Are you wondering how long is a marathon in miles? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve.
It’s no secret that running a marathon is one of the toughest physical challenges you can take on as an athlete. It’s 26 miles of challenging terrain, steep inclines, and tough mental climbs. But it doesn’t end there. After you cross that finish line, there’s also the process of recovery and all the work you have to put in to get yourself ready for your next race. How long is a marathon in miles?
Well, it depends on where you live and what type of race you sign up for. There are many different types of marathons out there and some are much more challenging than others.
At its core, a marathon is any race that covers at least 21 miles or more. Some marathons will be longer than that or even feature multiple laps around the same course if they want their final distance to land somewhere above 20 miles.
Other races may tout themselves as marathons only if they meet certain criteria—like having mostly uphill finishes or spanning through several different locations—instead of being based solely on distance alone.
Standard Marathon Distance: 26 Miles
This is the marathon that most people picture when they think about the sport. It’s what we see in the Olympics and it’s the standard distance that’s been around for decades. At 26.2 miles, the marathon is commonly referred to as a journey. It’s a demanding course that tests runners with an array of terrain, from paved roads and cityscapes to dirt paths and grassy fields.
The marathon has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, especially in the United States, where marathons are the most popular form of road racing. There are hundreds of marathons around the country and many of them have thousands of participants. Cities like New York, Chicago, and Boston are famous for hosting these events, which draw high numbers of people every year. The standard marathon distance is a great challenge for serious runners and people looking to test their limits. It can be a very difficult race to the finish, though, and is not recommended for beginners.
Marathon vs Ultra Marathon
A marathon is any distance over 21 miles and a standard marathon is 26 miles. The ultra-marathon is any distance that is ridiculously long, that can even reach 100 miles or more. There are no standard distances for ultra-marathons. These extreme marathons are usually done as charity events or to break records.
The marathon is the normal distance for marathons, and the ultra-marathon is anything over the marathon distance. These are not normal marathons, and they are not normal sporting events as well. Ultra-marathons are extreme events. People who do these types of marathons are not normal runners. They are extreme athletes.LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PRIVATE, MEMBERSHIP COMMUNITY
What Is an Ultra Marathon
- What is an ultra-marathon? An ultra-marathon is a marathon that is longer than a marathon. The marathon is 26 miles and the ultra-marathon is anything beyond 26 miles.
- What is an ultra-marathon runner? An ultra-marathon runner is someone who runs an ultra-marathon, an extreme sport practiced by extreme athletes.
- What is an ultra-marathon athlete? An ultra-marathon athlete is someone who does an ultra-marathon. They are normally high-level athletes.
Other Types of Marathons
There are many different types of marathons, ranging from the standard 26-mile distance to races that cover much more ground. Here are a few examples.
- Relay Marathon – Some races feature a relay format, where teams of runners take turns running different legs of the course so that they can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. The most famous example of this is the Penn Relay, which sees thousands of runners take over 16 hours to pass a baton for a 26-mile leg of the race.
- Youth Marathon – Some marathons have special categories for young athletes and children, which can make the race even more challenging for younger runners. The Boston Marathon, for example, has a Youth Marathon that covers just over 1 mile for kids as young as 9 years old.
- Ultra-Marathon – Some marathons go far beyond the 26-mile mark, demanding that runners cover 50 miles or even more. The Marathon Des Sables, for example, is a brutal race that spans 155 miles of the Sahara Desert.
- Specialty Marathon – Some marathons have special themes or focus on a cause that makes the race particularly challenging. The Color Run, for example, sees runners covered in bright-colored powder at the finish line and is an extremely messy race.
- Crazy Marathon – Some marathons are so crazy that they don’t even try to make sense. The Dirty Girl Run, for example, is a 5K race that has runners roll through a field filled with manure. The whole thing is supposed to be a fun and silly challenge.
Half Marathon (13.1 Miles)
The half marathon is 13.1 miles and shorter than a standard marathon, making it a good distance for beginners. It’s also a race you can enter if you’re a little apprehensive about a full marathon, although there is a higher risk of injury running a half marathon instead of a full distance.
