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Half Marathon Training Challenge

If you have never run a marathon or if you have and just need to get in shape again. Then this is a great way to get yourself ready!

Download the half marathon training plan.

You can either download the calendar only or the full PDF with tips/advice, calendar and exercise descriptions. 

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Get ready for your next half marathon

8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

So, you want to run a half marathon but have no idea where to start!  In order to succeed or better your time in a half marathon, you must have the right training plan.
The half marathon is one of the most popular distances in South Africa.  It’s long enough to challenge even the most experienced runner, but also short enough to be achieved by anyone.
It’s also a great way to see if you’ve got what it takes to run a marathon and beyond!
Half marathon training usually lasts between 12 and 15 weeks, with multiple long runs sprinkled in between.  In contrast, our half marathon training plan takes only eight weeks, and it ensures that you reach the starting line in great shape and are motivated to do your best!
Although you’re running a half marathon, remember to take it easy. This is an incredible feat, and you deserve a break every now and again, whether that be a recovery day or a rest day.  You don’t need to exercise every day during your eight weeks!

Watch and learn

Stretch Video

Stretching is incredibly critical to your success as a marathon runner, so you want to take this seriously. There are many different stretching exercises and strategies out there, so you want to find the one that works best for you and stick with it!

If you don’t know where to start have a look at our stretch routine video that you can follow along with. 

If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail

Tips to succeed

Before you get started, there are some essential half marathon training tips to keep in mind. If you want to reach your peak performance without pushing your body past its breaking point, take a look at these training fundamentals.

Stretching is essential

Stretching is incredibly critical to your success as a marathon runner, so you want to take this seriously. There are many different stretching exercises and strategies out there, so you want to find the one that works best for you and stick with it!
Make sure you warmup before each session and stretch after every workout. It’s common for people to forget to stretch after a workout, but you can pull a muscle doing something you would normally do afterwards!

Know the building blocks

A half marathon training plan includes four primary elements: your base mileage, long run, speed work, and recovery. You’ll build up your base mileage by running 3-4 times a week, and every 7 or so days a long run.  This allows for your body to gradually adjust to the extra distance. Speedwork, in the form of fartlek training, amps up your cardio capacity while your rest and recovery days are to stave off physical and mental burnout.
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Start slow

Slow and steady wins the race. Build up your base mileage slowly throughout this 8-week half marathon training plan by gradually increasing your distance weekly.

Stay hydrated

Water is always the way to go! If you want to stay injury-free, staying hydrated is key.  Avoid cramps, dizziness, and fatigue by simply quenching your thirst!

Add variety

Cross-training isn’t mandatory, but it’s highly recommended. Building up your muscle endurance can prevent you from hitting that dreaded wall.  Aside from getting you through that final push, cross-training just makes you an overall stronger, well-rounded athlete. If weight lifting at the gym isn’t your thing, check out our full-body bodyweight training plan on YouTube.  

Get the right gear

You need dedicated running shoes that are ready to take on your high mileage. Do yourself a favour: don’t wait until the day of the race to upgrade your running shoes. This will just lead to blisters and sore feet! Give yourself enough time to break in your new shoes!

Understand your limits

Don’t be fooled by the name – even a “half” marathon can be a large challenge. Always listen to your body. If you feel particularly sore one day, you could be overtraining; take a little rest or recovery day to let your body heal.


The information provided in this PDF is for educational purposes only. We are not doctors, fitness professionals or registered dietitians. The contents of this document should not be taken as medical advice and should be performed solely at your own risk. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and/or engagement in physical activity. No part of this report may be modified in any form whatsoever, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without expressed written, dated and signed permission from the author (Watch Me Rise). All copyrights are reserved. Watch Me Rise™ may not be copied or used for any purpose without express written consent.