Couch to 5K
57,615 members90,126 posts

Half Marathon for Beginners

No, I haven't gone mad and decided to go straight from week 5 to a half marathon, but today's issue of The Times (Sat 7th Jan) has a 12 week training plan for 'beginners' to train for a half marathon. Given that week one includes a 25 minute run, I think their definition of a beginner differs from mine, but I shall hang onto it to revisit post-graduation.

7 Replies

Erk! No. Don't go there!

Not yet anyways. Your body and running legs need to be fully built up for longer distances which can only achieved through progressively building up distances over time. It takes 18 months to two years to fully build up. Once you graduate you could do the post C25k podcasts Stepping Stones then move on to bridge to 10k. Then the work to half marathon begins.

If you try and do too much too soon you will hurt yourself


You've just basically described my (incredibly general) long-term plan! I'm glad to know that I'm not completely mad for even thinking of it!

1 like

Sounds like an excellent idea! Keep it for post graduation, that will give you your next goal! 👏🏻👏🏻😀😀🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏻🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏻Slow and steady now.


Wow! It's great to have goals to aim for, and everyone's different, but I do agree with misswobble , one thing I have learned with this glorious running malarkey is it takes your body a long time to learn what you are asking it to do, longer than you might think....

Good luck with the plan, and here's hoping you'll continue to see goals that excite you and keep you going......I'm currently training for my first half marathon, I completed C25K nearly three years ago......😄......and slowly but surely have progressed to longer distances...


1 like

Week one 25 mins!!! That is not a beginner it is a C25k graduate. i hate to have a grumble but it really does annoy me when they write stuff like that. Any runners magazine would stipulate that you should be running regularly before you start a HM training plan or do a C25K first. Sorry rant over😀.

Also the thing to think about with these plans is your pace. When I first started training for events I went for a timed plan, then quickly realised I needed a distance plan. I am a slow runner and if I had completed a timed plan for my HM I would of been 3/4 around the course when that would of run out 😀. The timed plans are based on someone who can run for 30 min and reach 5km, I have never been able to do that, so keep your pace in mind when choosing a future plan.


Isn't it so irresponsible?! :-(

Bet it's been written by someone who was a) either already fit and running HMs or b) someone who has never run in their lives and they've just found it somewhere, and switched beginner for progression.

I've only been running since the end of October, but according to that I should now be getting close to HM distance, when actually I'm now just hitting 6.5K. Probably if I'd used a plan like that I would not have just completed my 3rd Parkrun, I would be nursing long term running injuries!!!

One of the things I have appreciated about this forum is the very sensible advice from people who are much further along in their running journeys, and all based on fact and reality, not pie in the sky nonsense. Eg I realised in week 5 I was probably running to fast and would most likely have run out of steam and not been able to complete 30 mins - so I slowed down and took the mantra "slow and steady" seriously. (Until my grad run when I just let go and ran as fast as I could!!!)

1 like

As a 51 yr old, I graduated almost 15 months ago now and have my first Half Marathon in March!! Running has become a huge part of my life but as others have said, you have to learn to listen to your body whilst slowly building those running legs. My body is capable of lots but it is not as adaptable as it was when I was 25!! Like others, I consolidated my 5ks before bridging to 10k and then longer runs. Even now, 5 weeks out of running with several lurgies has left me behind in my training for March, but this is very much part of the journey I think and things do not always go to plan! Glad that you are loving your running so much and that you see it long term as part of your life! Happy running!🙂🏃🏽‍♀️🙂


You may also like...