How to Run a Sub-1:45 Half Marathon: The Ultimate Guide to Crushing Your Goal

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Achieving a sub 1:45 half marathon requires dedication, perseverance, and a well-structured training plan. This article will guide you through the necessary steps to reach this challenging goal, providing you with the knowledge and tools to improve your endurance, speed, and overall performance.

Goal Setting: The First Step towards Success

Before embarking on your sub 1:45 half marathon journey, it is crucial to set a clear and achievable goal. This will not only provide you with motivation but also help you tailor your training plan accordingly. Remember, each runner is unique, and what may work for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it is vital to set realistic expectations based on your current fitness level and experience.

Building a Solid Foundation: Base Training and Mileage Increase

To achieve a sub 1:45 half marathon, it is essential to establish a strong foundation through base training. This phase focuses on gradually increasing your mileage and improving your aerobic fitness. Here are some key steps to consider during this period:

  1. Gradual Mileage Increase: Begin by gradually increasing your weekly mileage, aiming to add no more than 10% per week. This progressive approach will help prevent injuries and allow your body to adapt to the increased training load.
  2. Easy Runs: Incorporate regular easy runs into your training schedule. These runs should be at a conversational pace, allowing your body to recover and build endurance.
  3. Long Runs: Incorporate a weekly long run, increasing the distance gradually. This will help improve your stamina and mental preparedness for the half marathon distance.
  4. Cross-Training: Consider including cross-training activities such as cycling, swimming, or strength training to improve overall fitness and prevent overuse injuries.

Speed Workouts: Key Sessions for Achieving Faster Times

Speed workouts are an essential component of any training plan aimed at achieving a sub 1:45 half marathon. These workouts focus on improving your running economy, lactate threshold, and overall speed. Here are some key speed sessions to incorporate into your training:

  1. Interval Training: Perform intervals at a pace slightly faster than your target race pace. For example, run 800 meters at a challenging pace, followed by a short recovery period. Repeat this cycle multiple times, gradually increasing the number of intervals as your fitness improves.
  2. Tempo Runs: Tempo runs involve running at a comfortably hard pace for an extended period. This helps improve your lactate threshold and teaches your body to sustain a faster pace for a longer duration.
  3. Fartlek Runs: Fartlek, meaning “speed play” in Swedish, involves alternating between fast and slow running. Incorporate short bursts of faster running during your regular runs to improve your speed and mental resilience.

Long Runs and Endurance: Building Stamina for the Half Marathon

Endurance is essential for completing a sub 1:45 half marathon. Long runs play a crucial role in building both physical and mental stamina. Here are some tips to make the most of your long runs:

  1. Gradual Progression: Increase the distance of your long runs gradually, aiming to complete at least one run at or slightly beyond the half marathon distance before race day. This will build confidence and help your body adapt to the demands of the race.
  2. Pace Control: During your long runs, practice maintaining a steady pace that aligns with your target race pace. This will teach your body to sustain the desired speed over a longer duration.
  3. Fueling and Hydration: Practice your race day nutrition and hydration strategies during long runs. Experiment with different fueling options and find what works best for you to avoid hitting the wall on race day.

Strength Training: Enhancing Performance and Preventing Injuries

Incorporating strength training into your training plan can significantly enhance your performance and reduce the risk of injuries. Here are some key considerations for strength training:

  1. Functional Exercises: Focus on exercises that target the muscles used in running, such as squats, lunges, and planks. These exercises improve muscular strength, stability, and overall running economy.
  2. Core Strengthening: A strong core is crucial for maintaining proper running form and preventing injuries. Include exercises that target your core muscles, such as planks, Russian twists, and bridges.
  3. Balance and Flexibility: Incorporate exercises that improve your balance and flexibility, such as single-leg exercises and yoga. These will help improve your running efficiency and reduce the risk of muscle imbalances.

Nutrition and Hydration: Fueling Your Body for Success

Proper nutrition and hydration are fundamental for optimal performance during training and on race day. Here are some key considerations for fueling your body:

  1. Balanced Diet: Consume a well-balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Aim to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods to support your training and recovery.
  2. Pre-Run Fuel: Eat a light meal or snack containing easily digestible carbohydrates before your training sessions to provide your body with the necessary energy.
  3. During-Run Fueling: Experiment with different fueling options during your long runs to find what works best for you. Aim to consume carbohydrates and electrolytes to maintain energy levels and prevent dehydration.
  4. Post-Run Recovery: Refuel your body with a combination of carbohydrates and proteins within 30 minutes of completing your run to aid in muscle recovery and glycogen replenishment.

Race Day Strategies: Executing a Sub 1:45 Half Marathon

On race day, having a well-thought-out strategy can make a significant difference in achieving your sub 1:45 half marathon goal. Here are some key strategies to consider:

  1. Pacing: Start the race conservatively and gradually increase your pace as you progress. Aim to maintain a steady pace throughout the race, saving enough energy for a strong finish.
  2. Race-specific Workouts: Incorporate race-specific workouts into your training, such as tempo runs, to simulate the conditions and demands of the race.
  3. Mental Preparation: Visualize yourself crossing the finish line within your goal time. Positive self-talk and mental imagery can help boost your confidence and motivation during the race.
  4. Hydration and Fueling: Follow your practiced nutrition and hydration strategies to maintain energy levels and prevent dehydration during the race.
  5. Race Day Gear: Wear comfortable and appropriate gear that you have tested during your training. This includes shoes, clothing, and any necessary accessories to enhance your performance.

By following these training strategies and implementing the recommended tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a sub 1:45 half marathon. Remember, consistency, patience, and dedication are key to reaching your goals. Good luck on your journey!


Q1: How long does it take to train for a sub 1:45 half marathon?
A: The duration of training varies depending on your current fitness level and experience. It typically ranges from 12 to 16 weeks, allowing sufficient time to build endurance, speed, and overall fitness.

Q2: Can I achieve a sub 1:45 half marathon if I’m a beginner?
A: While it may be challenging for beginners to achieve a sub 1:45 half marathon, with proper training, dedication, and consistency, it is possible. It is recommended to build a solid foundation through base training and gradually increase mileage before focusing on speed workouts.

Q3: How many days a week should I run to train for a sub 1:45 half marathon?
A: It is recommended to run at least four to five days a week to adequately prepare for a sub 1:45 half marathon. This allows for a balance between training volume and recovery.

Q4: Do I need to follow a specific diet while training for a sub 1:45 half marathon?
A: While there is no one-size-fits-all diet for runners, it is essential to consume a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Adequate carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats are crucial for optimal performance and recovery.

Q5: How important is rest and recovery during half marathon training?
A: Rest and recovery are critical components of any training plan. They allow your body to adapt to the training stimulus and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Incorporate rest days and easy runs into your training schedule to ensure proper recovery.

Q6: Can strength training help improve my half marathon performance?
A: Yes, strength training can significantly enhance your half marathon performance. It improves muscular strength, stability, and overall running economy, reducing the risk of injuries and improving overall efficiency.

Q7: What should I do if I miss a training session?
A: If you miss a training session, don’t panic. It is essential to listen to your body and prioritize rest and recovery if needed. Adjust your training schedule accordingly, but try to maintain consistency and stay focused on your goal.

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