Hal Higdon 1/2 Marathon Training Program - Novice 1 Health & Fitness App Review (iOS, $9.99)


Languages: English

Seller: Bluefin Software, LLC

- Optimized for iOS 7
- Dropped support for iOS 5
- New RunHelper Connect features

Customer Ratings

All Versions:
65 Ratings
Health & FitnessPaidIOS


Get ready for your first half marathon by training with Hal Higdon the best known running author and athlete. His training programs have helped thousands reach their running goals, and this half marathon app will help you get to the starting line with confidence.

Hal Higdon's many accomplishments include:

* Author of 35 books, including the best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide and a new novel, Marathon
* Completed over 111 marathons and has won four overall victories and numerous age-group firsts
* Holds the current M40 and M45 American records for the steeplechase
* Is one of the founders of Round Runners Club of America
* Has contributed to Runner's World magazine longer than any other writer

This Novice 1 Half Marathon Training Program is designed both for beginner runners who want to prepare for a 13.1-mile race, but also for experienced runners interested in a fail safe program that will help them to excel without making excessive demands on their time.

Novice 1 is designed for newcomers, individuals who have done very little or even no running before. If you are fit enough to finish the Week 1 long run of 4 miles--even if you have to walk the distance--Novice 1 will get you ready to complete a half marathon in 12 weeks.

Before starting to train for a half marathon, you need to possess a basic fitness level. If you are over age 35, you probably should see your doctor for a physical exam, but assuming no major health problems, most healthy people can train themselves to complete a 13.1-mile race.

The training plan assumes you have the ability to run 3 miles, three to four times a week. If that seems difficult, consider a shorter distance for your first race. You can try our best selling Ease into 5K app which will prepare you to run 3 miles three times a week.

* Twelve weeks long
* Run three days a week
* Cross train two days a week
* Rest two days a week
* Two regular runs a week + one long run each week
* Long runs range from 4 to 10 miles
* The plan finishes with the 1/2 marathon on race day

* New - You can set Saturday or Sunday race day
* Hal Higdon's voice will encourage you during your runs
* Distance and pace automatically tracked with built in GPS
* Metric units support
* Training schedule at your fingertips
* See dates for recommended 5K and 10K races during your training
* Set your training start date based on the race date
* Home screen shows a visual indicator of your training progress
* Select your own music and skip tracks without leaving the app
* Half point alert, letting you know when to turn back
* Share your workouts on Facebook and Twitter right from your app
* Lock Buttons feature prevents accidental button activation during workouts
* Excellent customer support
* Journal screen lets you document your run
* Keep track of your runs on the in app calendar
* Beautiful graphs show your progress
* Set a goal for distance, pace, weight loss, and distance ran
* See your run on a map
* Sync your runs with TrainingPeaks software online directly from your mobile device

Because this app needs accurate location information, this app requires a device with a GPS antenna, therefore the app works with iPhone 3G, 3GS, iPhone 4, and 4GS and is not compatible with the iPod touch.

Note: Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.

Compatible with iOS 7.0, requires iOS 5.0 or greater.

Customer Reviews

  • Still Great!

    by estunum

    Got this a couple years ago and prepared me well. Then proceeded to be a couch potato afterwards. I'm at it again and it's still great half way through. Some new features but it's simple layout remains. Went through the newer apps, and while I'll admit are cheaper, don't think they stack up to this.

  • exceptional!!

    by glampink1

    this app has helped me to properly train for 3 half marathons. it kept me on track, helped me to really visualize my progress, and best of all--prepared me for raceday. i have not moved up to a more advanced training program (no plans to), so this app will be a staple for me for years to come.

  • Good runs, mediocre GPS

    by Bonnaroo!!!

    Run schedule is brilliant. GPS and music are inconsistent. Same track with same start place on same distance runs are vastly off. Music does whatever it wants.

  • Terrific app!

    by Jakencutt

    I used this last spring for my first 1/2. It worked great! I am using it again to train for my next 1/2 this fall. I found the second time around to really use those cross training days for weight lifting. It made me so much stronger and my runs easier. He is a great coach. I highly recommend this program!

  • Amazing.

    by Katemcnair

    I love this program! Hal's encouragement along the way (though extremely cheesy) makes me laugh and keeps me goal oriented. Wish he gave more instruction for the stretch/strength training days. But overall, I'm psyched!!

