How to do a 8-Week Half Marathon Training program!

8 week half marathon training plan

So, remember when I told you I signed up for the San Francisco Half Marathon? Well, I am currently should be training for it! When I signed up back in March, I was in pretty good shape and figured this race would be a piece of cake, come July. Then I went on vacation for a few weeks and then pollen happened! If you are in California, you have probably noticed some heavy pollen lately as well. It’s been extra crazy this year because of the drought. I mean, I love the sun, but we could use some rain over here!

Half Marathon across Golden Gate Bridge

Given that I am going to be running over here in less than two months, I figured I would start back up with training  hoping that I wasn’t too far gone… I did endless Google searches, read numerous blog posts, Runners World’s articles and you name it.  I even bough the Runner’s World Big book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training! And yea you guessed it, they all say different things. That is why I decided to make my own program that would fit into my schedule and fit my fitness level. I have taken pieces from all the different plans out there and tried to really take in all advice I have been given from previous half marathoners.

Some of my key take-aways from the research has been:

1. Listen to your body! You can deal with pain, cramps and whatever, but listen to your body if it tells you to stop. And ice will become your best friend!

2. Slow down! I was obsessed with my race time for a minute there. Even though I am very competitive and want to finish in a decent time, this is my first half and I should honestly be happy just to finish!:)

3. Try everything out in training! The reason you train is so that you can optimize for race day. You can figure out what kind of breakfast you should have. What kind of running tights/top/headband/other crazy gear works the best in the long run and what snacks to bring. Or in my case, tissues. Lot’s and lot’s of tissues. I don’t know why, but as soon as I start running even a block, my nose starts running. Super annoying and I don’t know why or maybe it’s the pollen. Anyways, I digress.

4. Never try anything new on race day! I refer back to point 3. I have heard so many stories of people just switching to new socks on race day and it has completely messed up their grove. No bueno.

5. Steady finished the race! Every single one I have talked to about doing my half has told me this. Run slower in the beginning of your race and keep a steady pace. It’s easy to shoot off for the first few miles because you are so ready and excited, but this will just wear you down.

Keeping this in mind, I have come up with my 8 week Half Marathon training plan!

Be aware that I have been running about 2-4 miles 3 times a week for quite some time so keep that in mind if you never really have run before. I would suggest spending longer time training for the race. I am also doing lot’s of hill training because I realized that the race is super hilly! Uh, yea….!



How do you train for a half marathon? Are you in training now?


  1. Good morning! I found your training plan on Pinterest. I’ve now run two half marathons, the last of which was quite hilly. My intention was to keep up my running somewhat so I wouldn’t have too much training to do for the half I’m registered for in Savannah in April. I’ve kind of lost my running groove over the past month. How did this plan work for you? I think the hardest part I’ve found in training is just how stinking long it seems to last! I could start this in February (running a few times a week until then) and be ready for Savannah in April. This looks flexible and less time consuming than what I’ve previously used. How did you feel about your time/finish? I’m not a terribly fast runner, but I did finish about 12 minutes faster (just over 2 hours) my second (and much hillier) half than I did on my first on in Savannah this past April. I like what I have learned from each successive experience, but there is a lot more going on in life than my runs, so I have to take that into account. I’m glad to have discovered your blog!

    1. Congrats on completing two half marathons! I really liked this plan! I didn’t run for time though, I just ran to finish :) The most important thing is to not increase milage too fast. Steady increase each week will get you there injury free.

  2. Would it be OK to change my long runs to Sundays and rest on Saturday’s? How would that effect the overall training plan?

    1. Yes! But I would then change up the following week to make sure you have a rest day after your long run! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *