Look, running 13.1 miles can be a pretty intimidating feat, especially if you’re new-ish to running in general. (Like, you’re pretty darn tired even after just a couple of miles.) That said, tons of people run half-marathons each year—seriously! Nearly 1.79 people ran half-marathons in total in 2019, with over 60 percent of those runners being women.

Whether a half-marathon is a bucket list fitness item for you or your stepping stone to a greater distance (hi, full marathon training plan), a half-marathon can get you out of your cardio comfort zone while also testing your effort and endurance levels. Another bonus? Because the distance is more doable, the training doesn’t take up so much of your life and time like it does when you’re doing a full marathon. Basically, all you need to know is that *you got this*.

But...what next? Like, how long do you even need to train for? Do you have to do other exercises, too, like cross-training? These are the tough questions.

That's why Women’s Health put together this 12-week long half-marathon training guide PDF, created exclusively for WH+ members. To access all that pre-race information goodness, all you need to do is sign up for a WH+ membership and you’re good to go. Here’s what else you should know before you start…

Remind me: How long is a half-marathon, exactly?

A half-marathon is 13.1 miles in length, or 21 kilometers. As the name suggests, it’s exactly half the distance of a full marathon, which is 26.2 miles and 42 kilometers. While it’s half the distance of a true marathon, the length of the race can still be daunting for seasoned runners and newbies alike.

Download The Half-Marathon Training Guide Here

“It’s a race that requires a bit more training, discipline, and planning for runners looking to take it to that next level,” says Jasmine Nesi, a USATF certified running coach, an instructor at Mile High Run Club in New York City, and cofounder of RUNGRL. “It can be intimidating, but it’s manageable—and the sense of accomplishment at the end, and medal, is priceless!” says Nesi. Got that down?

This content is imported from poll. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Okay, but why should I follow a half-marathon training plan?

Basically, following this WH-guided 12-week training can help put you on the path to success.

This guide has everything you need, all of which is informed by expert trainers who know the ins and outs of half-marathon training.

Look, if you’re still on the fence, think back to high school, when you forgot to study for your math exam and you totally bombed when the big day came along.

“There’s nothing worse than feeling unprepared on race day,” says Nesi. “Sticking to a plan allows you to not only physically, but mentally, prepare for the 13.1 journey,” she explains.

Download The Half-Marathon Training Plan

Trust: This race plan will help you stay calm and collected when your half-marathon arrives, since you’ll know you’ve prepared as best as you can to cross the finish line—and you’ll be more likely to avoid painful injury.

What kind of strength-training should I be doing?

ICYDK, cross-training will be totally key when you’re looking to do this half-marathon training program. In fact, for this WH guide Nesi plans for you to do at least one to two cross-training days per week, which will help you build and maintain your muscles as you increase your mileage.

Cross-training can also help you decrease the risk of burnout from too much running. Maintaining your strength through cross-training will also help you prevent injury and keep you healthy throughout the process, which can be tough overall on the body.

What should my half-marathon training plan tell me about race prep?

This PDF will guide you through everything you need to know pre-race–especially as it gets closer to the big day. Everything from nutrition, to sleep, to gear you should wear during the race is covered here, including how you should taper down your mileage as your race date nears so that your legs (and mind!) are fresh.

Now that you're basically an expert on half-marathon training programs, it’s time to download this PDF for yourself, an exclusive perk for Women's Health+ members only.

And BTW, signing up for a Women's Health+ membership also gives you access to our members-only newsletter, in addition to *unlimited site content* (which means lots of other kinds of workouts), and a one-year print magazine subscription.

Join Women's Health+ today for exclusive access to this running guide, a subscription to Women's Health, and even more perks.