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How Long Will It Take Me Run a Half Marathon?


Updated May 16, 2014

France, Marseille
Sami Sarkis/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Question: How Long Will It Take Me Run a Half Marathon?

"I'm running my first half marathon. How can I estimate my half marathon finishing time?"

Answer: Finishing times for most half marathons (13.1 miles) range from a little over an hour for elite runners to 3+ hours for slower runners or walkers. Predicting race times is never an exact science, but you can use a chart or calculator to determine a ballpark half marathon time, based on a recent race. Here is a useful calculator to try:

Running for Fitness Race Predictor: Just plug in your age, gender, and time/distance from a recent race. The calculator then shows you how you might perform in races at other distances. This calculator shows several different predictions, based on different formulas. So you get a range of predicted times, and you can see that it's not an exact science -- just an estimate.

How Accurate Are Race Time Predictions?
Keep in mind that your half marathon time prediction is just an estimate of what you might achieve, if you do the appropriate training for the half marathon distance. It doesn't mean that you'll automatically run that time because of your fitness level. In addition, the course terrain, weather conditions, and how you're feeling that day will also factor into your race time.

In most cases, only experienced half marathoners will achieve their predicted time. If it's your first half marathon, focus on completing the race, which is an incredible achievement. If you're looking for a ballpark finishing time prediction for your first half marathon, add 5-10 minutes to the calculator prediction.

More About Half Marathon Times
If you're curious where you might place (top 10%, middle of pack, etc.) in a particular half marathon, look at the results from last year's race. The size of the field and the range of times will probably be fairly similar this year.

Some half marathons do have time limits, such as three hours. So if you're a slower runner or walker, make sure you find out if a half marathon you're interested in has a cut-off time.

Also see: Half Marathon Training Schedules
Tips for Running Your First Half Marathon
13 Reasons to Run a Half Marathon
What's a Good Time for a Half Marathon?
13 Things to Know Before Running a Half Marathon
10 Best Things About Half Marathon Running
6 Frequently-Asked Questions About Half Marathon Racing

Other Race Distances: How Long Does it Take to Run a 5K? l How Long Does it Take to Run a 10K? l How Long Does it Take to Run a Marathon?

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