Are you ready to find a free sub 2 hour half marathon training plan?
I have it right here for you!
Let’s first answer some questions you might have about running a sub-2 hour half marathon and then dive into the plan.
You will find the training schedule at the bottom of the page. Simply pop your email into the opt-in box in order to receive the free printable pdf download of this training plan.
Alright, let’s get to strategizing about how you are going to run 13.1 miles in just 2 short hours!
In order to run a sub-2 hour half marathon you will need to sustain a pace of 9 minutes and 5 seconds in order to cross the half marathon finish line in exactly 1 hour and 59 minutes and zero seconds.
Now technically you have a little wiggle room with a calculated finishing time of 1:59:00 and a pace of 9:05 per mile.
If your pace jumped to 9:10 minutes per mile you would then end with a finishing time of 2:00:10.
So it’s good to be clear with what your goals are for yourself.
Do you want a sub-2 hour half marathon finish time or would you also be happy with a 2 hour half marathon finishing time?
No one answer is right, they are both awesome finishing times!
Of course there are things to be considered such as hills, aid stations being backed up, having to take a bathroom break, large crowds of runners, etc. so each miles pace will most likely be off of your target goal pace by a couple of seconds.
Therefore if you wanted to allow for even more of a safety boundary around your finishing time it might be best to train and run at a 9:00 minute per mile pace.
A 9:00 minute per mile pace would end up giving you a 1:57:54 half marathon finish time and would allow for at least 2 minutes for incidental happenings during the race.
Here is a 9:00 minute per mile pace chart for a sub-2 hour half marathon training plan finish time.
This will help you see where you should be during each mile of the race.
It’s good to become very familiar with your paces as you train for your time goal.
You can also play around with finding a different finishing time over on this page that has a full pace chart and finishing time calculator.
After reading how fast you will need to run each mile in order to run a sub-2 hour half marathon you might be wondering if you are capable of this sub 2 hour half marathon training plan.
1. You should be able to comfortably run at least 3 miles.
2. You should be able to run those three miles in about 9:00 minutes to 9:15 minutes per mile with relative ease.
(The hard part of running a sub-2 hour half marathon will be sustaining the required pace for the duration of the half marathon so you want to be able to run at this pace currently for at least a couple of miles.)
If you are able to at least do those two things then you are ready for this training plan!
If you are lacking in one area or another then it might be good to wait before attempting this plan and build more of a solid running base.
A sub 2 hour half marathon training plan will require discipline in your training and technique.
But that’s what makes it so rewarding when you achieve your goal and step across the finish line in your desired time!
But let’s talk more specifics about what is involved in training for a 2 hour half marathon as there are two main goals that you will want to achieve.
The first focus you will need to achieve is making sure that you build your endurance appropriately in order to run the full 13.1 miles.
This is largely achieved by your weekly long run.
In this training plan it is scheduled on Saturdays however you can modify the day to fit your schedule.
Assuming that you cannot already sustain roughly a 9 minute mile pace for the duration of 13.1 miles, your second primary goal is to increase and build your speed so that you can sustain your goal race pace for the entire half marathon and ultimately achieve your sub-2 hour half marathon goal.
In this specific sub 2 hour half marathon training plan found at the bottom of the page, you will be doing this through tempo runs, interval workouts, and your goal race pace miles during your long runs.
You will also preface your speed training with some hill strengthening workouts early in this training plan as the stronger you are, the easier and more effective your speed training will be!
During these 3 weeks your focus will be on:
During Weeks 4-11, your training will include:
The last week of your half marathon training plan is all about getting in some extra rest and recovery so that you are primed and ready with a full tank of energy to achieve your sub-2 hour half marathon finish time that weekend!
See this page for more information on how to taper for a half marathon.
Before we talk about what each day of your training week will look like here is a quick overview of the training workouts on the training plan.
Alright, here is a breakdown of the workouts and each training day.
Mondays are scheduled short run/easy pace days during the first 3 weeks.
During the last 9 weeks they are a scheduled tempo running day.
You will see tempo runs scheduled on your training plan as:
3 miles (1 mile @ tempo).
Read this as:
“Run 3 miles and run 1 of those miles at your tempo running pace.”
If you prefer you can run 1 mile as a warm-up, 1 at tempo pace and 1 mile as a cool down.
You can find all the information you need here on how to run tempo runs plus what your tempo running pace should be.
Tuesdays are scheduled cross training days and are labeled with the XT symbol on your training plan.
I would recommend doing either a low impact cardio workout or a strength training workout on your cross training days.
If you opt for the strength workout, keep your workouts between 25 to 40 minutes.
Here is more information on strength training for runners.
Here are some other ideas for cross training as a runner that you might like to incorporate.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, stressed, or extra tired on these days you can also use your cross training day as an extra rest day.
Alternatively, if you feel as if you want to include more weekly miles you could also use your cross training day as another short/easy pace running day and run an extra 1 to 4 miles on this day.
Wednesdays are a scheduled quality running workout day.
During the first 3 weeks you will perform hill repeat workouts.
Hill repeats are scheduled on your training plan as,
2 miles + 6 HR (30-90 sec. each)
Read this as:
“Run 1 mile as a warm up, then perform 6 hill repeats that are between 30 to 90 seconds in length each, and then run a 1 mile cool down.“
You can find out how to run hill repeats workouts on this page.
During the last 9 weeks you will be running an interval workout on Wednesdays.
Interval workouts are schedule on your training plan as:
2 miles + 6 x 0.5 mile intervals
Read this as:
“Run 1 mile as a warm up, perform 6 separate half mile intervals, and then run a 1 mile cool down.”
Here is an in-depth page on how to perform your interval workouts.
Thursdays are your scheduled rest days.
Fridays are a scheduled short run at an easy pace.
Don’t push the pace on these runs.
You are simply staying primed and adding in more weekly base miles and building your cardiovascular fitness before going into your long run the next day.
Saturdays are a scheduled longer run day. Your long runs are the core of your sub 2 hour half marathon training plan.
These longer runs are scheduled on your training plan as:
9 miles (4 @ GRP)
Read this as:
“Run 9 miles total, and run 4 of those miles at your goal race pace (GRP) per mile.”
It doesn’t really matter when you run those goal race pace miles during the long run.
You can run them back to back or sprinkle them throughout your long run.
If you want more of a challenge, you can run them at the end of your long run when you are already more fatigued as more of a progressive style long run.
You can find more information on how to run goal race pace and progressive style long runs on this page.
For the remaining miles of your long run, you want to run at a very slow and steady pace.
You can run even 1 to 3 minutes slower than your goal race pace.
See this page on the best long run pace to understand why you want to run your long runs slower than your goal race pace.
Sundays are a scheduled rest day.
Here is a helpful rest and recovery timeline you might want to implement during the first 24 hours post long run.
Here is the sub 2 hour half marathon training plan in miles. Scroll down for the plan in kilometers as well.
I truly hope this sub 2 hour half marathon training plan is exactly what you were looking for and gets you to your goals!
Let me know if you have questions and I would love to hear how it all goes for you!
Good luck, friend!
I'll send you my free 24 Hour Timeline Checklist of Things You Should Do After a Long Run when you sign up!