May 25, 2017

A "Finish Strong" Half-Marathon Training Plan

This plan is for experienced runners who want to run a half marathon and finish feeling good--not feeling like they want to keel over and die ;)

The key to feeling great throughout the race is building up a very solid base throughout training. This means running a lot of miles at an easy pace.

I implemented this running technique when I trained for the Chicago Marathon. I used the Hansons Marathon Method, which sparked my interest because the longest run was "only" 16 miles (rather than the usual 20 that most plans have). I expected the plan to be easier!

It was anything but easy. I was running a minimum of five miles per day, six days per week--and I had two months were I ran over 200 miles each! It was an insane amount of running (to me). But I never got injured, and I felt great. (Here is a link to my thoughts on the Hansons Marathon Method.)

The reason for running so many miles is to get your legs used to the cumulative fatigue. You run on tired legs frequently, and your body will get used to it. And then on race day, you will be totally prepared!

I have run three full marathons, and training the Hansons way was by far the best training plan for me.

When training for a tough 10K, I read a book called "80/20 Running" by Matt Fitzgerald, and I highly recommend reading it. I've written this plan based on 80/20 Running, while keeping Hansons Marathon Method in mind (a strong base).

If you follow this plan, I can almost guarantee that you will finish feeling good at the end of your half-marathon.

Click here for the printer-friendly PDF of this plan


  1. I have been using this plan for my last Half marathon and one coming up. It is great. Any chance you ever plan on creating one for the full marathon?

    1. I’ve thought of it, but I have to say, I think Hanson’s Marathon Method is the perfect plan. I realize it’s not possible for everyone to do it, though, due to time constraints, so maybe I will write one similar to this. Thanks for the encouragement!


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