One of my goals for 2016 is to run a sub 2 hour half marathon. My current PR is 2:09:46 with an average pace of 9:54/mile. To run a sub 2 half, I need to run at an average pace of about 9:14/mile or less. Since I need to shave about 10 minutes off my time to achieve my goal, I need to start focusing on adding speed intervals and hill repeats into my training (something I haven’t done for my previous four half marathons).

Pyramid run workout to help achieve a sub 2 hour half marathon pace.

One of my favorite speed workouts is a pyramid run. It consists of a 5 minute warm up, 20 minutes of interval work, and a 5 minute cool down. I love this workout because it’s quick, effective, and keeps my heart rate up the whole time. I’m all about burning the most calories and getting the best workout in the quickest time possible so if you’re like me, this workout is for you!

Click To Tweet

30 Minute Pyramid Run -- perfect workout to increase speed during half marathon training.

Start off with a 5 minute run at an easy pace (for me that’s about 10 minutes/mile). Next run about a minute to a minute and a half faster than that pace for 30 seconds (for me that was about 8:54/mile). Go back to your easy pace for 30 seconds. Then run at your fast pace for 1 minute and go back to your easy pace for 1 minute. Now run at your fast pace for 2 minutes and then 1 minute at an easy pace. Continue the pyramid by running 3 minutes fast, 1 minute easy, 4 minutes fast, 1 minute easy, 5 minutes fast, and 1 minute easy. Once complete, cool down at your easy pace for the last 5 minutes. 

The fast pace should not be a sprint but rather something that you can hold throughout the pyramid — up to 5 minutes. It’s meant to be challenging so don’t give up! I seriously considered stopping 2 minutes into the last 5 minute interval stretch and then I just kept telling myself “You’re working towards a sub 2 hour half — Keep Going!”

I haven’t quite decided on a race yet or picked out a training schedule so if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!

What are your favorite speed workouts?

15 Comments on 30 Minute Pyramid Run

  1. Georgie
    December 16, 2015 at 7:45 am (10 months ago)

    This looks like an awesome workout – I love/love hate speed intervals. I love how I feel after but during I’m just like waaaaahhhh – such a great goal and I know you can do it!

    • A Cup of Kellen
      December 16, 2015 at 1:06 pm (10 months ago)

      It’s definitely a love hate relationship! I always think “why am I punishing myself” during the workout haha

  2. Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
    December 16, 2015 at 9:43 am (10 months ago)

    Once I started adding speed work and hill repeats (I always pick the hilliest races haha) it was amazing the gain in speed I had. I ended up with a 7 minute PR in my half marathon and went sub-2. I am sure if you add in runs like this one you will hit your goal! Can’t wait to hear what race you end up choosing 🙂

    • A Cup of Kellen
      December 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm (10 months ago)

      That is awesome to hear! I figured a 9-10 minute PR is kind of a stretch but I have all year to hit it. I’m going to aim for the San Diego Half Marathon in March I think which gives me 12 weeks to pick up speed and then thinking about doing Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half or Seattle Half in June 🙂 There are so many races, it’s hard to decide.

  3. Diana
    December 16, 2015 at 11:01 am (10 months ago)

    First of all i LOVE your shoes- too cute!! Hills and cross training are 2 essentials for me when it comes to half marathon training. I always run in Balboa Park/ North Park for some of the most insane hills in San Diego. As for speed- ughhhhhhh I need to do this workout because I avoid that type of training like the plague haha.

    Anyway you can crush 2:00 I know it. I highly recommend doing the Hot Chocolate 15k for some good hill training and half marathon prep. It’s in March 🙂

    • A Cup of Kellen
      December 16, 2015 at 1:09 pm (10 months ago)

      Thank you! Saucony sent them to me during marathon training! I haven’t trained in Balboa still, but I say we plan a run there together then go to Panama 66 after! I’ll definitely look into the Hot Chocolate 15k! I’ve been eyeing that one for years.

  4. Margaret @ youngandrungry
    December 17, 2015 at 9:37 am (10 months ago)

    I love pyramid workouts and you go girl I’m excited to keep watching your training! I’d be happy to write you a training plan once you pick out your race just PM me if you’re interested!

    • A Cup of Kellen
      December 17, 2015 at 11:58 am (10 months ago)

      I would LOVE a training plan! I think I’m going to aim for the San Diego Half Marathon March 13th (or is that too soon?). I’ll email you!

  5. Amanda @ Exploring Life & Things
    December 17, 2015 at 10:06 am (10 months ago)

    This is awesome! I also am currently working towards a sub-2 hour half too so we got this 🙂 I feel like I mostly do speed workouts on the treadmill so I can hold a consistent pace for a certain period of time. I really need to do some more speed work outside! This is a great idea for speed work, definitely going to do this!

    • A Cup of Kellen
      December 17, 2015 at 12:01 pm (10 months ago)

      I do most of my speed workouts on the treadmill right now too because it’s so cold outside! When I was marathon training I did them outside along with hill workouts but I know I should get outdoors soon and stop being a wimp 🙂 I can’t wait to follow your training to a sub 2 half! Do you have a plan? When is your first race?

      • Amanda @ Exploring Life & Things
        December 18, 2015 at 12:21 pm (10 months ago)

        Hahah I’m the exact same way. I haven’t picked out a race yet for the spring but I have a few ideas! No I don’t have a plan yet ahh I still have to find one. Do you have a plan that you’re using?!

        • A Cup of Kellen
          December 18, 2015 at 6:44 pm (10 months ago)

          So I think I’m going to run the San Diego Half Marathon on March 13th and Margaret from Young & Rungry offered to make me a training plan! I’m working with her right now on it. You should reach out to her!

  6. Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me
    December 18, 2015 at 10:12 am (10 months ago)

    I’ve just recently got into interval running. It is SO hard. But the good kind of hard. Thank you for sharing this girly!

    • A Cup of Kellen
      December 18, 2015 at 6:43 pm (10 months ago)

      I know, I have a love hate relationship with intervals too 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *