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2 Charity Half Marathon Training Plans!

Christine Luff /


Are you looking to add meaning to your 13.1 miles? You’re in good company! Charity running has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade, attracting both newbies and seasoned runners who want to dedicate their race to a good cause.

Training for a half marathon while simultaneously raising money may seem like a daunting challenge, but we’ve got two training plans to help you nail the running part—and plenty of tips to get you to your fundraising goal. Our beginner program is best suited for first-time half marathoners who are currently running at least three days a week. The intermediate program is for runners who are running at least four times per week and can complete 6 miles without stopping. Keep in mind the charity you choose may offer weekly training runs with other team members. Feel free to plug these workouts into either schedule where appropriate, and get ready to sweat for a reason!

Training Guidelines

Easy Runs (ER) Perform these runs at a comfortable, conversational pace. If you find yourself huffing and puffing, slow down.

Long Runs (LR) Run your long distance at about 60 to 90 seconds slower per mile than your goal half marathon pace, i.e., at an easy, conversational pace.

Tempo Runs (TR) Tempo runs should be done at a moderate pace (about 10 seconds slower per mile than your 10K race pace) that feels comfortable but challenging. Perform a 1-mile warm-up and 1-mile cool-down before and after this workout.

Hill Repeats (HR) Find a medium-grade hill and run at a relatively quick pace (your 5K race effort) for the indicated time interval. Recover at an easy pace on the downhill.

Half-Marathon Goal Pace (GP) Complete this workout at your goal half-marathon pace to improve your fitness and to practice pacing for the big day.

Strength Train (ST) Perform 20 to 25 minutes of strength exercises, with an emphasis on core and lower body. You can do body-weight exercises such as squats and pushups, use machines at the gym or attend a short yoga or body-sculpt class.

Fundrai$ing Advice

Nervous about meeting your fundraising goal? Don’t stress! You’ll get there if you follow these tips for success. 

Start early. The sooner you begin raising money, the more you’ll raise and the less pressure you’ll feel, so you can focus on your training.

Create a fundraising website. Most charities offer a way for you to publicize your efforts and collect donations online. Take advantage of it. People are more likely to donate if there’s a web-based process.

Just ask. It’s easy to forget that the best way to raise funds is simply to ask your friends and family.

Facebook is your friend! Don’t neglect social media—it’s a highly effective platform for spreading the word to your personal network.

Share the “why.” Explain to potential donors why the cause is meaningful to you. Even if you don’t have a personal connection to the cause, share why you chose this charity and how money raised will make a difference.

Look for matching opportunities. Ask the company you work for to match what you raise. This is a common practice in large organizations.

Hold a fundraising event. Host a trivia night or happy hour at a bar or restaurant. Charge pay-what-you-wish admission and ask the restaurant to donate a percentage of the proceeds.

Beginner Half-Marathon Training Program

Click here for the pdf version.

Intermediate Half-Marathon Training Program

Click here for the pdf version.