Nike Half Marathon Training Plan

Nike Half Marathon Training Plan

A GREAT COACH

A great coach will tell you you’ve got a lot of different runners inside of you. To be the best runner, you’ve got to let them all out.

Run on hills, run on a track, do short runs, long runs and everything in-between. A great coach will tell you running shouldn’t hurt, and some days the best run is no run. If your week of runs looks like a playlist with the same song by the same artist 17 times in a row, a great coach will tell you to mix things up, to turn each week into an epic, kickass playlist.

We’ll guide you through it. Run with Nike Run Club and this 14-week Half Marathon Training Program to coach yourself across the finish line.


This 14-week-training plan combines SPEED, ENDURANCE, AND RECOVERY to get you ready to tackle a half marathon.

Before diving straight into the training plan, read all of the material to ensure you get the most out of it. This plan is built to adapt to your experience level, but it’s also uniquely flexible to your needs. Here’s what you should know to get the most out of the Nike Run Club Training Plan:

It’s Not Just About Running.

We know that a smarter runner is a better runner. This training program is built to help you to maximize your efforts on race day through Speed Runs, Recovery Runs and Long Runs. But it takes so much more than running to become a better runner. That’s why this training plan is built to not only help you become a better runner but also a better coach.

THIS PLAN WORKS FOR YOU

Your schedule varies. So does the weather and how you feel, but here are a few things to keep in mind as you modify this plan to your needs:

Speed Runs and Long Runs are essential parts of the plan to maximize your training.

You have two Recovery Runs and two Rest Days – use them to break up your Speed and Long Runs. Avoid doing Speed Runs on back-to-back days.


TRAINING STARTS WHEN YOU START

This plan was designed around a 14-week schedule for maximum results. It was built to adapt to your experience level and intended to be uniquely flexible to your needs as you prepare to tackle a Half Marathon. Whether you’re eight or fourteen weeks from race day, you can jump into this program whenever it suits you. You’re in control of what you put into the program and therefore what you get out of it. We do recommend that you plan on training for at least 6 weeks before the Half Marathon and can comfortably run and complete the programmed workouts.

TOOLS TO TAKE YOU FARTHER

Record your runs, reflect on progress, and grab some encouragement from your community along the way with the Nike Run Club App.

The Nike Training Club App is a great way to add cross-training to your schedule.


WEEKLY WORKOUTS

This plan includes three types of workout activities each week. All three are important to get the fittest, strongest and fastest version of you to the finish line.

SPEED RUNS

Building strength through speed training is important as you prepare. Throughout this plan you’ll be introduced to a variety of speed workouts and drills that will make you faster. You’ll get to do short and long intervals, fartlek, hill workouts and tempo runs. (See Types of Runs in the Glossary for definitions of these).

LONG RUNS

You need endurance training to help prepare your body and mind to go the distance on race day. You will work on endurance and pacing with weekly Long Runs. It also helps you get familiar with the physical and mental challenges that you might face during a race. This run should be run at a comfortable pace, and as a Progression Run (See Types of Runs in the Glossary for definition of Progression Run).

RECOVERY RUNS

Recovering from your workout days is just as important as the workouts themselves. Use these days to run easy and based on how you feel to help you recover at the highest quality possible after intense training. Each week of training includes two recovery runs. These include runs with Shalane Flanagan and Eliud Kipchoge. Recovery Runs are just as important as your hard workouts.

REST DAYS

Great running is dependent on great rest and recovery. These days are meant for you to recharge and recover. Either take the day off, try one of the workouts from “Simple Routines For Better Runs” in the NTC App or go for a few easy miles or kilometers. It is essential that you talk to and listen to your body as you progress through the training program. Sometimes you will need to adjust the program to fit what you need. And yes, that means that sometimes the best speed run or long run will be no run.


HOW TO USE THE PACE CHART

Throughout the plan, you will see and hear references to different paces and efforts you should aim to maintain during specific workouts. Over the course of your training, you will run using different pace and effort targets. Knowing your pace and effort targets will make your training easier.