  • Great but lacks a couple key features

    by ktan419

    I am currently using the app to train for a half marathon. I've done a few 5Ks in the past and feel that the pace of the program really helps my body slowly but surely adjust to running a half marathon. However, I hope that the next update includes two new features. One is that it would be nice for the app to let me know my pace and time elapsed whenever it tells me how many miles I have left. Second, I wish that the app could play a selected "power song" to help me pick up the pace while I become sluggish on a long run. I used to use the Nike running app before this one and miss these features that are included in the Nike app.

  • Don't Stop! You got this!

    by Kimber909

    What a great tool for me as a beginner. Having no athletic background and no knowledge on how to take care of myself for a challenge like this is priceless. Great tips and love the cheering from Hal while running. Recommend to all.

  • Motivating!

    by RtBrain

    This training plan is helping me achieve more than I thought I could do. Easy to follow!

  • Mostly great

    by sly simpson

    I like the training schedule but agree that it is frustrating trying to swap training days, especially if you run on a cross training or a rest day. Also wish that I wouldn't get the message from Hal that "you're almost finished". When I'm only 1 mile into a long run! Minor issues with an overall good app.

  • Perfect

    by Kristine Growdon

    I am new to running and this app is a perfect mix of goals, encouragement and training.

  • Awesome!

    by Kplumb2000

    I love the affirmations while I'm running :)

  • Great Running Partner

    by Sherrilang627

    I love to hear Hal say, "your doing great!"and "Keep going!"

  • Great

    by TenFingersOneNose


  • Perfect motivator!

    by Natasha Lodahl

    This app is amazing! It is definitely for beginners, but I went from being a complete non-runner to doing things I never thought I was capable of - like completing two half marathons this month! Thanks Hal!!

  • Used it for 4 half's

    by jharmo2

    If you follow it, it works!

  • GREAT!!!!

    by Deconway

    Love it!! Everything I need for a first timer half-marathon trainer.

  • So far, lovin' it!!

    by Vsrugdrhv

    Feeling pretty good! Love the countdown and the motivational tips

  • Awesome!

    by Akd290

    Really good app. I like his little motivators he says throughout the runs.

  • Great app

    by SarahGS127

    Love his little interjections throughout the runs. They keep me moving, and put a smile on my face!

  • Good app

    by GronsterRN

    Would like to be able to have runs on treadmill count for run days. When using the 'run' part of the app, it doesn't time/keep up with distance that you run. Have to manually put it in.

  • Just ok..

    by Julie Branyan

    After a few weeks of using this app I've concluded that this isn't worth $10. The cons of this app are: 1) If you are more than 3 months out from your race it doesn't add additional training time. 2) You can't adjust the scheduled training to accommodate changes 3) The motivating messages repeat and are a little annoying. 4) It doesn't have a map to show your route. 5) Its features are not as robust as other running apps out there. Other apps show everything in one place and make it easy to compare your training runs. I'd suggest saving your money and trying apps like runtastic or map my run.

  • Frustrating!

    by Valrba

    Ever since the new update I have been having much trouble, whenever I lock the screen the time and the distance travel both pause and didn't start back until I opened to check which was a couple miles later, I always go on the last lane of the track and whenever I walk it it says a different distance than when I run it. I'm not gonna use this app again until the next update

  • Very frustrating

    by JenKen1465

    I can't log my workouts. This is difficult to use. Wish I wouldn't have paid for this app.

  • Very frustrating app

    by Mom of the A-Team

    Waste of money. Not flexible...won't allow me to substitute cross training on a "rest day." Also crashed on my long run. Very frustrating. Unimpressed, especially given the cost.

  • Do not buy!!

    by Mikezen

    You'd think a $10 app would be awesome. It's really bad. It should be $1. Just go to his website and print out the training sheet for free. I am truly disappointed.

  • Average

    by Lush273

    I have always used Map My Run so I was used to pace counting with each mile...I like the gradual mileage increase and cross training mixture but for $10 I wish there was a treadmill adjustment as all my mileage had been on the mill thus far...I am 2 weeks into the training plan and think I would try another plan for my next 1/2 marathon!

  • 8 bucks too much

    by Barnacle pancakes

    Would have loved this a lot more if there was a pacer on this... If there was a treadmill setting... And if there was push notifications with motivations...

  • Disappointed

    by Kelly0910

    For an app that costs ten bucks, it leaves much to be desired. Most frustrating for me is that there is no feature that allows for a treadmill training day. Like other reviewers have said - if it were free, whatever. But for ten dollars one expects more. I'll go back to Nike.

