How To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 4 Weeks – Free Easy Training Plan

A half marathon is one of the most iconic running competitions out there. However, competing in a 13.1 mile half marathon is a race against time as well, as you need a lot of time to prepare for it.

But what if you only have less than a month to get ready for the race. Is there a condensed half marathon training plan that can still prepare you for the marathon pace?

Lucky for you, today, we’ll show you how to prepare for a half marathon in 4 weeks by providing you with a day-by-day guide. Let’s dive right in!

How To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 4 Weeks: Are 4 Weeks Enough?

Ideally, a half marathon training schedule should be anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks. In that period, you will have time to ramp up your strength training and pick up the half marathon pace with relative ease and without rushing things.

Additionally, you’ll have enough days to rest and recover after workouts to avoid an unfortunate running injury that can keep you off track for a few weeks.

However, if you’re an experienced runner who has previously participated and finished a half marathon training, getting ready in less than 4 weeks is doable, despite being quite difficult.

In other words, this plan is not suitable for beginner runners and should only work for a runner who is used to running the half marathon distance with no problems and is

How To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 4 Weeks: A Day by Day Plan

Half marathons are quite demanding in terms of energy and endurance, so having an interval training plan is extremely important to improve your endurance, strength, and weekly mileage.

One thing you should keep in mind is that 4 weeks are considered a very limited amount of time to prepare. That’s why you have to make every single day count.

To help you with that, here’s a 4 week plan to get yourself ready for your half marathon that shows you how your running training should go for all 28 days. You can follow the plan on a timely or distance basis

Week 1

  • Day 1: Start by running for 20 minutes (about 2 to 3 miles). You should run most of the distance at a conversional pace without walking breaks. But if you can’t, you can walk or jog 1 minute for every 3 minutes of running. Start a single post-workout session (15 minute foam rolling) from night 1 even if you don’t feel the fatigue.
  • Day 2: Run 30 minutes (about 3 to 4 miles) at a goal race pace without having a walking break, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a double post workout session at night (15 minute session of foam rolling + 15 minute session of icing your knees)
  • Day 3: Run 40 minutes (about 4 to 5 miles) at a tempo run or easy pace with walking breaks for 1 minute every 3 minutes, then have a cooldown easy run for 5 minutes. Have a double post workout session at night (15 minute session of foam rolling + 15 minute session of icing your knees). Alternatively, you can take that day as a rest day if you’re too exhausted.
  • Day 4: Run 30 minutes (about 4 to 5 miles) at an easy pace with walking breaks for 1 minute every 4 minutes, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout session at night.
  • Day 5: Run 20 minutes (regardless of the distance) at a relatively easy pace with walking breaks for 1 minute every 3 minutes, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout session at night. You can also rest on that day preparing for the long run the day after.
  • Day 6: Run 90 minutes (about 8 to 9 miles) at an above easy pace without having a walking break, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 10 minutes. Have a post workout session of knee icing and foam rolling at night
  • Day 7: End the week with a rest day. On that day, you can do some cross training for 30 minutes in addition to a deep tissue massage session to improve your muscle recovery for the next week.

Week 2

  • Day 1: Run 30 minutes (about 3 to 4 miles) at an easy conversational pace without walking breaks, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout recovery session at night.
  • Day 2: Run 40 minutes (about 4 to 5 miles) at a goal race pace with as few jogging breaks as possible, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a double post workout session at night.
  • Day 3: Run 50 minutes (about 5 to 6 miles) at an easy pace without walking breaks, then have a cool down jog for 5 minutes or take the day as a rest day. Regardless, you still need to have a post workout session of foam rolling at night.
  • Day 4: Run 40 minutes (about 4 to 5 miles) at an easy conversational pace without walking breaks, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout recovery session at night.
  • Day 5: Run 20 minutes (regardless of the distance) at a relatively easy pace with walking breaks for 1 minute every 3 minutes, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout session at night. You can also rest on that day preparing for the long run the day after.
  • Day 6: Run 120 minutes (about 10 to 11 miles) at an above easy pace without having a walking break, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a post workout session of knee icing and foam rolling at night
  • Day 7: End the week with a rest day. Instead of running, you can go cycling, swimming, or work out in the gym (running endurance exercises only) for 30 minutes in addition to a deep tissue massage session to improve your muscle recovery for the next week.