Half-marathons are relatively popular, especially in the United States, where there are many half-marathon events. There are also a lot of half marathons that are held overseas, particularly in Europe. Half marathons are a good way to experience the joys and challenges of marathon running without committing to the full 26 miles. They’re a great distance for beginners or people who are looking for a shorter challenge that’s still plenty challenging.
Half marathons start out as a good way to get into marathons, but they can also be a good way to get out of marathons, too. Running so many miles in a single day can be challenging for some people, especially beginners.CHECK OUT OUR RUNNING COURSES
10K Race (6.2 Miles)
The 10K race is 6.2 miles, which is just a bit longer than a 5K race, but it’s still less than a full 26-mile marathon. 10K races are not as common as other types of races, but they’re a great distance to challenge yourself.
Also, 10K runs are usually open to all levels of runners. So, most people being able to finish the race in under an hour. 10K races are usually a bit shorter than half marathons, making them a nice change of pace if you’re looking for a shorter challenge.
5K Race (3.1 Miles)
The 5K race is 3.1 miles, making it an excellent distance for beginners since it’s significantly shorter than a full marathon. Some runners take the 5K seriously and train for marathons, while others just run it for fun. 5K races are extremely common, with thousands being put on every year, and they’re a great way to get into running events.
A 5K race is also a good distance for people who want to improve their running but don’t want to commit to a full 26-mile marathon. 5K races are very popular and are a great way to challenge yourself. 5K races are usually timed and feature prizes for the fastest runners.
What's the Average Time to Run a Marathon?
Completing a marathon is an impressive physical feat. The average time it takes to run a marathon is 3 hours and 38 minutes for an expert marathon runner, according to Runners World. But that doesn't mean that's the time you should aim for.
Depending on your experience level, you may be able to finish a marathon in an even faster or more realistic slower time. There is no definitive answer to this question as everyone has a different level of fitness and running ability.
However, the average time it takes to complete a marathon for a beginner is approximately four to five hours. This means that if you're training for your first marathon, you should aim to complete it in around five hours.
So, if you're in fact a beginner, don't worry about trying to get a fast time. Just focus on finishing the race. As you get more experience, you can start to work on improving your time. But remember, there's no need to put pressure on yourself to run a certain time. Just enjoy the experience and the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a marathon.
Why is a Full Marathon 26.2 Miles?
The 26.2-mile distance of a marathon is not an arbitrary number – it has a rich history and interesting origins. The first marathon was held in 490 BC in Greece, and the distance was chosen to represent the distance between the city of Marathon and Athens.
This is where the famous story of the Greek soldier Pheidippides comes in – he is said to have run the distance from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a victory, and then collapsed and died from exhaustion.
While the origins of the marathon distance are fascinating, they don't really explain why the marathon is still 26.2 miles today. The answer lies in the British rule of the Empire during the early 1900s. The British were the ones who officially standardized the marathon distance at 26.2 miles, and this distance has been used ever since.
There are few road races as challenging and as rewarding as a marathon. Those that finish a 26.2-mile race once can often be convinced to do it again, but even then, not many are willing to attempt the distance more than once every few years.
For most runners, that’s because marathons are grueling tests of mental toughness and physical endurance. Whether you’re training for your first marathon or want to run another one after finishing an earlier race, knowing how long a marathon is in miles is important.
That’s why we’ve put together this definitive guide on marathons in miles so that you can train properly and have a good idea of what lies ahead on race day. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I focus on making at least 2 new training and racing videos there, weekly.
Marathons are always a challenge, but they can be even more difficult when you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Be sure to train adequately, research the course, and plan your nutrition and hydration strategies to make sure your race is as smooth as possible. And remember, no matter how tough it gets out there, finishing is always the hardest part.
So, in the world of running, you don’t get much bigger than the marathon. It’s a distance that is recognized across the globe; even non-runners will know what it is. But this famous race comes in different lengths and distances: so, we have answered the most asked questions here like how long is a marathon in miles? We have taken a closer look at marathons and related topics so we can understand them better.LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR TRAINING PLANS