Saturday, February 13, 2010

12 Week Plan to a Sub 2:00 Hour Half Marathon

As promised, I am providing a 12 week plan for running a Half Marathon in 2 Hours or less. This 12 week plan assumes that you have built a 21-31 mile base before beginning. As we discussed before, you do not need any more than 30.57 miles to run your best Half Marathon. Any additional miles is just icing on the cake. But your goal is to be consistent in the 21-31 mile range – less when you are running a weekend race and more when your weekend has a long run scheduled.

Now a couple of additional items to go over before you start this program. You must be able to accomplish two things – a distance goal and a speed goal. The distance is easy to determine. Can you run 6 miles in the first week of a 12 week program? Can you run 11 miles in the ninth week of the program? If so, you've met the distance goal.

For the speed portion of the goal, there is a whole different criterion you must meet.

Jeff Galloway, in his 'Marathon' Book, has a simple test to determine how fast you can run a marathon. After warming up, a runner will run their fastest one mile – no to the point of being ready to puke, but at least a speed that puts you out of breath or close to maxing out on your ability to continue running. The runner will then take that time, add two minutes, and multiple it by 26.2 (the distance of the marathon in miles). That total will give you the total time in minutes. Divide that time by 60 and you have the hours and a percentage that you multiple by 60 to get the minutes.

An example to demonstrate this. Say that I follow this test and run a mile, as quick as I can without killing myself and it ends up being a 7 minute mile. I take 7 minutes, add 2 minutes and have 9 minutes. Multiplied by 26.2 and my total is now 235.8 total minutes. Divide 235.8 by 60 and it shows it would take me 3.93 hours to run a marathon. (If I apply .93 hour times 60, my net time would be 55:48, so the time would be 3:55:48 to run the marathon).

This rule can be applied to the speed you need to run to accomplish a 2 hour Half Marathon. But the time needed for that mile run would need to be adjusted because you are running a Half Marathon not a Full Marathon as used in the Galloway example. Don't worry, I'm saved you the trouble of that calculation.

To run a Half Marathon in less than two hours, you will need to run a 7:30 mile. But you will also have to show you can run farther (not at the 7:30 pace) during your training to achieve the speed goal. Your goal will be to run a sub-26 minute 5K race (this is an 8:21 minutes per mile pace). You don't have to do this your first week of race training, but by two weeks before your Half Marathon Race.

To meet the speed goal, you will find a treadmill or track workout that I've included each week. It starts out with ¼ mile repeats at a 1:50 minutes per mile pace (on the treadmill this is the 8.2 speed). That is your goal for the first 4 weeks. The last 8 weeks are ½ mile repeats at a 3:45 minutes per mile pace (on the treadmill the setting is 8.0). Your goal is to warm up for a mile, and then alternately run 1:50 for a ¼ mile followed by walking for 1:50. The number of these repeats are shown on the schedule by each week.

The tempo runs shown on the attached schedule are run at your marathon race pace (9:09 minutes per mile). For these, you run a warm up for 1.5 miles, 4.0 miles at tempo pace, and .5 mile cool down.

Below is the total 12 week plan. Please review and let me know if you have any questions on anything on the schedule that is confusing. For those of you reading this blog on an electronic reader, if the schedule is too condense, please contact me at marathonmadman@gmail.com and I will forward an Excel file for your review.

1/2 Marathon Training Plan to Run a sub-2:00 1/2 Marathon [9:09 minute per mile pace]

         
   

Treadmill Workout**

Tempo***

Long Runs/Races

   


 

    

Average Pace

Week

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

for Saturday

1

3-4 miles

Off

6 x 1:50 440s [8.2]

3-4 miles

6 Tempo

Off

6-9 Miles

> 10:00 MPM

2

3-4 miles

Off

6 x 1:50 440s [8.2]

3-4 miles

6 Easy

Off

5K Race [27:00]

8:42 MPM

3

3-4 miles

Off

6 x 1:50 440s [8.2]

3-4 miles

6 Tempo

Off

7-10 Miles

> 10:00 MPM

4

3-4 miles

Off

6 x 1:50 440s [8.2]

3-4 miles

6 Easy

Off

5K Race [26:45]

8:37 MPM

5

3-4 miles

Off

3 x 3:45 880s [8.0]

3-4 miles

6 Tempo

Off

9-11 Miles

> 10:00 MPM

6

3-4 miles

Off

4 x 3:45 880s [8.0]

3-4 miles

6 Easy

Off

5K Race [26:30]

8:32 MPM

7

3-4 miles

Off

5 x 3:45 880s [8.0]

3-4 miles

6 Tempo

Off

10-12 Miles

> 9:30 MPM

8

3-4 miles

Off

6 x 3:45 880s [8.0]

3-4 miles

6 Easy

Off

5K Race [26:15]

8:27 MPM

9

3-4 miles

Off

7 x 3:45 880s [8.0]

3-4 miles

7 Tempo

Off

11-13 Miles

> 9:30 MPM

10

3-4 miles

Off

8 x 3:45 880s [8.0]

3-4 miles

7 Easy

Off

5K Race [25:59]

8:21 MPM

11

3-4 miles

Off

6 x 3:45 880s [8.0]

3-4 miles

7 Tempo

Off

8-10 Miles*

> 10:00 MPM

12

3-4 miles

Off

4 x 3:45 880s [8.0]

3-4 miles

3-7 Easy*

Off

1/2 Marathon

9:09 MPM

         

**- For Treamill workout, Warmup for 1 mile at a 9 -10 minute pace, then repeat intervals with 1:50 [or 1/4 mile on treadmill].

