A lot of athletes are trying to master the half half marathon under 2 hours pace. The trick is to get the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in the athlete’s bloodstream.
The key is to remain steadfast and patient because running is a test for us all. I hold a personal best of 1:07:06 for the half-marathon and 2:19:35 for the marathon. The same training had to be done for me to run those times as you will have to do to get under the 2 hour half marathon barrier.
The only difference is the paces we are training and racing at. The principles I teach here at rundreamachieve are focused around one mindset, race pace training.
An athlete aiming to break the 2 hour half marathon must train in such a way as to make 9:09 per mile feel comfortable.
I try to practice what I preach here. I was once a 2:43:36 marathoner so I had to go from how to hold 6:14 mile pace to 5:19 mile pace for 26.2 miles. Obviously, this is a massive jump in ability. That being said, considerable work had to be done in order to finally break the sub-2:20:00 marathon.
Tips To Run Under 2 Hours
I wish I had an easier method for you to achieve this goal. That being said, if you are patient, persistent and consistent with your training you will be a success.
You have to allow yourself time for your body to physiologically adapt to running faster than 9:09 mile pace. No one starts out doing 20 mile long runs at 9:20 pace overnight.
One of the biggest reasons I was able to drop my half marathon best from 1:10:31 to 1:07:06 was increasing the pace of my long runs.
How fast are you conducting your long runs? Have you tried running a portion of your long runs at, near or far below 9:09 mile pace?
Here are a few examples of the types of long runs I would do training for the half marathon.
16 miler – 2 mile warm-up, 7 miles@160 beats per minute (85% of maximum heart rate), 2 miles@150 beats per minute, 1 mile in 4:50, 2 miles@160 beats per minute, 1 mile relaxed, 1 mile in 4:50.
20 miler – 3 mile easy, 16 miles@160 beats per minute, 1 mile cool-down
As you can see, there is nothing easy about the above listed long runs. That being said, to perform at optimal level you must also provide adequate time to recover. So, rest days are critically important.
Top Recommendations To Break The Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon
- Alternate one harder, long run followed the next weekend by an easy, relaxed long run. Do not get caught up running slow every weekend.
I have always believed that long, slow running will produce long, slow runners – Sebastion Coe, former world record holder for 800m and 3:47 miler
- Train at 160 beats per minute during your long runs. Be advised, this will not be easy early on in your training block. Allow time for your body to adapt. Additionally, you may want to spend only a few miles of your long runs at this intensity early on. Furthermore, extend the distance and time spent at this intensity as you get fitter
- Do strides every other day during your training week. Strides are short, 50 to 100 meter sprints that help to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these you recruit the more efficient you will be.
- Focus on training at your anaerobic threshold (164 to 174 beats per minute). Studies have shown that we race close to this intensity so the more accustomed you are to this intensity the better. Tempo runs are usually conducted at this effort.
- Spend time at your aerobic capacity. Your aerobic capacity is your maximum effort. We can only spend anywhere from a few seconds to minutes at this intensity. The key is to spend some time down around 7:30 mile pace or faster.
Improve Your Lactate Tolerance
The reason being is 9:09 mile pace will feel so much easier. Additionally, you will be improving your lactate tolerance by training this way. The best runners that you see in your local area are able to hold a half marathon under 2 hours pace for a reason. I never had a lot of talent but what I do often was train far below the pace I intended on racing at for the half marathon.
Of course, I knew I was not going to be able to sustain 4:30 mile pace for the half marathon. That being said, I trained at, near and even far below 4:30 mile pace in training. The result? Ultimately, I was able to hold 5:07 mile pace for 13.1 miles.
Additionally, I was able to hold 5:19 per mile for 26.2 miles. So, this style of training for you is critical to become a 1:59 half-marathoner. This same training methodology works for anyone whether working to become a sub 2 hour half marathoner or a sub-1:30 half marathoner.
You want to focus on extending the amount of time you are running at a higher heart rate. Unfortunately, a common mistake many runners make is running too slow too often. So, look at your training and plan out and review the the percentage of your weekly mileage you are spending below 9:09 mile pace.
So, half marathon under 2 hours pace can only feel easier, by way of training at speeds far below it. The problem is it is painful to do this. That being said, allow time to adapt to the training you are doing and it will get easier.
Do You Know About Glutathione?
- Learn more about glutathione. The majority of your competition knows nothing about it. If you want to maintain optimal performance do not run low on your body’s master antioxidant. Glutathione’s main role is to detoxify the body of heavy metals, free-radicals and oxidative stress.
I have written numerous articles about the importance of increasing your glutathione levels since 2013. My number one recommended product is Cellgevity.
In addition, it is certified drug-free by the Banned Substances Control Group. Life is more than just running and athletic achievement. Unfortunately, there are athletes out there that feel the need to cheat using performance enhancing drugs.
Feel free to review some of these articles below.
I hope they will shed some light on why glutathione is so important for running performance.
Remember, training is not just about the workouts we are doing. Total nutrition is absolutely critical to run a sub 2 hour half marathon. Furthermore, your best running and benefits of your hard work will come from the rest. So, do not train too hard too often.
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do in preparing for the half marathon is backing off when you know you should. In addition, listening to your body. It never lies.
Interested in a new approach to your training? Stop by the RunDreamAchieve shop and check out our half marathon training plans.