Week 3

  • Day 1: Run 40 minutes (about 4 to 5 miles) at an easy conversational pace without walking breaks, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout recovery session at night.
  • Day 2: Run 50 minutes (about 5 to 6 miles) at a goal race pace without jogging or walking breaks, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a double post workout session of knee icing and foam rolling at night.
  • Day 3: Run 60 minutes (about 6 to 7 miles) at an easy pace without walking breaks, then have a cool down jog for 5 minutes or take the day as a rest day. Regardless, you still need to have a post workout session of foam rolling at night.
  • Day 4: Run 50 minutes (about 5 to 6 miles) at an easy conversational pace without walking breaks, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout recovery session at night.
  • Day 5: Run 20 minutes (regardless of the distance) at a relatively easy pace with walking breaks for 1 minute every 3 minutes, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout session at night. You can also rest on that day preparing for the long run the day after.
  • Day 6: Run 150 minutes (about 11 to 12 miles) at an above easy pace without having a walking break, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a post workout session of knee icing and foam rolling at night.
  • Day 7: Do some cross training like cycling, swimming, or work out in the gym (running endurance exercises only) for 30 minutes in addition to a deep tissue massage session to improve your muscle recovery for the final week and race day.

Week 4

  • Run 40 minutes (about 4 to 5 miles) at an easy conversational pace without walking breaks, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout recovery session at night.
  • Day 2: Run 50 minutes (about 5 to 6 miles) at a goal race pace without jogging or walking breaks, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a double post workout session of knee icing and foam rolling at night.
  • Day 3: Run 60 minutes (about 6 to 7 miles) at an easy running pace without walking breaks, then have a cool down jog for 5 minutes or take the day as a rest day. Regardless, you still need to have a post workout session of foam rolling at night.
  • Day 4: Run 30 minutes (about 3 to 4 miles) at an easy conversational pace without walking breaks, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout recovery session at night.
  • Day 5: Ideally, you should rest for that day to charge up for the race day the day after. However, if you’re feeling active you can go for a recovery run for a maximum of 20 minutes regardless of the distance at a relatively easy pace, then have a cooldown easy pace jog for 5 minutes. Have a foam rolling post workout session at night.
  • Day 6: Half Marathon Race day!
  • Day 7: Rest day. Celebrate your accomplishment of getting ready for a half marathon in only 4 weeks by enjoying one final deep tissue massage session and taking the rest of the day off!

Essential Tips to Consider While Training for a Half Marathon

Here are some critical tips that you need to keep in mind while preparing for your half marathon, regardless of the amount of weeks you have left.

1. Remember to Stretch and Warm Up Before Training

How To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 4 Weeks: Stretching Legs

Before you start your running session, always take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to warm up, especially if you’re running early in the morning when temperatures are relatively low.

Stretching and warming up your muscles before exercise is extremely essential to avoid cramps, which is backed by a wide range of studies.

2. Cooldown After Training

After training runs, stopping immediately can make you dizzy. To avoid that, always end your running session by gradually slowing yourself down over the course of 5 to 10 minutes before you stop.

3. Use Technology to Monitor Your Progress

Using technology to monitor your progress

Keeping track of your progress provides you with tons of information about your runs, such as your distance, time, average speed, tempo, and much more!

For that reason, you should always use technology to monitor your progress, such as smartwatches with GPS and apps like “Nike Run Club” and “Runkeeper”.

4. Buy a New Pair of Running Shoes for the Training Program

Running Shoes

A nice running shoe isn’t only a great performance enhancer but it also cushions your feet with proper padding to reduce post workout fatigue.

If your running shoes are worn out, buying a new one can also be a motivation as a symbol for new beginnings and outperforming yourself!

Do You Need a Running Coach for a Half Marathon Training Program?

Preparing for a half marathon can be a lot of work. For that reason, hiring a personal coach to customize a training plan for you can be a good idea.

In addition to preparing a training plan around your schedule, running coaches will also improve your posture while running to reduce the likelihood of injuries and provide you with a lot of motivation to achieve your goals and stick to the plan.

Final Thoughts On How to Prepare for a Half Marathon in 4 Weeks

There you have it! A complete half marathon training with everything you need to know in order to prepare for the goal pace in less than a month!

As you can see, the 13.1 mile race is not an easy feat and requires a lot of work and consistency.

But despite the limited time, if you’re already physically fit and you stick to the training schedule, you should be able to reach the finish line on race day!

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