  • Rest days can't be changed...gggrr

    by Daryn Maiman

    I was hoping to be able to some what control my rest days. I do my cross training on Tuesday/Thursday due to my work and school schedule. Would be great if it could be personalized. Looking for an app similar to this but just one with a little more control.

  • Soooo happy with this app!

    by Kimber725

    It got me trained and through my first half and now it's working wondering on training for half #2!

  • It works

    by Lonny Landry

    Follow the program And you progressively surprise yourself!!!

  • Amazing!

    by AMilli63467787532

    Two weeks into the program and I'm hooked. My friend followed the full marathon program and loved it and now I know why. Awesome awesome for running outdoors because of the gps enabled features that tell you when you've hit a mile, halfway point, and have audio encouragements scattered throughout the run. Love love. Highly recommend for any experience level.

  • This app is a terrible waste of money

    by Kalissa Hovey

    Save your cash and download one of the free running apps available. This app is not flexible at all. The icon showing the time until the race got stuck on the 5K spot and hasn't moved. My workouts did not log correctly and you can't log your work outs unless you follow their schedule. Long story short, save your money and your sanity.

  • Groundhog Day

    by Mhcraig

    I've only used this for a short while but have already heard the same lackluster coaching tips over and over. The app also plays the same music from my selection again and again. Though this is probably more of a GPS problem, I've noticed that it will tell me I'm halfway at different points on the same course on different days. It also told me I had more distance to go on an out and back when I'd reached the finish. For a $10 app I'd expect a little more enthusiasm and variety.

  • Needs some tweaking

    by Lollipop475

    I like the program, but it's frustrating that it's erasing my workouts on the days I don't run. When I bike, swim or elliptical on cross days, I'd like the app to show that I completed that day. For $10, I feel like that's not too much to ask.

  • Way too expensive to have so many issues

    by Workingk9

    Like other reviewers, I was really annoyed with the lack of flexibility on the start date. It also randomly deletes my workout and will switch from a day being marked "complete" back to not completed. Very, very annoying, especially considering I paid $10 for this piece of junk. If it were free, I wouldn't complain but when you spend that kind of money on an app, it should at least allow you to feel a *little* accomplished with your "complete" days adding up.... But instead you look down and see only one complete day in a week when you've logged something every day. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND. wish I could get a refund.

  • Good but needs some enhancements

    by Nruhl

    I was so excited that there was an app to help track my progress to my first half marathon, but I was really disappointed that I couldnt start the program on any day except a Monday. I'm sure this works for most people with Mon - Fri jobs, but I can't do my long runs on a weekend since those are my main work days. Can you please add the ability to start the program any day of the week?

  • Needs work

    by Mwill22

    The "Auto-publish to Facebook" feature does not accurately report your pace on a consistent basis. Another reviewer mentioned a similar problem--although I never used the "pause" feature at all. The app says I ran at a 10 min/mile pace but it published to Facebook that I ran a 16 min/mil pace! The developer reports that this will be fixed in the next update… I've also had the app automatically delete a previous workout altogether, which means I have to manually re-enter the information. That wouldn't be a big deal if I hadn't just paid for an app that was supposed to do that for me. I've reported this to the developer as well. Also, if you manually enter a workout on the app, I don't think there is any way to record your splits. So if a run is deleted on the app and you want to re-enter the workout, you can't enter your splits. I like the training program itself. I like the GPS feature. I also like the "auto sync" to TrainingPeaks.com. Unfortunately this app is not worth purchasing until these bugs are corrected. I'll happily write a new review if the next update is released soon and if it effectively addresses these issues.

  • Average application, but the training program is great

    by josevnz

    Today I just finished my first half marathon using this application and training program; The good: ------------------------------------- * The training program by Hal Higdon is great, no injuries (I combined the plan with resistance training) and I managed to finish on 1:47:44 with an average pace of 8'13/ Mi. Seriously, the program works! * I loved Hal Higdon comments while you run, they kept me motivated * The GPS is accurate (I always compared it against the Nike+ GPS and distances reported were very close or almost the same) * Is stable, I never had a crash with the application * You can see the splits and put comment on each workout, easy to access The bad (I base my comparison against Nike+ GPS, which is were I store most of my workouts): ------------------------------------- * Sharing on Facebook is broken, the link doesn't point to your workout but a link to download the app. Seriously, no link to my workout map? * The app asked me several times for a ration but when I tried to enter it the popup just disappeared. Lame… * The Basic TrainingPeaks.com website stats are no better than the Nike maps website. For $10 I would expect to have more features enabled (Nike+GPS is less than $5). * The app doesn't have an option to work indoors, like Nike+GPS. If you have to run on a treadmill then you're doomed. * The app doesn't remember the non-workouts days, only the races registered on the GPS. I will give the app a 4 to 5 starts if the developers make it better than Nike+GPS, it has 3 starts because Hal Higdon program works.

