On's Half Marathon Training Plan

On's Half Marathon Training Plan


Training for a half marathon could be described as the running equivalent of the sweet spot.  A perfect distance to train for especially on the work/life/training scenario that most of us look at every morning.

For some 13.1 miles (or 21.09 km for our metric friends) might be what Goldilocks would describe as ‘just right.’  For others the half marathon distance might be a step in the game before tackling the marathon milestone of 26.2 miles (42.19 km.)

Whatever the motivation behind stepping up to the start line, training for a half marathon calls upon some respect of the distance, some motivation and the right plan to get you there with no injuries, overtraining or feeling under-prepared.


There are miles and weeks ahead of you to get to the start and finish line of half marathon, and it’s much easier if you do it with a ‘friend’.  No need to reinvent the wheel when many have already trained before you successfully. A training plan can be your training partner in crime based on experience and scientific studies showing the best way to prepare.

There are plenty of training plans to choose from depending in your ultimate goals, but most will follow the same protocol of building base miles and stretching your endurance with long runs at the weekend.  

A good half marathon training plan should also incorporate some cross training and importantly rest days and dialed back weeks to allow your body to absorb and adapt to the training load.

We’ve partnered with On Running to bring our JackRabbit running friends a twelve week half marathon training plan to get you to the start line confident and ready.

healthy food


Before we talk training schedules, let’s talk about fueling the human fire.

Taking on any training plan - half marathon or not - is always a good time to eyeball your current state of nutrition and be truthful if you need to make any adjustments.  You wouldn’t put junk into a Formula 1 racing car, so now could be a good time to treat your own motor with the respect it deserves.

Add an artist’s eye to the colors on your plate, it’s relatively easy to spot when it’s nutritionally balanced in the wrong direction. Make sure every meal has plenty of colors in the spectrum, with a heavy bias towards green. Try it, it actually works and is a quick and easy way to add more balance.

Changes don’t have to be huge to get you on the right path. It’s easy to add in a green smoothie to breakfast three times a week for an easy nutritional boost. After a couple of weeks, you might find yourself craving them instead of a cinnamon bun… Strange, but true, runners.

And drink… water.  Most of us are chronically dehydrated at any moment in time, so up your water intake and give those cells something to work with for your next training block.

four people running outside on a trail


We all have race-day tales to tell, and us JackRabbits are no different.  Some of our half-marathoners in the JackRabbit warren share their tips and tales of running 13.1 and what it meant to them.

“I ran a Disney World Half Marathon a few years ago! It was 6 months after breaking my arm and I wasn’t able to train much, but I ran the entire race and was sore for days after. That pain was completely masked by my bliss in completing my goal, and from high-fiving Disney characters the entire run.” - Eric, Merchandising Pro, JackRabbit Denver

“If you think a half marathon is something you can’t conquer; think again. Following a training plan, running with friends, and having the proper gear can get you over the finish line. It’s an experience that will stick with you for a lifetime and you’ll find yourself training for another one shortly after!” - Brian McKay, JackRabbit Morristown

“I spent the last 3 miles reciting you got this over and over to make myself finish , and I did!” - Kirsten, EVP at JackRabbit HQ

“Don’t decide on race day to try all the nutrition on the route, instead try this on your long runs leading up to the race.  Will save you and your stomach, (and maybe your running pants) from experiencing what I call runners hell. This is where your stomach is disagreeing with your running and nutrition choices and you have another 2 miles until the next portajohns…runners hell.” - Jess, JackRabbit HQ and London Marathon Runner

“The hardest part for me was learning it’s not a race against every person around you, it’s a race against yourself. People will pass you. If you get caught up in trying to not get passed, you’ll push your pace too hard, get burned out, and may not make it to the finish line.” - Chris, JackRabbit Merch Pro

four runners taking a break by some rocks


On Running have shared with us their go-to half marathon training plan.  Twelve weeks is three months of steady building endurance and strength each week to reach race day prepared.

STARTING THE PROGRAM: You should be able to run three to four miles before embarking on this training program. Week #1 starts at the 3 and 4 mile distances working up to the full 13 miles in the last month of training before you get to dial it back for race week!

CROSS TRAINING: One day a week is dedicated to cross-training. This is designed to spread the training load and keep you moving forward and engaging full-body training. The guide shoes a bike icon, but anyting goes here: swimming, gym, spin - the goal is it lasts over 30 minutes and you work up a sweat.

REST: Mondays are rest days. These are as important as training, so take your rest seriously.

And remember! Always consult a physician to make sure you are ready for a training program.


The first month is all about gettting on a schedule and slowly building consistency into the first few weeks. Lace up your running shoes and enjoy the journey.

training plan chart


One month into training you should be feeling the benefits of training consistency and this is the month where the long weekend run is becoming more significant.  While this is an important build month, it's still ok to miss one or two sessions over the month if life dictates that.

training plan chart


One month to go to race day, you should be getting comfortable with the race distance and the last month is all about building stamina and strength.  Race week - be mindful that the real work has been done in the weeks before, so rest up in the final days before the Big Race Day.

training plan chart

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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