Half Marathon Masterclass

The Complete Guide To Achieve Your Half Marathon Goals - Specific Training Plans, Expert Advice, Preparation, Gear, Nutrition and Pace Strategy, Guaranteed!

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Training for your first half marathon?

I'll show you the most effective methods to get results and achieve your half marathon goals!

Looking to improve your half marathon time?

Our training strategies and speedwork plans help you sharpen your edge!

And apart from actually running, do you struggle with any of the following:

- motivation and mindset issues

- avoiding injuries

- finding the time to train while balancing your regular life?

Meet Rachel, one of our Half Marathon success stories . . .

"Following the Marathon Handbook method has significantly helped me become a better and more knowledgeable runner . . . the steep hills galore in my recent Half Marathon proved that! I placed 3rd in my age group and 23rd female out of 126 overall!"

We will take you through your entire half marathon training and preparation journey, from your first step to the finish line.

Are You Ready To Run 13.1 miles?

You've got a half marathon in your sights? Great! Running a half marathon is just an awesome goal.

Each year, more and more runners take on the challenge of conquering 13.1 miles.

Half marathon training can be enjoyable, but is a serious commitment in terms of time and energy.

But there are pitfalls ahead!

Unfortunately, every year hundreds of half marathon runners don't finish their marathon.


They increase their mileage too quickly and get injured during training.

They get common injury problems like IT band issues, Runner's knee, shin splints, or another injury and they don't know how to react to them.

Their training plan lacks structure, causing them to overcompensate and overtrain.

They struggle with time management, motivation, and mindset.

They burn out.

They don't know how to taper.


You Can Get To The Finish Line!

We've helped hundred of runners - many of whom with no prior running experience - get to the finish line of their half marathon!

The Half Marathon Masterclass will guide you through your entire training journey, all the way to the finish line!

Some of the key principles of our training philosophy:

How to Train Smart

Every single run or workout you perform should have a specific goal and intention.

This way you optimise the time spent in training

Random Training = Random Results.

How to use your dedicated training plan. After explaining the principles of marathon training, we give you a marathon training plan to follow all the way to marathon day.

How to use cross training as a secret weapon to minimise injuries and build running power!

The importance of half marathon pace; how so many runners get it wrong, and what your pace strategy should be come race day.

How to develop a solid nutrition and hydration strategy to fuel you during your race, and in training.

And loads more! (check out the curriculum below).


Meet some more of our Half Marathon Success Stories . . .


The Half Marathon Masterclass

The Ultimate Expert Guide To

Achieving Your Half Marathon Goal


12 Modules of Video Training and downloadable material that will make you half marathon ready!

Over 5+ hours of exclusive video walkthroughs and tutorials with a professional UESCA-certified running coach!

Plus full access to our database of marathon training plans (+ special discount on our TrainingPeaks plans) . . .

Sit back, watch, take notes, and learn the training techniques and strategies that half marathon runners need to know to optimise their training and bag their best result on race day!

What You Will Learn . . .


We know how daunting it can be to sign up for a half marathon - it's an epic road ahead of you.

The first step in a successful half marathon runner's journey is defining what their race goals are going to be - this then guides them through every step of the process.

This course starts by working with you to define what your half marathon goals will be, by working through a series of exercises. Whether you want to run a sub 2hr half marathon, or you simply want to cross the finish line in one piece, having your half marathon goals defined at the start of the training process makes everything easier.

Once you have defined your goals, you can structure your entire training plan around those goals - allowing you to train smart!


Going from regular distance runs to a half marathon is a complete change in mindset, and approach.

In this module, I'll explain to you the essential principles of half marathon training.

We'll spend a lot of time discussing your training plan - and I explain the rationale behind the length, the mileages, the milage increases, the layout of your week, step-back weeks . . . there's a lot to cover, and it's all grounded in optimising your training plan.

I'll walk you through our half marathon training plan database, how to pick the training plan that suits your ability levels and goals, and then how to customise the training plan to suit your needs - if required. We'll talk about the importance of following a training plan, and explain the relevance of each element of the plan.

