Running half marathon in under 2 hours

11 messages
06/07/2013 at 13:40

I am planning to run the Dublin half marathon in September. I've only recently starting training with a plan made by Asics. They predicted I would finish the half marathon in 2:17:00, however I would really like to finish it just under 2 hours. This is my first ever half marathon and I know it would be an achievement to just finish it but I would like to aim for a good time. 

My current jog pace is around 14 minutes per mile however I also stop to catch breath etc in this time. Would it be possible to run the half marathon in under 2 hours? (I am an 8 stone 18 year old female, if that helps) 

cougie    pirate
06/07/2013 at 14:00
I'd have thought at your age and weight sub 2 hours should be pretty easy.

How did you predict your half time ?

Have you tried any parkruns and how much training are you doing ?
06/07/2013 at 14:28

Asics predicted the time based on how long I could run.

I run 4 times a week however the area I live in is quite urban so I am running along roads etc. 

cougie    pirate
06/07/2013 at 14:43
As you've just started you can improve a lot over the next few months.

Try and find a local parkrun event - you'll get great training and you'll be able to track your progress.

Keep up the good work.
08/07/2013 at 16:56

sub-2 is just over 9min-miling, so I'd say you had little chance in such a short time

I'd aim for sub 2:15 if I were you - that's just over 10min-miling

pick one run in the week as a long run and build up "time on feet" - hopefully doing a couple of 2 hour jogs (or at least 1:45) in the final couple of weeks before race day


08/07/2013 at 18:26

So even with road cycling and swimming and doing what you have recommended would I not increase my endurance and therefore time and be able to do it in 2 hours or would I just be putting pressure on my body? 

08/07/2013 at 18:38

Sorry, but unless I've misread your original post, you're stopping to catch your breath when running at 14 minute a mile pace. Nothing wrong in that at all of course but it does make a target of maintaining 9 minute a mile pace for 13 miles in a couple of months look a little optimistic.

With the amount of running and other exercise you're doing, and taking into account your age and weight, I'd say that running substantially under 2 hours for a half-marathon is very likely if you keep it up, but you may well need to lower your immediate target and give yourself more time. 

08/07/2013 at 18:48

See the thing is I've been in college the last 2 years and I've done near to zero exercise in that time so that 14 minute mile pace is the first time I've ran in near enough 2 years. Are you suggesting that a more likely time is around 2:17? 

Edited: 08/07/2013 at 18:58
08/07/2013 at 19:03

Hanna, it's hard to predict anyone's time without information about their times in races or harder training sessions. I agree with cougie that you can improve a lot over the next few months (and even more over the years at your age). I just wouldn't expect too much too soon. I'll be delighted to be proved wrong though and wish you all the best for your race .

08/07/2013 at 19:09

Hi Hanna.

You didn't explain how exactly you predicted time was worked out - was it based on a previous run? I think you may be putting too much pressure on yourself to achieve a certain time. How far are you running at your 14 min miles? If you are struggling at that then (depending on how far you can maintain that pace for) then with the magic of simple maths you will be aiming for around 3 hours.

As others have already said you need to do another race to get a time to base your training on and get a more accurate race time prediction. Personally though if I was you I would run it on the basis of getting round comfortably and getting a time that I could then work to improve on. Setting unrealistic or baseless targets can be a recipe for real disappointment - targets should always be achievable albeit with some effort. Having 3 targets is a good tactic - something sensible, a would really like and a wow that would be fantastic if...! That way no matter what happens on the day you'll feel like you have done yourself proud.

Train smart, have a sensible goal and think of the future - your running (presumably) is not just for this one race but for the many you'll do and you will keep improving. But if it all goes tits up because you set your sights to high you may give up or even get your first injury.

Hope it goes well and good luck!

09/07/2013 at 13:26

Thanks guys, it seems you all know what you're talking about and it makes sense. I've taken everything you've all said on board so molte grazie. 

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