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Hal Higdon "Novice 2" half marathon training program

This is a 12 week half marathon training program, with 4 running workouts per week (a fifth workout day (Sunday) is dedicated to cross-training).

Higdon's Novice 2 program is intended to be a bridge between his Novice 1 and Intermediate training schedules. The Novice 1 program is designed for people who have never run a race before, while the Intermediate program is designed for people who have run a half marathon before and want to improve their performance. Hence, Novice 2 is for the people in between - i.e., those who have run a 5-K or 10-K race, but haven't done a race at half marathon distance yet.

NEW! Click here to add the Hal Higdon training schedule to your Google Calendar!


Download the Hal Higdon "Novice 2" half marathon training schedule to your Google Calendar

Use this app to download the Hal Higdon "Novice 2" half marathon training schedule to your Google Calendar.

If you are not already logged in to your Google Account, you will notice that the "Submit" button is disabled and there is a button on the line below the "Submit" button that says "Sign in to your Google Account". Click the "Sign in to your Google Account button" next to the "Submit" button. A window will pop up and prompt you for your login information.

After you are logged in to your Google Account, click the box labeled "MM/DD/YYYY", and use the datepicker to select a date for your first workout. This should be a Tuesday. Then click the "Submit" button. All the workouts should now be visible in your Google Calendar.

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Training schedule

WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1Off3 mile run3 mile run3 mile runOff4 mile run60 min cross
2Off3 mile run3 mile pace3 mile runOff5 mile run60 min cross
3Off3 mile run4 mile run3 mile runOff6 mile run60 min cross
4Off3 mile run4 mile pace3 mile runOff7 mile run60 min cross
5Off3 mile run4 mile run3 mile runOff8 mile run60 min cross
6Off3 mile run4 mile pace3 mile runOff5-K Race60 min cross
7Off3 mile run5 mile run3 mile runOff9 mile run60 min cross
8Off3 mile run5 mile pace3 mile runOff10 mile run60 min cross
9Off3 mile run5 mile run3 mile runOff10-K Race60 min cross
10Off3 mile run5 mile pace3 mile runOff11 mile run60 min cross
11Off3 mile run5 mile run3 mile runOff12 mile run60 min cross
12Off3 mile run2 mile pace2 mile runOffOffHalf marathon

Explanation of training schedule terms

Run: When the workout includes the word "run," such as "3 mile run," you should run that distance at a comfortable pace for you. A comfortable pace means one in which you could hold a conversation without having any difficulty breathing.

Pace: When the workout includes the word "pace," such as "3 mile pace," that means you should run the workout at whatever your desired race pace is. For example, if you plan to run your half marathon at an 8 min/mile pace, and you have to do a "3 mile pace" workout, then you should run 3 miles at an 8 min/mile pace.

Cross: The word "cross" is short for "cross-training." Cross-training includes strength training, cycling, swimming, etc. Hence, a "40 min cross" workout would involve doing 40 minutes of one of these activities (but no running).

Race: The calendar mentions a 5-K Race and a 10-K Race in weeks 6 and 9, respectively. Higdon suggests running in a race of that distance on those 2 days. However, it's a headache to schedule that many races, so this is purely optional. What you should do for those workouts if you aren't planning to run in a race is run that distance at whatever race pace you would select for that distance. For example, if you would run a 5-K race at 8 min/km, then run a 5-K route at 8 min/km.

Read Hal's half marathon training book or consult his website if you have further questions on his Novice 2 program.