How To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 6 Weeks: Free Easy Training Plan

Half marathons are among the most demanding running competitions out there, so you must lay out an interval training plan to improve your strength, endurance, and fitness level.

If you only have 6 weeks to prepare for a half marathon, you have to focus on the quality of your daily training and recovery while making every day count.

Today, we’ll show you how to prepare for a half marathon in 6 weeks. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Are 6 Weeks Enough to Prepare for a Half Marathon?

Ideally, a half marathon needs about 10 to 12 weeks to prepare. However, an experienced runner or a serious beginner can compress their training schedule into 6 weeks only, although it’s going to require an extreme level of commitment and you have to be already in a decent physical shape.

How To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 6 Weeks: A Day by Day Schedule

In this section, we’ll provide you with a 42 day guide that shows you how your running training plan should go, whether you’re training in terms of distance or time:

Week 1

  • Day 1: Start by running for 20 minutes (about 2 to 3 miles). You should run most of the distance at an above easy pace 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 near 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 or do a 30 minute cross training session.
  • 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 comfortable recovery 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 50 minutes (about 5 to 6 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 near 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 with walking breaks for 1 minute every 3 minutes, 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 comfortable recovery 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 9 to 10 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 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: 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

  • 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: Ideally, you should take the day off or do some cross training or strength training workouts to improve your endurance for the final two weeks.
  • 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 120 minutes (about 10 to 11 miles) at an 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. 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 5

  • 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: 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 6

  • 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: Have a 30 minutes cross training session 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: 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 6 weeks by enjoying one final deep tissue massage session and taking the rest of the day off!

How To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 6 Weeks: Quick Tips to ConsiderHow To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 6 Weeks:Running Coach

  • When in doubt, consider hiring a running coach to improve your running posture and provide you with support and customize your half marathon training schedule.
  • Wear a brand new running shoe for the strenuous workout to avoid injury and reduce post workout fatigue
  • Use running apps like Nike Run Club and Runkeeper to monitor your progress accurately

Final Thoughts On How To Prepare For A Half Marathon In 6 Weeks

There you have it! A 6 week half marathon training program to help you run the entire half marathon distance and reach the finish line!

As you can see, committing to your tempo runs, workouts, and recovery sessions will help you compete in the 13.1 mile race, even if you only have about half the time needed to prepare!

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