Couch to 5K
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Half Marathon 'Training': Running Once a Week?

Winter, injury and general 'blah' has done a bit of a number on my running activity and I've scaled it back to once a week on a Saturday morning. I'm now doing about 7 miles without feeling like I could die in the last mile or so, so, you know, hurrah! and all that.

I'm thinking about tackling a half marathon at some point and wondered whether anybody else had successfully achieved this running only once a week? I've no desire to be speedy, I just like the challenge of the distance. Do you think that if I could run 10 miles I could run 13? It may be that I add another run in during the week when the temperatures improve but that would be 30 minutes tops.

All thoughts gratefully received.

9 Replies

Erm i would run more than once a week, and did so when i trained for a half. I think one is too little. You need some strength and fitness to get you through 13 miles, so need to be as fit as you can be.

It's really up to you and you might already be fit and strong enough to wing it.

I would say it's all in the preparation and your race day experience would be made easier by training for it. If you only have the stamina to train once a week then will it get you through a 13 mile race? I know you say you are not worried about the time or speed but it's a ruddy long way! I'd up the training to 2 days minimum. You can do 3 days but still run easy, increasing the distance each week.

Someone here may well have done a half on 1 day a week training and can reassure you☺


I am doing lots of fast walking in my lunch breaks (at least three miles every day)and a good half hour of aerobics every other day, so my fitness is not in question :) I also do strength training three times a week. I figure that if I can run seven miles, I can run eight. If I can run eight, I can run nine, and so on. I seem to recall reading that if one could run ten miles then thirteen was a reasonable leap...


I am training twice a week, plus walking and swimming. I feel like I need the second run for pace. I am not fast, I am aiming on 3hr but the two runs make me feel like I have done enough work to increase my distance if that makes sense. Everyone is different though.


Thanks, RFC and MW!


By the same token, if you run once a week you can run twice! LOL

I would be running more than once is all I'm saying.

I got my new 10 k plan today (myasics) and I was rather surprised to find that the very first run is a fast 10k!!!! So, no easy start despite my plumping for the "easy" plan. I'd hate for you to find yourself on the half marathon and find that because of lack of prep you couldn't finish. Your legs need to carry you the distance and you build running legs surprise, surprise by running!

It is all about running at the end of the day, and if you don't like running then maybe it's a bad idea . I assume you don't love it if you only want to run once a week.

Just playing devil's advocate here by the way, not being judgemental at all, so don't think I'm putting you off. I want you to bag your half in style!


'I assume that you don't love [running] if you only want to run once a week', Ow. That's brutal and completely unnecessary, misswobble. And despite your best efforts it does come across as judgemental, to me at least.

I do love running and the fact that it's helped my mental health immeasurably, but there are constraints: two small children and a husband (who I like to see occasionally), a full-time job with a 40-minute lunch break and the crappiest circulation you ever did see. So while I used to run three times a week up until about September the shortened days (fell over twice running by street lights), cold (took me the best part of 1.5 hours to regain colour in my fingers a couple of times, and this was while wearing two pairs of gloves at 5 C), short lunch break and not wanting to overtax my husband's patience re: looking after the kidneys have pretty much put the kibosh on it apart from Saturday mornings. Yes, when the weather improves I may be able to run in the evenings again but ONLY when the temperature improves.


Many years ago, I used to run once a week, no other training, no warm-up or stretching and no attempt at a healthy lifestyle - I was still smoking, drinking too much &c &c.

I got up to 10-11 miles relatively quickly so the magic 13.1 would have been possible but with no other training it was very easy to get demotivated and I soon lost interest.

With all your other training it's perfectly possible that you could run 13 miles - but running more often would be more fun, wouldn't it?


Aye, when I get my thyroid condition sorted too. It's taken a real hammering from the running and I have to balance my love of distance with being able to function for the rest of the week. Just about to try an experimental medication combo, which should be fun...


No I really wasn't! I was just trying to get my head around why just once a week. You hadn't filled in the blanks at that point to be fair

I'm not brutal! Quite the reverse. You did ask for people's thoughts.


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