Thursday, 5 November 2015

How Long Does It Take To Train For A Half Marathon?

This is a question that I am asked time after time. It is of course a perfectly normal question to ask. Sadly it is also a really difficult one to answer for everyone. It depends on all of the following:

  • Your level of fitness
  • Your age
  • Your dedication
  • Your mental attitude
Can I Do This?


Primarily the one thing that will determine how long you need to train for will be your current level of fitness. To contrast this, if you were a 24 year old guy who kept reasonably fit then you could be read for a half marathon in a few weeks. On the other hand if you were a 44 year old male, who hadn't done any exercise for ages, then it would take a great deal longer.

So the level of fitness you are at right now, will determine how long you will need to train before a race. The good news is that almost anyone can follow a 12 week plan, and be ready to run a half marathon.


Few people that I know like to grow old. That is just going to happen to all of us. Age plays quite a large role in how long we will need to train. As we age we naturally slow down. Also when we exercise we also take longer to recover. A younger person could do more training than an older person if they were equally dedicated, simply because they recover quicker.


If you can make a plan and stick to it, then anyone could complete a half marathon training schedule in 12 weeks. However, if you are someone who easily gets distracted, or is creative about excuses, then that will take a lot longer.

If you don't do the miles, and try but fail to stick with a plan, then it will take longer to train.


When we decide we want to do something, then almost always that will happen. If you want to go on holidays, you will decide where, check out flights, hotels etc and make the booking and pay your money.

Training for a half marathon is exactly the same. If it is something that you really want to do, then pick a date in advance, set out your running plan, and then commit to it.


I thought I would include some of the half marathon training questions that I have been asked. Here they are below:

  • Can I Train For Half Marathon in 6 Weeks?
  • Is 8 Weeks Enough Time To Train For A Half Marathon?
  • Can I successfully train for a half marathon in 15 weeks?
  • Is It possible to train for a half marathon in four months? 
  • Is it possible to train for a half marathon in 5 months?
  • Can I run a 1/2 marathon without training?
You can see from this that people have different expectations of how long it takes. The answer to all of the above is YES. There is however a big BUT!

Mainly it is about your current level of fitness and your commitment. I had a friend who wanted to lose weight and run a half marathon for charity. They had not exercised in 10 years and they were aged 45. The reality is that with the right mindset, they could do this in 12 weeks.

However due to recovery times, a couple of injuries, and a bit of laziness it took him 6 months. The bottom line though? He did it and still runs them today and is now a healthy and happy man.