500 Festival Mini-Marathon Training Plans

customized for you and the race.

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  • Smarter Training Plans Smarter Plans
  • Safe Training Plans Fewer Injuries
  • Successful Training Plans Better Results

500 Festival Mini-Marathon
Training Plans

Custom Training Plans are designed around you and the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon course. We take into account variables that no other training plans can match because we know how important it is to achieve your specific 500 Festival Mini-Marathon goals.

  • Expert Training Plans

    expert plans

    Developed by certified coaches with time-tested results.

  • Runner Specific Training Plans

    Runner Specific

    We know you’re unique. Your training plan should match.

  • Race Specific Training Plans

    race Specific

    Race profile, time of year, and altitude all factor into our plans.

  • Affordable Training Plans


    Custom plans shouldn’t cost more than the race itself.


The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the largest half marathon in the United States. It's sold out the entire field of 35,000 consistently for over a decade. The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and 5K are run on very flat courses under sunny Indiana skies, making these races as appropriate for first-timers as they are for veterans PR-seekers. If you are lucky enough to secure a spot at the start, you can put yourself in pole position by choosing to prepare with Custom Training Plans. Our 500 Festival Mini-Marathon training plans and 500 Festival 5K training plans aren't just customized to your fitness level - they're also tailored to help you use the level terrain to your advantage. This helps you work toward race day at a pace that's right for you, helping you build strength and endurance safely while avoiding over- and undertraining injuries.

500 Festival Mini-Marathon Training Plan

Held on the first Saturday in May, the Mini-Marathon and 5K are among the first events that kick off the monthlong 500 Festival, a citywide celebration organized around the Indianapolis 500. Now entering its fifth decade, the Mini-Marathon remains an extremely popular event. The Mini-Marathon attracts racers from all 50 states each year, and inspires extreme devotion: there are a half-dozen runners who have participated in every single Mini-Marathon since the event was founded in 1977.

The 500 Festival 5K participants are the first line up on Saturday morning. The flat course shares the Mini-Marathon’s start line near Victory Field, home to the local minor league baseball team. From Victory Field, the route leaves downtown via picturesque Washington Street before crossing over the White River. The route skirts the edges of White River State Park, passing the White River Gardens and the Indianapolis Zoo along the way. Just after the halfway point, the route crosses back over the river into the IUPUI campus before returning to the finish line at Military Park.

The 5K is a distance that’s perfect for aspiring racers, and runners of all levels find that the distance suits them very well. This makes for a wide range of running personalities in the start corrals, and everyone has a different opinion on the best way to train. When it comes to your 500 Festival 5K training plan, choose one that’s customizable to your current level of fitness. Workouts that are too easy can lead to undertraining, and those that are too difficult can lead to burnout. CTP 500 Festival 5K training plans help you get ready with workouts that are tailored to the right intensity for you.

The Mini-Marathon starts shortly after the 5K participants clear the course. After leaving the start line near Victory Field, the half marathon route takes participants through some of Indianapolis’s most scenic streets before turning north on its way toward the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When runners arrive, they’ll enter the oval to take a full lap (2.5 miles!) around the track. During the oval loop, runners pass the halfway point. Before leaving the Speedway, many runners pause to take part in an Indy 500 tradition by kissing the Yard of Bricks.

The Mini-Marathon route then heads south for the race’s last five miles as it leaves the Speedway and meanders back toward downtown. There are dozens of bands and spirit squads lining the flat, speedy course, providing support and entertainment for racers and spectators alike. Once runners return to the White River Parkway, the home stretch begins. Just after mile 12, the course crosses the New York Street Bridge. This is known as Victory Mile, and runners will see black-and-white checkered flags lining the streets and hear the roar of the crowd all down the final stretch to the finish line at Military Park.

Though the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is a larger race, it’s as suitable for beginners as it is for experienced runners. The half marathon is a very attainable distance, even for those new to running. A couch-to-half marathon-style 20-week 500 Festival Mini-Marathon training plan from Custom Training Plans includes 8 weeks of additional conditioning workouts that help you get ready to train for a half. If you’ve already established a fitness baseline, try our 12-week 500 Festival Mini-Marathon training plan. Each plan is completely customizable and includes interval workouts, cross-training, and mobility exercises along with running workouts. Our well-rounded training plans prepare you to reach for your half marathon goals safely and effectively.

Whether you’re lacing up your sneakers to run your first race ever, chasing a new personal best, or something in between, you can trust Custom Training Plans. Our customized 500 Festival Mini-Marathon training plans and 500 Festival 5K training plans provide you with workouts tailored to the course and your current level of fitness, helping you to stay injury-free as you get ready to start…your…engine in Indianapolis.

Here’s what you’ll receive in your plan package:

  • Daily Plans


  • Pace Chart

    Pace chart

  • Lift Workouts

    Lift workouts

  • Coaching Letter

    Letter from your coach

  • Mobility Workouts

    Mobility workouts

  • RPE Chart

    RPE chart

  • Running Podcast


  • Motivational Emails

    Weekly motivation email

How Training Plans Work

How it works

  1. Complete our proprietary runner questionnaire so we can get to know you better.
  2. Your custom 500 Festival Mini-Marathon plan is built based on advanced analytics with expert coaching oversight.
  3. Receive your custom 500 Festival Mini-Marathon training plan, lifting + mobility guide, a letter from our coaches, and more within 24 hours.
  4. Finish the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon with confidence.

Our method

  1. Certified Coaches

    With the expertise of USATF certified coaches and physical therapists, we built an advanced model to weigh the effects of runner-specific variables on training outcomes.

  2. Custom Race Profile

    We analyzed unique characteristics of hundreds of races across the country to build a “race profile” into our model that accounts for elevation gain, altitude, time of year, and more.

  3. Training Plan Model

    Our model generates a unique training plan for you and your race, and all plans are reviewed by a coach and hand-tweaked before they make their way to you.