Treat each pace target as the middle of a range. You may train slightly above or below these paces. They are not exact paces and you are not a robot.


FIND YOUR STARTING PACE

To get started, you’ll need to identify the row of pace targets that is right for you. You can base your pace on any of the following:

You could use a recent 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon time, if you have run one. By “recent” we mean in the last month or two.

You could use the Nike Running App and go on a few runs to determine your average pace. This will be your Recovery day pace.

If you already run often, you could make an educated guess based on your current fitness.

Pace Chart

FOR EXAMPLE
If your last race was a 27:00 minute 5K, find that 5K time under the 5K column on the Pace Chart and slide across the row left or right to find your other pace targets.

example one of finding your pace

In this case, the pace targets for you are as follows:
- Best Mile Pace: 8:00 minutes
- 5K Average Mile Pace: 8:40 minutes
- 10K Average Mile Pace: 9:00 minutes
- Tempo Pace: 9:25 minutes
- Marathon Average Mile Pace: 9:45 minutes

ANOTHER EXAMPLE
If your Mile Best time is 9:30, find that Mile Best time on the Pace Chart and slide across to see your other average mile pace targets.

another example of finding your pace times

Here, your pace targets would be as follows:
- Best Mile Pace: 9:30 minutes
- 5K Average Mile Pace: 10:15 minutes
- 10K Average Mile Pace: 10:35 minutes
- Tempo Pace: 11 minutes
- Marathon Average Mile Pace: 11:25 minutes

THINGS TO KNOW

When you have your range of pace targets, it helps to understand a few things about how you will use them:

When in doubt be sure to focus on effort. Paces can change due to many factors including but not limited to changes in fitness, weather, elevation, stress, fatigue, and lack of sleep. Be sure to listen to your body and not just focus on the numbers on your watch or phone.

As you make your way through the training there will be days you may be a little ahead of pace, and other days a little behind. Remember that the paces are only to be used as a guide. You will have good days and bad days as an athlete. Be flexible with your expectations. Hopefully, you will be increasing your fitness each week and your paces will increase in speed as you go.

When this plan is completed and you head out for race day be confident in all the work you have done. It is that work that will take you to new fitness levels, faster paces, this starting line and the all the ones beyond.


GLOSSARY

This glossary elaborates on the running-specific terms you’ll see referenced throughout this plan. It’s important to understand the different types of runs that this plan includes in order to get the most out of the full training journey.


Types of Runs

PROGRESSION RUN

Progression Runs improve stamina and allow the body to adapt to the stress of running. Build your pace over the course of each run by starting at a slower than Recovery Run pace and finishing at a faster than Recovery Run pace. Over the course of the run you will average your Recovery Run pace. This progression from the slowest running of the run to the fastest running of the run allows your body to ease into the run and adjust to the activity of running in a natural way. Your Long and Recovery Runs should be run as Progression Runs.

INTERVALS

Intervals refer to a Speed Run session that includes a set of running and rest intervals. There are any number of variations one could use when doing an interval Speed Run. The distance or duration as well as the pace and effort of the running interval can remain the same or change over the course of the workout. The recovery interval duration is another element of the Speed Run that can remain static or change during the workout. Ideally a session like this takes place on a track but does not need to. Any location that allows you to run freely is suitable for an interval-based Speed Run.

FARTLEK

Fartlek is loosely translated from Swedish to “speed play”. Fartlek works on speed and strength by alternating distances and paces during a continuous run. An example Fartlek workout structure could be one minute running easy followed by one minute running hard, repeated for a certain amount of minutes, miles or alternating every city block.

HILLS

Hill workouts develop speed and form. It takes extra effort to run uphill so you do not need to run as fast as you would on a flat section. While running uphill, remain in control of your breathing. Don’t lean too far forward. A light lean with the chin leading the chest is enough. Running up hills is a great way to develop speed and strength with minimal pounding on the legs. It’s best to use effort as a guide rather than pace when doing a hill workout.

