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How do I get faster over a Half Marathon?

Improving your half marathon time involves a combination of training, nutrition, race strategy, and recovery. Here are some tips to help you get faster over a half marathon distance:

Establish a Training Plan:

  • Develop a structured training plan that includes various types of runs, such as long runs, tempo runs, speed workouts, and recovery runs.

Set Specific Goals:

  • Determine your target time and pace for the half marathon. Having clear goals will guide your training and motivation.

Increase Mileage Gradually:

  • Gradually increase your weekly mileage to build endurance. This includes long runs that progressively get longer.

Speed Work:

  • Incorporate speed workouts like interval training and track workouts to improve your leg turnover and cardiovascular fitness.

Tempo Runs:

  • Tempo runs help raise your lactate threshold. Run at a pace slightly below your race pace for extended periods.

Hill Training:

  • Hill repeats and hill workouts can enhance leg strength and endurance, which is valuable for improving your speed.

Strength Training:

  • Include strength training exercises to prevent injury and improve overall fitness. Focus on core, leg, and upper body strength.


  • Eat a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates for energy, protein for recovery, and healthy fats. Proper nutrition before, during, and after your runs is vital.


  • Stay well-hydrated during training and on race day. Practice your hydration and fueling strategy during long runs.

Rest and Recovery:

  • Prioritize sleep, rest days, and recovery techniques like stretching and foam rolling. Allow your body to recover and adapt to training.

Mental Preparation:

  • Develop a strong mental game. Visualization, positive self-talk, and mental toughness are key for racing your best.

Race Strategy:

  • Plan your race strategy carefully. Consider starting at a pace slightly slower than your goal pace and then gradually picking up the pace.

Simulated Races:

  • Participate in shorter races or time trials as part of your training to practice race-day routines and gauge your fitness.


  • Reduce your training volume and intensity in the weeks leading up to the race to ensure you're well-rested and fully recovered on race day.

Race Day Preparation:

  • Get a good night's sleep before the race.

  • Eat a familiar pre-race meal.

  • Dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

  • Plan your hydration and fueling strategy for the race.

Race Experience:

  • Participate in more half marathons to gain experience and refine your pacing and race-day strategies.

Consistency: Consistent training is key. Stick to your training plan and remain patient with the process.

Remember that improvement takes time and that not every race will result in a personal best. Stay focused, maintain a positive attitude, and keep refining your training and racing strategies as you work toward faster half marathon times.

Matt Fox is the Head Coach at the Sweat Elite Coaching Academy and the Founder of Sweat Elite. Matt is a 2:20 Marathoner with over 18 years of training, racing and coaching experience.


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