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Half Marathon Training Program: Week 8

You have 12 weeks to get your body ready for the 13.1-mile half marathon. Below is your master training program. Follow this projected running, gym, and yoga program as closely as possible to get ripped and ready for the race.

Your fitness level may be lower, on par, or better than the expectations of this protocol, so be sure to listen to your body and avoid over-use injuries. That said, no matter what level you are currently at, this program should prepare you to cross the finish line successfully. Remember, there is no better way to train your body for this event than working your stride. Consistency is the best thing for your running gate, cardiovascular capacity, and avoiding over-use injuries. As a result of this demanding running schedule it is very important to stretch, weight train, and strengthen your core regularly. Attending yoga class, and the gym each and every week is highly recommended.

As with any training endeavor, make sure you've consulted with your physician to ensure you're clear to participate in such a progressively structured protocol.

Training Weeks

  1. Week 1 Training
  2. Week 2 Training
  3. Week 3 Training
  4. Week 4 Training
  5. Week 5 Training
  6. Week 6 Training
  7. Week 7 Training
  8. Week 8 Training
  9. Week 9 Training
  10. Week 10 Training
  11. Week 11 Training
  12. Week 12 Training
Important Notes on the Training
Be sure to read the important notes on the half marathon training program and the stretching overview at the bottom of this page before you begin training-you'll be lost without them!

Week 8, Day 1
Activity Type Minutes Goal Mileage Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Stretch Light stretching 10 mins am and pm N/A N/A
Week 8, Day 2
Activity Type Minutes Goal Mileage Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Run 5k pace 18 - 36 mins 3 miles 70% or less
Week 8, Day 3
Activity Type Minutes Goal Mileage Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Gym Cardio Stationary bike 20 mins 3.5 - 7 miles 55 - 75%
Strength Train Focus on upper body and core training 30 - 45 mins N/A N/A
Week 8, Day 4
Activity Type Minutes Goal Mileage Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Run 10k pace 30 - 60 mins 5 miles 60% or less
Week 8, Day 5
Activity Type Minutes Goal Mileage Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Yoga Easy 20 - 30 mins N/A N/A
Stretch Light stretching 10 mins N/A N/A
Week 8, Day 6
Activity Type Minutes Goal Mileage Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Run 5k pace 18 to 36 minutes 3 miles 70% or less
Week 8, Day 7
Activity Type Minutes Goal Mileage Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Run 10k pace 48 - 96 mins 8 miles 60% or less

Make sure you read and understand the important notes on the half marathon training thoroughly before embarking on the training program. Got questions? Post them in our Running Forums.
Determine Your Pace
To determine your base pace, run a one-mile time trial at a good, hard race pace. See below for more details on the one-mile trial. Clock your time and use that time to predict your 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon pace. You will use these in your training. Take your time and adjust it as follows:
  1. For the 5k pace, add 33 seconds
  2. For the 10k pace, multiply your time by 1.15
  3. For your 1/2-marathon pace, multiply your time by 1.2
  4. For your marathon pace, multiply your time by 1.3
How to Do the One-Mile Trial
To do your one-mile time trial, warm up with a slow one-mile run, and then stretch to limber up. After you have stretched, run as fast as you can (without puking) for your one-mile time trial. After your time trial, keep walking for five minutes to warm down.

Warm Up and Cool Down
Every training run on your marathon training program should include a proper warm up and cool down. Warm up and cool down programs should be done as follows:

15-Minute Warm Up: Start with 10 minutes of walk/light jog, followed by five minutes of stretching

15-Minute Cool Down: Start with five minutes light jog/walk, following by 10 minutes of stretching

Fartlek Training
"Fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play" and consists of bursts of speed in the middle of a training run. Fartlek running consists of three different speed intervals:
  1. Run at a hard pace (push yourself)
  2. Run at moderate pace (5k pace)
  3. Run at an easy pace (10k pace)
The pace varies from all-out sprints to fast strides and easy jogging with no predetermined recovery times. When done properly, fartlek is an effective and satisfying form of training. A good distance runner needs to have strength, endurance, speed, and racing tactics. Fartlek training helps you build all four of these qualities in the same workout. Fartlek gets your legs used to a variety of paces and in the process gives you an enhanced awareness of your ability to keep up those paces at various distances.

