What is the average half marathon time?

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?

A woman timing her Half marathon run

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

 

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UK Half Marathons

Half Marathons are a great challenge for any runner, if you have successfully completed a 10k run then this type of event might be next on your list. The training will require a lot more effort and time due to the length but it will be even more rewarding when you cross the finish line. For runners who aspire to one day run a marathon, a half marathon is a great bridging event between shorter races like a 5K or 10K and doing a full 26.2 miles.

Why run a half marathon?

Even If you’ve never run competitively before, signing up for a half marathon can be a great way to motivate a change in fitness and lifestyle and push your abilities to run longer distances. You’ll need to stay committed to a good training plan before your race to avoid injury, but it will be totally worth it once you cross that finish line!

Not only is it a great form of cardiovascular exercise, running a half marathon has plenty of other great benefits too. Firstly, if you’re looking to start running as a way to lose some weight, signing up to a half marathon event will give you something to stay committed to, and through your training, you’ll work on getting your heart rate up, burning calories and losing weight in no time.

Another reason to sign up for a half marathon is to raise money for charity. Half marathons are popular options for runners who want to fundraise and there are hundreds happening across the UK every year. Some people even choose to run in fancy dress to keep things fun!
Finally, running your first half marathon is a great way to really challenge yourself and improve your long-distance running ability. Once you’ve finished a half you’re sure to want to take on your next challenge of a marathon.

Half marathons near me

There are lots of well-known half marathon events in the major cities across the UK, but you may not have know that there are also loads of events that take place in smaller towns and villages, including in your local area too. As half marathons are popular events and great for fundraising, you’ll find that there are new events starting in the UK all the time, meaning that there is bound to be one that is easy and convenient for you to get to. Another benefit of joining one of the smaller half marathon events nearby is that you’re less likely to miss out on a place and joining fees are generally lower.

If you’re looking for ways to get more active, or even start exercising more with a friend or partner, training for a half marathon together is a great way to introduce a little friendly competition and also support each other in reaching your fitness goals. Our website has plenty of half marathon events that you can join all over the UK, so be sure to take a look for half marathons near you using the search bar on the left. You can then find races based on location and other options using the filters to find the perfect event for you.

Half marathons near me and fundraising

Running a half marathon to raise money for charity is a fantastic thing to do. As well as the better-known events, such as the Great Run series, there are plenty of smaller local events you can sign up to as well. In fact, a lot of smaller local charities organise their own events to raise money for specific causes, and many of these will have benefits for the local community.

Setting up funding for a half marathon is easy too. Most charities will provide you with a sponsorship pack to get started you can also do online fundraising and share your goals with your friends on social media. Running in a local half marathon race is also an ideal way to raise money for charities that are based in your local community, and also a great way to get more familiar with your local area.

Charity half marathon events are growing in popularity every year, so if you want to get into running then these are a great place to start!

How can I find charity half marathons near me?

If you’ve decided to run a half marathon for a charity, you may be wondering where you can find charity races nearby. You can find them here of course! On the UK Fitness Events website, you’ll find pages of fitness events that are taking place all across the UK. Use the search bar on the left and once you’ve filtered down the type of race you’re looking to take part in, you can then further refine the results by selecting your location and then choosing from a range of charities that you are interested in supporting.

If you’d like to support a charity that isn’t listed, you’re welcome to do that too! Be sure to check the website of your chosen charity to find out more about getting started with fundraising.

Training for a half marathon

Half marathons are a big commitment, and the 13.1 mile race will certainly put your body to the test. I’ve you’re relatively new to running of have only done shorter races previously, you’ll find that half marathons require a much longer training plan, where you have to train both your body and mind to be able to stand up to the length of the race.

If your goal is to eventually do a marathon you’ll need to get lots of training done before you even look at the track! Start off similar to a 5K prep with smaller runs and sprints and then slowly build up the length of the runs you do. Nutrition will also be important as you start to complete longer runs to make sure your muscles have adequate fuel to keep you going. Take a look at our guide for Half Marathon Training.

Where are the best UK half marathons?

With so many half marathon events to choose from all over the country, it’s difficult to choose the best! Each course has its own perks and challenges, but here are a few of the most popular half marathon events on our site:

Cardiff Half Marathon  |  Royal Parks Half Marathon  |  North London Half Marathon  |  Liverpool Rock and Roll Half Marathon  | Reading Half Marathon  |  Leeds Half Marathon  |  Brighton Half Marathon  |  Birmingham Half Marathon  |  Bath Half Marathon  |  Bristol Half Marathon

 

Related posts

Are you looking for some more information on half marathons? We have some great quick-read articles covering everything from pace, training and nutrition to top tips. See some of our related posts below:

How long is a half marathon?

Half Marathon Training Plan

Top half marathon running tips

Calories burnt running a Half Marathon

Best Half Marathons in the UK

What is the average half marathon time?

How to run a half marathon faster

What to eat before a half marathon