A half-marathon training schedule for more advanced runners

Jean-François Harvey gives us a 21-week program to adequately prep you for a half-marathon this fall.

Woman and man runner athletes training outside for marathon.

Photo, Istockphoto.

Phase 1: General fitness
During this seven-week phase, you’ll gradually increase the length of your training to prepare your body for a longer run. On the days it says “strength,” we recommend a strength-training program. On the days it says “flex,” we recommend a routine that targets flexibility.

At the end of this program you’ll will be able to run for 60 minutes.
Half Marathon Running Program Phase 1
Phase 2: Endurance and speed
During this phase, we increase the length of the continuous running sessions. We integrate intervals of training at medium intensity, which are designed to increase cardio strength. We also add strides, which aim to increase your speed. For strides, all you have to do is gradually increase your speed until you reach a speed you can maintain during a 5K (S5), without going to the maximum speed. We also incorporate several weeks with four running training sessions. At the end of this phase, you will do a run simulation. On a 10K course, try to maintain the speed you intend to keep during your final 21K run. You can even do a sprint at the end.

(Training note: RS=Recovery Speed; S=Speed)
Half Marathon Training Phase 2

Phase 3: Building up your endurance
There’s only seven weeks left until the big day! During this last phase, we integrate intervals at a higher speed. The last week before the run, kick into energy accumulation mode by resting well. At the end of this phase, you will be ready to truly enjoy your half-marathon!
Half Marathon Training Phase 3

Jean-François Harvey is a kinesiologist and an osteopath from Montreal, he’s also the author of Courir Mieux

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