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.

start and end showing distance of a half marathon

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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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