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Run-Walk Half Marathon Training Plans

Jenny Hadfield /
Photo by Tim Tadder


Want a foolproof recipe for half marathon success? Mix running with walking! A run-walk plan can be used for a number of purposes. If you’re currently walking and want a little extra challenge, if you want to ease your body into long distance running or if you simply want to run longer and recover faster, this method is the perfect way to reach your dreams.

We’ve included two different half marathon plans, for you to choose from based on your current fitness level and personal goals. The first program (walk-run) is best for walkers who want to try running to improve fitness and muscle tone. The walk-run intervals in this plan remain consistent throughout (one minute of running and three minutes of walking) up until the race. The second program (run-walk) is for women who currently run-walk or who run shorter distances. Run-walk workouts are running-focused and intervals vary to help improve performance and speed.

Are You Ready?

Before you get started, look at “Week 1” of the plan you would like to follow. Does your current workout regimen match that first week? If you are not quite there yet, don’t sweat it. Simply invest in a four to six week build up base to get ready to start half marathon training. Jumping in before you’re ready increases your chances of injury and fatigue. Why risk it?

A” for Effort

If you are all set to go, it’s time to get in touch with your perceived effort levels. This plan will ask you perform easy workouts, moderate workouts and hard workouts—and sometimes you’ll combine all three into one session. When we say “easy,” we mean it. This is an effort level where you feel great and can talk fluidly without stopping for air. A “moderate” effort level is slightly more challenging. You can hear your breathing, but you’re not gasping. A “hard” effort level is tough! When you’re in this zone, you can’t talk, your breathing is rapid and your body feels uncomfortable.

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Jenny Hadfield is the co-author of Running for Mortals and Marathoning for Mortals. You can find more of her training programs, tips and running classes on coachjenny.com.

Workout Guidelines

For every single workout, make time for a warm up and cool down with three to five minutes of brisk walking. “Walk-Run 3/1” means: “walk three minutes, run three minutes and repeat until finished.” Similarly, “Run-Walk 4/1” indicates: run four minutes, walk one minute and repeat until finished.

Easy Effort Workouts (EZ): Train at an easy, conversational effort level for the length of time indicated.

Endurance Workouts (E): Perform these long run-walks at an easy effort level. While your pace will be easy, the workout is more difficult due to its length.

Race Rehearsal Workouts (RR): This challenging workout is your chance to practice race-day pacing on a smaller scale. The first third of the workout at an easy effort, the second at a moderate effort and the third at a hard effort. (If the workout is 60 minutes, the first 20 should be comfortable, the second 20 minutes will be less comfortable and the final 20 minutes will be outside your comfort zone). You will stick with the same run-walk intervals throughout the workout, but your overall pace will change. Walk-runners should concentrate on pushing harder during the walk portion, keeping the run at a steady pace. Run-walkers should push the running pace, keeping the walk at a steady pace.

Speed Intervals (SI; Walk-Run): Warm up with five full minutes of brisk walking. Perform 16 minutes of Walk-Run 1/3 at an easy effort to warm up further. Repeat the italicized pattern six times: Run 30 seconds at a moderate pace, walk one minute at an easy pace to recover, then walk two minutes at a brisk pace. Finish with five minutes of easy walking to cool down.

Speed Intervals (SI; Run-Walk): Warm up with five minutes of brisk walking. Perform 15 minutes of Run-Walk 4/3 at an easy effort level to warm up further. Repeat the italicized pattern five times: Run two minutes at a moderate pace, walk one minute at an easy pace to recover, then walk two minutes at a brisk pace. Finish with five minutes of easy walking to cool down.

Cross Training (XT): Non-running activities, such as cycling, swimming, strength training and Pilates, are low-impact ways to increase fitness without putting stress on taxed muscles.

Rest: On days labeled “Rest,” don’t do anything active. This is your body’s much-needed chance to recover.

Walk/Run Half Marathon Training Progam

Click here for a pdf version of the plan

*Read the Workout Guidelines Tab for the key to the training plan.

