Half marathon training plan - do I need to adapt if I'm slow?


I've completed a couple of 10km runs now. I'm slow (82mins, 77mins) but able to run/jog all the way around.

I'm entered for the Preston 10km at the end of September, and I'm considering doing the Preston half too, at the end of October.

I'm away for a couple of weeks in early August, so my vague plan was to run for enjoyment over the summer, trying to increase the miles I ran each week, running 2-3 times a week, with a couple of cross training/stretching sessions too.

Then I plan to start a structured training programme mid-Aug. I found a 12 week beginners programme in Women's running, which looks quite good. I like the fact it is based on time rather than distance (most I've found are based on miles, but as I've done all my training and calculations so far on the basis of kilometers I find them difficult to use). I'll have 11 weeks from mid Aug to the half, but if I'm already running regularly, and am currently capable of running 10km, I don't think missing the first week will do me any harm.

However, the maximim training run in the programme is 2 hours long. I could see that many people will run a half in 2 hours, but expect it will take me closer to 3. As I'm so slow, do you think I need to increase this long training run time? I'm not sure if i should be aiming to run to full distance in training or not?



  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    HI Jane

    I am slow as well, around the 3 hour mark for a half, so I do my training based on distance not time. 2 hours would only get us 8 miles at our pace, and really you need to do longer distances than that or you will find the half really difficult.

    try googling 'Hal Higdon' - there are training plans on there that are based on distance

    good luck

  • I think as long as you build the distance up then you will be fine.  I have trained for a half too but ignore how long it takes and have just built up my runs from 7 to 8 to 9 to 10 to 11 to 12 miles gradually and finally did a 12.5 run so I know my body will take me along for that distance.  I do them at my pace and finish them and ignore the time it takes!  I would suggest working on your pacing as if you are used to 10ks then if you go out at 10k pace by half way you will have used up your oomph!

    I still find it hard to go out 'slowly' but by mile 10 still feel okay - because I have kept it slow.

    There are lots of training programmes if you look online and many are in distance not time - time is madness as we all vary so much.  The Runners World Smart Coach one is good as it gives you a time and distance to aim for - so you input your 10k time and it gives you a distance and time to aim for - and they are generous.  When I first tried it I thought - wow that's slow - but it made sense as I could keep it up for a longer run.  You will naturally get fitter too between now and October so

  • Sorry - missed the end - so - go for it!

  • Thanks for the replies and encouragement.

    I've had a look at the Hal Higdon training plans but couldn't commit to training 5-6 days a week. 3-4 times a week is realistic.

    I have searched online for plans but couldn't find one I liked (ie 3-4 days training a week, and distances measured in km).

    I guess my problem has been that so far I've done all my training so far in km - I know how many km different routes I run are, and what a slow or fast pace per kilometer is for me. If I was to start thinking in miles this would take some adjustment. But I guess I might have to get into this if I was going to run a half - I expect markers would be for each mile. Maybe I just need to get a plan which is in miles, and covert each run to km too until I get used to it.

    I'll have a look at the smart coach now.

  • You could try my asics, they have training plans, and you can change your settings to either miles or km. You also put in what you can do now and they tailor it for you. I am going to use this for my first half marathon image

  • My asics is a good training plan, it works in both km and miles, as Hannah says.  It also gives sugested timings for each mile/km based on your previous times.  I have found it very helpful.  Another place to look is at the Jeff Galoway plans as these are run/walk based, I used this plan and took 1hr 20mins off my marathon times (6:35 - 5:16).  There are lots pf plans out there it depends on how you view your running as to which is best for you.

    Good luck

  • Thanks. I've had a look at the my asics ones, and they seemed good, but I couldn't seem to change the settings. I'm obviously missing something, can you tell me how you did this?

    It feels a bit counterintuitive to start walking more in order to get better at running, but it looks like it worked for you Petalynne. Well done.

  • go onto account settings on my asics and then right at the bottom there's a

    preferred distance in ......... bit.

    Hope that helps

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Have you tried asics.co.uk create a plan there you can choose KM or Miles and the distance you want to run and the amount of weeks.  Can choose 2, 3 or 4 days a week training.


  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    DOH Sorry blind didn't read the last two that said all about asics.  Just got carried away after reading the first few posts.....



  • Hi, I've had a look at the asics one now, thanks. I think I'm going to write my own, using this as a basis, to fit around the weeks when I'm away with work and those when I have more time.

  • Bounce to top, oh and Asics one looks good image

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