Under 2 hour half?

posted almost 8 years ago | Report

I am running my 6th half marathon in 4 weeks and am looking to set some goals. I would really love to break the 2 hour mark for the first time (my last half was 2:04).

If you have run a half in just under 2 hours what was your training pace for long runs?

My last two have been a 9:06 pace (7 and 8 miles) and I am wondering if it is realistic to shoot for this goal?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  • Hi Meredith -
    In my opinion, your goal is very realistic, considering that my running partner and I ran 3 half marathons in less than 6 weeks and our times were 2:08 / 2:04 / 1:57. We seem to keep our shorter runs (6.5mi and less) under the 9min mile pace, usually about 8:46 and our long runs (7 -12mi) between 9:15-9:50. We do a lot of hill training on our long runs which is a bit non-standard, and another reason why we tend to run a little slower on long run days, but it has certainly made us stronger. We are running the Rock n Roll Seattle 1/2 in 4 weeks and have planned for the 1:55 corral which is 2min faster than our last race but right on target with our progress over the last 3.
    I recommend:
    running with a pace watch and a pace partner
    hydrating at each mile
    Gu 14min before and 45min in
    Picking out and staying on the heels of someone within seconds of your normal comfy pace.

    You're not far off from your goal at all. I'm sure you'll break it next 1/2 with a little push.

    Keep on truckin'

    In health,

    posted almost 8 years ago | Report

  • Kim, your advice is very helpful. I'm running a Half in September and am shooting for sub 2 hours as well. I'm getting pretty close to the paces you mention, so it's good to know that I seem to be on the right track. Just gotta get some hill training in because where I train is mostly flat. Thanks!

    posted almost 8 years ago | Report

  • Ran my first and only half ever in April 2010... 1:59:36. I am 42 y.o. and had only started running last summer. I was ecstatic. I had trained my long, slow distance at 10mm. Short distance training around 8:45mm. Did hill work and tempo runs weekly...which are key and make you such a stronger runner. I really surprised myself that I could do it.... I typically like to run a negative split....start slower and end faster. However, with my first half... I merely paced each and every mile at 9:08 or less so that I would get in under 2 (Garmin on and pacing bracelet to double check my time against...don't always think so clearly after about 10 miles :P ). So yes, it is realistic I do believe (but of course, it was in cool weather).... and since you've already done 8 at 9:06...I bet you could do just 5K more at that ;) --- Plenty of GU (every 3 miles) is key for me. I also hand carried a small water bottle to avoid adding even a second to my time from water stops. And take the tangents! ---

    posted almost 8 years ago | Report

  • User_avatar Deleted User

    I tend not to worry too much about pace on the weekly long runs; just building up the mileage. During speedwork and tempo runs, though, I generally run much faster than the goal race pace -- anywhere between 7:30 (intervals, 1600m at a time at most) and 8:40 (tempo). Long runs are usually in the 10-11 min range unless I feel like I've already built up all the mileage I need (Saturday runs of 13 miles or more) and can start working on faster paces over the distance. And tapering the mileage the week before race day is crucial.

    But the biggest thing that helped me get a half under 2 hours was a pace team. The ING Georgia Half-Marathon last march had great pace team groups for lots of time goals. So I ran with the 2-hour group, then pushed ahead of them around mile 10 and managed to notch a PR of 1:57:10.

    Undecided in terms of splits. I ran my very first half on the negative split plan, felt great and finished strong with a 2:06:48. But the ING (my second) was steady pace throughout, thanks to the team.

    posted over 7 years ago | edited over 7 years ago | Report

  • My go-to "speed" for my long runs is around the 9-10 km/h (including walk breaks). I just take them very easy.. long runs are about distance, not speed.. you can't run them too slow. For speed you do your other (shorter) runs (like a short tempo run or some intervals)

    posted over 7 years ago | Report

  • Thanks Kim! Your description of your runs were very motivating, at least for me it is. I'm also gunning for a 2 hour half and my training time and distance is almost similar to yours.

    I did a 2:10 half a little over a month ago but that was due to bad weather conditions. It poured halfway into the half. Still had doubts that I'd be able to go below 2 even without the bad weather but reading your post increased my confidence!

    posted over 7 years ago | Report

  • Late to the party, but that pace is realistic. I just missed my two hours. I did 2:00:05. Last year I trained more for Tri so my Half marathon times were awful. I want to change that this year.

    posted over 7 years ago | Report

  • This discussion is useful as my goal is also to run a half in less than 2 hours. My first half in September 2010 I finished 2:08:51 and my second half last week was 2:09:04. I was a little disappointed with my time last week, but given that the weather conditions were VERY HOT and that I didn't do as much training it's not surprising. My plan is to incorporate some tempo runs and more hill work to my training. I have some trail runs coming up this summer and will be concentrating on those for now but I have a half coming up in September (the same one I did in 2010) and I think it's definitely possible!!

    posted almost 7 years ago | Report

  • Just realized this post was OLD. Advice withdrawn. :s

    posted almost 7 years ago | edited almost 7 years ago | Report

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