-Cool Down with 1/2 mile slow.

      

*** - Tempos are done at race pace. So '7 Tempo' mean that you will warm up with 1.5 miles, go 4.0 miles at pace (9:09 minutes per mile on average) and with a 1/2 mile cool down. For '* Tempo', the pace distance changes to 5.5 miles.

         

To Do's

        

- To run a 2:00 1/2 Marathon, you need to run a 25:59 5K

    

- A 25:59 5K equals a 8:21 minutes per mile

     

-To run a 25:59 5K, you need to run a 7:30 mile.

     

-To run a 7:30 mile, you need to run 1/2 mile repeats @ 3:45.

    

76 comments:

Carissa and Kyle said...

Thanks for the post! I can't wait to give this plan a try!

carlrowe said...

I stuck to this program and it worked!! I just ran the Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon in 1:54:53(bib # 1957). Thanks for the great training plan.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plan, this was great. I ran two half marathons (both large events) and wore my Garmin watch for both to help with pacing. For both events, my Garmin registered distances of nearly 13.3 miles -- almost 0.2 miles longer than expected. I ran my planned race pace and finished 13.1 miles under 2 hours -- but because the race was an extra 0.2 miles, my official race time was over 2 hours. I just point this out so people can adjust their training to assume a slightly faster race pace given the extra distance of some of these events.
I was still pretty happy given that I knocked 16 minutes off my previous race time, but will plan accordingly for next year's training!

dis-enfranchised said...

Hi,

Can I check - for the Tuesday runs, are the figures in square brackets the min per mile? Also, are the Tuesday runs broken up with a short walk? So if it says

6 x 1:50 440s [8.2]

That means 6 repeats at 8:20 per mile, with a break in between? What is the 440s?

Thanks

dis-enfranchised said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi, Just wanted to thank you for your excellent training plan. I followed it before my first half marathon (last weekend in Edinburgh) and am happy to have completed it in 1:52. Looking forward to reading your other helpful posts and using your tips in my next one too. Thanks!

Bob said...

Used this program and finally (after 4 unsuccessful tries) got under 2 hours. Finished the Minneapolis Marathon in 1:59:12.

Thanks for the program.

Joseph Gan said...

Hi,

I am wondering if the 6x 1:50 440s [8.2] means 6 repeats of 1min 50 sec with 8.2min per mile right?

What's 440s?

Jo-bin said...

I believe that the 6 x 1:50 440s [8.2] means you run at 8.2 MPH over a 440 (1/4 mile, or 1 lap around a track) and repeat 6 times. running at that speed should put you at about 1:50 for the one lap of the track.

Anonymous said...

On Sunday and Wednesday it says 3-4 miles....what speed is the meant to be performed at??

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Two questions:
1. What is the intended pace for the Sunday/Wednesday 4 mike runs?
2. The single asterisk ("*") footnote for the 8-10 miles on week 11 and the 3-7 miles on week 12 is missing. What should it be?

Thanks again.

John Shearer said...

Thank you for posting this exceptionally detailed training plan. I started following it 15 weeks ago and have 3 weeks until my race, so I extrapolated its patterns to improve on my time. I did a 14 mile training run on week 13 at a pace of 8:41, which would be 1 hour 54 minutes for the race. As a result my new goal is 1 hour 50 minutes, or the 30th percentile for my age group (41-44). Thanks for making this possible!

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1. What is the intended pace for the Sunday/Wednesday 4 mike runs?
2. The single asterisk ("*") footnote for the 8-10 miles on week 11 and the 3-7 miles on week 12 is missing. What should it be?

Thanks again.

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Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused when you say you need to run a 7:30 mile pace to run 13.1 miles under 2 hours....If you run a 9 minute mile pace, that's 120minute/9 = 13.3 miles. So a 9 minute mile pace the entire way should put you under the 2 hour mark, correct? am i missing something?
Sorry, just trying to see if this is a feasible goal for me.

(another calculation: 9 minutes per mile x 13.1 miles = 117.9 minutes)

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Thanks. I followed this plan and it worked a treat. I completed the Great North Run in September in 1:58:24

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Brooke Bowen said...

I'm really considering running a half marathon. I've never been the best runner, so I really need to train well and hard if I'm going to accomplish this. This blog gave great tips and really gave me an idea of where I need to start. Thanks! http://www.trainforamarathon.info