This 12 week schedule is perfect for a beginner runner and a first-time half-marathoner whose goal is simply to finish the 13.1-mile race. To start this plan, you should have been running for at least two months and should have a base mileage of about 8-10 miles per week. If you haven't already had a physical, visit your doctor for a check-up to get the OK to train for a Half Marathon.

Notes about the program:

  • Mondays: Most Mondays are rest days. Rest is critical to your recovery as well as injury prevention, so don't ignore rest days.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: on these days run at a moderate pace (slightly faster than your long run pace) for the designated mileage. Warm up and stretch before each run and Cool down and stretch after your run.
  • Wednesdays: Some Wednesdays are designated rest days. Others are cross-training (CT) days, when you should do another activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer, etc.) at easy-to-moderate effort for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Fridays: Do another activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer, etc.) at easy-to-moderate effort for 30 to 45 minutes. If you're feeling very sluggish or sore on Friday, take a rest day. It's important that you're feeling strong for your Saturday long run.
  • Saturdays: This is the day for your long slow distance run. Run the designated mileage at an easy, conversational pace. Use your breathing as your guide. You should be able to breathe easily and talk in complete sentences comfortably during your run.
  • Sundays: This is an active recovery day. Your short run should be at a very easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles.

You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So if you're busy on another day and prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day.

Week 1

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 2 miles

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 2.5 miles

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 3 miles

Sunday - 2 miles easy

Total mileage - 9.5 miles

Week 2

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 2 miles

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 3 miles

Friday - Cross training / rest

Saturday - 4 miles

Sunday - 2.5 miles easy

Total mileage - 11.5 miles

Week 3

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 3 miles

Wednesday - Cross training

Thursday - 4 miles

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 5 miles

Sunday - 2 miles easy

Total mileage - 14 miles

Week 4

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 3 miles

Wednesday - Cross training

Thursday - 4 miles

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 6 miles

Sunday - 3 miles easy

Total mileage - 16 miles

Week 5

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 3 miles

Wednesday - Cross training

Thursday - 4 miles

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 7 miles

Sunday - 3 miles easy

Total mileage - 17 miles

Week 6

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 4 miles

Wednesday - Cross training

Thursday - 4 miles

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 8 miles

Sunday - 3 miles easy

Total mileage - 19 miles

Week 7

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 4 miles

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 4 miles

Friday - Cross training

Saturday - 9 miles

Sunday - 3 miles easy

Total mileage - 20 miles

Week 8

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 5 miles

Wednesday - Cross training

Thursday - 3 miles

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 10 miles

Sunday - 4 miles easy

Total mileage - 22 miles

Week 9

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 5 miles

Wednesday - Cross training

Thursday - 4 miles

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 11 miles

Sunday - 2 miles easy

Total mileage - 22 miles

Week 10

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 4 miles

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 3 miles 

Friday - Cross training

Saturday - 12 miles

Sunday - 3 miles easy

Total mileage - 25 miles

Week 11

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 3 miles

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 4 miles

Friday - Cross training

Saturday - 6 miles

Sunday - 2.5 miles easy

Total mileage - 15.5 miles

Week 12

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 2 miles

Wednesday - 20 minutes

Thursday - Rest

Friday - 20 minutes

Saturday - Rest

Sunday - Race day!