1 Hour 45 Min Half Marathon Pace | Tips to PR

Are you seeking a better way to sustain sub 1 hour 45 min half marathon pace longer? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here. A sub 1 30 half marathon is a highly competitive time. The athlete needs to sustain 8:00 mile and 4:58 kilometer pace over 21.1 kilometers or 13.1 miles. So, sustaining pace is key. Also, to improve your body’s lactate tolerance.

Yes, running easy will build endurance. That being said, it will not recruit fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these you can recruit through speed training and tempo runs the better. You will run more efficiently and economical. In addition, slow down less than your competition. There are many runners who can sustain 90 minute half marathon pace for a few miles or kilometers.

It is something entirely different in order to maintain it for the entire length of the race. So, you have to aim at running a higher percentage of your weekly volume at or near 1 45 half marathon pace.

1 Hour 45 Minute Half Marathon Pace

As mentioned above, sub 1 hour 45 min half marathon pace is 4:58 per kilometer. Also, 8:00 per mile for 13.1 miles. So, the key is lessening the effects of this type of running effort. Running easy will most certainly build endurance and burn fat. That being said, it won’t teach the body to burn fat at race pace and conserve carbohydrates.

Faster running will. You want to teach the body to use fat at race pace and conserve what you have much less of, glycogen (carbohydrates). I recommend focusing on a 16 and preferably 20 weeks in preparing for the half marathon distance.

3 hour marathon pace
Coach Pennington finishing as the top American and in 4th place at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35

Remember, you don’t want to to rush fitness. It takes between 3 to 4 weeks for your body to gain physiological adaptation. So, the longer you can prepare for your half marathon, the better. A major mistake runners make is trying to rush fitness. A lot of times they miss their goal and start to doubt they are capable of achieving their goals. The real problem is usually they didn’t spend enough time training at or far below 1 hour 45 minute half marathon pace.

So, focus on spending a minimum of 4 weeks building your base mileage first. You will strengthen your tendons, ligaments and muscles during this phase of training. Also, implement strides into your routine twice per week during this phase of your preparation. Strides are short, acceleration drills that will help you focus on on your form and leg turnover.

Is 1 Hour 45 Minutes a Good Half Marathon Time?

Yes, a sub 1:45 half marathon time is a very competitive time.

Proper pacing is essential in order to run a time this fast. There are runners all over the world seeking to run 1:44:59 or faster for this distance. One of the biggest reasons they miss it is running too aggressively too early in the race. Remember, the goal pace is 8:00 mile or 4:58 kilometer pace. So, running the first 5 miles (8 kilometers) at 7:15 pace and falling a part in the later kilometers is not the goal.

It is fine to be within a few seconds of your goal pace. That being said, you don’t want to go into oxygen debt and burn out in the latter stages of the race. The only way to get sub 1 hour 45 min half marathon pace to feel more manageable is to train at very high anaerobic efforts. For example, spending longer periods of time training at your anaerobic threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is running at between 85 to 88 percent of your maximum heart rate.

Yes, it is not easy running at these efforts. That being said, the body always adapts. What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past? 3 or 4 miles? If so, you need to start thinking about running closer to 6 to 10 miles in length. You will also be even more confident once you work into this type of fitness. Of course, you do want to start off running 2 to 3 mile tempo runs first. Again, give yourself time to adapt to the stresses you are placing on the body.

Focus on Your Speed Development

Vo2 max is running between 95 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate. Sub 1 hour 45 minute half marathon pace will feel more like marathon pace the more you train at this high of an intensity. Again, the focus here is to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these you can recruit by way of speed training like this the more efficient you are going to run.

More importantly, you will be able to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. In addition, slow down less in the race as compared to your competition. Examples of the types of speed training I would recommend doing as an athlete seeking to break the sub 1:45 half marathon barrier…

  • 2 mile jog warm-up, 8x800m@3:32-3:40 (faster when fit, slower when not as fit) with 2-3 minutes rest between reps, 1 mile cool-down
  • 1 mile warm-up, 16x400m@1:43-1:48 (faster when fit, slower when not as fit) with 60 seconds to 2 minutes rest b/t reps, 1 mile cool-down
  • 1 mile warm-up, 6x1mile reps@7:00-7:12 (faster when fit, slower when not as fit), with 2 to 3 minutes rest b/t reps, 1 mile cool-down

Mental Rehearsal

Mental training is commonly overlooked. In fact, the vast majority of runners focus on physical training. The world’s best middle to long distance runners focus on mental visualization.

You have to see yourself breaking this barrier in your mind before it ever becomes a reality in real life. I used this tactic in my own training and made significant gains because of it.

The subconscious mind, cannot tell the difference between reality or imagination

Billy Mills, Olympic Gold Medalist, 10,000m

The best time to start doing this is when you first wake up in the morning or when you go to bed at night. It doesn’t need to be more than 10 to 15 minutes done daily. So, see yourself crossing the finish line with 1:29:59 on the clock. Also, performing well during the race and in your training.

Faster, Varied Paced Long Runs

How have you been preparing for your half marathons when it comes to long runs? Have you been running easy every single weekend? If so, one of the top ways to start making sub 1 45 half marathon pace feel easier is to start doing faster long runs. No, I am not saying you have to run faster for the entire long run. Again, we have to be strategic in how we prepare for these races.

I was able to lower my half marathon PR from 1:10.31 to 1:07.06 and 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 using this tactic. Below are some of the example of faster, varied paced long runs I did prior to breaking the 2:20 marathon barrier. The goal here is for you to duplicate what I did and get your sub 1:30 half marathon goal. Yes, our paces are different but the training principle here can be followed by any athlete. Just adjust your paces

  • 2 mile jog warm-up, 4 miles@5:35 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 1 mile easy jog, 7 miles@6:00 mile pace, 2 mile easy jog cool-down (19 miles)
  • 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles@6:15 mile pace, 1 mile in 5:00, 1 mile easy, 3 miles@5:45 mile pace, 1 mile easy, 1 mile in 5:00, 3 miles@6:10 mile pace, 2 mile jog, 3 miles@5:35 mile pace (19 miles)

Remember, always alternate a faster long run with an easier, relaxed long run. The benefits of your hard training come from within the rest period. So, make sure you are…

Jog on Easy Days

A common mistake far too many runners make is running too fast during easy days. One way to ensure that you don’t is to invest in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 and highly recommend it. The good news here is you focus on staying at the proper heart rate instead of pace. Remember, as you get fitter the paces will tae care of themselves.

So, focus on staying in the correct heart rate zones instead of what mile or kilometer splits you are hitting. You will run faster splits as your body adapts to the stresses you are placing on it. Be patient in your preparation. The real physiological benefits come from within the rest period. Google the word “Supercompensation”. I can guarantee you that the majority of the runners you are competing against do not know about this.

Closing Thoughts

I hope that this post has been helpful to you. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new training and racing video content there each week to help runners such as yourself to gain new personal bests.

Again, stay focused on all the other fundamentals that go into running success. Nutrition, proper sleep and hydrating well are all essential to maintain sub 1 hour 45 minute half marathon pace effectively. Lastly, check out the resources that we have here on RunDreamAchieve. We have online monthly coaching, running courses and training plans.

Keep me posted on your progress. I look forward to hearing about your 1:44:59 new personal best in this event.

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