I also have an entire video session dedicated to pace strategy - one of the most overlooked (but crucial) elements of any half marathon plan!


As early as practically possible, you should be studying your upcoming half marathon course conditions and organisation.

In this module, we'll look at what's important when you're researching your half marathon, and how to prepare accordingly during your training - whether it's underfoot conditions, gradients, weather, aid stations, or simply planning your toilet stops - it's all important information which will play an important role in your half marathon training.

I also spend some time walking you through some logistical planning advice, making sure your travel arrangements and race day logistics run as smoothly as possible.


This module really gets into the meat of your half marathon training. I explain the details of every different type of training run you'll be performing during your marathon training - whether it's pace runs, long runs, speed work, or simple training runs.

When you train smart, each training run has specific objectives and targets specific qualities.

In this section, we look at the details of each training run - how to warm up, how long they should be, what pace they should be run at, how your mileage should increase as your training progresses.

Naturally, we also end up discussing what many half marathon runners-in-training do wrong on these training runs.


For my money (and that of almost every other coach I talk to), the number one activity that most half marathon runners neglect is some form of resistance training. Many runners count running as their only form of exercise, and these don't realise the injury-proofing or performance benefits which a modest amount of gym time can have.

In this module, I'll tell you about the importance of resistance training, the fundamentals of how to perform it, and then give you specific instructions on the best exercises to perform to level up your running game and make you injury-proof (and the majority can be done at home!)


In this module, we cover every about gear - starting with running shoes.

I show you exactly what you need to look for in shoes, and how to select the right pair of running shoes for your half marathon training. We also discuss different shoe types, and how to assess whether your existing shoes are good enough. I give recommendations about when to change out your shoes, and how 'fresh' your shoes should be.

We then go through every other piece of gear you'll need for your marathon running. I'll give you the details of what you need to look for when it comes to GPS devices, running vests, shorts, shirts, and - very importantly - running socks!


There's a million-and-one different diet plans on the internet . . . instead of promising some crazy result, we've gone belt-and-braces and show you exactly what works for runners in their half marathon training. I'll tell you about the fundamentals of half marathon nutrition, and we'll cover the necessary intakes of different nutrients to aid your training and recovery.

We'll also cover run-specific fuel - what to eat before, during, and after your runs - and your half marathon. I give a rundown of the research into hydration during prolonged activity, and we discuss your hydration and fuelling strategies on the big day!


It's a hard fact of life that injuries are pretty common during half marathon training - as are illnesses, burnout, and exhaustion, thanks to your immune system being run ragged.

In this module, we'll cover the best strategies to minimise your risk of getting injured - and what to do if it happens.

I'll also cover how be to handle illnesses such as colds and flus during your marathon training, and how to take breaks from your training plan and recalibrate.


The Taper is the final few weeks before your race. During your taper, you gradually scale down the density of your training, and get yourself ready for your big day.

In this module, we cover the training elements of the taper, as well as some practical tips for how you should best prepare in the final weeks before your half marathon.


Finally, the big day is here!

After all the time, energy, and miles you've invested, it's time to run 13.1 miles.

In this module, we'll go through a huge bunch of practical tips for how to handle your race day. We'll cover what to do pre-race, at the start line, and throughout your running effort. I've also dedicated entire lessons to The Wall and Race Pace, in order to ensure you get these two fundamentals correct!


You thought we were finished, right?

As soon as your marathon finishes, there are several steps you can take to optimise your recovery. At the end of 13.1 miles, your body is actually beaten up, and susceptible to injury and illness. In this lesson, we also look at how best to recuperate in the days and weeks following your half marathon - as well as discussing the Post Race Blues.



Included with the course are these awesome bonuses...


This bonus video lesson is for runners who specifically want to finish their half marathon in under 2-hrs. I walk you guys through how to apply the principles and training strategies in the course to beat the 2-hr mark. Also includes a dedicated training plan, designed specifically for those looking to beat the 2-hr mark!


