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  • Training plan
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About this challenge

This challenge will condition a relative beginner to build up to walking a half marathon. The training within this challenge is broken down into four phases; foundation, preparation, building and final push. 

beginner Training Plan

Entry requirements: beginner

If you have already got some walking training under your belt, you can choose to join the challenge at the point that best matches the distances you are already comfortable covering.

For someone that is already exercising and can comfortably walk 3 miles (approx. 5k) 3-4 times per week, then you can skip the foundation phase and start from the preparation phase. This will provide you with a 12-week training plan.

Start date:
Anytime
Expected finish time:
Anytime
Duration:
12 weeks
Week 1
Jump to:
Monday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes

It's time to lace up those training shoes, and get some mileage under you

Tuesday
Rest

Rest 

Even at this early stage, it's important not to overdo things

Rest is as important as the training you do

Wednesday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes

Thursday
Mobility

Mobility 

It is advisable to include some maintenance work on your rest days

Foam rolling, mobility work and stretching, will help with recovery, performance and injury prevention

Friday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes

Saturday
Rest

Rest 

Sunday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 36 minutes

Make sure you time yourself. Get in the habit of timing your distance dependant sessions

Complete the session with a good stretch

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Get in the routine of Monday being your rest day; as you'll need a day off following your Sunday training sessions, which will be increasing in distance

Tuesday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes

Wednesday
Rest

Rest 

Thursday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes

Friday
Rest

Rest 

Saturday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes

You will be doing back to back walks on consecutive days, so make sure you do a good amount of flexibility and maintenance work

Sunday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 54 minutes

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Very gradual increase in distance this week

Tuesday
Training

2.2 miles / 3.5 km / 40 minutes

Vary your walks

Wednesday
Rest

Rest 

Thursday
Training

2.2 miles / 3.5 km / 40 minutes

Friday
Rest

Rest 

Saturday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 36 minutes

Sunday
Training

3 miles / 4.8km / 54 minutes

That's 5 miles (8 km) done this weekend

Monday
Rest

Rest

Last week of foundation stage, building up to your longest walk of 4 miles 

Tuesday
Training

2.5 miles / 4 km / 45 minutes 

Wednesday
Rest

Rest

Thursday
Training

2.5 miles / 4 km / 45 minutes 

You could replace this walk with another form of activity, such as cross-training or swimming

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 36 minutes

Sunday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 72 minutes 

Finish the session with a good stretch 

Monday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes

The goal now is to start introducing other forms of training to compliment your increasing Sunday walks

Tuesday
Rest

Rest

Wednesday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes - slow 

Thursday
Mobility

Rest 

It is advisable to include some maintenance work on your rest days

Foam rolling, mobility work, and stretching, will help with recovery, performance, and injury prevention

Friday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes -  slow

Saturday
Rest

Rest 

Sunday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 64 minutes -  slow

Your 'steady' walks need to be at a quicker pace than your slow walks

You'll be using this pace throughout your Sunday walks, other 'Steady' walks and, ultimately, when you do the half marathon walk

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Make sure that you include some technique focused training in your weekly sessions

Tuesday
Rest

2 miles / 3.2 km / 28 minutes - tempo 

Your first 'Tempo' walk.

Push yourself, but not so much that you can't complete the distance at the pace you started at

Wednesday
Training

Gym and flexibility - 45 minute session 

Get to the gym for some cross-training, or total body conditioning

If unsure then ask for help, or start with bodyweight exercises

Thursday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 28 minutes - tempo 

Ensure you are keeping track of your sessions

It's important to track your minute mile/km pace during different sessions as you can then measure progress and review performance

Friday
Rest

Rest 

Fridays will be your day of rest or gym circuits depending on how you feel

Focus on lightweight and higher rep ranges

Focus on legs and core, but don't neglect any part of your body

Saturday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 54 minutes - steady

Sunday
Training

6 miles / 9.6 km / 96 minutes - steady 

You should have a good idea of your paces 

Your Sunday walks are quick, comfortable and steady

These are different to your other sessions, which will include faster tempo and interval sessions

