Half Marathon Times for Women

by Lori

What is a good finishing tine for my first half marathon. I am a 29 year old woman relatively new to running.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Lori,
Thanks for your question about the half marathon.

Honestly, just getting out there and giving it a go is what matters. Running a half marathon is a great accomplishment.

My wife recently did her first 5k run. And she was very worried that she would be too slow to do a fun run. It was only after I pulled out the results of the year before which saw people running it as fast as 14 minutes and as slow as 1hr20 that she realised that there was nothing run with her time of ~30 minutes.

The same counts for the half marathon. There will be people faster than you who run it in 1.10-1.20 (that's pretty darn fast) and there will be people running it in three hours or more (run/walkers or people who walk it completely).

What is important with running a longer distance like this is that you do not go out too fast. Run too fast the first 10k and the last 10k are going to be hell.

So it would be good if you'd have a goal time or an idea about what you can do. One way to do this is to use my Race Conversion Calculator. Plug a recent race time (e.g. of a 10k race) into the calculator and then you get a time to aim for for your half marathon.

Even if you have never raced before you can do a time trial in one of your next training runs and get a bit of an idea that way. The longer your "test distance" is, the better the estimate for your half marathon is, so I would recommend a time trial of at least 8-10k or so.

I hope this helps.
Best of luck with your first half marathon! It's a great distance. I hope you'll enjoy it and will do many more in the future!

Kind regards,

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