12-Week Half Marathon Training Plan
Are you ready to take on the half marathon distance (13.1 miles/21 KM)?
Frankie Ruiz is certified Nike© Run Club coach and he's co-founder of the Miami marathon. He built training plans and recovery plans to help you reach your fitness goals.
You’ve set your eyes on that race calendar and need some guidance to get to that finish line. The training plan we have designed for you will help properly prepare your entire body using a variety of running workouts combined with the Chiquita Fitness Stickers Challenge Exercises so that you can enjoy your experience. The main goal is to get you to that finish line having fun during the training to have the best overall experience possible. The plan below is based on a 12-week schedule, however, depending on your current fitness level this plan can vary by a few weeks. When beginning the training program you’re encouraged to be in shape to complete at least a 5K, if you are not then add two to four weeks to the schedule by spending an additional 1 to 2 weeks on Week 1 and 2. If you are in shape to complete a 10K today then you can follow the weeks from start to finish.
Bucket List or Competitive
If you’re looking to just complete the race and have fun doing it the schedule provided will certainly help you achieve that. If you’re a more seasoned veteran of running and are looking to PR or compete you too can follow the plan, however, you should add more intensity and adjust your total volume accordingly. Running is simple why all the technical terms?
Running jargon can be a bit confusing and in many cases different terms mean different things to different runners. To provide the best understanding before you dive into the training take a few moments to review some of the terminology described below used for our training. Much like that smoothie recipe that includes Chiquita Banana each of these has a purpose and a specific recommended amount.
Your training will primarily include the following 5 types of runs. And within these assigned runs you’ll be running at different speeds and maintain certain paces. Workouts
• Tempo Runs
• Long Runs
This type of workout is best described as sustained speed for a predetermined duration usually no longer than about 40 minutes or so. For our purpose this is another term for quality running. A pace where a conversation with a friend isn’t easy nor really possible because you will just grow too winded and have to slow down. It’s a pace where you aren’t too comfortable but you can handle the pace steadily for a lengthy period of time.
This type of workout is usually done on a track or an unimpeded leveled path. The idea here is that you will run fast but for short distances bouts with rest between each repetition. Your form and strength are gaining the most from this type of workout. Here we think shorter distance but higher intensity.
This is that one element training for a half marathon you can’t live without. As the term suggest it is when we go longer and the pace held is usually conversational or at least comfortable. Longer duration of runs but lower intensity. This is a distance we slowly progress to so that we can eventually come close to that coveted 13.1 Mile/21 KM distance. The physical gains are tremendous but equally important is the confidence you’ll be building as you complete the increased distance each week. This is where the endurance is built so you slowly build to push forth when you feel you can’t and next time that moment comes even later.
This is a Swedish term for speed-play. When this is assigned it means you will vary your speed within the run and use slower speeds to recover for allotted specific time.
Not a sprint but close to one. These are about 10-20 seconds long and it is used to help with your form and promote an efficient stride. The pace for these is usually a gradual build up to almost a sprint. This is a good time to run like the cameras are on you. You want to pay extra attention to your posture, your arm swing and your leg turnover. Striders will be one of the more frequently assigned elements to your training.
This is crucial for every athlete on this half marathon training journey. The lowered intensity and reduced volume is where we give time to the body to adapt and repair itself. The greatest gains of the body and mind will come during the easy days. We still try to do some movement on these days labeled recovery. Some recovery days may just be some of the exercises found on the Chiquita Fitness Stickers. This will help us mix things up and avoid us getting stale. This also helps us train the entire body as an overall athlete not just our running legs. You can also use the recovery days to substitute the running for other exercise such as cycling, swimming or other cardio exercise activity. If you are experiencing any kind of pain lasting more than 24 hours consider adjusting the schedule, intensity or simply take a day off. It is better to get to race day slightly undertrained and without injury. General muscle and joint soreness is part of the journey but with the use of proper nutrition, consistent rest and recovery exercises you should be fine.
Before you start your training make sure you check with your doctor to be sure you’re cleared to start your training. Step two is make sure you are all geared up by visiting a running store. You should also have a distance and time recording device. That device can be a wearable such as a GPS enabled watch or other smart watch. You could also take your smart phone with you and download any of the many running apps available.
Before each run you should follow a warm-up routine in duration of about 10-15 minutes that you are comfortable with. Your routine can be a mixture of jogging following by some dynamic movement. Some of the best dynamic exercises can be found on the Chiquita Fitness Stickers. The 20 Jumping Jacks, 30 High Knee Taps and 20 Deep Lunges are a great set to repeat a few times to get that full body ready to go.
The cool-down movements done after the assigned workout has been completed include more static stretches which are more like yoga poses with position holds that are about 20-30 seconds long. The routine for this should also last 10-15 minutes. This is also a good time to end your entire workout with the Ten Minutes of Mindfulness from the Chiquita Fitness Challenge Sticker. Spend those ten minutes reflecting on your recent run and workout. Try to find moments where you felt yourself overcoming some of the more difficult parts of the workout. Visualize your next workout and run through a scenario that incudes you successfully completing the race ahead.
Alright, let’s get this show started. We know that the race is the focus but the fun and the positive life impact is in the training itself. You can move the workouts around during the week but don’t do any of the workout days back to back, instead always insert a recovery day between or a rest day if it is on the calendar for that particular week. Keep in mind that recovery always means we are still doing something. The word rest means you do no exercise that day.