How Many KM in a Half Marathon

Are you wondering how many km in a half marathon? If so, welcome to You have come to the right place. The half marathon is an exciting event and one that you can run much faster in with specific training. My aim with this post is to overdeliver. I want you to know the same strategies I used to run 1:07:06 for the half and 2:19:35 for the full-marathon.

A half marathon is 21.1 kilometers in length or 13.1 miles. It is an event that demands a high level of fitness for runners competing in. My focus with this post is to teach a few things that will help you to hold goal half marathon race pace longer than your competition.

There are many runners who can hold goal race pace for a few kilometers. That being said, far fewer who are able to sustain it for the entire 21.1 kilometers. Why is that? I find that there are still far too many runners running too slow on their hard days. In addition, running too fast on their easy days.

Remember, pace sustainment is the end goal so how do we get better at managing higher levels of lactic acid build up? I wish there was a simple answer here. What I do know if you need to run a higher percentage of you weekly mileage at or far below your goal race pace.

How Many Miles is a Half Marathon in Kilometers

A half-marathon is a 13.1 miles. It is a highly aerobic event which means it isn’t as aggressive as if you were running a mile or 5K. Yes, you do still need to work on developing your speed regardless. There are many runners who can run very fast over 21.1 kilometers. So, you have to work on all the fundaments. For example, putting in consistent mileage and gradually building your volume is a must.

I always recommend to my athletes to spend 4 weeks running easy, aerobic mileage first. The reason being is you need to strengthen the muscles, ligaments and joints of the body. You don’t want to start training hard without first having laid that strong foundation of mileage first. I have created 16 week half marathon training plans here at The goal behind those plans are to help athletes to use leverage. Leverage means you are doing more with less work. We all know how to work hard. Do the hardest working athletes always get the results? Not always. The smartest trained athlete usually does.

How Far is a 1/2 Marathon in Kilometers?

The exact distance in kilometers is 21.0975 or 21.1 kilometers rounded up. How do you race faster over this distance? Spend a higher percentage of your weekly volume training at or below your goal race pace is my answer. How often are you training at your goal race pace?

Is it 10 percent or less of your weekly mileage? If so, you know a an area of your preparation that needs work. The best middle to long distance runners run around 40 percent of their weekly volume at or far below goal half marathon race pace.

how many km in a half marathon

So, in order to get the best results start studying what the best do. Also, how they think. Remember, mental training is a massive part of success. That being said, most runners only focus on physical training and neglect this vital clue. I would always visualize myself running under 2:22:00 for the marathon when my PR was 2:43:36 for the marathon.

I know it was a major reason I ended up lowering my personal best down to 2:19:35. Of course, I was still training far below my goal marathon race pace. What I did know is the world’s best spent time mentally rehearsing success before it became a reality.

What is the Average Time for a Half Marathon?

Times are going to vary from athlete to athlete. recently did a study on this and found the average time for most male runners range from 1 hour and 55 minutes. In addition, they found that the average time for females is around 2 hours and 11 minutes.

One of the best ways to run faster over this distance is to start running faster during your long runs. Do you usually run long and slow on your weekend long runs? If so, I recommend doing a varied paced long run one weekend followed the next weekend by an easy, relaxed long run.

Again, the focus here is to run faster over the half marathon distance. Athletes seeking answers to how many km in a half marathon are also seeking how to cover the distance in timely fashion as well. So, you want to spend longer periods of time running at a higher percentage of your maximum heart rate. Below are some examples of what a varied pace long run may look like…

  • 2 mile warm-up, 4 miles@10 seconds slower than goal half marathon race pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile all out, 2 miles easy, 3 miles@5 seconds below goal half marathon pace
  • 1 mile warm-up, 14 miles@160 beats per minute (85% of maximum heart rate), 2 mile cool-down
  • 2 mile warm-up, 4 miles@165 beats per minute, 4 miles@140BPM, 4 miles@175BPM, 4 miles easy cool-down

How Many KM Should You Run a Week for Half Marathon?

I am a big believer in quality versus quantity. Of course, we all come from different backgrounds. You may be seeking to run your first half marathon or an elite athlete. So, the amount of mileage run is going to vary from athlete to athlete. I think 30 to 50 kilometers is about right for most beginners. Again, it isn’t as much the volume as it is the quality of the work output you are putting in that matters most.

How often are you training at or below your goal race pace is what will set you up for success. So, if the percentage is far too low. How well do you think you’ll be able to sustain your goal pace in the race? How many km in a half marathon? 21.1 and to run them faster then your competition you have to think and train like a world-class runner.

My main focus for this post is to help you to use leverage. Remember, if you are running too many of your miles or kilometers each week too slow what will that make you? You guessed it. A superior long, slow runner. The goal here is to sustain pace and run more effectively throughout your half marathon race.

I see far too many runners doubting themselves when they fail to maintain goal pace. What is the reason? Too little time spent practicing at or below that pace. It isn’t that they are lacking in motivation. I have known plenty of motivated individuals who still never meet their race goals. It simply is not enough time spent training hard enough anaerobically. Remember, this area of your preparation can always be improved. You have to work on your speed development as well. I train my athletes to do one, vo2 max workout per week.

What Happens to Your Body after a Half Marathon?

So, we work on doing speed workouts once per week to train much faster than goal race pace. For example…

  • 1 mile warm-up, 16x400m@3K to 5K race pace, 1 mile cool-down
  • 2 mile warm-up, 3x2mile on the track@10K race pace, 1 mile cool-down
  • 20 minutes of fartlek running 1 minute hard/1minute easy

Recovery is also equally as important. So, you have to make sure you are jogging on easy days. There is no sense in risking an injury especially after a half marathon race. You need to back off the pace to ensure you get the highest return on your time investment after your workouts. In addition, taking some time completely off after you race a half marathon. I would recommend taking an ice or epsom salt bath after a hard race.

Also, hydrating well before, during and after your workouts and races is critical for recovery. A major mistake runners make is sipping in their half marathon races. In addition, they are not drinking in the race or taking in enough calories.

These areas of your training and racing you can improve upon. I would recommend sitting out water bottles every 3 miles along your long run route. So, practice hydrating on your way out and on the way back during your long runs. Have you ever watched world-class runners in a half marathon? They drink during the race and so should you. Remember, this is 21.1 kilometers or 13.1 miles we are talking about here and not a 5K race.

Closing Thoughts

So, how many km in a half marathon? 21.0975 kilometers to be exact. How fast you cover the distance will be dependent on how well you follow the advise in this post. I also highly recommend subscribing to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I created new videos each week to help successful athletes such as yourself get to the next level in their training and racing. How often do you spend time mentally rehearsing yourself succeeding in your race? Do you often times dream about crossing the finish line with your goal time on the clock? If not, then I want you to start spending 10 to 15 minutes each day doing this.

The perfect time is when you go to bed or when you are first waking up in the morning. The best middle to long distance runners know how vital mental training is. So, do what they do. Lastly, stay as relaxed as you can in training and when you race. Have you ever watched a world-class runner? They always are relaxed and in control. You will notice sometimes they even smile in their races.

I noticed this with the world-record holder for the marathon, Eliud Kipchoge. Success leaves clues. There is no sense in wasting mental or physical energy in your race. So, practice staying as calm and relaxed as you can in training and when you race. You can leave being tense, up tight and nervous for your competition to worry about.

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