Running a Sub-2-Hour Half

2:03, 2:08, 2:10, sound familiar? Ready to finally break the 2-hour Half-Marathon?

 Here are a few tips to help you out

The 2 primary reasons for people not accomplishing their race goals are poor preparationand poor race strategy. Here are a few tips to help you train and prepare well for your first sub 2-hour half.

Tip 1: The first tip is to train and prepare well. Here is a typical training week:

Monday: Slow easy run, 5km (This is meant to be slow and just getting your kms in)

Tuesday: Tempo Run, Total: 8km

A nice warm up: 1km
Tempo training: 6km- 1km on, 1km off , x 3 (“ON”= working at a 5:20min/km)
Finishing off: 1km cool down.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Tempo Run, Total: 10km

A nice warm up: km

Tempo training: 8km- 1km on, 1km off, x Four (“ON”= working at a 5:45min/km)

Finishing off: 1km cool down.

Friday : Rest

Saturday: Long Run: 10 to 18km (Build up kms slowly (add 10% extra per week is considered safe)

Sunday : Rest

 Tip 2: If your goal is to get under a 2-hour half, it is important to have both tempo and long runs in your training week.

A tempo run essentially gets your body used to running at your half marathon pace. So, if you want 1:59:59 in the half marathon, then your average pace should be a 5:41min/km pace. Just run it at 5:30min/km pace just to be safe!

The long run is not meant to test your racing ability, its there to train your body to run long distances. So speed is not a concern during the long run! In fact, if you are running it too fast, you could be hurting yourself and your training, so SLOW DOWN.

3. Going into race day, Rested, Fully Hydrated and Property Fueled.

A few common mistakes are:

Not resting the week before the race (give your body sufficient time to rest- normally 3- full days off before the run).

Hydrated, hydrate, hydrate! Making sure you have long clear wees at leaset 24-48 hours before the race.

Fuel up properly. Yes, bread, rice, pasta are all good options, just don’t overdue it. Carb load, not fat load! ha

4. Don’t go out too quickly

One of the biggest mistakes people, including myself, do on race day is to go out too quickly. I would suggest going out a few kms slower (5 to 10 seconds slower than your goal pace).

A useful tool is to wear a pacer band. Here is a copy of a great ban that you can cut out, wrap with a plastic bag and follow Km for Km for the entire race.

21Km Pace


1 – 0:05:41

2 – 0:11:22

3 – 0:17:03

4 – 0:22:44

5 – 0:28:26

6 – 0:34:07

7 – 0:39:48

8 – 0:45:29

9 – 0:51:11

10 – 0:56:52

11 – 1:02:33

12 – 1:08:14

13 – 1:13:56

14 – 1:19:37

15 – 1:25:18

16 – 1:30:59

17 – 1:36:40

18 – 1:42:22

19 – 1:48:03

20 – 1:53:44

21 – 1:59:25

5. Follow a pacer runner

One last super tool is to follower a pace runner, if available. They are there to help you avoid going out too quickly and to encourage you throughout the entire run!!! Most of the time they are pretty good company too, they have some pretty fun stories to tell! ha

With proper training and the right race day strategy, running a half marathon under 2 hours is very achievable!!! Hope this helps you achieve yours!

Happy Running

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