Half Marathon under 2 Hours Tips and Strategies

Are you seeking how to run a half marathon under 2 hours? If so, you are certainly not alone. The sub 2 hour half marathon barrier is one that many runners are seeking to accomplish. I created the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Domination course for this very reason. The goal was to help athletes get beyond just working hard. We, as athletes, already know how to work hard. Working hard doesn’t always guarantee results. That being said, working smart can and often times does.

So, you have to get beyond just thinking higher mileage is the answer. It isn’t. What is, is how you are conducting your training. How long are spending at your anaerobic threshold? Are you doing one Vo2 Max workout per week and stressing the anaerobic systems of the body adequately. How easy are running on your easy days? A common mistake runners make is getting caught up with what pace they are running even on easy days. You should be jogging on the days when recovery is the focus.

Remember, the benefits of your hard work come within the rest period. You are weaker immediately after a hard track or road workout, not stronger. So, the real benefits of your hard workouts come within the rest. You have to be just as disciplined on your easy days as you are on your hard days. What do I mean? You need to have the discipline to slow down on these particular days. The result will be a higher return on your time investment.

How Hard is a 2 Hour Half Marathon?

A sub 2 hour half marathon requires you to be able to sustain 9:09 per mile or 5:41 per kilometer. I always tell athletes that it doesn’t matter you were able to hold the pace for a portion of the race. Our mission here is to get you to sustain it for the entire duration of the race. So, the key is being able to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in your blood stream. The problem is in order to do this effectively you have to train at pace significantly faster than race pace.

In addition, you also want to extend the amount of time you are training at your anaerobic threshold. Yes, it is challenge to run a half marathon under 2 hours. That being said, it is definitely achievable with enough initiative and patience on your part. I am a big believer in doing faster long runs. I have training programs and courses here on rundreamachieve built around this philosophy. Again, you want sub 2 hour half marathon pace to feel easier and more manageable to maintain.

Is Under 2 Hours Good for a Half Marathon?

Yes, a sub 2 hour half marathon is an elite time and one that only a few runners achieve each year. Again, sustaining 9:09 per mile or 5:41 per kilometer pace is highly aggressive running. Of course, we all have different physiological capabilities. There are some athletes seeking to run under a 2:30 marathon whereas others are aiming to run under a 4 hour marathon. I will say this. Once you are able to run a half marathon under 2 hours the next step is the sub 4 hour marathon.

So, you have to get beyond just running long, slow and easy every single weekend. The long run was, by far, the most difficult workout I did. I was able to lower my half marathon down to 1:07:06 and marathon to 2:19:35. How? Varying up the paces of my long runs. In addition, training at paces that were closer to my 5K to 10K race pace. Again, it isn’t about running more mileage. There are runners who achieve more on 50 miles a week than some running 100 miles a week. Which would you rather be?

Half Marathon under 2 Hours Pace

Pace sustainment is essential. You want to make sure you slow down less than your competition. So, let your competition be up tight, nervous and worried the morning of the race, not you. I always say that training should be the most difficult part of your preparation. You will be far more confident the morning of your race if you have done your homework in training.

Half marathon under 2 hours pace is going to feel aggressive early on. It takes time and patience on your part to get fit anaerobically. The more efficient you are at clearing lactic acid the more economical you are going to run. Again, minimizing the extent at which you slow down is key in breaking the 2 hour half marathon barrier. Success in middle to long distance running also comes down to what you are doing in your off hours as well. Are you getting enough sleep? How well are you hydrating before and after your workouts? Are you paying attention to your nutrition?

So, great running results come out about my paying attention to the little details. Are you mentally rehearsing your race? Mental training is a big reason I was able to run as fast as I did. I routinely visualized myself crossing the finish line in my goal time. Of course, mental training by itself will not get you to your goal. A combination of mental as well as physical training will.

Closing Thoughts

There are numerous resources here on the website that will help set you up for success. A half marathon under 2 hours can be achieved. You just need to take the guesswork out of your preparation and invest in yourself. I, too, invested in courses and coaching and it paid huge dividends.

So, continue to focus on building your endurance. In addition, lengthen the time on your feet and the pace at which you are conducting your long runs. No, I am not saying you run faster every weekend. You should alternate a faster paced long run one weekend followed by a jog, long run the following weekend. It does the athlete no good to continue to push the body without adequate rest. I encourage you to google the term “Supercompensation”. You will then see how critical it is to run easy on your recovery days.

Again, the benefits of all your hard work come within the rest period. We all know how to train hard. The best athletes are often times the smartest. So, you need to to focus on also jogging on easy days. Lastly, believe in yourself and your potential for success.

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