How To Fartlek
  1. Warm up
  2. Start on your run and throw in bursts of speed throughout the run
  3. Vary your speed and time, from as short as 15 seconds to as long as two or three minutes
  4. Between "hard pace" bursts, allow yourself enough recovery time (match roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of the effort time). Your recovery pace should be slightly slower than your 10k pace; keep it moving at an easy training pace.
  5. It's a good idea to pick out a landmark-a tree or a fire hydrant or a bend in the path-where a speed section will end before you start picking up the pace. In other words, knowing how far you will run for each section will make your fartlek training more effective. Picking a landmark will help you maintain a constant pace from your starting point until you reach that landmark. Don't start off so fast that you can't keep up the pace through the end of each speed section.
How to Stretch for Endurance Runners
We highly recommend stretching as an integral part of your warm up and cool down, as well as on your days off from running. Repeat each of these stretches two or three times:
  1. Wall Push-up 1: Stand facing a wall about three feet away from the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the ground. Place your hands on the wall in front of your with your arms straight for support and your head up. Lean your hips forward and bend your knees slightly to stretch your calves.
  2. Wall Push-up 2:From the Wall Push-up 1 position, bend forward at the waist and lower your upper body to waist height, so that your arms are straight against the wall and parallel to your flat back. Bring one foot forward approximately one foot with your knee slightly bent. Lift the toes of the front foot to stretch the muscle under the calf. Stretch the front leg, and then switch legs and stretch the other leg.
  3. Wall Push-up 3:From the Wall Push-up 2 position, place both your feet together at the front-leg position of Wall Push-up 2, so that your heels are about one foot closer to the wall than your hips. With your legs straight, rock back on your heels with your hands on the wall and your arms straight to form a jackknife with your body. You should feel the stretch in your hips, shoulders, and lower back.
  4. Back Scratch: Standing erect with your feet about shoulder-width apart, grab your elbow with the opposite hand and gently push the elbow up and across your body until your hand reaches down to "scratch" your back. Gently push on your elbow to guide your hand down your back as far as it will comfortably go, stretching your triceps and shoulders. Stretch both arms.
  5. Hamstring Stretch: Lie flat on the ground with one leg straight up in the air and the other leg bent at a 45-degree angle with the foot flat on the ground. Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted foot, and gently pull on the towel as you push against it with your foot. Push only to the point where your muscles contract. You should feel the stretch in your hamstring. Stretch both legs.
  6. Quadriceps Stretch: Kneel on the ground on your knees without resting back on your heels. Your body should be in a straight line from the back of your knees up to your shoulders. Lean your upper body back with your body erect and your arms at your sides until you feel the stretch in your quadriceps. Hold for 15 seconds.
  7. Heel to Buttock: Stand erect on one foot, with one hand on a wall for balance. Hold the other foot with the opposite hand and raise the heel of the lifted foot to the buttocks (or as close as comfortably possible), stretching your quadriceps. Keep your body upright throughout. Change legs and repeat.
  8. Hip and Lower Back Stretch: Sit on the ground with your legs crossed. Lift your right leg and cross it over the left, which should remain bent. Hug the right leg to your chest and twist the trunk of your body to look over your right shoulder. Change legs and repeat, looking over your left shoulder.
  9. Iliotibial Band Stretch: Lie on your side with both legs bent in running position. Bring the bottom leg in toward your chest and then bring the top one back toward your buttocks, so that the running position of your legs is exaggerated as possible. Hold for 30 seconds, and then flip sides and repeat.
  10. Ham String and Back Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Hug your shins to your chest to stretch your hamstrings and lower back.
  11. Bridge: Lie on the ground on your back and, with your feet flat on the ground, lift your hips up until your body forms a flat plane. Repeat this stretch 10 times for 30 seconds each to stretch your quads and lower back.
  12. Groin Stretch: Sit on the ground and put the soles of your feet together in front of you, with your hips opened, legs bent in, and your knees dropping down on each side. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward and gently press your knees toward the ground.
About Half Marathon Coach Shelby Corkern Jacquez
Shelby Corkern Jacquez is a personal fitness trainer at DIAKADI Body, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco in 2006 by CitySearch. Shelby is passionate about, yoga, karate, surfing, swimming, cycling, and running. She thrives off physical activity and is particularly addicted to the art of running. Shelby needs her daily run like some people need their daily cup of coffee. Her love for endurance running has inspired her to coach many beginner and seasoned marathoners. She has coached both privately and with San Francisco's Team in Training triathlon chapter.