The sub 2 hr half marathon can be achieved with proper planning and patience.
There are runners around the world who are missing this time goal simply because they are not spending adequate time at 9.09 per mile pace.
You can make some significant drops in time simply by changing your training routine.
A common mistake far too many runners make is not training at or below 2 hour half a marathon pace.
You were born with commitment. That being said, not everyone uses that trait. It is very easy to give just enough effort. You have to be fully committed to run under 2 hours for the half marathon.
It takes a consistent dose of quality mileage and proper planning to get under this time.
Furthermore, you cannot rely on your talent alone. Hard work and faith have to be working in cohesion to run a sub 2 hour half marathon time.
Talented athletes have to watch out because a committed athlete is hungry.
They are seeking ways every minute of every day to better themselves.
They know they have to work harder than the talented athlete just to measure up.
A Sub 2 Hr Half Marathon Takes Focus
Have you ever had people telling you that you are too fat, not good enough, too slow or lack talent. Unfortunately, many people have.
I was told to quit when I was still “only” a 2:43 marathon. This time simply wasn’t good enough to compete at the national level.
I would have never run 2:19:35 for the marathon had I listened to that advice.
A sub 2 hour half marathon can be broken by changing your mindset and the duration you spend at 9.09 per mile or faster pace.
The status quo leads you into believing your time has past. Small thinkers want you to believe you are too old. It is your choice to change your associations if this is the case.
We are always in control of our attitude and thoughts.
If you truly want to break the sub 2 hr half marathon you have to get out of the comfort zone.
It isn’t easy to go after hard goals.
You have to love what you do because any rational person would give up if they don’t – Steve Jobs
Easier Said Than Done
Tough goals demand athletes who are mentally tough and physically.
We all need some tough love and constructive criticism once in awhile.
A sub 2 hour half marathon will demand a lot out of you.
It is one thing to go out and hold 9.09 mile pace for 5K. That being said, try doing it for 10 miles. Your body will tell you whether or not you are ready to run under the barrier
There is a massive difference between interest versus commitment. Which one are you?
The goal here is to train at or below 9.09 mile pace or 5:41 per kilometer. You have to teach the body to burn fat at race pace and conserve carbohydrates. This is a physiological effect that only takes place by high quality running.
The biggest hurdle many runners face is how to minimize slowing down in the race. In addition, knowing when to taper.
Hydration is also critical for runners who want to run a 1:59:59 half-marathon. You do not want to sip in the race. Practice drinking during your long runs in training. The top runners hydrate well during their races.
A common reason so many runners miss the sub 2 hr half marathon is they are not drinking enough. They are not taking in sufficient calories during the race.
You have to run at sub 2hr half marathon pace often. Furthermore, too many miles spent above half marathon goal pace will not help you break the barrier.
Remember, quality over quantity.
The majority of runners seeking to break this barrier certainly have the commitment to make the goal a reality.
The problem lies that any one of these three problem areas could be at fault.
There are runners in their 50’s and 60’s running faster than some 20 year olds. Your best days are not behind but ahead of you. What you need to do is start following a strong half marathon training plan.
Longer Duration at Goal Pace
The half marathon is a long race. The marathon is even more complicated.
If you are doing short tempo runs at 9.30 mile pace it still isn’t stressing the body sufficiently.
A 4-mile run at 9.30 pace is not going to prepare you to race 13.1 miles at 9.09 or better pace.
Which is a better workout to run a sub 2 hour half marathon?
A 20-mile long run done at 10.30 mile pace or a 12 mile section of that 20-miler at or near 9.09 pace?
The latter is the correct answer.
The longer you spend at, near or below sub 2 hour half marathon pace, the better equipped you are going to be in your next half marathon race.
Faster Running Better Results
Remember, the results come within the rest. It takes just as much discipline to slow down on your recovery days as it does to train hard.
You can’t produce fast results unless you put equal emphasis on recovery days.
I have went out and done 6 x 1-mile on the track at 6400ft elevation hitting each repetition at 4.42-44 before.
Want to know my pace the following day?
9 minute mile pace.
I could care less how slow I am going on a recovery day.
The majority of the time I will not even wear my watch on recovery days.
I know my route but pace is irrelevant on recovery days.
Easy recovery days are meant to be exactly that, easy.
I will not run with a group after a hard track workout either.
You are too susceptible to going faster than you should.
It isn’t just extending the time you spend at goal sub 2hr half marathon pace either.
You have to learn to deal with the fatigue of running faster than 9.09 per mile pace.
In addition, you want to teach yourself to run longer run segments at paces far exceeding 9.09 per mile pace.
Common examples of this type of workout is:
5x3miles (a total of 15 miles) on the road at 8.20 pace
6x2miles (a total of 12 miles) at 8:10-8:15 mile pace.
Vary Your Paces
Spend some time running various sets at paces that exceed 9.09 per mile pace
Workout such as:
5×2 miles at 8.30 pace
2×4 miles at 8.45 pace
Keep in mind recovery is vital.
These workouts take a great deal of energy to accomplish.
Specific goals like running a sub 2hr half marathon entails specific training that is 100% painful and challenging.
Your body will adapt to the stress you place on it.
It will fight you early on when it is not accustomed to what you are putting it through.
I believe in a 10-day taper and talk about this in the sub 2 hour half marathon manifesto
Often times, runners feel sluggish if they start dropping their work load 3 weeks out.
Running is an individual sport.
What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. That being said, a perfectly timed taper can create a major breakthrough in your running.
I did a 10-day taper prior to the 2007 California International Marathon.
I went to the race a 2.40.02 marathoner and left with a 2.19.35. Be patient. The result always come in time.
Expect Some Challenges
You have to be tenacious in training and in mindset.
You can’t give in just because you feel off today.
Recover and do the workout again a few days later.
You have to consistently work and stay focused.
A sub 2 hour half marathon is a very respectable time.
An individual who is able to maintain 9.09 per mile pace for 13.1 miles is in outstanding shape.
A big reason I created this website is to see more runners like you achieve their goals.
I hope you will take the advice in this post and go after that sub 2hr half marathon time.
All it is going to take is a higher emphasis on training longer at goal pace. Additionally, focusing on running easy on your recovery days.
Far too many runners are missing the second part of that statement.
They can master the pace in training but don’t have the patience to slow up when they should.
You wan’t to get the most return from your training and the only way to do that is ensuring you put emphasis on your easy days.
A great workout means nothing if you aren’t recovered.
I felt so good in training. Why did my race go so poor?
Well a lot of factors could go into poor race results. That being said, it is the fact we push too hard, too long and not enough focus has been paid to recovery.
Recovery could be eating properly, getting a massage, sleeping more and running relaxed on recovery days.
A lot of things go into mastering the sub 2 hour half marathon. I hope this post has provided some insight on what needs to be done. A big part of the equation is mindset and getting used to running at or below your goal pace.