10 Resources to Get You Started When You Decide to Walk a Half Marathon

I decided on a whim that I wanted a 13.1 sticker on the back of my car.  Yes, that's why I wanted to walk my first half marathon.  I wanted that sticker!

 I've walked 2 half marathons since then and my friends and I are planning on doing another one this year.  I never would have thought that I would have been able to do it, but I did it and YOU can too!

If you are throwing around the idea of walking a half marathon but don't know where to begin, this article is for you!  The first thing you have to do is find a race to walk.  There are countless half marathons around the country and around the world.  I'll be listing websites to races in the US.  Not all half marathons are walker friendly, although a lot of them are.  You should be able to walk a half marathon in under 4 hours by the time you finish your training.   Most websites for half marathons will have a time listed that you must complete the race by.  You can find a race near you at one of the websites below. 
 Finding a Race
Hint:  At any of the websites above that are meant for runners, once you find a half marathon near you, you can click directly to the race's website.  Once you're on the race's website, go to the FAQ section.  There will usually be a FAQ like "Is there a time limit" or "Is this race walker friendly?"  You'll be able to find out if you will be able to walk it.

Training for the Race

When I began training to walk my first half marathon, I printed out a 14 week training schedule.  My friend and I actually began to follow it loosely.  I was only walking on the "long distance" days and doing other workouts the rest of the week~~usually stepping on my step.

When I began training for my second half marathon, I was going to use an intermediate walking schedule and do the fartlets and do more strength training, more yoga, etc.  I ended up just doing the same thing I did when I trained for the first half marathon.  I walked the long distances on Fridays and did step workouts on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I do advise that you stick to the schedules as posted for your long distance days.  My friend and I wanted to see if we could do the actual 13 miles before the race and we did it twice before the race. Trust in the schedule and believe that you WILL be able to do the 13 miles on race day without doing it before then.  If you do 13 miles too many times before you're ready, you risk injuring yourself.

There are so many training plans out there that are longer than 14 weeks, but I feel like 14 weeks is long enough to train to walk a half marathon.  If you would like to see some of the longer (or shorter) schedules though, I've listed links to some below.

Unfortunately, the walking plan that I used isn't available anymore.  I've searched through all kinds of websites to find the most comparable charts and plans.  I was able to find one site that has a cool chart that you can actually customize to your race date.  That way, it gives you exact calendar days and what you should be doing on each day.  It looks like this:

I also found a website called LogYourRun.com.  You have to sign up, but it's free to sign up.  They have a list of user-generated training plans.  Once you choose a training plan, you can input your "end date" on a training calendar~~all programs end on a Sunday, so it will need to be a Sunday.  Once you've created your training plan, it can be accessed on a calendar at the website.  You can also log your mileage on a calendar.  It asks for all kinds of information on the calendar so that you can keep track of this info:  distance, time, pace, route, shoes, weight, percent body fat, calories burned, heart rate, pain, feeling, weather, temp and notes.

I can tell you that this would have been really helpful for me the first two times I trained.  Why?  Every week something new hurt!  One week my hip flexors hurt.  One week my knee hurt.  On longer distances, I started getting toe cramps.  It would have been helpful to have all of that info in one place where I could track the different issues I was having each week.

Also, if you're feeling proud of yourself and would like to share your news with others, you can be social about it~~share to Facebook or Tweet your activity.  This website also helps you keep track of the mileage on each pair of your shoes so that you know when to replace them.


Linking with Fitness Friday

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Have you ever thought about walking, jogging or running a half-marathon? 


  1. I have thought about running a marathon. I am not a runner, so I would start with a half and go from there, but this is great motivation!

    Thanks so much for sharing on Fitness Friday at Drops of Learning. Hope to see you back again tomorrow!

    1. Thank you for hosting, Miranda! I can't run, that's why I walk! At this point I don't think I'll ever try for the full marathon. More training than I want to do. I like to actually switch things up quite a bit.

  2. I never thought about WALKING a half marathon! I know I wouldn't be able to run one,...but I think I could probably walk one! What an interesting idea. So, when it says "cross training" on your schedule, what did you do those days? Did you use a phone APP or a fitbit or anything like that to track your distances each day? Thank you!

    1. Well, gigi. . .. I always had good intentions to do those cross-training days, but usually just ended up stepping on my step for however many minutes correspond to my normal time for a mile. I usually ended up walking my long mileage on Fridays and I did my step on Mondays and Wednesdays for about 45 minutes. During my last training I was going to do more weight training and yoga and ended up doing the same stuff all over again! Our next half marathon isn't until November, so I'm hoping that since I'm doing a LOT of cross-training now, I'll be able to carry it over into the half marathon training next time. Anything that makes you stronger helps. And since I'm technologically challenged (I finally just got a smartphone!) I haven't used any apps yet. I'll be on the search for the best ones soon! As far as tracking goes, I checked routes on mapquest and laid out our mileage beforehand so that we knew exactly where to go.

  3. I am always so impressed with women who do marathons. I'm a walker and not a runner, so this gives me hope that one day I might do a half marathon by walking it rather than running. thanks so much for sharing at our #OverTheMoon linky ~ Leanne :)

  4. I've also chosen this post as a feature for our next #OTM link up number 8 - it's wonderful to have some healthy inspiration! ~ Leanne


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