How To Run A Half Marathon Faster | Pro Tips to Run Faster

how to run a half marathon faster

How to run a half marathon faster is a common question by many athletes. Welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here and hope that this post will be helpful to you.

The half marathon is an aerobic event. The more precise you set up your training the better results you are going to have. Remember, too much aerobic running will only make you a long, slow runner. So, be sure to run more quality mileage rather than just volume

Specific race goals require specific training. So, your goal may not be to run a sub 2 hour half marathon. Perhaps, it is to finish your first half marathon or lose weight. You may be seeking to break the sub 3 hour marathon barrier. My top recommendation is to run for at least 4 weeks. The reason is to strengthen your body to handle the faster workouts you will be doing.

Everyone has different goals. It may be a time goal or just to get to the finish line.

The best tip I can provide in how to run a half marathon faster is practice your goal pace often. No one goes out and immediately does a 10-mile tempo run at half marathon race pace. You have to be patient and allow your body time to adapt.

How Can I Increase My Speed in Half Marathon?

You should be doing at least 1, vo2 max workout per week. Remember, the faster we train the more fast twitch muscle fibers we will recruit. We train between 95 to 100% of our maximum heart rate running at this intensity. Yes, easy running is still important for running success.

That being said, faster running will help make your goal half marathon race pace to feel easier. I would also recommend lengthening the distance of your tempo runs. What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past training for your half marathon races? 3 miles? 5 miles? I would work to extend this out to around 8 to 12 miles in length.

The name of the game in running a faster half marathon is race pace training. What is your goal? Is it time specific? Do you want to break the 1:30 half-marathon barrier? 2 hours?

I spent years running too many miles too slow. The great news is you can get started today and make some positive changes.

My idea was that if I was doing 140 mile weeks and doing 24 mile long runs at 6.00 mile pace that I could surely run great at the half-marathon or marathon distances.

What is the Average Time to Run Half a Marathon?

Runnersworld did a recent study that found the average time for most men is around 1:55. The same study found the average time for women is around 2:11. Of course, this is just one study. So, there will be some runners who run much faster and others who will run much slower.

I was fortunate enough to have been coached by Lisa Larsen Rainsberger.

So, having the Boston Marathon champion as a mentor tends to change your perspective on life and racing.

I had a half-marathon best of 1.13:44 from my collegiate days. In addition, a 2.43.36 marathon best when I started working with her.

Furthermore, I left with a 1:07:06 and 2:19:35 by implementing what I will share with you here.

I gained some interesting knowledge after 3 years of working with someone of that type of prowess.

What is a Good Speed for Half Marathon?

A good half marathon will be defined differently by different people. Marathon Handbook did a study and found that a good half marathon time for men is around 1:43:33. In comparison, a good half marathon time for a woman was at or around 2:00:12 (9:11 per mile pace).

How to run a half marathon faster involves understanding the energy systems of the body and training at high intensities for longer periods of time. Remember, easy running is important. You still need to run easy enough to recover from the hard training you are doing.

The trick is to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in the blood stream. This isn’t done by running slow. The good news is anyone can run slow. The bad news? It takes skill and unending hard work to run fast for long periods of time. Again, it takes between 21 days to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to the hard training that you do.

The best I have run for the half marathon is 1:07:06. That being said, I now what I am talking about when it comes to running fast for the half marathon. Are there men (and women) faster than me in the world? Absolutely.

So, all I can provide is my own expertise with this distance. I’ve also run 2:19:35 for the marathon. I hit the first half-marathon in that race in 1:07:09 and came back with a 1:12:26.

You do not  get to these times by being interested. It took massive action to get to this level. I strongly encourage you to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube Channel. I’ll be creating new videos each week to help runners just like you get to the top level.

What is the Hardest Mile in a HalfMarathon?

I think the hardest miles of the half marathon are in the middle miles. Remember, focus on running a negative split. So, do not try to win this race in the first 5 miles of the race. I would focus on running aggressive but controlled through 10 miles (16 kilometers). Also, run all out during that last 5 kilometers of the race.

The training should always be harder than the race itself. You have room to make the mistakes in training.