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
Week 1 Walk-Run 3/1 40 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk-Run 3/1 44 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk (no Run) 45 min EZ Walk-Run 3/1 4 miles E Rest
Week 2 Walk-Run 3/1 40 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk-Run 3/1 44 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk 45 min EZ Walk-Run 3/1 5 miles E Rest
Week 3 Walk-Run 3/1 40 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk-Run 3/1 44 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk
45 min EZ
Walk-Run 3/1 5 miles E Rest
Week 4 Walk-Run 3/1 44 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk-Run 3/1 48 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk
45 min EZ
Walk-Run 3/1 6 miles E Rest
Week 5 Walk-Run 3/1 44 min EZ XT 30-40 min. SI (W-R) XT 30-40 min.  Rest Walk-Run 3/1 5 miles E Rest
Week 6 Walk-Run 3/1 48 min RR XT 40-60 min. Walk-Run 3/1 48 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk
45 min EZ
Walk-Run 3/1 7 miles E Rest
Week 7 Walk-Run 3/1 48 min EZ XT 40-60 min. SI (W-R) XT 40-60 min. Walk
45 min EZ
Walk-Run 3/1 8 miles E Rest
Week 8 Walk-Run 3/1 48 min RR XT 30-40 min. Walk-Run 3/1 48 min EZ XT 30-40 min. Walk
45 min EZ
Walk-Run 3/1 6 miles E Rest
Week 9 Walk-Run 3/1 48 min EZ XT 40-60 min. SI (W-R) XT 40-60 min. Walk
45 min EZ
Walk-Run 3/1 10 miles E Rest
Week 10 Walk-Run 3/1 44 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk-Run 3/1 48 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Walk
45 min EZ
Walk-Run 3/1 8 miles E Rest
Week 11 Walk-Run 3/1 48 min EZ XT 40 min. Walk-Run 3/1 48 min EZ XT 40 min. Walk
45 min EZ
Walk-Run 3/1 6 miles E Rest
Week 12 Walk-Run 3/1 40 min EZ Rest Walk-Run 3/1 36 min EZ Rest Walk
40 min EZ
Rest RACE!
Walk-Run 3/1

Get more amazing training plans by subscribing to Women’s Running Magazine today!

Run/Walk Half Marathon Training Progam

Click here for a pdf version of the plan

*Read the Workout Guidelines Tab for the key to the training plan.

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
Week 1 Run-Walk 4/1 45 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 5/1 48 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 4 miles E Rest
Week 2 Run-Walk 4/1 45 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 5/1 48 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 5 miles E Rest
Week 3 Run-Walk 4/1 45 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 5/1 48 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 5 miles E Rest
Week 4 Run-Walk 4/1 50 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 5/1 54 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 6 miles E Rest
Week 5 Run-Walk 4/1 50 min EZ XT 30-40 min. SI (R-W) XT 30-40 min.  Rest Run-Walk 9/1 5 miles E Rest
Week 6 Run-Walk 4/1 60 min RR XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 5/1 54 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 7 miles E Rest
Week 7 Run-Walk 4/1 60 min EZ XT 40-60 min. SI (R-W) XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 8 miles E Rest
Week 8 Run-Walk 4/1 60 min RR XT 30-40 min. Run-Walk 5/1 54 min EZ XT 30-40 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 6 miles E Rest
Week 9 Run-Walk 4/1 60 min EZ XT 40-60 min. SI (R-W) XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 10 miles E Rest
Week 10 Run-Walk 4/1 50 min EZ XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 60 min RR XT 40-60 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 8 miles E Rest
Week 11 Run-Walk 4/1 50 min EZ XT 40 min. Run-Walk 4/1 60 min RR XT 40 min. Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Run-Walk 9/1 6 miles E Rest
Week 12 Run-Walk 4/1 40 min EZ Rest Run-Walk 5/1 36 min EZ Rest Run-Walk 4/1 35 min EZ Rest RACE! Run-Walk 9/1

Get more amazing training plans by subscribing to Women’s Running Magazine today!

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