I often get asked how do I train for a sub 2 half marathon. Well, my usual response is getting used to training faster than 9.09 mile pace. How can you make half marathon race pace to feel more manageable? There is no easy way to do this but it can be done with patience.
None of us can plant a seed one day and an oak tree grow by the next day. So, you have to have an immense amount of persistence and motivation to break this barrier. There are other people around the world that break the 2 hour half marathon each year. Why can’t you? If you have missed this goal I am encouraging you to not give up.
I created a course called 2 Hour Half Marathon Domination specifically for athletes such as yourself. The key here is to work smarter, not necessarily harder. One of the biggest mistakes I see runners making is being too impatient. In addition, they are not spending adequate time training faster than 9.09 mile pace.
Is a Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Good?
Yes. It is a very competitive time and a lot of people ask this question. You will need to sustain 9.09 per mile pace for 13.1 miles. It takes a great deal of fitness to run a 1.59.59 or faster for the half marathon.
That being said, there are some specific strategies I teach in the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Domination course that can get you there. What good is doing a 20 mile long run at 12.00 mile pace when your aim is 13.1 miles at 9.09 mile pace?
It does you know good to be on sub 2 hour half marathon pace for 8 miles only to slow in the latter stages of the race. So, you’re probably more than likely is not endurance but stamina. It is a problem all athletes have faced over their career including mine. For example, I wanted to break a 2.22.00 marathon while I was still a 2.43.36 marathoner.
It takes specific training to get a specific result. What you are trying to do is not easy. A sub 2 hour half marathon is a very competitive half marathon time. So, do not expect this process to be easy. That being said, embrace the challenge and get excited about what you are doing.
How Fast Do You Have To Run For A Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon?
A 1.59.59 half marathon comes out to 5.41 per kilometer or 9.09 per mile for the entire distance. So, what you need to improve on is your stamina. The long, slow distance running you may have been doing is still important. That being said, you need to increase the percentage of your weekly mileage that you are running at, near or faster than race pace.
In addition, you need to start paying close attention to your recovery. Are you running slow enough on your recovery days? One of the best suggestions I can share is to vary up the paces of your long run.
How did I drop my half marathon PB from 1.10.31 to 1.07.06? Well, I started running my long runs at a faster pace. For example, I started doing long runs at 160 beats per minute. Your heart rate is a great way to keep track of your effort. In addition, it keeps you from running too fast or too slow. So, how do I train for a sub 2 half marathon is a question that is answered by smarter planning.
I am a huge advocate of heart rate monitor training. Also, I cover this topic extensively in the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Domination course. 160 beats per minute, for me, was about 85 percent of my maximum heart rate. Granted, I was 31 when I was training to break the 2.22.00 marathon barrier. That being said, I ended up running 2.19.35 for the marathon thanks to this form of training.
The Best Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Strategy
The number one strategy I teach is improving your lactate tolerance. The reason being is you must teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in the blood stream.
Easy running will not produce this physiological effect. What has been the biggest problem with your half marathon attempt? Are you running a portion of your race on pace but slow in the latter stages of the race? Well, if so, you are not alone. This is a common issue many athletes face.
Remember, what you are trying to do is not the norm. There are a large amount of people who try and fail and trying to break the sub 2 hour half marathon. The good news is that it can be done. We all have been taught to work hard. Did you know 78 percent of the American population are living paycheck to paycheck? How can so many hard working people be having problems financially?
Why am I bringing this up in this article? Well, working hard doesn’t always produce the results we desire. There are people that work hard and athletes that work smart. My goal for you is to help you to work smarter and get under this half marathon barrier. I want you contacting me telling me you broke the 2 hour half marathon barrier.
What Must Be Done To Break The 2 Hour Half Marathon Barrier?
A different mindset and a different approach. How do I train for a sub 2 half marathon can be answered by training smarter, not harder. It won’t come overnight but with some patience and a different strategy you will run 1.59.59 or faster.
No more running long and slow every weekend for your long runs. My recommendation is do one, faster paced long run one weekend. Then, follow it up with a long, slower paced long run the following week.
Remember, all the benefits of your hard work comes within the rest. So, you have to learn to balance the very hard training with the easy training. For example, you need to be jogging on your recovery days. In addition, your hard days need to be extremely hard.
So, the goal is to sustain 5.41 per kilometer or 9.09 per mile for 21.1 kilometers or 13.1 miles. What this means it to break 2 hours you have to get used to running at least a minute faster than goal pace.
Examples of workouts I would recommend are as follows:
- 6×1 mile on the track in 7.30 with 3 minutes recovery
- 3×2 mile in 15.00 with 5 minutes recovery
- 20 miler – 4 miles easy@140-50BPM, 4 miles@160BPM, 3 miles easy@140-50BPM, 1 mile in 7.00, 2 miles easy@140-50BPM, 6 miles@160BPM (harder effort long run)
- 5-9 mile tempo run@167-74BPM
So, to break the 2 hour half marathon you have to train much faster than goal race pace. The majority of athletes know this. The problem is they want the results to come fast and sometimes it doesn’t work that way.
It took me from 2002 to 2007 to go from 2.43.36 to a 2.19.35 marathon. In addition it took over a year to go from 1.10.31 to 1.07.06 for the half marathon. The biggest objective for you is to not lose enthusiasm when the going gets tough.
Remember, a sub 2 hour half marathon is a coveted, fast time. There are numerous athletes around the world who achieve this time. So, if they can do it so you can you. It is just going to take patience, persistence and focus to finally get to the 1.59.59 finish time. It is very doable but you have to change up you tactics.
This is why I created the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon domination course. Remember, it more than likely is not that your best running is behind you. It is a strategy change that needs to be put in place. I mentioned heart rate monitor training above. A great way to find out what your maximum heart rate is is to subtract your age from 220.
Remember, it isn’t about working harder. Higher mileage doesn’t always equate to faster half marathon times. What you do want to do is start working smarter. It is better to do 35 miles a week with a new strategy than to do 85 miles a week and miss your goal.
Let’s face it. People don’t ask how many miles a week you run as much as they ask what your best times are. We all are different and have different goals. The goal with this post is just an introduction. I want you thinking about what has and what has not worked for you in 2019.
So, if you are asking how do I train for a sub 2 half marathon I hope this post has been helpful.
2020 is a new start. I am excited to hear about you breaking the 2 hour half marathon. Click the link below to learn more about the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Domination Course.