Tips For Half Marathon Success: PR Faster Using Leverage


tips for half marathonThe best tips for half marathon success I was given from some of the world’s top distance coaches is be patient.

You have to realize that if you are young, possibly at the high school to collegiate level. Your best years are far ahead of you.

I wanted to break all of Malone University’s track and field and cross-country records coming out of high school. Rookie mistake.

I was too caught up in the event and totally lost touch with the process altogether. It wasn’t for another 12 years until I broke a 2.20.00 marathon

It really doesn’t matter what distance you specialize in.

You can’t be in a rush. It doesn’t work like that in this sport. If you focus on the process, the results will fall in your lap but you have a long term approach

I have learned quite a bit about the distance over the years and want to at least share some tips for half marathon runners seeking to run faster times.

Trial And Error

I learned most from trial and error. Coach Jack Hazen was my coach at Malone University.

He would have us do a 10-mile time trial at the beginning of each cross-country season.

If you wanted to be on the team you had to break 60 minutes for the 10 miler distance. So, to be one of the top runners on the team we had to be under 55 minutes.

The farthest I had ever run prior to coming to Malone to compete was the 2 mile in high school. So, 10 miles was a big deal. Furthermore, running a half-marathon at that time was not a distance I had considered running.

Tips For Half Marathon Success

The biggest struggle I had is I had to train to minimize lactic acid build up while at race pace.

The best guys and gals train to do this. It isn’t that they are all that much better than you.

So, it isn’t just the top guys and gals in the world but the top runners in your age group or runners performing at standards you are chasing.

Are they better? The question should be what can you do differently to run faster than them?

  • Running slow builds endurance and fitness. Fast running will minimize lactic acid and even more importantly lessen the slow down effect during your race. Train the anaerobic system and you will get faster times.
  • Understand the importance and difference between training aerobically and aerobically.
  • Run a long run once per week and don’t make the entire run a jog. Increase your distance and focus on extending the amount of time you are spending at lactate threshold effort.

Lactic Acid Tolerance

rundreamachieveThis is the point at which lactic acid begins to build up in your body. So, you slow down because it is building up faster than it is being cleared. What is the only way to increase your body’s ability to clear it?

Faster running.

There are many tips for half marathon success, that is probably at the top to run faster times.

  • Don’t be afraid to take some calculate risks in your race.

The only way to find out is to stick your neck out. If you have done the proper anaerobic work in training there is no reason you can’t win your age group.

If you miss your goal, so what, it isn’t the end of the world.

  • What did you learn? What can you do to train differently so when you hit the 9th mile you don’t slow so drastically? How can you pick up pace when you are fatigued at mile 11 when it truly counts?
When a runner passes you, don’t let them pat you on the ass and run by, let them know they have been in a race – Olympic Coach Joe Vigil
    • Train far faster than goal race pace. If your goal is to run 7 minute pace for 13.1 miles you have to train your aerobic capacity.

This is your body’s full ability to transport oxygen to the working muscles at its maximum capability.

What Should I Not Do During a Half Marathon?

The only way to improve it is by running at speeds exceeding your goal race pace. I would definitely focus on running a negative split. So, do your best to not go out too fast in the early stages of the race

A few days during your training should be spent at a totally relaxed pace. 

One of the best closing tips for half-marathon success is to take your easy days as seriously as your hard days.

The lower the race distance the more anaerobic the event is.

The half-marathon requires endurance but is still a strength event. So, you have to have more of anaerobic focus to drop your times.

Easy running will build general fitness. Fast running at or exceeding goal half-marathon pace will create breakthroughs.

You build stamina in this event and can drastically drop your current half-marathon by training the anaerobic and lactic system.

You have to train fast to run fast. I dropped my half-marathon best from 1.10.32 to 1.07.06 by paying closer attention to the above mentioned tips.

Closing Thoughts

Long run intensity gradually increased and I spent more time focusing on extending the amount of time I was spending at goal race pace. I threw the watch off on easy days. I knew the distance of the routes I ran and that was enough on easy days.

You don’t get results during the anaerobic workout itself, they come in the rest and usually the positive result of that specific workout doesn’t show up until 21 days down the road.

Moral of the story? Don’t get caught up in running harder than you need to on days after your harder sessions. I don’t care if you’re in a group and you want to keep up. Let them win the pace game in training, you win it in the race when it counts.
Half marathon success depends on it.
If you want a new way to totally rejuvenate your half marathon training I strongly urge you to consider the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Manifesto.

I hope this post on tips for half marathon success has been helpful to you. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new content there each week to help runners like you get to the next level in their training and racing.

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