How to run a sub 2 hour half marathon

The first half marathon I ran at Run Melbourne, I knew by the 18km mark that I wasn’t going to get a sub 2 hour time. It would be close, and yes, it would have been awesome to get sub 2 hours, but it was my first half marathon, I was just so grateful to be able to finish, and in one piece.

If I trained smarter, getting that sub 2 hour time would have totally have been achievable.

Let’s be honest, I had no idea what I was doing when it came to training. I would loosely follow a training plan that I found online. And while yes, I did see improvements in my half marathon time, it wasn’t until I enlisted the help of a coach, I realised that I could smash my half time.

I love having a coach. The feedback is invaluable. Also I need accountability.

You, however may not want a coach or you can’t afford one. Hey, that’s ok, so let me give you some times on getting that sub 2 hour half.

Run a Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon

So you want to run a half marathon under 2 hours. Good for you. But how do you do it?

First of all, you need to have a training plan. You may have a free one that you found online, and hey that’s ok, it will be generic, but it will do.

If you don’t have a plan, you need to have some sort of structure.

For example:

With your plan in hand, you’ll need to start running your tempo/interval sessions at your goal pace.

To run your goal of a sub 2 hour half, you need to run at a pace of 5:45 per k/m.

For that to happen you need to run a 10k event in 55 minutes or at a pace of 5:30 per k/m.

Or, to deep dive even further, run a 26 minute 5k and you will smash that 2-hour sub half marathon.

These times are important to know, because if you can’t run these times at these distances, then that half time may not be possible.

With these training times in mind you’ll start to run your tempo and interval sessions at this pace.

Keep your long runs easy. Your long runs are all about time on feet. It’s your other sessions where you will build the speed and endurance.

Good luck, and have fun!

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