So, do not wait until the morning of the race. I am a firm believer in faster, varied paced long runs. I used this tactic to lower my half-marathon from 1:10:29 to 1:07:06. In addition, my marathon time from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. Below is an example of a faster, varied paced long run I used to break the 2:20 marathon barrier.

  • 2 mile jog, 6 miles@5:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 7 miles@6:00 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 5:00, 2 mile jog cool-down (23 miles)

I would always run the following week’s long run easy and relaxed.

Remember, the race is the reward for your hard work.

When you are training heavily for a half marathon you are in a constant state of fatigue. The perfect half-marathon taper will change that. It is all about following a strong half-marathon training plan.

If you are going to worry, deal with it in training, not on race day.

You will certainly run a faster half marathon by knowing your hard work was left in the training. In addition, you can make corrections in training. Secondly, follow this advice to run faster for the half marathon.


Do not neglect hydration during the race. Practice drinking in training. I always set water bottles out every 3 miles along my long run course. A big hindrance for many runners is they are sipping during the race and not taking in enough fluids.

The goal for half marathon success is to run faster by working longer at anaerobic levels.

I talk about this at length in the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Manifesto.

Running faster for 13.1 miles involves doing considerable work below goal pace.

You want to lessen your recovery between hard intervals as you get fitter.

Far too many runners will run fast track workouts but are giving themselves too much time in recovery.

Is there any recovery in a race?

It doesn’t matter if you are on 6.30 mile pace for 9 miles of a half marathon. What if you end up jogging 11 minute miles the last 4 miles ruining your effort? You want to create leverage in your training.

Leverage is working smarter, not harder. Doing more with less.

Where are you at the finish line is what counts. You are not going to win the race in the first 5 miles. There are far too many runners doing this and it cost them their goal time.

Training At Faster Paces

The problem runners have is they have it the other way around.

They will spend more time training the body to burn fat at slow speeds. What needs to be done is more time spent training at higher heart rates for longer periods of time.


The faster we run the

If you have trained for longer period of time at paces equal to or exceeding your race pace you will teach the body to rely less on carbohydrates.

Less reliance = massive improvements.

The kind of improvements you dream about.

We don’t have endless supply of carbohydrates but we do have more than enough fat stores.

Vary Your Long Run Paces

Running at lower heart rates will burn fat but at slow speeds. There is certainly a place for this and easy running. You can’t run faster every day. No one can. Plan your work and work your plan. The best runners follow a well-planned training schedule.

The Kenyans I have trained with are almost walking on their recovery jogs but their hard days are extremely hard.

These athletes are good for a reason. They know when to run hard and when to back off.

So, if you are having trouble improving your half marathon efforts I strongly encourage you to check out our running courses. Also, we have half marathon training plans that range in duration from 8 to 24 weeks. Remember, a longer build up is always better than a shorter training block.

Use Fat, Conserve Carbs

The best way to run a half marathon faster is to train to use fat as your main fuel source. In addition, train so that you do it while running fast.

Don’t leave your best efforts behind you thinking your prime years are a thing of the past. Often times, all that is needed is a change in training philosophy. Lastly, a few small, minute changes can dramatically impact how fast you cover these 13.1 miles.

This means longer runs at faster paces.

If you start out doing 18 miles runs with 2 miles of it at goal pace, so be it.

The idea is to extend the amount of time you spend at goal race pace.

Recovery And Anaerobic Efforts

You can’t do one properly without equal focus on the other.

The body needs time to recover from the hard efforts. Remember, the results come in the rest, not in the workout.

Furthermore, just because you’re the fastest guy or gal in training doesn’t mean you are going to be come race day.

Remember this, the smartest, not hardest working athlete most often times wins

How to run a half marathon faster involves training at faster speeds. The idea is to run for longer durations so that you burn fat at faster paces.

Training faster longer will help you to never experience the wall in a half marathon race.

You have trained for longer periods of time at higher intensities and have taught yourself to burn fat and conserve carbohydrates.

We will experience faster workouts and races because we’re not burning carbohydrates as drastically as you were in the past.

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