Are you seeking some new strategies to run under the 1 50 half marathon barrier? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I have run 1:07:06 for the distance. So, certainly understand how competitive a sub 1 hour 50 minute half marathon time is. You need to sustain 8:23 per mile for 13.1 miles or 5:13 per kilometer for 21.1 kilometers to run a time of 1:49.59. So, the key is to improve your body’s lactate tolerance.
I recommend focusing on a 16 to 20 week build up and do have half marathon training plans at that length here. Remember, the longer you can prepare for this event, the better. It takes between 3 to 4 weeks for your body to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it. So, a build up of 8 to 12 weeks may not be optimal. Of course, athletes can still gain fitness in a matter of 8 to 12 weeks. That being said, to do it sufficiently, focus on a longer build up.
The reason being is you won’t be in a rush to get into great fitness. Again, the patient win when it comes to running a sub 1 50 half marathon. It won’t happen overnight. A common mistake I see far too many runners making is trying to rush the process.
How to Master 1 50 Half Marathon Pace
I would focus first on a 4-week, aerobic, base-building phase. We focus on this in our half marathon training plans. I also emphasize the importance of building a strong foundation of mileage in the running courses I have created here as well. My recommendation as you get started is to start doing strides twice per week during your easy runs. Strides are short, acceleration drills that won’t build up any significant lactic acid.
The secret here is over time you will have spent several miles or kilometers at sprint paces. You can do your strides before, during or after your easy runs. Do 4 to 6x100m strides gradually speeding up until the last 20 meters of the stride is all out. You master 1 50 half marathon pace by training at significantly faster paces than 8:23 mile or 5:13 kilometer paces. The longer the build up, the better your chances of creating this physiological adaptation within the body.
That being said, focus first on building your aerobic, base mileage first. You then start working on half marathon race specific training. We then start focusing on speed development before ending with a 10-day taper.
1 Hour 50 Half Marathon Pace KM
Again, you will need to sustain 5:13 per kilometer for 21.1 kilometers in order to run a sub 1 50 half marathon. So, we need to train the athlete to get that pace to feel more like a moderate effort rather than an all-out sprint. As mentioned above, training between 16 to 20 weeks is optimal to prepare properly for the half marathon. The half marathon is a highly aerobic event. So, endurance is important.
That being said, speed development and improve your lactate tolerance is where true success lies. You have to be thinking outside the box to be successful here. The best recommendation I can provide is to invest in yourself and consider our coaching, running courses or training plan options here at RunDreamAchieve. You are more than welcome to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my training and racing background.
Sometimes, it is helpful to know that your coach and mentor has walked the path you are traveling on. In addition, didn’t have a great deal of talent but used his work ethic to run at very high level. Again, the key is to train at paces that are significantly faster than sub 1 hour 50 minute half marathon pace.
How to Lessen the Effects of 1:50 Half Marathon Pace
Focus on doing longer long runs
A lot of times athletes simply are running far enough. Again, those long runs will build endurance, help you to burn fat and help you gain confidence. How strong will you feel if you get that long run out to around 18 to 20 miles? So, we want to get the idea of racing 13.1 miles to feel more like a moderate effort. One of the best ways to do this is to start running longer distances.
What has been your longest long run to date? 10 miles? 15? If so, congrats as it tells me you are moving in the right direction. That being said, start envisioning yourself moving out further in distance. Time on your feet is important and will help you get stronger endurance-wise.
Run faster long runs
So, running longer is important but quality is critical in order to run a sub 1 50 half marathon. Volume doesn’t always equate to running success. Quality does. We get far too caught up with how much mileage we are running and forget to factor in quality.
What percent of your weekly volume are you training at, close to or below sub 1 hr 50 minute half marathon pace? 5%? 20%? The world’s top distance runners are running about 40 percent of their weekly volume at these types of intensities. So, of course, they make it look easy. It isn’t just because they are Kenyan or from another country.
Longer Tempo Runs
Tempo runs are so important to racing over 13.1 miles or 21.1 kilometers. We conduct these runs at or close to our anaerobic threshold. You are running between 85 to 88% of your maximum heart rate at these efforts. What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past? Have you had problems holding sub 1 50 half marathon pace for the entire race?
It could be just that you need to start considering doing longer tempo runs. Remember, focus first on 3 to 4 miles in length and work toward lengthening these out to 8 to 10 miles in length. Again, it takes between 21 days to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress you are placing on the body.
So, you will need to be patient and don’t expect it to be easy. You are going after a very fast time. There are runners all over the world seeking to break the sub 1:50 half marathon barrier. Our goal here is to ensure that you do it and do it effectively. Longer tempo runs is one of many ways to do this.
Invest in yourself and study what the best middle to long distance runners do and you will succeed. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new videos there each week to help runners such as yourself get to the next level in their training and racing. Are you seeking monthly coaching? A running course or a new half marathon training plan?
If so, we have those options here for you. Again, becoming great at this event takes studying what has worked for other runners. You may have been running long, slow long runs every weekend in the past. So, now start thinking about doing varied paced long runs one weekend followed the next by an easier, relaxed long run. One change in your training regiment can make all the difference.
JOG on Easy Days
A common mistake I see far too many good runners making is running too fast on their easy days. Remember, the benefits of your hard training will come to fruition several weeks from now. It won’t happen in a matter of days. The benefits come from within the rest period. So, you have to train hard. More importantly, you need to have the same amount of discipline to slow down on easier days.
The best middle to long distance runners know how critical recovery is. Also, you hard workouts are going to test you to the limit physically and mentally. So, make sure you are jogging on those easy, relaxed days. Again, you will than yourself for doing this and will adapt properly to the hard training.
I hope this post has been helpful to you. Remember, the goal is to train smarter, not harder. How many hard working runners do you know who still never meet their race goals? I have known many over the years. So, it isn’t about how much mileage you are putting in as much as it is the quality of the volume you are doing.
One of the biggest benefits of taking a running course or investing in a training plan is it takes the guesswork out of your training. You will know exactly the types of workouts you need to be doing. In addition, you won’t just be guessing what workouts you should do. Lastly, focus on hydrating well in training. A lot of runner think they can race a half marathon sipping in the race. Fix this and you will start running faster times. Proper hydration during training and racing is mandatory if you want to be successful.
Lastly, start implementing mental training into your routine. So, spend 10 to 15 minutes daily visualizing yourself getting across the finish line with 1:49:59 on the clock. Also, see yourself performing well and relaxed. It has to happen in the mind before it ever becomes real in real life. I used this strategy to lower my half marathon from 1:10:31 to 1:07:06 and marathon from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. Hard, physical training is required but mental training only the best runners use. I might also add, often times neglect.