Your 6-Week Half-Marathon Training Plan Is Here

This advanced training plan will help you cross the finish line with your fastest half-marathon time yet.

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Maybe you spontaneously signed up for an upcoming destination half marathon, or you're an experienced runner looking for a challenge. Whatever the case, if you find yourself with a half marathon on the calendar in (gulp) around six weeks, you might be feeling a little anxious about whether you'll be able to train for the 13.1-mile distance in just a month and a half.

The good news: Advanced runners with solid weekly mileage can successfully use a 6-week half-marathon training plan to reach the finish line of their goal race. Here, learn more about who a shorter half-marathon training plan is appropriate for, and view a 6-week half-marathon training schedule designed by Kayla Jeter, C.P.T., an RRCA-certified running coach, NASM-certified personal trainer, and certified functional strength coach.

Who Should Use This 6-Week Half-Marathon Training Plan?

First, know this: A 6-week half-marathon training plan is not meant for beginners or anyone's first half marathon, says Jeter. "This training plan is for people who have run a half marathon before, or those who have done running at moderate distances already," she explains. "You’re consistent and you’re already racing, or you have a strong running foundation." This half-marathon training plan is also appropriate for runners trying to chase a certain goal (think: a personal record or a certain finish time). Ideally, you should be able to comfortably run 6 miles at a time, and you've already run a couple of half-marathon races. (If that doesn't sound like you, try this 12-week half-marathon training plan for beginners instead.)

In a typical half-marathon training plan, your mileage increases by about 10 percent each week; however, in this shortened training cycle, your mileage will jump faster. To help your body adapt to spending more time on your feet, it's important to recover strategically, too. "You can only train as hard as you recover," says Jeter. "Low-intensity active recovery days can help increase blood flow, flush out metabolic waste such as lactic acid, reduce soreness, and allow you to maintain your training routine without burning out on intense training." Incorporate low-intensity steady-state cardio into your recovery days, with activities such as swimming, cycling, yoga, and dynamic stretching.

During your cross-training days, there's no need to go all out and hit your one-rep max every workout, says Jeter. "Put the emphasis on run-related strength," she coaches. "The focus here is to build a solid strength base, not to fatigue yourself. You should not feel sore afterward."

And above all else, make sure your mindset is on point during the training cycle. At the start of each week, do what Jeter calls a 'mindset check.' "Set an intention for the week, write down your goals, make a plan, and remind yourself of your purpose with your running," she advises. "Six weeks is a short period of time, so make sure you enjoy every week."

6-Week Half-Marathon Training Plan for Advanced Runners

Ready to run? View Jeter's 6-week half-marathon training plan below, and learn everything you need to know about training for a half marathon here.

6 week half marathon training plan
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