steady intensity so the average pace/intensity of the combined uphill and downhill is equivalent to a tempo effort.

Elite Half Marathon Training Plan: Phase 3 (Main Training Phase Part B)

Day Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Mon REST DAY REST DAY REST DAY REST DAY
Tues 4km LT + 5mins easy + 5 x (1000m at 10k pace, 200m jog rec) + 5mins easy + 4km HM pace 50-60mins easy / steady 4km LT + 5mins easy + 6 x (1000m at 10k pace, 200m jog rec) + 5mins easy + 4km HM pace 6 x 800m at 5k pace, 400m jog rec
Wed 50-60 mins easy 4 x (1600m at 5k pace, 400m easy jog rec) + 4 x (150m at Mile/3k pace, 250m easy) 50-60 mins easy 40-50 mins easy
Thur 75-85 mins easy / steady 30-40 mins easy / recovery 60-70mins easy / steady 6 x 800m at HM pace, 200m jog rec
Fri 20min tempo hills + 5mins easy + 20mins HM pace 70-80 mins easy / steady Hills – 5-6 x 1:45-2:00, or, 10-12 x 45-60secs REST DAY
Sat 40-45mins easy / recovery 2 x (12mins LT, 2-3mins easy rec) + 5mins easy + 25mins HM pace 35-40mins easy /recovery 20-25 mins easy including 3-4 x 15sec strides
Sun Long run: 120-130 mins inc 30mins at HM pace Long run: 95-105 mins easy Long run: 80-90 mins easy with last 20mins at HM pace Race: Half Marathon

 

Elite Half Marathon plan pacing, recovery and warm up/cool down information:

  • 1) 10k pace intervals: The following pages provide information on: >> 10k pace running intervals and pace targets for >> 10k pace intervals and recoveries.
  • 2) 5k pace intervals: Run at around current 5k pace, recoveries should be easy enough to allow you to maintain the interval pace.
  • 3) 3k – mile intervals: use current 3k-mile race pace, or, alternatively use an online race pace calculator to estimate these. To maintain the quality of intervals, keep recoveries very easy.
  • 4) LT/Threshold Pace: aim for a pace that you could sustain for approximately 50-60minutes in a race. For most runners this is slightly slower than 10k pace, normally close 15-16k race pace.
  • 5) Tempo Pace: between 60min race pace and half marathon pace – ideally nearer to half marathon pace.
  • 6) HMP = Half Marathon Pace.
  • 7) Hills: 1) 45-60 sec hill efforts at around 3k intensity with jog down recovery between efforts. 2) 1:45-2:00 hills run at 3k/5k intensity with jog down recovery. Ideally the hills should be run on a gradient of approximately 4-6%. Include 4 x 10 accelerations before running the hills – run the accelerations up the hill you will be using for the hill reps. Include a good 15mins war up before hills and 5-10mins cool down.
  • 8) Tempo Hills: continuous hills of approximately 30-60sec duration. Uphills should be ~5k intensity, downhills are run at a steady intensity so the average pace/intensity of the combined uphill and downhill is equivalent to a tempo effort.
  • 9) Strides: gradually build the pace during the strides so that you are running at about 80-85% effort over the final 5seconds.
  • 10) Warm-up/cool-down for intervals and faster sessions: 15mins warm-up and 10-15mins cool down for all interval, and hill sessions. Include mobility and dynamic warm up exercises, drills and accelerations as part of the warm up.
  • 11) Steady pace: Approximately 75-80% HRmax
  • 12) Easy/Steady: Approximately 70-80% HRmax – if tired keep nearer to easy pace, if feeling well recovered then keep intensity nearer to steady.
  • 13) Easy: Approximately 70-75% HRmax
  • 14) Easy/Recovery: 65-75% HRmax
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