Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training

Hal Higdon half marathon training offers a great well rounded training plan to get you to your half marathon goal or break a previous PR. His half marathon training plan takes a twelve week approach. The half marathon is a considered a "friendly" race distance. If you're a novice and this is your first half, you likely feel excited to mark it off your list. For an experienced runner it's a chance to break a PR and recover more quickly than a full marathon. 

Step One: Determine Your Level

Hal Higdon half marathon training is split into four training plans: novice, intermediate, advanced and walk. Before you choose a training plan you need to determine where you fit in. A novice is some one who has never run a half marathon but has completed a 5K or 10K. An intermediate runner is someone who may have completed a half marathon earlier in their life or has run a 15K. An advanced runner has done a half and likely a full marathon. If you are walking the half marathon, there's a training schedule for that too.

Step Two: Regular Runs

Regular runs are the runs you'll be doing throughout the week to maintain the distance you reach as you advance through your half marathon training. For novices this will start at 3 miles two to three times a week and increase in 1/2 mile increments every two weeks. For advanced runners, your training plan will include pace, speed and stagger work.

Step Three: Cross Training

Cross training is another important aspect of half marathon training. Cross training takes the pressure off your joints while still reaching cardio status and working your muscles. The best cross training activities for runners are swimming and biking. You should do one to two days of cross training per week.

Step Four: Strength Training

Strength training is a key component of Hal Higdon half marathon training plans. You need to continue to build the overall strength of your legs and body to perform better and prevent injuries. You should include two days a week of strength. One day with stretching (no running) and one day with a regular run.

Step Five: Long Runs

Long, or training, runs are runs you do once a week to increase your endurance and work toward that 13.1 mile goal. Hal's plans have these on Sunday's, but you can switch and do Saturdays. If you must train during the week, schedule your training runs for a day or two after your rest day. The distance of your training run varies greatly depending on your level. Novice runners should start their training with a four mile training run, while advanced runners can start their first week with a 90 minute training run.

Step Six: Rest Days

Rest days are vital to your training. They allow for muscles to heal and become stronger. Ideally you need to rest the day or two before your long training run. In his training plans rest days are on Friday's, but work with what you can do in your schedule.

Whether it's your first or fourth half marathon Hal Higdon half marathon training plans offer a great versatility that will get you through the finish line and breaking PR's.


  • When you're going to be out on a run longer than 60 minutes you should carry water and a fitness boost such as gel, bars or chews. 
  • Hydrate well the day before your long training runs.
  • Make sure your running shoes are the right ones for you.
  • If purchasing new shoes, remember it takes about 30 miles to break in new running shoes.
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