Updated: Sep 15
15 ways to improve your half-marathon time with less training miles and more personal records. How I went from a 1:32 to a 1:21 half-marathon at Vigor Big Cottonwood.
15 Ways to Improve your Half-Marathon Time
15. Make goals with a running bucket list
Set Goals. I wrote down specific goals and it's no secret I am a huge fan of bucket lists. If you want to improve in your running or physical life, I would suggest downloading this FREE PDF customizable Running Bucket List and writing in your personal goals. You can work up to different goals or PR's over time to reach bigger milestones. I suggest to even DREAM BIG and add anything from running a simple mile to running in the Olympic time trials if you want. You are way more capable of reaching them than you realize! This is personal so start where you need to.
Here is an example of mine. I added to the generic one as my goals got bigger.
14.Create a detailed running plan
Plan. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. As soon as I signed up for a PR goal race, I made sure to have a running plan in place. There are many apps and plans for free you can use but some are not curated specifically to your level of fitness or goal race times. Many plans just tell you a generic pace and miles per week goal. But I found a way to make my plan suit my stage of life, current pace and goal pace while incorporating a switched up routine. I am a big fan of MYRUNPLAN from Runner's World and any plan by Jeff Galloway tailored to women. The best plans incorporate speed, threshold, tempo, long and recovery runs.
I also took advice from the greats on my running plan like olympian Demetrio Cabanillas.
13. Get Social
Connect. When I started posting my running on instagram I was able to connect with a great running community who shared everything from workouts to secrets to failures and triumphs. I got so much faster. You learn so much from others about their running ambitions or racing strategies, plus it's a place to have accountability in the public eye. Start posting your running journey on social media. You can even use tools like workoutsnap to display your time and pace. You can also find local runners to join up with for long runs or speed workouts. Harness the power of having a solid group to cheer on and cheer you on.
12. Invest in good running gear
Buy good gear. When I ran my first half marathon, I was wearing some 5 year old shoes from college and timing my race and workouts with MapMyRun which is not always accurate. By the time I finished, my feet were covered in blisters and my arches had nearly collapsed. I knew I could do better than that. Go to a running store and get your foot analyzed. I am a firm believer that Asics Gel Nimbus are the best running shoe for all types of runners and foot strikers. Getting a Garmin Forerunner watch changed my life because the GPS accuracy was amazing but it had all the bells and whistles from recovery advisor to V02 to race predicting. I was able to become more in tune with my body during training and racing. Imagine the possibilities!
These are items I absolutely cannot live without both in training and racing.
11. Switch up the running routine
Switch it up. The best recipe for injury and lack of improvement is to run the same pace, same terrain and same routes day in and day out. You need to both stress and rest your body. from 2013 to 2018, I only improved my PR time by a full minute from 1:28 to 1:27 because I was running the same pace and same route over and over. I was running my body into the ground and not giving it a challenge. In my latest training for my 4th half and PR of 1:21, I varied my workouts like crazy. If you want to become the best running version of yourself, get excited about switching it up!
Varied workouts to incorporate into your training which you can do with the MYRUNPLAN app
(click links below to understand how to execute each one).