Are you training for a half marathon? Or are you just curious to know how long it takes to run a half marathon?
A half marathon might be exactly half a full marathon (obviously), but that doesn’t mean they’re easy.
In fact, half marathons, which measure 13 miles/21 kilometers—or 13.1 miles/21.0975 kilometers, to be exact—require serious training, determination, and discipline to complete.
So, running a half marathon is just as much a mental test as it is a physical test. But don’t be discouraged if you’re planning to take on a half marathon.
Even for beginners, it’s a distance that can be achieved with the right training program and mindset.
In this short guide, find out how long it takes to run a marathon, how to train for a half marathon, and how to improve your half marathon time!
Average Time To Run A Half Marathon
Half marathon times will vary between sex, age, and fitness levels. But for the average time, it’s around 1 hour and 50 minutes to run a half marathon.
This generally applies to runners who are relatively fit and in-shape, however, with experience running a good number of miles each week.
For beginners, a more realistic finishing time for running a half marathon can be anything up to three hours (sometimes more).
Elite-level runners, on the other end, will run a half marathon in anything less than 1 hour and 30 minutes.
And if you’re curious (of course you are), the fastest half marathon time for men is a lightning-quick 57 minutes and 31 seconds.
For women, the fastest half marathon time is 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 52 seconds – which is just as impressive!
What Is A Good Half Marathon Time?
Running a half marathon is a huge achievement in itself, regardless of time.
But if you’re wondering what a good half marathon time is—one that will impress and raise a few eyebrows—here’s what you’re looking to know.
Since most runners consider anything under a 30-minute 5k a good time, as well as anything under 60 minutes for 10k runs, a good half marathon time can be considered clocking it in around 2 hours or less.
For the average male, 1 hour and 45 minutes is considered a solid achievement. And for the average female, 2 hours is equally impressive.
So, if you were looking for half marathon times to aim for, there they are!
How To Run A Half Marathon
A half marathon can seem like a big distance to conquer – and it is. But it’s more than possible for anyone to run a half marathon with the correct training, preparation, and mindset.
A half marathon is a long-distance run, so the name of the game is endurance, both physically and mentally.
And aside from training and working your way up to running the full distance, there are other factors to take into consideration before and during the race itself, which include getting enough sleep, nutrition, hydration, breathing, and running shoes.
Needless to say, running a half marathon requires a game plan!
And before training for a half marathon, it’s recommended to have already accomplished a few 5k runs and 10k runs.
How To Train For A Half Marathon
If you are already comfortable running 10 kilometers, or even 15 kilometers, you’re already on track to hitting the 21 kilometers required for a half marathon.
It goes without saying that training for a half marathon—or any distance for that matter—requires discipline and consistency.
You should be tracking your distance each time you run, and also monitoring your progress over time.
To run longer distances, you’ll have to push yourself past your usual limits. You can do this by running further, or for longer.
Start small at first, by adding, for example, a half kilometer to your total distance each week.
Create a long-term plan that involves gradual progression. This is especially important if you’re planning on entering a half marathon event!
But what’s more important is making sure not to overtrain; this can lead to fatigue and, in some cases, injuries, which will only set you back and harm your progress.
How To Improve Your Half Marathon Time
Improving your half marathon time all comes down to pace – the speed at which you can run within a set period of time.
For any long-distance run, pace is essential, since it will allow you to sustain your energy levels, which you’ll need to endure the full distance and cross the finish line.
You can find out your personal running pace by using a running app or GPS fitness tracker.
Otherwise, calculating your pace is possible by taking the time it took you to run a certain distance and putting the data into an online pace calculator.
Once you have your average pace, improving your half marathon time is as simple as gradually pushing yourself to quicken your pace, which will build your cardiovascular strength and stamina.
Other workouts, aside from running, can even help to improve your running pace, such as swimming, breathing, sprinting, and HIIT workouts.
But those aren’t the only methods. It’s also possible to improve your overall half marathon time by running with good form, stretching and warming up, boosting your focus and energy with caffeine and carbohydrates, and making sure to keep hydrated!
So, how long does it take to run a half marathon?
In short, the average time in general is around 1 hour and 50 minutes. Any finishing time of 2 hours or under is considered a great achievement, however, for both men and women of all ages and fitness levels.
If you’re not quite there yet with your current time or distance, don’t be discouraged.
By consistently training and setting new goals for yourself, beating your half marathon time—or even completing your first half marathon—will become more achievable with each passing week.
Just don’t forget that running a half marathon is a big achievement in itself!