Welcome to your 12-week half-marathon training program for beginners! You’re about to embark on a journey that will benefit you by increasing your fitness level and bringing you closer to achieving a rewarding goal.

You can be a beginner runner or an experienced walker to complete this 12-week half-marathon program.

We designed it with beginners in mind, so if this is your first time training for a half marathon, we promise you won’t be alone.

Beginner half marathon runners
Beginner half marathon program.

With some hard work and dedication over the next 12 weeks, you can easily reach that finish line feeling strong and accomplished. Are you ready to start training? Good luck!

Beginner Runner 12-week Training Plan

This training plan is for beginner runners and walkers training for their first half marathon. This training program will put a pep in your step. Start smiling from the first mile to the finish line.

We ramp up the program slowly to prevent injury and allow the body to recover and adapt.

Who is the program for? Anyone who wants to run a half marathon has never done one. The 12-week half marathon training program is designed for beginner runners and exercisers looking to take their running journey to the next level.

With easy runs, cross-training sessions, and speed workouts, this 12-week plan will help you gradually build up your endurance and strength over time to finish efficiently.

Running with hands in the air
Runner’s High Five


This 12-week half-marathon training program will help you improve your cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, and mental toughness. You’ll learn how to pace yourself for long runs and develop a better understanding of what it takes to run a successful race.

Glossary Of Terms

  • Half Marathon – A half marathon is a road running race covering a distance of 13.1 miles or 21.09 kilometers. 
  • Race Pace – Goal race pace to complete the race in your desired finish time.
  • Cross Training – Non-running training sessions can include anything from swimming, cycling, strength training, spinning, or any cross-train activity where you move your body.
  • Rest Day – The body recovers on non-training days. These are essential to gaining strength and speed with your half marathon training.
  • Easy Pace – Comfortable pace where you can converse while running.
  • Tempo Run – A pace just under your 5k pace.
  • Weekly Mileage – Total mileage for the week
  • Speed training – Intervals for this training session to improve your speed.
  • Hill workout – Hills for this training session should not be so steep that you can’t run up.
  • Warm-up. Take the first mile of each training session easy to get blood to the muscles.

Free Half Marathon Training Plan

This free training plan pdf.

Check out our Google drive where we offer free half marathon training plans, along with longer distances as well. This is a great first half marathon training plan pdf. Coming soon is our strength training for half marathon schedule.

Questions and answers

Who is this training plan for?

This program is for you if you are a runner who has not completed a half marathon.

Would you like me to take the rest days?

Yes, it is essential to rest and recover for the body to become accustomed to training and injury prevention. Rest days reduce your risk of injury.

What kinds of cross-training would you recommend?

Weight lifting, strength training, spin class, or any other activity that you find appealing.

Is walking OK during training?

Absolutely. You should take walking breaks to keep your heart rate in the correct heart rate zone. Adding a walking break during the run helps build endurance on training runs. It is up to you to run or walk the whole distance. The important part is maintaining a conversational pace within the distance of the long run or long run.

Coming Soon

The 24 week half marathon training will be coming soon.

Running at Sunset
Beginner Runners at Sunset

Do I need special shoes?

You should purchase running shoes at a running store where they can analyze your run form and stride. The wrong shoes will lead to a miserable experience.

Why does the last week contain fewer training sessions?

The last week of training is a taper week. The final week backs off the training time, fully allowing you to recover on race day.

Check out our other half-marathon training plans. We have a plan for most runners.

Not interested in running outside? No worries. Check out these treadmills that work for any athlete.

Recommended First Half Marathon Races

Find races that don’t have strict finish cutoff times and are walker friendly. Here a list of good race series for beginners.

Coach Colleen from the Little Gym on the Prairie at the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
Coach Colleen from the Little Gym on the Prairie at the Disney Princess Half Marathon.


runDisney Race Series is a fantastic way to experience a race and run through one of the most iconic parks in the world. From 5Ks to marathons, runDisney has something for everyone.

Choose from over 10 different races that will take you through some of the most incredible scenery in the world. Plus, each race starts off with an Opening Ceremony and ends with a Finish Line.

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and the Disney Princess Half Marathon are some of my favorites.

REVEL Race Series

When my mom retired, she wanted to do a half marathon. This was her first and only half marathon. The REVEL races are all downhill.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Running series are events that celebrate music and running all at the same time. Each event offers a full marathon, a half, a 10k and 5K distance for participants to choose from, as well as live bands playing throughout the course.

At the finish line, there is a post-race party with live entertainment and giveaways. Participants also receive exclusive Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series merchandise as part of their registration fee.

Beginner Half Marathon Training Tips

If you are training for your first event, have patience. for the first few weeks of the training it is ok to walk or walk run the training sessions. Runners slow down when going uphill.

After each session, pat yourself on the back, you did it! And you are still doing it. Experienced runners know It takes weeks and sometimes months to build fitness. Rome wasn’t build in a day, and neither is an experienced runner.

You must run slow before you can run fast. Give your joints, heart, and muscles time to adapt to training. Have patience and be consistent. with your training. To avoid injury and achieve success while training for your first event proper preparation is key.


How far is a half marathon?

A half marathon distance is 13.1 miles and is often considered the perfect distance for a first-time runner. Running 13.1 miles can be both challenging and rewarding—it’s a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone, improve your health, and achieve a major milestone in your running journey! I have personally completed several half marathons with friends and found that it the perfect destination race distance.

Do I have to do all my training runs?

Constancy is the key for half marathon success. If you miss more than 20% of your half marathon plan, it might be best to postpone your race. You can’t phone in the 13.1 miles without opening up yourself to injury.

What is the best half marathon race?

The best first half marathon race is usually one close to home. The logistics tend to be easier to manage and your familiar with the terrain. After your first successful race, venture out to destination races and vacation races.

Try the Pace Calculator

Calculate your pace for your first race.

Running Pace Calculator

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