Sub 2-hour half marathon training plans | Women's Running

Sub 2-hour half marathon training plans

Read Time:   |  February 11, 2020

If you’ve completed a 10K (well done!) the next obvious popular racing distance to tackle is a half marathon. These training plans will help you achieve a sub 2-hour half...

Half marathons need a new name. The word ‘half’ suggests they’re not a complete race, but running 13.1 miles as fast as you can is a challenge for runners of all abilities. And, as such, your training needs to be structured and taken seriously if you want to get faster and enjoy your race. Half marathons are much easier for towns and cities to host than marathons, so you should be able to find one close to where you live, too.

These plans are designed of runners who may already have a half marathon or two under their belt and are looking to improve their time. Everyone would benefit from following the 12-week plan to build up to their goal race. But, if you’re short of time, the eight-week plans can be used if you’re running regularly. If you’d rather try your hand at a 10K first, you can find a training plan here.

All runners will be working on their endurance through their long runs, not only to work on their fitness but to train their bodies to withstand the race distance. In order to properly work on your endurance, it’s important that you run slower than your intended race pace. For half marathon training, long runs should be run at around 20 per cent slower than race pace. So for a 1:45 half marathon, long runs should be at 9:30/mile and for a 2:00 half, around 10:40/mile.

For a half marathon, it’s also important to work on your lactate threshold pace. This is the point at which more lactate forms in your muscles than can be used. As more lactate accumulates in your muscles, running will feel harder and harder. So during training, you should be working on your lactate threshold pace through tempo runs.

Before you pick a plan, here are some golden rules for training…

  • Be flexible: You may find that life and weather gets in the way of your training, so it’s okay to move runs around. Make sure that, for those running five times a week, you don’t put hard sessions on consecutive days. Those following a three-four run schedule should space their runs out as much as possible.
  • Avoid ‘catch up’: If you miss a run, don’t try to add it to the following week. Just write it off as a missed run and carry on. Overloading yourself the following week will only lead to injury, illness and burnout.

12-week plan for a sub 2 hour half marathon

Remember: both rest and cross-training are essential for success if you’re following this sub 2-hour 12-week training plan.

This plan requires just three runs a week and includes some interval training to help you focus on speed as well as endurance training as you build up from 3 to 13 miles.

You can view the condensed plan here, or enter your details to get a printable version below.

Print off your 12-week training plan for a sub 2-hour half marathon!

Enter your details below and we'll send you your free printable training plan

By giving us your email address you are agreeing to receive the training plan PDF and be added to The edit newsletter list. You may unsubscribe at any time.

12-week plan for a 1.45 hour half marathon

Follow this 12-week plan if your goal is a 1hr 45mins half marathon. You’ll be running five times a week, which means your body will need rest days in order to adapt to training.

This is a tough one: two interval training sessions, two easy runs and a long run per week. Give it a go if you’re a regular runner looking to beat your PB!

You can view the condensed plan here, or enter your details to get a printable version below.

Print off your 12-week training plan for a 1.45 hour half marathon!

Enter your details below and we'll send you your free printable training plan

By giving us your email address you are agreeing to receive the training plan PDF and be added to The edit newsletter list. You may unsubscribe at any time.

8-week plan for a sub 2 hour/1.45 half

If you’re pushed for time, follow the orange boxes for an eight-week training plan, with a goal of sub-2 hours, on three runs a week. Follow the blue boxes if your goal is sub 1hr 45mins, with five runs a week.

Be prepared that both plans involve some interval training, where you’ll be running race pace (or slightly slower) for short bursts with recovery jogs in between. If your goal is sub 2-hour, you’ll be running seven miles for your first long run and if your goal is 1hr 45mins or below then you’ll be running 8 miles from the first week.

You can view the condensed plan here, or enter your details to get a printable version below.

Print off your 8-week training plan for a sub 2 hour/1.45 half marathon!

Enter your details below and we'll send you your free printable training plan

By giving us your email address you are agreeing to receive the training plan PDF and be added to The edit newsletter list. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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