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What Is a Good Time for Running a Half Marathon?

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Updated March 25, 2014

Marathon start Getty Images

Question: What Is a Good Time for Running a Half Marathon?

"I just ran my first half marathon and I'm wondering how my time compares to other runners' times. What's considered a good time for running a half marathon?"

Answer: It's hard to compare half marathon times because there's a huge variation among runners, depending on running experience, gender, and age. A male professional runner might win a half marathon in under an hour and the women's race might be won in under 1:10. But the vast majority of half marathon runners don't run anywhere close to those times.

For most first-time half-marathoners, the goal is usually to finish, rather than achieving a specific finishing time. Runners who run subsequent half marathons usually find that their time improves as they train more and gain more race experience. So once you have one half marathon under your belt, you can focus on trying to beat your personal record (PR), rather than worrying about what other runners are doing.

In terms of specific half marathon times, breaking 2:00 (9:09 per mile pace) is a goal for many amateur half marathoners, and that time is considered a decent half marathon time among runners. Highly competitive runners aim for other time barriers, like 1:30 (6:51 per mile pace). Or, they try to break a pace barrier, such as sub-7:00 per mile pace (1:31 half marathon time) or sub-8:00 per mile pace (1:45 half marathon time).

If you're curious about the range of typical finishing times for a half marathon that you've done or you're planning to run, look at the race results, which should be listed on the half marathon's website. You can see the times of the age group winners, those who finished in the middle of the pack, and those who finished in the back of the pack.

If you'd like to see a fair comparison of your half marathon time versus other runners' times, you can use an age-grading calculator, which puts all race participants on a level playing field, regardless of their age and gender.

If you're running your first half marathon and you're curious about how long it might take you, here's how you can estimate your half marathon finishing time.
 

Half Marathon Training Schedules:

If you're planning to train for and run a half marathon, here are some training schedules to choose from:

Basic Half Marathon Training Schedule for Beginners: This 12-week training schedule is perfect for beginner runners who want to run a half marathon.

Run/Walk Half Marathon Training Schedule: This 12-week half marathon training program is designed to help you run/walk to the finish line of your half marathon.

Advanced Beginner Half Marathon Training Schedule: This 12-week half marathon training schedule is geared toward advanced beginner runners. You should be running at least four days a week and can run up to 4 miles.

Intermediate Half Marathon Training Schedule: This 12-week training schedule is for runners who have already run at least one half marathon and are hoping to run a personal record in the half-marathon.

Advanced Half Marathon Schedule: If you're an experienced runner and you're hoping to take your half marathon training to the next level, use this 12-week training schedule to help you run a personal record in your next half marathon.

Also see: Celebrity Half Marathon Times
13 Reasons to Run a Half Marathon
8 Tips for Running Your Best Half Marathon
6 Commonly-Asked Questions About Half Marathon Running

Other distances: What's a Good Time for Running a Mile?
What's a Good Time for a 5K?
What's a Good Time for a 10K?
What’s a Good Time for a Marathon?

 

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