The 13.1 Challenge Race, a half-marathon training program, develops speed as it builds endurance; as such, it’s best suited for intermediate to advanced runners committed to blazing a path to a personal record. With its varied workouts, there’s little risk of burnout in either your body or mind. A swift half-marathon calls for a yin-yang of patience and aggression, both of which you’ll hone over the next 3-plus months, setting you up to bust an impressive move on race day.
As your running improves, your mental toughness will also soar to new heights as you knock off challenging—but doable—workouts.
THE PREREQS: A relatively healthy, injury-free body is critical for revving your jets in this program, and experience running at least one previous half-marathon or marathon, while not mandatory, is definitely preferred. You should have an established base of consistent running for at least the past 6 months, and be able to complete an 8-mile run. It also helps to have been intimate with more demanding workouts, such as tempo runs or negative-split runs, although we’ll help you through those.
BIGGEST WEEK OF TRAINING: 29.5-33 miles
LONGEST LONG RUN DISTANCES: Two 13-milers, one 14-miler, one 15-miler.
FIRST AND WORST (HARDEST) WEEK: