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Training for a half marathon

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The half marathon is the fastest growing running distance in the United States. While U.S. marathon participation has doubled over the last ten years, half marathon participation has more than quadrupled in the same time. The plethora of springtime half marathons creates ample opportunities for New Year’s resolutions and training plans that start during – or at the end of – the winter holidays.

For many, just finishing a half marathon is quite an aerobic challenge, but for others the relatively fast pace of the half marathon involves lactate accumulation and precise pacing for a strong finish. For this reason, half marathon training plans differ greatly based on an athlete’s running experience and level of fitness. With that in mind, we present four very different training plans with the hope of providing a training plan to suit just about everyone’s needs. Although no general training plan can replace a customized plan developed by an experienced coach, these plans will help many achieve their race day goals.

Digital Running’s Couch-to-Half-Marathon Plan (24 weeks)
This plan is for those who have little or no running experience. It’s a 24 week plan that will have the non-runner ready to run or run/walk a half marathon by week 24. [more]

Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan (18 weeks)
This plan is for those who have some running experience and would simply like to finish the half marathon. It’s great for runners who’ve enjoyed participating in local 5K races and want to make the jump up to the half marathon. [more]

Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan (18 weeks)
This plan is for those who have experience running many different distances. If you’ve run a half marathon before and you’d like to improve your time, this is the plan for you. [more]

Advanced Half Marathon Training Plan (18 weeks)
This plan is for experienced runners who are very interested in improving their half marathon times. Are you there to RACE instead of run? Are you interested in taking home an award? It requires a large time commitment, including two runs per day twice a week. [more]

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