Monday
Rest

Rest

Plan some routes - ensure you include some hill work in your training

Tuesday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 42 minutes - tempo

Start picking up the pace of your midweek walks

Aim to walk at your quickest pace during your first session of the week

Wednesday
Training

Gym workout - 45 minutes 

Total body circuit; include exercises such as glute bridges, squats, lunges, and planks, which will all compliment your training

Thursday
Training

3 miles / 4.8km / 48 minutes - interval 

Your first 'Interval' session of your training. Alternate between your slow pace and your tempo pace (or slightly higher)

If you are new to interval then make it more 'Fartlek', alternating depending on how you are feeling

Friday
Rest

Rest 

Saturday
Training

4 miles / 6.4km / 72 minutes - slow

Sunday
Training

8 miles / 12.9 km / 2 hours and 8 minutes - steady 

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Tuesday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 42 minutes 

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes

Focus on a leg heavy session, increase the weight you have been using

Finish the session with some interval work on rower or exercise bike

Thursday
Training

3 miles / 4.8km / 48 minutes

Friday
Rest

Rest 

Saturday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 90 minutes - slow

Keep legs ticking over ready for your longer walk tomorrow 

Sunday
Training

6 miles / 9.6 km / 96 minutes - steady 

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Would be great if you could get a regular massage booked in, ideally on a Monday

As your mileage increases during this phase of training, get to grips with your nutrition (pre & post training)

Tuesday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 56 minutes 

A little reminder to focus on good form and technique

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes

Thursday
Training

4 miles / 6.4km / 64 minutes - intervals 

Push yourself - interval training leads to significant crossover gains to your important 'steady' walks

Friday
Training

Optional gym session - 45 minutes

Either use a rest day or bodyweight circuit, with light cross-training

Saturday
Rest

5 miles / 8km / 80 minutes 

Your combined weekend training is almost exactly your half marathon distance

Sunday
Training

8 miles / 12.9km / 2 hours 8 minutes

Are you able to maintain your 'steady' pace throughout?
If not, you may have to adjust your pacing

Monday
Training

Optional recovery session 

You can do a light recovery session on a Monday after your long walk

Not impact cardio, swimming, and a good foam rolling session can really help with recovery

Tuesday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 70 minutes - tempo

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes (lower body)

Focus on your legs and glutes

Thursday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 80 minutes - intervals

If you've never tried hill intervals, then give it a go

Speed walking up a hill can do wonders for your fitness, and can also force you to walk with good technique

Friday
Training

Optional Pilates or yoga class

Get yourself down to a Pilates or yoga class - it will really help with your flexibility, core strength and breathing

Saturday
Training

6 miles / 9.6 km / 96 minutes - steady 

Sunday
Training

8 miles / 12.9 km / 120 minutes - steady

 

Are you fuelling during these longer walks, and getting enough fluid on board?

Monday
Rest

Rest

If you haven't got time for a massage, then make sure you at least have an Epsom Salt bath

Tuesday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 56 minutes - tempo

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 45 minutes (upper and lover body)

Keep lifting the weight, and keep getting stronger

Thursday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 56 minutes

Friday
Training

Gym session - 45 minutes (core)

Core work, and a good foam rolling session

Saturday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 70 minutes - steady 

Sunday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 70 minutes - steady 

Monday
Rest

Rest 

If you do go for a massage, do remind the therapist your half marathon event is on Sunday, so to go a little easier on you!

Tuesday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes - steady 

All the training walks this week are geared around keeping everything ticking over

Wednesday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes - steady

Thursday
Rest

Rest

Friday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes - slow 

Get a good night's sleep tonight, in case any nerves affect your sleep tomorrow

Saturday
Rest

Rest 

Don't do too much at all today

Sunday
Race day

Race day! 

Enjoy the whole experience. You've already done the hard work

Week 1
Jump to:
Have you already completed this?