If you are looking for a running event to challenge your fitness and endurance, you might have considered training for a half marathon. The distance is a popular choice for runners, especially those who have already completed 5k or 10k events, but don’t feel ready to take on a full marathon yet. Before you get started though, how long should it take to run a half marathon?
How can I measure my running time?
The time it takes you to run any distance will depend on your pace, for example if you run at a speed of 10km (6.2 miles) per hour you will finish a half marathon (13.1 miles or 21km) in just over 2 hours and 6 minutes. Factors such as age, fitness level and gender will also influence the time it takes you to run a half marathon. Generally, male runners tend to be faster on average than female runners of a similar age.
Fitness trackers and apps can help you monitor your progress and keep an accurate record of your speed and running distance throughout your training and on race day.
Average half marathon time for beginners
First-time half marathon runners, depending on their fitness levels, may want to set a goal of finishing the course rather than doing so in a certain time. That being said, on average a beginner can expect to cross the finish line in a time anywhere between 2:20-3:00. This is based on a combination of walking and running and also dependant on the course conditions. To give yourself the best head start and to avoid injury, it is recommended that you follow a suitable training plan, incorporating running 3 or 4 days a week, and rest days so your body can recover.
Average half marathon time for intermediate runners
More experienced runners, those who have already completed a half marathon for instance, may have their sights set on completing their next half marathon in a faster time. The average half marathon time for an intermediate runner is around 1:45-2:10, with many setting a target of a sub 2-hour time.
Average half marathon time for athletes/elites
Elite athletes follow a rigorous training plan and are capable of achieving an impressive pace over the 13.1 mile distance of a half marathon. For men the average time to run a half marathon is around 1:10-1:30 minutes, and for women around 1:20-1:40 – that’s over 8mph! The world record holder for the men’s half marathon is Abraham Kiptum, completing the race in less than an hour at 58:18. The women’s half marathon record is held by Joyciline Jepkosgei with a time of 64:51.
How can I improve my average marathon time?
Are you looking to improve your half marathon pace in time for your next event? Try some of the tips below to shave down your time!
Recovery: Rest days are just as important as training days when it comes to your half marathon training plan. Whilst you are increasing your mileage it is important to include adequate rest days to allow your joints and muscles to recover and gain strength. A stronger body will give you a much better chance of sustaining a good pace when it comes to race day.
Work at your goal pace: Try adding in some goal paced tempo runs on your shorter training runs. This will help you get acclimatised with what that pace feels like and build up your stamina as you near race say. Start by aiming to run around 5 miles at this pace, then as you progress with your training, work up to 10 miles, or try adding a few miles at this pace into your longer training runs.
If you are looking for your next half marathon, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - Half Marathon Listings