TEMPO RUN

A Tempo Run is a hard but controlled pace that can be run as long intervals or a steady run of 1-10 miles. The purpose of a Tempo Run is to build mental and physical endurance and to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.


Types of Pace
We’ve divided our paces into 6 speeds that we’ll reference throughout the training program.

BEST PACE (?? OUT OF 10 EFFORT)

This is the pace that makes you feel like you are at your best. Sometimes this may mean your fastest and sometimes this will mean running easier. The pace and effort you run will be your choice.

MILE PACE (9 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)

This is the pace you could race or run hard for one mile.

5K PACE (7-8 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)

This is the pace you could race or run hard for about 3 miles.

10K PACE (6-7 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)

This is the pace you could race or run hard for about 6 miles.

TEMPO PACE (6 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)

Teaching your body to be comfortable being uncomfortable by maintaining a hard pace and effort that is close to 30-35 seconds slower than your 5K pace.

RECOVERY PACE (4-5 OUT OF 10 EFFORT)

A pace easy enough that you can talk, laugh or argue freely while running.


IF YOU… Everyone’s training journey is different.  But there are some recurring challenges and questions that many runners encounter along the way.  Here’s how to understand and overcome these common hurdles on your road to race day.

IF YOUR SCHEDULE DOES NOT MATCH THE TRAINING SCHEDULE,

Then adjust the training schedule to your needs. No training plan should ever be seen as written in stone. Instead, look at this training program as written in pencil and you have both an eraser and a pencil to make adjustments as you see fit. You are not only the athlete here… you are also the Head Coach. For best results, be sure to space out hard efforts like Speed Runs and Long Runs. Use the Recovery Runs and Rest Days to allow your body to recharge from the harder efforts.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIGURE OUT YOUR PACE,

Then experiment until you find it. When you’re out running, you run on feel. You have different gears whether you realize it or not. Be patient, pay attention and have fun experimenting with your comfort level while running at different speeds across different distances.

IF YOU’RE TIRED,

Figure out why. Feeling fatigued is normal as your training progresses, but make sure you’re supporting yourself in all other aspects of your life: get enough sleep, eat right, hydrate properly, respect Recovery days and wear the proper shoes. Sometimes the best training is to focus on recovery and rest.

IF YOU LACK MOTIVATION,

Look for inspiration. Even where you don’t expect to find it–like on a run that you don’t want to do. And remember, if you are willing to look for motivation that means you’ve already got some! Be kind and patient with yourself… and you’ll find that inspiration and motivation you need.

IF YOU HAVE A TERRIBLE RUN,

Move on to the next one. Some runs are just terrible–sometimes there’s no reason, sometimes there is. Take a moment to see if there’s a reason and learn something about yourself if there is. Being comfortable with a bad run is just as important as the joy of a great run.

IF YOU’RE HURT,

Stop running. There is a difference between hurting and being hurt. It’s essential to listen to and learn from your body throughout your training. Sometimes missing miles in the present lets you run better miles in the future. We know it’s not easy for an athlete to hold back or take off some days. That’s why it’s important you look at yourself as both an athlete and a coach.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO RACE,

Give yourself time to recover–beforehand and afterwards. You may want to back off in terms of distance or pace a few days prior to the race. Be sure to give yourself a few days of rest and recovery after it’s over, too (regardless of whether or not you consider it a successful race).

IF FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO ADJUST THE RECOMMENDED TRAINING ON ANY GIVEN DAY,

Adjust! Remember, this program is a guide. The daily training recommended here is meant to serve as a starting point for you each day. We hope to give you the guidance you need to be able to coach yourself as to when to push forward, when to pull back and when it is best to maintain. The best coach for you is you because you know your fitness better than anyone else. Some days you will run the recommended training and other days you will run more or less. Listen to your body.

About Author

Melanie Mitchell

Transforming movement into adventure. Our Mission: To personalize the fit process, hand-pick the best products, and create unique experiences that grow active communities.

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