Slide background


The Anatomy of a Half Marathon Race

A half-marathon race is run at 50% of your maximal speed. That recruits 100% of your slow-twitch fibers, 52% of your intermediate fast-twitch fibers, and 2% of your super fast-twitch fibers. That requires 85% of your maximal aerobic capacity with 5% anaerobic contribution which is with 3.5mmol blood lactate/liter slightly below your lactate threshold.
Slide background

Training for a Half-Marathon Race

In my opinion, the most appropriate training periodization for competitive amateur runners is funnel periodization (see graphic above) as it allows for multiple peaks and a well-rounded fitness level year-round. The 3 phases for half-marathon training are as follows:


1. Base + Speed

General endurance = easy pace
Aerobic support = steady pace
Direct endurance support = marathon pace
General speed = 1500m – 400m pace


2. Pre-Competition

General endurance = easy pace
Direct speed support = 15K – 10K pace
Anaerobic support = 5K – 3K pace


3. Race-Specific

General endurance = easy pace
Race-specific = half-marathon pace
Direct speed support = 15K – 10K pace


Note: There’s no equal distribution between the suggested workout modes. General endurance always takes center stage.

Hi! I'm Sandro Sket, a NSCA-Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and coach to competitive runners. Having studied the philosophies and methods of all the great coaches (past and present), I’ve become an advocate of funnel periodization. I’m bilingual in exercise science.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs.

HM Training Plans

Extraordinary half-marathon race results are the outcome of structured training. It requires maximizing your aerobic fitness, muscular power, and half-marathon specific endurance—in the right order.

Train more effectively (and efficiently!) with funnel periodization.

Elevate your aerobic capacity (VO2max)
Boost your lactate threshold/tolerance
Increase your neuromuscular power
Upgrade your fatigue resistance
Improve your running economy

HM Intermediate

12-week plan
4 running days/week
30 miles/week (48 km/week)

HM Advanced

12-week plan
4 - 6 running days/week
45 miles/week (72 km/week)

HM Pre-Elite

12-week plan
5 - 7 running days/week
60 miles/week (96 km/week)