Half marathon training advice


Prominent Member
May 30, 2004
Reaction score
Hi all,

I was going to post this on Runners World forums,but it wouldn't let me post a new thread as a new user so I was pleased to find this section on the ever helpful AVForums!

I'm considering signing up for the Cardiff Half Marathon in October, but before I do, I'd like to ask a bit of advice.

By way of background, I've not long ago finished C25K, and have a few 5K runs done and recently did a 6K, which felt OK, like I could run a bit further if I pushed myself. My average pace is about 6:20 per Km, but I have done 5K at 5:54 per Km. I tried a 'tempo run' today, and 3.3K at 5:10 per Km.

So, first question, from here is 14 weeks long enough to train up to a half marathon?

The second questions, assuming that the above is OK, are really about technique for training for a half marathon. I've had a look around, and there are a few different training programs for half marathon training, but they're all slightly shorter time periods, or require more frequent runs than I feel comfortable with. Having done C25K, I know my body needs those 4 days off a week to recover, and I tend to take the dog for a 5K ish walk on those days off.

I've devised my own program, and would like some views on this:

Running Plan.jpg

My fast pace would be about 5:15 per Km and my slower pace about 6:00 per Km, which would also be my target race pace. I've tailed it off toward the end as that seems to be the done thing, in the weeks before the run.

I'm not bothered by my time really, I'm more bothered about actually completing it, but under 2:15:00 I'd be happy.

Does that seem like a reasonable training regime? Should I also be increasing my shorter runs, as well as my longer runs, as time goes on and my long runs get longer? Have I got my increments in distance about right?

And final question, about running for charity. I'd like to run and raise money for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation (I'm a doctor and lung cancer is my main area of interest), but I don't know whether running for charity puts extra pressure on, or makes it harder for my first half. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks all!

The plan does not seem unreasonable, and if you can run 5k then you can run a half so do not worry about not completing it. Do you run with a heart rate monitor or on feel alone? If you do use a heart rate monitor then make sure you stick to the right zones for each run.
How do your legs feel after the fast sessions? Are they sore for a few days or OK? How have they felt on the longer runs you have done?
The general advice is to taper before race day but maybe only the last week (and then you tend to run shorter runs but increase the intensity a bit to keep you sharp). However, that is more for people racing hard for a certain time etc.
Why only 7k on the long run part way through the program?
One thing to remember is not to be a slave to the program and do listen to your body and adjust as required. As you up the distance, if your body does not react well then do not continue to increase it. You could also consider double run days, so do 2 shorter runs in the same day instead of one long one. Also look to increase the second slow run distance instead of increasing the longer one.
For the 'fast' session maybe consider an interval set instead of a constant fast pace for the entire run.
I have never been interested in running for charity since I do it for enjoyment so seems weird to ask people to pay me money to do something I am doing for my own fun. Out loud it sounds a bit weird but it is how my head works.
Hi, thanks for the reply!

I've run to comfort rather than a heart rate monitor, and generally felt fine the next day. I've only done the one fast session so far, but only minimal soreness in the legs the next day.

Thanks for the advice, I'll see how I get on! I think the charity thing is really because people are happy to pay to charity for something like this, so why not? If I enjoy it that's a bonus :)

The drop to 7k was only because I read somewhere that the long run should drop back a bit every 3-4 weeks to allow some recovery.

The latest video from AVForums

StormAudio ISR Fusion 20 AV Receiver - review coming soon #HomeCinema #Amplifier #VideoShort
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Top Bottom