Getting your shoes right is one of the most important steps in your half marathon journey. Here, I've put together a complete guide on how to try shoes, what you need to look for, brands that are popular, and what the shoe store experts recommend!


These checklists are designed for important milestones prior to your race: 2 weeks before your half marathon, and 24 hours before. Run through them and make sure you're not forgetting anything! These checklists are referenced in 'The Taper' module of the course!


After your race you're completely spent - your body is beaten up and often even getting up the stairs can be tough! Follow this plan to gradually loosen up then get back into running - optimise your recovery the right way.


A gear guide specially for the ladies! Women's gear has it's own set of considerations, so whether it's your sports bra or running shoes, we've got you covered.


Use our checklist to make sure you never forget any gear when planning your runs!

We go into much more detail on the gear in the 'Shoes and Gear' module of the course.


Level up your running performance and avoid injury by including resistance training in your training plan! I recommend one resistance training session per week for all half-marathon-runners-in-training - it really can be a runner's secret weapon. Leading on from the 'Resistance and Strength Training' video lesson, this guide details how to perform the recommended resistance stretches and workouts.


Following on from our 'Nutrition' module, these example meal plans guide you through your half marathon training diet. Included are four distinct week-long plans; i) half marathon training, ii) half marathon training for vegetarians, iii) the week before your half marathon, and iv) the week before your half marathon for vegetarians. The guide also comes with practical tips on meal planning.



You'll get access to our Facebook and Strava communities - share your wins, your problems, your questions, and your runs with our active community of runners and half marathon enthusiasts!


As you can imagine, the world of running and sports science is continually evolving and approaches change. We will keep the course content updated with the best, relevant advice - and you'll always have access to the latest material.

Take a Peek Inside The Course Content . . .

Course Curriculum

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  Half Marathon Goals
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  Researching Your Race
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  Injuries, Illnesses, and Setbacks
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  The Marathon
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  Final Thoughts - Recap
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  BONUS LESSON: Breaking The 2-Hr Half Marathon
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Here are a few more of our success stories from our Facebook group!

Your Instructor

Thomas Watson
Thomas Watson

Hey there!

I'm Thomas Watson - ultra-runner, UESCA-certified coach, and the founder of MarathonHandbook.com.

After completing my first marathon in 2012, I swore never to run another. Despite that, I've now gone on to complete dozens of marathons as well as bagging podium places in several ultra-marathons and multi-day stage races.

I now help thousands of runners achieve their goals through MarathonHandbook.com!


Feel free to ping me in the chatbox!

Meet Juan from Buenos Aires, who smashed his own expectations and bagged a sub 2 hour half marathon!

"Hi Thomas, I want to thank you for you Half Marathon masterclass. I loved it. It gave me the confidence to even try to train for the half marathon.

I followed your plan to run the Virtual NY Half Marathon. For 8 years I couldn't run, and with your help I finished my half marathon in less than 2 hours."

