How long is a half marathon?

Half marathons are one of the many popular running events organised and attended throughout the UK every year. As a half marathon is considered by many to be a challenging distance, these events receive a high level of interest from runners, particularly those running for charities and other good causes. For those who have already completed race distances such as 5k or 10k events, but don’t feel ready to take on a full marathon yet, a half marathon is a great option for getting into longer distance running.

Before you lace up your running shoes and head out however, it’s a good idea to consider how many miles are in a half marathon so that you can assess your current fitness level and learn more about how to train for a half marathon.

How many miles is a marathon?

The total distance of a half marathon is 13.1 miles which, as you’ve most likely figured out from the name, is half the distance of a full marathon(26.2 miles!). If you prefer to measure your running distance in kilometres, you are looking at completing just over 21km in order to cross the finishing line of a half marathon.

It’s important to consider your personal fitness level and goals before undertaking a half marathon. Whilst some experienced runners might consider 13.1 miles to be a warm up, for others it’s their Everest! Don’t feel pressured to become the next Mo Farrah or Paula Radcliffe, take your time to train and build up your fitness before an event – you can usually register well before an event takes place.

Is running a half marathon hard? 

The thought of running a half marathon can be daunting, especially if you aren’t usually do a lot of exercise. It’s advisable to follow a training plan to build up your fitness and avoid injuries on race day. A suggestion for your training plan would be to start out with shorter distance runs and build up the number of miles per week running up to the event, allowing you to gradually build up your stamina.

More tips for running a half marathon

Remember, you don’t have to run the whole distance, walk if you need to! It is also important to keep well hydrated throughout the race and dress appropriately for the weather – this includes wearing running shoes that are comfortable and well broken-in. Most importantly, enjoy yourself! If training becomes a chore, try getting involved with running groups or asking a friend to join you for encouragement and support.


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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