Half Marathon Training Pace: How To Leverage 13.1 Miles

Finding the proper half marathon training pace is a matter of trial and error. Welcome to rundreamachieve.com. I am glad you have made it here and hope this post will be helpful to you.

half marathon training pace

It all depends on what your motives are in your preparation.

What do I mean?

Well, it is safe to bet that if you have as your goal to run a sub 2 hour half marathon, then learning to train at or below 9.09 per mile pace is the key.

That being said, training hard all the time will not get you any closer to your goal.

There has to be an equal attention to the paces you are running at slower paces as well, so it isn’t all just about race pace training as I advocate here at rundreamachieve.

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You may have heard your friends or family members talking up their great workout.

Why is it in training that we sometimes nail our half marathon training pace perfectly?

Obviously it feels great to run promising workouts but far too often runners run far faster in training than they do in the race itself.

Why is that?

Have Faith In Yourself

It could be for many different reasons but a big factor is that they aren’t over thinking the process.

How often do we usually lose sleep over thinking about splits? In addition, wondering what the weather conditions might be?

One of the best ways to set a new personal best at the half marathon distance is by racing with the same mindset you have in training.

Pretend the race is just another hard workout you have to get in for that particular day.

I ran my personal best for the marathon distance (2.19.35) on a day that felt no different than any other training day.

In fact, I was as relaxed as I have been in any other of my longer hard runs.

If you have a specific time goal in mind that you have to train at a specific training pace.

On the other hand, if you want to complete the half marathon longer easy running is really all you need. That being said, it is when runners want to run specific times where more specifics are involved.

Runners can complete a half marathon with as little as 20 miles a week.

Don’t be intimidated by it.

Today 20 miles per week may feel like a mountain you simply cannot climb.


Two months down the road you may accomplish that distance in a day or two.

It is all about progression and allowing your body to build on each days training.

It doesn’t happen overnight, That being said, if you are patient your body will let you know what your half marathon training pace is.

What if your goal is to run a 1.18.30 half marathon?

This is 6 minute mile pace.

Remember, quality over quantity.

It is far better to do a 7 mile run at 6 minute mile pace in training than a 24-miler at 8.30 pace.

Which of these two do you feel is going to prepare a runner with a specific time goal in mind to reach that goal?

Which is going to make half marathon pace feel more controlled?

One will burn fat, the other will not only burn fat relative to race speeds but assist the runner in sustaining race pace.

The problem is far too many runners are training at paces too slow. This form of training does not teach the body to conserve carbohydrate at race pace.

What happens?

Fat Burning

The body has been taught to rely on carbohydrates, not on what it has far more stores of which is fat.

Long runs are vital to any half marathon training schedule but long slow running will not produce long fast efforts.

So, only faster running can help runners burn fat more economically. The goal is to  rely less on what it has less of, carbohydrates.

stay on targetThe faster we run the faster we burn carbohydrates. So, we must train to use fat as our main fuel source and conserve carbohydrates.

Runners are simply not training at the proper heart rate. In addition, at a high enough anaerobic effort to achieve the results they seek.

The result?

Be Patient

Athletes begin to doubt and second guess themselves.

They begin to lose hope, possibly that their best days are behind them.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. There has to be enough emphasis on high end training efforts with equal emphasis on recovery.

Let your friends and your competitors brag about how many miles they ran last week.

Ask them what percentage of their weekly mileage did they spend training at or far below their goal race pace?

I have always believed that long slow running, produces long slow runners – Sebastian Coe, 3.47 miler and former world record holder at 800 meters (1.41.73)

Patience is big.

One of the best ways to separate yourself from your competition is to believe in delayed gratification.

Everyone wants results. The patient will keep working diligently and not lose enthusiasm in the process. Your half marathon training pace will dramatically increase with being persistent in training.

Lastly, practice more running at speeds that far exceed what you plan on racing the half marathon in. This is important. The more time spent working on leg speed and stamina the better off you are going to be.

Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I created new videos each week to help runners such as yourself get to the next level.

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