As many of my readers and social media followers know, I’ve been chasing the elusive sub 2-hour half marathon for a while now. A few years ago, I ran a 2:02 without really trying. In 2018, I ran a 2:04 in the pouring rain and only missed the 1:59 because I had to stop for a bathroom break. But 2019 is my year!
I’m doing three things to make this happen:
- Following proper sports nutrition techniques, as outlined in The No-Brainer Nutrition Guide For Every Runner
- I’ve been focusing on strength and speed training, and I feel really comfortable running a 9:09 pace, also known as the pace I need to hold for 13.1 miles to get my final time under 2 hours.
- I created a training plan that fits my needs and schedule. Pin it below!
If you plan on using this, I encourage you to answer a few questions first:
- What day do you have enough time for a long run? Make that Day 7 and then go from there–it’s fine if it’s not a weekend.
- Do you prefer another method of cross-training? If so, swap it into day
A few more points:
- If you need to miss a day, don’t freak out. However, stick to your long run and strength training every week. These will help build endurance and prevent injury.
- Tempo runs are set at the race pace, while “easy” runs are whatever pace you want.
- Fartleks” is a Swedish word for “speed play”. During this exercise, you fast bursts, followed by easy running. For example, after warming up, run at your normal pace for 1-minute and then speed it up for 1-minute and repeat. Or run faster between signs or trees to keep things fun.
- 400 meters is about .25 miles. These should be an all-out sprint, followed by a walk.
Don’t forget about nutrition–the bottom of the training plan includes some nutrition tips for half marathon training! For more info on nutrition for running and specific examples of fueling for different distances, be sure to check out The No-Brainer Nutrition Guide For Every Runner. But as a reminder…
- Don’t do any of this on an empty stomach. Incorporate some quick-acting fuel, like a piece of fruit, before each run.
- Incorporate recovery nutrition (carbs + protein) for tempo, sprints and long runs
- Fuel during any run lasting longer than 60 minutes. Easy to carry (and eat) fuel sources include sports drinks, gels, gummies, dates, jelly beans or raisins.
- Hydrate, no matter the distance! Stay properly hydrated throughout the 10-week plan to reap the most benefits.