Fast Half Marathon Time Tips to Set a New PR

Are you seeking how to run a fast half marathon time? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have arrived here. Running fast is an art form and does take time and determination in order to achieve. The end goal is to sustain race pace longer than your competition. The only way to do this is to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in the body.

So, we have to work on improving the body’s lactate tolerance. Easy running is still essential. That being said, running easy only builds endurance. The athlete must training at significantly faster paces to go from an average half marathon time to a great performance. Normalcy is everywhere. It doesn’t take a great deal of work to be average. My goal with this post is to share some strategies to help you perform at a higher level.

Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for your body to adapt to the stresses you are placing on it. So, don’t be in a rush. My recommendation is to spend between 3 to 4 weeks running easy, aerobic base miles. The reason is you want to first strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments.

What is a Respectable Half-Marathon?

We all have different capabilities. I know that if a 6 hour marathoner goes out and runs a 2:30 half marathon that is a very respectable effort to me. You are talking about a massive increase in pace for this particular athlete.

The longer you are in the sport the more you realize that a sustain effort is what counts the most. In addition, doing the very best that you can to perform as highly as possible over this half distance. I recommend focusing on a minimum of 16 weeks for your half-marathon build up. More importantly, consider doing a 20-week build up instead.

Remember, the longer you prepare for this distance the better you are going to perform. The main reason is you won’t be in a rush. It takes a long time to get into great anaerobic shape. It is not a process that happens quickly. Also, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks just for your body to adapt to the stresses you are placing on it.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Running a Half Marathon

We generally burn around 100 to 110 calories per mile. Of course, heavier athletes will burn slightly more. That being said, the average athlete is going to burn between 1100 and up to 1600 calories during the half marathon. Running intensity and weight of the athlete definitely will play a role though.

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

Billy Mills, 10,000m Olympic Gold Medalist

Do you want to truly take your running to the next level? If so, I would suggest to start implementing mental training into your routine. The best middle to long distance runners know that mental as well as physical training makes the difference. So, start visualizing yourself getting across the finish line in your goal time each day. The best time to do this is when you first get up or when you are going to be at night.

See yourself performing at a high level, running fast and confident. In addition, passing people in the latter stages of the race.

What is Considered a Fast Half Marathon Time?

I think it really depends on who you are asking. A sub 3 hour half-marathoner may think a 2:30 half marathon time is super fast. The athlete who has broken 3 hours for the marathon may not think so. So, it just depends on who ask. Remember, your self-worth does not come down to how fast you can run. I know runners who are much slower than me who know much more than I do.

Marathon Sub 3 Hour Training Plan
Coach Pennington finishing in 4th place overall and top American at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35

In addition, some of the world’s top distance running coaches were never runners. I consider any time under 2 hours for the half-marathon an extremely fast half marathon time. Of course, the faster you are aiming to run the more that is going to be required out of you. My personal best for the half marathon is 1:07:06 and I have run 2:19:35 for the marathon (1:07:09/1:12:26).

What Pace is a 2 Hour Half?

Athletes that are seeking to run a 1:59:59 need to hold 5:41 per kilometer for 42.2 kilometers. Are you in the united States of America? If so, you will need to hold 9:09 per mile for 26.2 miles. The best way to get half marathon race pace to feel easier is to spend more time training well below that pace. Yes, easier said than done. That being said, with a long-term approach you can succeed. Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to the stresses you are placing on it.

So, quick fitness will not occur overnight. You need to be patient to run a very fast half marathon time like a sub 2 hour half marathon. I have created a course called the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Domination Course you may be interested in. We cover, in depth, various topics such as heart rate monitor training and much more. In addition, we have training plans that range from 8 to 20 weeks for athletes.

Are you interested in having an online running coach? I do work with athletes from around the world in our private running community. So, there are resources here to help set you up for success. I would recommend first focusing on a 4 week build up of easy, relaxed aerobic mileage. Again, take your time and you will win. 16 to 20 weeks is optimal time to prepare properly for a half marathon.

What is a Good Half Marathon Time for My Age?

You may want to read over the post I wrote about half marathon time efforts by age. I go into detail on the average half marathon time for each age group from 20 to 50. Of course, there are runners in their late 50s that are running faster than many 20-year old runners. In fact, some athletes beyond 60 are doing this as well. For example, Irish runner Tommy Hughes ran a 2:30:01 marathon at age 62.

Yes, this is the exception, not the rule. That being said, it proves that with enough drive and discipline you can still run very fast times well into your 60s. There have been women and men who have broken the sub 3 hour marathon past age 65. Again, your ability to run a fast half marathon time comes down your preparation.

Pacing is also essential when it comes to perfecting this event. You will not win a half-marathon in the first 10K. So, let the others take off too fast and pay for it later, not you. You don’t want to go into oxygen too early and have to slow down. Remember, focus on running a negative split. You want to run that second half faster than the first.

Average Half Marathon Time by Age and Gender

The best recommendation is to check out the post I wrote on half marathon times by age and gender. I cover what is the average half marathon time by gender and age in that post. There are both men and women incredibly fast times in their late 50s to 60s. So, always keep in mind that your best running is ahead of, not behind you.

I ran my personal best for the marathon (2:19:35) and half marathon (1:07:06) at the age of 31. I also ran a 2:26:42 at the age of 35 and a 2:32:55 at age 37. What is the average female half marathon time? The average for a woman is around 2 hours and 11 minutes. The average male half marathon time is around 1 hour and 55 minutes.

The women’s age 65 masters record for the marathon is 3:12 by a woman from Switzerland (Emmi Luthi). The top time for a female in the age 60 category is a 2:52.01 by Mariko Yugeta of Japan. You can view the progress charts here to get an idea of the top times ever run by age group. It should be encouraging to know that you can still run some very fast times over the half marathon distance as you age.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this post has been helpful to you. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new videos there each week to help runners such as yourself make that next big leap in their training. Below are a few additional tips I want to leave you with to perform better over the half marathon distance.

  • Run longer – extend the time on your feet and build your endurance
  • Extend the distance you are running at your anaerobic threshold. Tempo runs are key.
  • Practice hydrating better in training. Don’t think you can race a half marathon without drinking adequately. You will ruin your time if you become dehydrated.
  • 1, vo2 max workout per week. Focus on working on your leg speed. It will also make your goal half marathon race pace feel that much easier
  • Get plenty of sleep and a minimum of 7 to 8 hours a night
  • Replaced lost glycogen no less than 30 minutes after the workouts you do
  • Invest in a heart rate monitor. I suggest using the one I use which is the Garmin 245. It will help to ensure you are training at the correct heart rate zone and not overtraining.
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