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm new to distance running . . . is this course for me?
Absolutely. The course starts from scratch and lays out the Half Marathon Training Principles step-by-step. Our aim is to gradually impart the fundamentals you need to know, so you know WHY you're doing what you're doing in training. Many of our training plans are designed for those with little or no running background. We also guide you through how to assess your current running ability, and how to set half marathon goals which are achievable!
I've run half marathons before, but would like to improve my performance - can this course help me!
Sure! The course is structured around guiding you through building and following a training regime which matches your goals. Some experienced runners find that the structure and insight the course gives them makes them much better prepared, disciplined, and informed, leading to better half marathon results. We show you exactly how to train smart, so every work-out and training run has a specific influence on your training. We describe in detail elements such as speed work and resistance training, and how to incorporate them into your training in order to improve your performance.
Does the course include a personalised Half Marathon Training Plan?
When you enrol, you get direct access to our Training Plan Database, as well as detailed instructions on how to pick the best training plan for your goals. These training plans have been developed to suit the needs of runners, by a UESCA-certified coach. We then show you how to modify your plan, if required, to suit your personal goals and schedule.
Who has developed the course - and what qualifications do they have?
Hi! I'm Thomas Watson, and I've developed (almost) all the course content. As well as being a half marathon and ultra-marathon runner myself, I'm a UESCA-qualified running coach. Since 2015, I've helped other runners achieve their distance running goals. The half marathon training plans and strategies in this course are a reflection of the years of coaching, studying, and running I've completed. I've read every book and article I could find on running half marathons, and have distilled the best of them into this course. I've also refined my approach to training by speaking to and helps hundreds of half marathon runners prepare for their run over the years. I'm constantly reviewing the best practices and coaching strategies in the wider running world, and I keep updating my courses to reflect these.
Do you offer refunds for the course?
We're super proud of the content of this course. However, if you feel this course isn't up to scratch, and it didn't help you achieve your half marathon goals, write to us - all we ask for an explanation of why the course didn't meet your expectations, and some evidence that you've been in training (Strava posts, photos, etc.). This is both to ensure you give your half marathon effort the best, and protect our digital content. Thanks!
How long does the course take to go through?
The material in the course is designed to last throughout your half marathon training journey - it contains over 5 hrs of video content and many other documents and reading material. It's recommended that you review all the course material as early as possible on your training journey, then dip in and out to review individual topics as you need to refer back to them.
How can an online course replace getting a real running coach?
While hiring a personal coach is an awesome way to prepare for a half marathon, we recognize that this approach doesn't suit everyone. They can be expensive, or inflexible with their time, or not share extra material - or not have specific half marathon experience. Our course is designed to accompany you throughout your half marathon training by working with you. I explain the fundamentals of half marathon training (including some important points which general running coaches may not be familiar with), then provide you with a wealth of information and videos that you can check out at any time, wherever you are. You also gain access to our awesome community of runners! Join many other runners-in-training, ask questions, share your stories and runs, and have fun!
What kind of support is available?
You have complete access to the Marathon Handbook team, plus our huge, awesome community of fellow marathon runners-in-training! Upon registering, you'll recieve details on how to access the Facebook Group and Strava Running Club which form our community! Join the tribe and jump in with your questions!
What happens if I get injured or ill?
Our course guides you through the best way to respond to and recover from illnesses and injuries - we also explain how to adjust your training plan if needed after taking some time off to recuperate.
I only have X weeks / months before my half marathon, can you help?
Our shortest half marathon training plan is 8 weeks (2 months). If you have much less than that, then it is hard to build a structured plan which has the necessary build-up in mileage to get you through! As long as you have 8 weeks or more before your race, we show you how to select the right training plan and choose appropriate half marathon goals!
Can I find this information for free online?
Not really! 90% of the information we find on half marathon running is incredibly fragmented and incomplete. This is just the nature of distance running and how the internet works. Yes, you can start trying to hunt out this information on your own, but you will spend hundreds if not thousands of hours like I did looking in the wrong spots. This is 100% the course I wish we had when I started out. It would have saved me so much time and effort, it's painful to think about!
Is there a time limit to complete the course? How long do I have access?
There is no time limit to going through the content in this course. It's a completely go-at-your-own-pace thing! Your access to the course doesn't expire - so if you choose to run more marathons in the future, you can always come back to it. This is why you get lifetime access to this content, including videos, worksheets, and any future updates to the course!
What format is the content delivered in?
The course features 5+ hrs of video content, a downloadable Training Plan (Google Sheets / Excel / PDF) and many more PDF resources. I've found that video lessons are the most effective way of sharing practical lessons on running - backed up by resources like checklists, training plans, and guides!
Is my credit card secure?
Credit card security is extremely important to us. That's why we've partnered with Stripe to handle the billing and provide a secure socket layer, 128-bit encryption. Frankly, your credit card data is safer making an online purchase through our secure site than it is using it to pay for gas or buy food at a restaurant. So feel comfortable knowing your transaction is 100% completely protected from fraud. We also offer PayPal as a payment method as well!

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