How Do You Know You’re Ready to Run a Half Marathon

How did you know you were ready to run a half marathon?

I got this question a few days ago – it’s something I get asked a lot in some form or another….

“I can run 6 miles now and feel good… how long before I’m ready for a half marathon?”

“I ran a 5k last Christmas and have been running ever since – do you think I can run a half marathon in April?”

Yes, you can run a half marathon. But the timing depends on your fitness level and time you have to train.

ready to run half marathon

You are ready to TRAIN for a Half Marathon when:

1. You can run about 6 miles or a 10K and it doesn’t send you to the hospital and/or cause you to hate running.

Why – Many half marathon training plans start their long runs at about 5 or 6 miles. So, you should have that base built up to be able to run that stretch once a week.

2. You have about 4 or 5 days a week that allow for time to run – this can be 45 minutes to an hour depending – with one day with a little more time for long runs.

Why – Most training plans have you run 4 or 5 days a week. There are a few ‘run 3 days’ plans, but you still have to cross train on off days.

3. You really want to run 13.1 miles! <- Desire and motivation are the #1 indicator. If you want it, go for it!!!

Why- I cannot tell you what you can and can’t do – no one can! You know what you’re made of!!!

have faith

trust yourself to fly (800x800)

Here is a list of my favorite Half Marathon Training plans and resources.

My Race Recaps Page has over 50 races that I’ve run!

Check out my Race Discounts Page if you’re looking to sign up for a race.

Good luck!

Question: Have you run a half marathon?

Do you want to?


  1. says

    Great tips! I love the half marathon because it’s long enough to be challenging but it doesn’t take as much time and weekly mileage to train for as a full marathon. I’ve run many halfs and I think it’s my favorite distance…although I’m trying to convince myself that if I train for enough of them I’ll start loving full marathons just as much. :)

  2. says

    I have run two different half marathons. I did not train properly for the second race and regretted it greatly on race day. I almost gave up and was at the point of tears many times during the run. It was terrible and I never want to repeat that again, it also turned me off of running for about 6 months. The next half I do I fully intend to throw myself into training and have good results. Having the time and desire are the keys to a good half.

  3. Annemarie/Carmie says

    I’ve run two half marathons and it’s becoming a favorite distance! I just joined a group that having just finished their first 10K (beach to beacon!) decided to train for an early October half. I think it’s an ambitious goal and that’s why I’m excited to run with and cheer for them!

  4. says

    Yes, ma’am. I’ve ran multiple half marathons and I LOVE them. Next up a marathon, but I’ve been injured, so I dont think it will happen until the end of this year. However, I enjoy doing triathlons during the summer.

  5. says

    Half marathons are a good distance – not too short where you need to go all out and not too long where training time takes up a fair bit of your time. When’s your next half?

  6. says

    My first half marathon was basically me walking the whole time. I didn’t train, I had no idea about shoes, (mine were a year old from Wal-Mart) I finished but I could not walk the next day. I was young. With no internet to stalk running bloggers

  7. says

    Good advice! I think you’re spot on about knowing you can train for a half if you can already run 5-6 miles. I think that if you can get up to a 10 mile long run, you’re ready to run the race because the adrenaline of race day can carry you the last 3 miles.

    Also you’re so right that the most important thing is to WANT to run a half marathon! Where there’s a will, There’s a way!

  8. says

    I’m doing my first half in October. I signed up after completing my first 5K & 10K back in May. I was just hungry for more! I don’t have any desire for a full because of the time committment, but I’m definitely planning on running more halfs in 2015.

  9. says

    LOVE ME THE HALF MARATHON DISTANCE!!! (that was me shouting my love from the mountain tops). I just completed lifetime half marathon #58 this past Saturday which was #19 on the year. Sadly my hip is really bothering me so we’ll see what the doctor says next Monday. Next half is at the end of the month. Must. Get. Back. Out. There.

  10. says

    Hi Monica! I stumbled on your blog from another one I follow…I just finished training for a 5K and have gotten into that I am actually planning to do the Detroit half marathon next year for my 30th birthday…sounds like your blog will be helpful and encouraging for me:)

  11. Jen says

    I signed up for a half 4 years ago and promptly had a massive ankle sprain that put me out for almost a year. I am finally registered to run my first half on October 5th! I hate being told what to do and I am awful at following training plans, so I am ‘playing it by ear’ – a few 3-6 mile runs during the week and a long run on the weekend. Last weekend I got a new PDR, 9 miles! I know this is not the way to train for everyone, but I’m listening to my body and remaining injury-free. My only goal is to not be picked up on the course by the van, and after those 9 miles I feel like I’m going to make it!

  12. says

    I’ve run 3 so far with 1-3 on the books for this fall depending on how my body feels! I love the distance and the challenge of doing halves :)

  13. Zahava says

    Im training for my first half marathon in one month – on my 21st birthday weekend!! Ive been really apprehensive and had soo many doubts but this weekend I managed to do 8 miles without dying so Im definitely feeling more confident! Let’s hope I can make it one more month!

  14. says

    i loved this post! I am training for my first half and really hoping all the training will pay off and I will have a good run. I love 10km races and have done alot, together with my training perhaps 21km will be my new fave!

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