How do I train up to a Half Marathon?

I'd really appreciate your help. I came late to running (having spent an entire life avoiding it) but for the last 3 years have run 10k once a week. I'm 53, and do it in just under an hour. I've now persuaded my son we should go for a half marathon in October. (What possessed me I'm not quite sure...)

What's the best way of training up for this, ideally once or twice a week? I'm not trying to break any records - just be able to do it reasonably painlessly on the day. Many thanks and happy new year... Peter


  • Hi Peter, well done for taking the plunge, with your regular 10k training runs you already have a good basis, I would have a look at the runners world training plans and see what you would feel comfortable with, follow the 10% rule (only adding 10% each week to your training) so your body can adapt to the extra workload, you've plenty of time so take it nice and easy. Best of luck and happy New year.
  • TimeaJTimeaJ ✭✭✭
    There are many other websites as well with great running plans tailored to people at different fitness levels. In particular, I like the following websites:
    Training plan in Paula Radcliffe's book called How to Run
    Sam Murphy's book called Marathon and Half Marathon: From Start to Finish (this one was recommended to me, have not actually read it, but I am a big fan of Sam Murphy).

    Finally, is a great website for training advice and helps you connect to people training for a similar distance.

    I hope this helps.
  • Thank you both very much - the 10% guidance is an interesting point, and all those reference links sound just what I need. Really appreciate it...
  • Hi Peter. I am currently training for my first half marathon. I'm following a basic half marathon training schedule from It's a 12 week schedule but there are others if you prefer a longer schedule. With this one you run 4 times a week and cross train once a week with the long run being on a Satuarday. You can change the days though, of course.
  • Hi Stephen. Hope it's going well? Thanks very much for this - I'll check it out.
  • Having got some great advice from you back in far off January, suddenly my event is this Sunday (the Blenheim Palace half marathon). What does everyone think about nutrition on the day before, and the morning of the event? I never eat breakfast, and have done pretty much all my training on an empty stomach. But should I eat something, and what about hydration? Any guidance would be great. Many thanks.      

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