  • Well prepared

    by Laura Swick

    I just completed the rock an roll half in New Orleans and this app got me ready. I loved Hals motivational thoughts during my runs. I am ready for the next one and grateful that I am back in shape!

  • Good, not great

    by TechSavvyEngineer

    I do love the app, started with the couch to 5k one then moved to this one. Both get the job done, but I was severely disappointed in the fact that this app forces you to start on a Monday. Obviously I used my own schedule but it was really annoying that the dates were off. All I needed was to shift the start date to a Sunday and it would have been perfect!

  • Good but needs Avg Pace fixed

    by Feike105

    I like the app and using it for my first 1/2 marathon. One thing that needs to be fixed is the pause and Avg pace calculation. If you hit pause, it acts like it pauses the time but it really doesn't. The avg pace calculated at the end of your run doesn't care if you pushed pause or not. It calculates total time from when you start your run till you hit end, even if you hit pause to tie a shoe or take a bathroom break. For a 9 min pace run, it showed an Avg pace of 14.5 minutes even though I pushed pause while taking a break. That needs to be fixed.

  • Trust the review - not worth it

    by Reese665

    I thought that by paying 10 bucks for this app I would get a 10 quality app. This app is useless even if it was for free. When you press start the app doesn't start you can be walking run of or even on the treadmill already moving. If you do actually get it to come on when your done with a workout you can't get it to stop. So a 3 mile run has you logged in for an hour! I literally had to shut my phone off in order for it to stop. So I figure let me just manually log on my workouts that's a total waste of time too because it doesn't save them even after you sync with a PC. No matter how many times I go back and log workouts they don't save. This was a total waste of my money the only thing it is good for is to be used as a training schedule but you can find that for free online. Don't buy it which many other reviews said and I should have listened.

  • Good app

    by Needs a few tweaks

    This is a good app. I'm running my first half marathon and it's been helpful to keep track of my timing. I agree with other reviewers, it needs to be more flexible in its ability to adjust what days runs are on. Also, something that bugs me, I was in the middle of a run and accidentally hit done. I wanted to continue with that run and have my time per mile and total time accumulate for the full run. I didn't want to have to add them up for two runs but there was no way to add on to a run once you've hit "done". If that feature existed, I'd love this app.

  • Great features

    by iRadiored

    Helped me train for my first half. Nice features and easy to use. Very accurate.

  • Logging days

    by AnnStreet

    It might seem unt important, but the app dosent always keep your completed days marked as completed. I think 9.99 for this app is a bit high. I will continue to use it, but only because u spent 10 bucks on it.

  • Can you change the level?

    by friends4545

    How do you change the level from novice to advance?

  • Good truing

    by kardinal

    I would like to give it 5 stars if the app was more flexible in setting what day to run.

  • To Rigid

    by j98me2

    This not a bad app but misses in a few places. The biggest one is it insists you start on Monday and do your long run on Sunday. This doesn't work for me at all. Why can't it just say week one day one etc. The second is really the date thing still. I just finished the ease into 10k app by the same company. I am doing 5+ miles a run. I can start the program wherever I want but the dates make it confusing. I do like that it let's me log rests and cross training let's me keep a good log of what I have been doing and the log dates show up as the dates the exercises were preformed not the scheduled dates. Make it a little more flexible for real people and I will give it 5 stars. I would buy it again even if it is a little pricey at 10.00.

  • Pretty good but would like to see more

    by J. Dav

    This is a good training app and since I started with C25K I was used to the format. I've also used Runmeter which I really like. But for you developers out there, please add a few simple enhancements. Pros: *Like Hal's vocal encouragement. *You can now add a whole iTunes playlist. *You can now adjust the race day to Saturday or Sunday. *GPS tracking is indispensable! Cons/Enhancements I want: *Hal's voice needs a volume control. *I want a more sophisticated journal that will show my fastest vs. slowest pace and the average. A mileage breakdown of speed would be good too (pace at mile 1 vs. mile 6) *Modify training lengths. I would have liked the option of starting 16 weeks out. I don't mind the price tag too much, but I wish it had a few more whistles and bells.

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