I never thought I would break the sub 2 hour half marathon.
To qualify this statement, it took me 15 attempts to finally manage this feat. I recorded my first ever sub 2 hour half marathon at the Dublin Rock N Roll Half Marathon in August 2013.
Previously I’d managed a 2:02 in March 2013 at Liverpool and a 2:03 in Edinburgh. I was so close yet so far away.
Respecting the sub 2 hour challenge too much
It’s as simple as this, if you can manage a 9:09 min/mile average over the half marathon distance then you can record a sub 2 hour half.
My problem was that I’d start a half marathon way too slow and leave it all until the last half to get under the 2 hours.
Aiming for 1:32 at 10 miles helped me hit my target.
In the Dublin Rock N Roll Half Marathon I made sure that I hit 1:32 at 10 miles. I knew if I hit that target I’d be easily to easily finish on a 28 minute 5k.
As it turned out I was at 1:30 at 10 miles. I made the effort to run steadily at around a 9:30 minute/mile for the first 0.9 mile of each mile. Once I hit 2.9 3.9 or 4.9 miles, I’d speed up until I heard my watch beep.
Then I’d go back to a more relaxed pace again and repeat the cycle.
Tips On How To Run A Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon
- Train as much as you can at the 9:09 min/mile pace on your long run – When it comes to race day you’ll know that you can do it.
- Run a steady race – Don’t start out at a 10:00 min/mile and hope to be running 8 minute miles by the end of the run. Stick as closely to the 9:09 min/mile pace as you can from the start of the race.
- Keep on trying – It took me 15 attempts to go sub 2 hours. It won’t take you that long if you work on your pace and your endurance.
- Don’t give the sub 2 hour half marathon too much respect – To go 1:xx you don’t have to be an athlete. You can and will do it if you put the effort in and believe in yourself. I ran my first half marathon at 2:17 and never thought I’d manage to go sub 2.
- Running a sub 2 hour half marathon will get easier with practice – Currently I’m at the stage where 1:5x is my time limit for a half marathon. I can go out and record one now without too much stress. Again if I knew it was gonna be this easy a year ago I’d have trained harder for the target.