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What’s a good half marathon time – know where you stand

good half marathon time

Did you recently counter any promotion for the half marathon? Are you interested in signing up? We highly encourage that you do. Since the half marathon differs from the full marathon, many beginners and full-marathon runners have many questions about them.

Questions like the distance of a half marathon and what is a good half marathon time pop up from all newcomers. So, we will discuss the answer to these questions in this article. In addition, we will share some valuable tips about the half marathon to help you confidently run the race. So, let us begin.

Half Marathon

good half marathon time

Let us start by describing the half marathon. The half marathon is an alternative to the full marathon. Half marathons became popular in the 1950s. This marathon was introduced for non-elite runners who had a tough time running a full marathon.

It is an on-foot road race of 13.1904 miles. The first recognized half marathon was in Freckleton, 1965. Nowadays, many off-road half marathons are organized that take inspiration from the half marathon.

The half marathon is the perfect event for beginners to run a race. In addition, this can help you understand your body’s limits and train to increase your body’s capacity.

The distance of a half marathon

The recognized distance for a half marathon is 13.1094 miles (21.0975 kilometers). Usually, the half marathon is designed on asphalt on a lop-style track. The runners finish where they started. And many protocols are followed to ensure that the runners run the proper distance.

Now, the order of finishing is based on the time of finishing the marathon, like a full marathon. 

There are many formats for starting the marathon race. The common one is where everyone starts at the same time. In another format, the elite runners start, and the amateurs begin the marathon. There is another format (the wave format) of starting where the time delay between each group is short.

The time of a half marathon

Many runners will say that the finishing time of a half marathon depends on how well you are determined. But that is half of the story. Your half marathon finish time depends on many factors, such as age, gender, fitness, and health.

The average half marathon time is 2:02:00 for males and 2:16:00 for females. The world record for half marathon for males is 57:32 for males, and for females, that record is 1:04:31.

Now you may think of running the half marathon in an hour (and you may be able to do so), but you should not aim for that. That will be very stressful for your muscles. Instead, aim for the average time, and focus on your pacing. Your aim should be to make the marathon an enjoyable experience. So, run the marathon at your own pace.

What should be your half marathon finishing time? You can get an idea of that from this chat from SmartPacing. This shall help you find a good half marathon time for you. And here is another calculator for calculating your running pace based on your finishing time.

Tips for your Half Marathon race

Here are some helpful tips from us that can help you train and make your half marathon more enjoyable.

  • Training

Training is a crucial part of preparing for a marathon. You may think of signing up for a marathon and running it immediately. But you cannot. The half marathon covers a significant distance, even though it has half in its name. 

So, you must train your body to finish the marathon within its time cap. We recommend you start training your legs by running every morning. And to make things more challenging, you can try different planes of running track every time. In addition, you should cross-train to increase your body power and endurance.

  • Practice with other runners

You can join your local running groups. They will provide you with better motives to participate and focus on self-improvement. So, training alone can be effective, but when running in groups, there is a sense of competition. And that sense of competition will give you a feel of the fundamental challenges of a half marathon race.

In addition, you can also do a practice half marathon race with the group to test your capabilities.

  • The Race Course

When signing up for a half marathon course, you need to check to see if the race course/ track is an achievable one for you. As a beginner, you may not have the same body capacity as the other runners. Thus, if you’re a beginner, flat and downhill race tracks are perfect because they do not offer much difficulty to the runners. And Off-Road trails will be challenging for beginners because they often involve rough and rugged terrains.

So, choose a plain or downhill track for your first official half marathon.

  • Maintain proper Diet, Sleep, and Recovery

It would help if you did not get lost in all the training. You should also maintain an adequate diet and sleep. They will help your body recover and prepare for the marathon. Thus, without proper diet and recovery, your body will suffer from fatigue, ultimately making you collapse in the race.

  • Race-day nutrition

On the day of the marathon, consume carbohydrates. This will supply your body with glucose. That glucose will break down and give your body energy during the marathon.

  • Don’t forget to take walk-breaks

During the marathon, make sure to take proper walk breaks. Many will say that this is a display of weakness but do not pay any heed to them. Your body will need a break during the marathon. It cannot run the whole track in one go. Thus, plan your pacing accordingly.


So ultimately, the time for finishing the half marathon depends on your physical characteristics. Thus, it would be best to aim for the average half marathon time, which is 2:02:00 for males and 2:16:00 for females.

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Hello, I am the founder of Health and Stamina and a full-time health and fitness blogger. Bringing you the most talked-about health and fitness issues from reliable sources. 

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