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Cross Training For Runners

How Long Is A Half Marathon?

6 Mins read

Wondering how long a half marathon is? Then you’ve come to the right place.

A half marathon is exactly 13.1 miles. There you have it. The answer you seek.

For many, a half marathon is a challenging distance. It’s also one of the most popular distances around the world.

If this is your first time running a half marathon, or you are just looking for some motivation to run your 11th marathon, this article has got you covered.

More specifically, I’ll delve into

  • How many miles in a half marathon
  • What’s a good time for a half marathon
  • How long it takes beginners to run a half marathon
  • Half marathon training tips
  • And so much more

How Long Is A Half Marathon?

Before you sign up for a half marathon and start training, it’s a good idea to consider how long a half marathon is so that you can evaluate your current fitness skill and learn more about training for the race.

So, how many miles is a half marathon exactly?

The official half marathon distance is exactly 13.10 miles or 21.09 kilometers in length.

A half marathon is also:

  • 5 Feet
  • 5 Meters
  • 5 Yards
  • 830610 Inches

As you can already tell, the half marathon length is quite precise. This strangely precise distance forms the full marathon length, which has a long history. Here’s the full guide to how long is a marathon.

Putting the distance Into Perspective

Let’s examine the half marathon length in another way.

For example, the standard length of most sports is 400-meter long. So, you’ll need to run around 53 laps to cover a half-marathon distance. Again, yes, that’s a lot of laps.

How Many Steps in A half Marathon

Overall, your height and gender impact the most your stride length.

Thanks to these two variables, stride length varies from one runner to under and among sexes.

Overall, the taller you’re, the longer your stride length, so you can cover more ground on each walking step and/or running stride. By the same token, those who aren’t that tall will have shorter stride lengths, so they’ll have more spites to cover the same distance as a taller person when walking or running.

On average, you can take up to 20,000 steps to run a half marathon. So yes, that’s a lot of steps.

But How Does That Stack up?

Surveys show that the average American takes around 4,000 steps per day.

This means you would take around five times as many spites as the average person in The United States.

There are around 22,000 walking in a half marathon when an average of all sexes and heights run at a pace of around 9 to 10 minutes per mile.

Half Marathons Are Common

Half marathons are attracting more and more runners.  Thanks to this rise in popularity, events are everywhere, as more and more keep popping up across every corner of the globe.

Not only that, but half marathon races are also easy to find and are a fantastic excuse to travel to a new city. Almost every city will nowadays host at least one of these races every year.

Of course, don’t take my word for it.

Research released by Run Repeat reported that half marathons boast the highest numbers of participants, with over two million athletes in 2018.

The main reason is that up HM training isn’t as physically demanding nor time-consuming as training for the full marathon.

Additional resource – How to use running pace charts

Is Running a Half Marathon Hard?

It depends on the person. If you’re not used to endurance training, logging 13.1 miles in one go can be daunting.

That’s why you should follow the right HM training plan to help you build endurance and strength, regardless of your current fitness level.

With the right plan, everything is “relatively”’ easy. At least consider something within your reach.

If you’re a beginner, start with the couch to a half marathon plan. During this plan, you start with easier sessions that consist of a mix of walking and running; then, you build up your weekly volume over long weeks up to the event.

This allows you to gradually build your endurance without risking injury or burnout.

What’s more?

If you’ve just finished running a 5K or 10K race and still looking for more challenges, signing up for a half marathon is the exact thing you need.

how many miles is a half marathon

How Long It Takes to Finish a Half Marathon

How long it takes you to complete a half marathon will depend on several variables, such as your age, fitness level, gender, running experience, race course, and temperature.

Most beginners may complete it in two to three hours. However, opting for the walk/run method might take longer.

In most races, the cut-off time for completing the half marathon is around 3.5 to 4 hours, depending on the race.

So as long you can walk fast and throw in the occasional jog, you can finish before the cut-off time.

Here are some estimates.

  • Beginners Runners – The average half marathon time is around two to three hours.
  • Intermediate runners – The average half marathon time is around one hour 40 minutes to two hours.
  • Advanced runners – The average half marathon is around one hour, 10 to one hour 40 minutes.

Additional Resource  – Running for time Vs. distance

Your First Half Marathon Goal

If this is your first very first half marathon, set a goal of making it to the finish line instead of finishing in a certain time.  Depending on your first endurance level,  training plan, and race course, you might expect to reach the finish line between two to three hours.

How Long It Takes To Train For a Half Marathon

Most half-marathon training programs last between 12 to 16 weeks. At the very least, it will take you three months to race, but again, it depends on your starting option.

Beginner runners must follow a beginner half marathon plan—such as the couch to half marathon plan—that lasts no less than 16 weeks to be race ready.

However, if you’re more of an intermediate runner, expect to train for 12 to 16 weeks for the distance.

Last but not least, advanced runners will follow a plan that’s 12 weeks long.

However, keep in mind that these are just suggestions. Your current fitness level is the deciding factor.

Tips For Beginners

Training for a half marathon isn’t just about lacing your shoes and running as far as you can a few times a week. Instead, you need to follow a sensible plan that helps you build endurance without risking injury or burnout.

Consult Your Doctor

Before you sign up for your first race, get the green light from your healthcare provider first.

They can confirm whether your new adventure aligns with any medical conditions or physical limitations you might have.

Sign Up In Advance

As a beginner, you might need to train for 16 weeks—or longer—to be ready for the race.

So, sign up for a race in advance and start training accordingly. Don’t sign up for a race on a whim.

Fortunately, you can find a variety of half-marathon plans designed for different experience levels.

Choose A Good Plan

To run a half marathon, you’ll need to start with a training schedule that suits your fitness level, running experience, and goals.

Choosing a plan that will fit in with your lifestyle is also important. For example, you’re simply wasting your time if you opt for a plan that requires you to run five times a week if you cannot commit.

Get The Right Shoes

I cannot emphasize this enough, but proper running shoes are key for efficient training and racing.

Therefore, as a rule, choose a pair of running shoes that fit well and provide plenty of support. Head to the nearest running specialty store and ask the staff to help find the perfect pair.

Expect to pay around $100 for a decent pair. Other than time, getting proper shoes is the most important investment in your half-marathon training.

Build Up Your Mileage

Avoid doing too much too soon.

During the early stages of your training, focus on running a few miles a week and then slowly increase your weekly load.

I’d recommend following the 10 percent rule, in which you increase weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent from one week to the next.

Check this guide for the full scope.

Cross Train

Spending more time running is the best way to improve your running performance. Practice makes perfect and all that.

But that’s no excuse to dismiss the impact of proper cross-training on your running performance.

Non-running exercises such as strength training, biking, yoga, and swimming can help improve your overall fitness without adding running-related stress to your body.

Come Up With A Race Strategy

Once you have signed up for a half marathon, it’s time to devise a race strategy.

Start by determining your race pace, then break down the distance into manageable chunks.

For example, if you’re aiming to finish the race in two hours, this is the strategy for you

Keep It Up

Training for a half marathon can be challenging, so you must find ways to help you stay motivated for the long haul.

So what should you do?

I’d also recommend that you make your goals public and seek support from other like-minded individuals—and runners. Peer pressure can do wonders for your motivation.

Additional resource – How long is a 100-mile race?

How Long Is A Half Marathon? – The Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re curious about how long is a half marathon as well as how to train for one, then today’s post should get you started on the right foot. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

Thank you for dropping by.

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