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10k to Half Marathon: Transition Tips + Free Training Plan

Progressing from a 10k to half marathon is a natural step for most runners, but can often feel intimidating. Preparing for a half marathon requires a significant increase in training volume after a 10k, since it is nearly double the distance.

How long does it take to go from 10k to half marathon?

For runners beginning half marathon training relatively soon after finishing a 10k, training should only take 8 – 10 weeks, even for beginners. Training for the 10k serves as a great form of base training, providing runners with solid base mileage.

Those who are planning to train for their first half marathon after a break from running their 10k will likely require somewhere between 12 – 16 weeks to train. Experienced runners can quickly make the jump from 10k to half marathon, often in as little as 4 – 6 weeks.

Can I run a half marathon if I’ve run a 10k?

Yes! Most runners who have completed a 10k can successfully make the jump to a half marathon. First time half marathoners will all require time to build their endurance before race day, but for those in good health, a half marathon is a natural next step.

10k vs Half Marathon: Key Differences

While progressing from 10k to half marathon is a natural step, the training does have some big differences. With a goal of more than double the distance, runners will need to build endurance, strength and stamina for race day. Here are some key differences between the two races.

10kHalf Marathon
6.2 miles13.1 miles
Can easily be completed walkingMuch more difficult and time consuming to walk
Longest training run no more than an hour in lengthTraining runs can require upwards of two hours
Does not require mid-race fuelMid-race fueling is essential
Training often takes only a couple of monthsTraining can last 4-5 months for beginners
Carb loading is not necessaryCarb loading is recommeded
No taper neededTaper for 1-2 weeks
Progressing from 10k to half marathon is a natural step for most runners. Here are 6 tips to transition, plus a free training plan PDF.

6 Tips to Progress from 10k to Half Marathon

Signing up for a half marathon after completing a 10k is a great goal! This next race will build on previous training and allow runners to continue to improve endurance and fitness. Here are some tips to maximize success on race day.

Build off your base training

The easiest way to transition from 10k to half marathon is to use your previous 10k training as base training for your half. This means signing up for a half marathon that is about 2-3 months away from your 10k race.

This time frame will allow runners to use their 10k to their advantage and avoid having to recover from gaps in training. With this method, you’ll complete your 10k as if it were a scheduled long run, and then continue to increase mileage for the half marathon.

Take cross training seriously

As runs get longer and training demands increase, the importance of cross training does as well. Cross training not only serves to help improve overall fitness, but it also plays a key role in preventing injury.

Adding in cross training workouts 2-3 times a week helps improve overall strength, prevent muscle imbalances and reduce the risk of overtraining. Regardless of whether or not you cross trained during 10k training, you’ll need to prioritize it before a half.

Practice mid-run fueling

Fueling during a run becomes essential when long runs reach an hour in length or more. By this time, the body has usually depleted its source of easy carbohydrates and runners may notice a drag or lack of energy if they skip fueling.

Practicing your mid-run fueling is essential prior to race day. Test out different sources of fuel as well as different timing to find what works best for your body. When you find a strategy that works, practice it on a few long runs leading up to the half marathon.

>> How to Fuel a Half Marathon

Follow your taper plan

Most 10k training plans don’t involve much, if any, taper. However, training for a half marathon usually involves increasing mileage and then backing down for a week or two before the race.

Taper provides your body with some extra time to recover, rebuild muscle tears and get stronger before the race. Most training plans involve a strategic taper during the last one to two weeks of training, just when some beginner runners find themselves nervous about hitting the starting line underprepared.

Remember – the worst thing you could do in this situation is add on some extra miles or workouts to help boost your preparation. Follow the taper plan and remember that it serves a purpose, and you’ll actually be more prepared by running less during those final few weeks.

Don’t increase too much too soon

The excitement of progressing from a 10k to a half marathon is often overwhelming, and can leave some runners feeling ready to tackle their goals head on.

However, one of the worst things you can do is finish a 10k and then quickly ramp up your mileage and intensity. Take some time to gradually increase in both intensity and mileage, providing your body with time to adapt and adjust to the new demands. This will not only help prevent injury, but it will leave you better prepared on race day.

Invest in quality running shoes

Half marathon training requires significantly higher mileage than training for a 10k. The increased demands and time on your feet mean that running shoes become essential for injury prevention and overall health.

If you didn’t during your 10k training, make it a priority now to go get fitted or test out running shoes in person to find what works best for your body. The wrong running shoes, or shoes not specifically designed for running at all, can lead to a host of injuries and pain later on.

10k to Half Marathon Training Plan

Progressing from 10k to half marathon is a natural step for most runners. Here are 6 tips to transition, plus a free training plan PDF.

This 10k to Half Marathon Training Plan is designed to take runners from the finish line of their 10k straight into half marathon training. The 12 week training plan is perfect for those with a goal half marathon 3 months away!

Download the 10k to Half Marathon Training Plan PDF!

Once you’ve completed a 10k, you’ve already finished the hardest part of half marathon training – building a running base! Use this training plan to boost your endurance and mileage safely to get you to the half marathon finish line with success and confidence.

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