What is the average half marathon time?

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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. Many fitness trackers and sports watches are equipped with sweat-proof rubber bands and not only track time, but can also calculate calories burned and heart rate. If you want to track your calories whilst running, here are five great fitness trackers to choose from;

  1. Polar Grit X Pro watch
  2. Apple smartwatch Series 7
  3. Fitbit Versa 3
  4. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
  5. Garmin Instinct 2 Multi-Sport

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 is also dependent 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.

You can use the table below to help work out what pace athletes need to run at to finish the marathon in a good time;

Men’s Beginner PaceWomens Beginner Pace
Half Marathon Time: 2hr 20minsHalf Marathon Time: 3 hours
10:40mins per mile13:48mins per mile
6:38mins per kilometer8:31mins per kilometer

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.

You can use the table below to help work out what pace athletes need to run at to finish the marathon in a good time;

Men’s Intermediate PaceWomens Intermediate Pace
Half Marathon Time: 1hr 45minsHalf Marathon Time: 2hr 10mins
8mins per mile9:55mins per mile
4:58mins per kilometer6:71mins per kilometer

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 athletes, the average time to run a half marathon for men is around 1:10-1:30 minutes, and for althete women around 1:20-1:40 – that’s over 8mph!

You can use the table below to help work out what pace athletes need to run at to finish the marathon in a good time;

Men’s Athlete PaceWomens Athlete Pace
Half Marathon Time: 1hr 10minsHalf Marathon Time: 1hr 20mins
5:20mins per mile6:06mins per mile
3:19mins per kilometer3:47mins per kilometer

What Is A Good Half Marathon Time?

A good half marathon time is around 2 hours 2mins which is a pace of around 9mins 18 seconds per mile or 5 mins 46 per kilometer. This will depend on what fitness level you currently have and how long you have to train for a half marathon. Other factors will include your age and gender. Below we have also broken down the average times for men and women to finish a half marathon;

What is the average time for a half marathon for a man?

The average time for a man to finish a half marathon is around 1 hour 43 mins. That works out to be a pace of about 7:43mins per mile, to achieve this you will need to follow a good half marathon training plan and ensure you eat the right food the day before and the morning of the half marathon.

What is the average time for a half marathon for a woman?

The average time for a woman to finish a half marathon is around 2 hours. That works out to be a pace of about 9:10mins per mile, to run a half marathon in this time you need to find a good half marathon training plan. Remember that diet is key too, what you eat the night before and the morning of the race will help you achieve a great time.

What is the Half Marathon Record?

Athletes train for half marathons all year round, they sometimes have a team of people working with them on their running technique, will have a special diet and also specific strength workouts specifically for this event. The half marathon records below mean that Jacob was running at a pace of 4mins 23 seconds per mile for 13.1 miles, Letensenbet was running at a pace of around 4mins 47 seconds per mile, both are running at an incredibly fast pace!

Half Marathon record Women - Letensenbet Gidey who ran the Valencia Half  Marathon in 1 hour 2 minutes 52 seconds in March 1998
Half Marathon Record Men - Jacob Kiplimo who ran the Lisboa Half Marathon in 57 minutes and 31 seconds in November 2021

How can I improve my average half 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 day. 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.

Do You Want To Take on a Half Marathon?

We constantly update our calendar so you can choose from the best events across the UK. Take a look at our Half Marathon listings today!

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