A half marathon is different from say running a 3 or 5km. You can’t just go all out and hope to hold the pace till the very end. It is a different ball game altogether. To run a good half marathon, you need to know how realistic your desired goal in mind really is. It is best to estimate your half marathon pace to optimise your training as well as enabling yourself to pace well during your race. Here are some tips to help you on training for your half marathon.
#1 Calculate Your Pace Based On Previous Races
You have done a 5km or a 10km before, now looking to do your first half marathon. Here is a simple formula you can use to calculate an estimate target pace for your half marathon.
- 5km Personal Best x 4.667
- 10km Personal Best x 2.223
For instance, if you are running a 45 minutes 10km, a realistic 21km goal would be 45 x 2.223 which gives you 1 hour 40 minutes. This would mean 4.44min/km pace. So, this is the pace you should train for. Hold this pace at the beginning of your race and if you feel the energy to push in the final kilometres of the race, go on!
Click here for a pace calculator
#2 Train For The Pace
During training, you should always train for the pace. Let your body adapt to the pace. Let your body get comfortable with the pace. So for instance if your target is a 1 hour 40 minutes half marathon, be sure you train for the 4.44min/km pace. You can do it in intervals. For instance, run 4.44min/km for 15 minutes, 3 sets. Take a break of 3-5 minutes between each set. This will ensure your body is familiar with this pace. Try to run each kilometre at this steady pace.
Click here to find training tips
#3 Do Not Forget The Long Runs
You’ve heard that long runs are important in the marathon distance, but did you know doing long runs for the half marathon distance will help you score a better timing? Of course it’s not to say you should be running a 25km long run before your half marathon, but doing a 15km run a couple of times before your half distance will do you good. First of all, it gives you the confidence you need to complete the distance.
Very fruitful advice from this page, hope to hear a lot from you guys.
any training plans to recommend ?
i.e. how far to be running each week I the build up to the race. Number of training sessions a week etc
Thanks for the tip! I have run two HMs this year and looking to finish faster in my next HM. Love the idea of 3 sets at Marathon pace – during training, I normally try an hour straight at Marathon pace but have difficulty sustaining it. Maybe breaking it into 3 sets will help me get there
One question – your long runs, at what pace would you recommend doing it? for example, i am targetting sub2 hm, thats a pace of 5m43s per km on race day. What pace should i be targetting for my training long runs?
[…] This is to allow your body to be comfortable and for you to have a good feel of your race pace. Here is a simple guideline to find your race pace to train […]
Thank you very much for this page. ill do 5.30/ km. this is my target first.
Mel, hv u run a 21.1k b4? Your advice suggests NOT