Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

How To Run A Half Marathon Faster: Tips For Fast Half Marathon Times

how to run a half marathon fasterHow To Run A Half Marathon Faster

How to run a half marathon faster is a common question by many athletes. Have you ever heard the saying,

If you keep doing the same thing you will keep getting the same results

The half marathon is an aerobic event. The more precise you set up your training the better results you are going to have.

A 20 mile long run at 8 minute mile pace when your goal is to run 5.45 per mile pace for the distance isn't the way to go.

Specific race goals require specific training. Your goal may not be to run a sub 2 hour half marathon. Perhaps, it is to finish your first half marathon.

Everyone has different goals. It may be a time goal or just to get to the finish line.

The best tip I can provide in how to run a half marathon faster is practice your goal pace often. No one goes out and immediately does a 10-mile tempo run at half marathon race pace. You have to be patient and allow your body time to adapt.

It always does.

Scott Simmons, head coach of the American Distance Project, puts it like this in Ditch The Long, Slow Distance

The focus has changed from simply preparing for the distance of 26.2 miles to preparing for the pace that would allow for running fast over that distance.

It should be the focus for the marathon or any distance.

A Game Changer

The name of the game in running a faster half marathon is race pace training. What is your goal? Is it time specific? Do you want to break the 1:30 half-marathon barrier? 2 hours?

I spent years running too many miles too slow. The great news is you can get started today and make some positive changes.

My idea was that if I was doing 140 mile weeks and doing 24 mile long runs at 6.00 mile pace that I could surely run great at the half-marathon or marathon distances.

What you don't know or fail to learn can have dramatic effects on your hard workheat training

I was fortunate enough to have been given a great coach in Lisa Larsen Rainsberger.

Somehow, despite having never been coached by a female before, having the Boston Marathon champion as a mentor tends to change your perspective on life and racing.

I had a half-marathon best of 1.11.44 from my collegiate days and a 2.43.36 marathon best when I started working with her.

Furthermore, I left with a 1.07.06 and 2.19.35 by implementing what I will share with you here.

I gained some interesting knowledge after 3 years of working with someone of that type of prowess.

Focus On “Feel”

How to run a half marathon faster involves understanding the energy systems of the body and training at high intensities for longer periods of time.

The trick is to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in the blood stream. This isn't done by running slow. The good news is anyone can run slow. The bad news? It takes skill and unending hard work to run fast for long periods of time.

The best I have run for the half marathon is 1:07:06. That being said, I now what I am talking about when it comes to running fast for the half marathon. Are there men (and women) faster than me in the world? Absolutely.

So, all I can provide is my own expertise with this distance. I've also run 2:19:35 for the marathon. I hit the first half-marathon in that race in 1:07:09 and came back with a 1:12:26.

You do not  get to these times by being interested. It took massive action to get to this level. I strongly encourage you to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube Channel. I'll be creating new videos each week to help runners just like you get to the top level.

Controlled Racing

The training should always be harder than the race itself. You have room to make the mistakes in training. Don't wait until the morning of the race.

The race is the reward for your hard work.

When you are training heavily for a half marathon you are in a constant state of fatigue. The perfect half-marathon taper will change that. It is all about following a strong half-marathon training plan.

Click the link below and get one of our RunDreamAchieve half marathon training plans.

Invest In A RunDreamAchieve Training Plan Today

If you are going to worry, deal with it in training, not on race day.

You will certainly run a faster half marathon by knowing your hard work was left in the training. In addition, you can make corrections in training. Secondly, follow this advice to run faster for the half marathon.


Do not neglect hydration during the race. Practice drinking in training. I always set water bottles out every 3 miles along my long run course. A big hindrance for many runners is they are sipping during the race and not taking in enough fluids.

The goal for half marathon success is to run faster by working longer at anaerobic levels.

I talk about this at length in the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Manifesto.

Running faster for 13.1 miles involves doing considerable work below goal pace.

You want to lessen your recovery between hard intervals as you get fitter.

Far too many runners will run fast track workouts but are giving themselves too much time in recovery.

Is there any recovery in a race?

It doesn't matter if you are on 6.30 mile pace for 9 miles of a half marathon. What if you end up jogging 11 minute miles the last 4 miles ruining your effort? You want to create leverage in your training.

Leverage is working smarter, not harder. Doing more with less.

Where are you at the finish line is what counts. You are not going to win the race in the first 5 miles. There are far too many runners doing this and it cost them their goal time.

Training At Faster Paces

The problem runners have is they have it the other way around.

They will spend more time training the body to burn fat at slow speeds. What needs to be done is more time spent training at higher heart rates for longer periods of time.


The faster we run the

If you have trained for longer period of time at paces equal to or exceeding your race pace you will teach the body to rely less on carbohydrates.

Less reliance = massive improvements.

The kind of improvements you dream about.

We don't have endless supply of carbohydrates but we do have more then enough fat stores.

Vary Your Long Run Paces

Running at lower heart rates will burn fat but at slow speeds. There is certainly a place for this and easy running. You can't run faster every day. No one can. Plan your work and work your plan. The best runners follow a well-planned training schedule.

The Kenyans I have trained with are almost walking on their recovery jogs but their hard days are extremely hard.

These athletes are good for a reason. They know when to run hard and when to back off.

So, if you are having trouble improving your half marathon efforts I strongly encourage you to get a cop of the Sub 2 Hour Manifesto or take this advice to heart.

Use Fat, Conserve Carbs

The best way to run a half marathon faster is to train to use fat as your main fuel source. In addition, train so that you do it while running fast.

Don't leave your best efforts behind you thinking your prime years are a thing of the past. Often times, all that is needed is a change in training philosophy. Lastly, a few small, minute changes can dramatically impact how fast you cover these 13.1 miles.

This means longer runs at faster paces.

If you start out doing 18 miles runs with 2 miles of it at goal pace, so be it.

The idea is to extend the amount of time you spend at goal race pace.

Recovery And Anaerobic Efforts

You can't do one properly without equal focus on the other.

The body needs time to recover from the hard efforts. Remember, the results come in the rest, not in the workout.

Furthermore, just because you're the fastest guy or gal in training doesn't mean you are going to be come race day.

Remember this, the smartest, not hardest working athlete most often times wins

How to run a half marathon faster involves training at faster speeds. The idea is to run for longer durations so that you burn fat at faster paces.

Training faster longer will help you to never experience the wall in a half marathon race.

You have trained for longer periods of time at higher intensities and have taught yourself to burn fat and conserve carbohydrates.

We will experience faster workouts and races because we're not burning carbohydrates as drastically as you were in the past.

You now burn fat relative to the speeds you are seeking to race at. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube Channel.

I'll be making new videos each week to help you train properly for the half marathon. Leave a comment below or fell free to contact me anytime.

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