Is 2 Hours 20 Minutes a Good Half Marathon Time?

On average, a half marathon finish time for a male runner is around 1 hour 55 minutes, while for a female runner, it is about 2 hours 10 minutes.

What is a Good Half Marathon Time?

If you are a beginner runner enjoying your half marathon is more important than how long it takes you to complete it.

The time it takes to complete a half marathon can vary greatly depending on many factors such as age, gender, fitness level, and experience.

 So, what is considered an excellent half marathon time?

According to Running USA’s annual report, men’s average half marathon finish time is 2:02:55, and women’s is 2:21:47.

If you can complete a half marathon in under 2 hours for men or 2 hours 15 minutes for women, you are in the top 25% of finishers.

However, what is considered a good time for one person may differ from another. Therefore, setting realistic goals based on your abilities and experience is essential.

If you’re a beginner, completing a half marathon in under 2 hours and 30 minutes is an outstanding achievement. For more experienced runners, a good time could be under 2 hours or under 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to focus on your progress and improvement rather than comparing yourself to others. You can achieve your best half marathon time with consistent training and dedication.

Factors that Affect Half Marathon Times

Half marathon times can vary greatly depending on many factors. Some of the most critical factors that can affect half marathon times include:

  • Training: The amount and quality of training can significantly impact half marathon times. Runners who follow a structured training plan and consistently put in the miles will likely see improvements in their times.
  • Experience: Runners with more experience with half marathons may be better equipped to handle the distance and pace themselves effectively.
  • Course: The course can also play a role in half marathon times. A hilly course, for example, may slow runners down compared to a flat course.
  • Weather: Weather conditions can significantly impact half marathon times. Hot and humid conditions can make it more challenging to maintain pace, while cool and dry conditions may be more conducive to faster times.
  • Age and gender: Age and gender can also be factors in half marathon times. Generally speaking, younger male runners tend to have faster times than older and female runners.

While these factors can all play a role in half marathon times, it’s important to remember that every runner is different.

What works for one runner may not work for another, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving half marathon times. Instead, focusing on consistent training, listening to your body, and adjusting to find what works best for you is essential.

Comparing Your Time to Average Half Marathon Times

Finishing a half marathon is an impressive accomplishment, regardless of your time. However, if you’re curious about how your time stacks up against the average runner, there are some statistics you can look at.

According to Running USA, the average half marathon time for men in 2019 was 1:55:26, while the average for women was 2:11:57. This means that if you finish a half marathon in 2 hours 20 minutes, you are faster than the average female runner, but slower than the average male runner.

It’s important to remember that these are just averages, and there is a wide range of finishing times for half marathons. Age, fitness level, and course difficulty can significantly impact your finishing time.

If you want to compare your time to others in your age group or gender, many races will provide age-group and gender-specific results. You can also use online tools such as the Runner’s World Race Time Predictor to see how your time compares to others.

Ultimately, the most important thing is that you set a personal goal for yourself and are proud of your accomplishment, regardless of how it compares to others. Running a half marathon is no easy feat, and you should be proud of yourself for crossing that finish line.

Tips for Improving Your Half Marathon Time

Finishing a half marathon is an impressive accomplishment, but if you’re looking to improve your time, there are several strategies you can try. Here are some tips to help you shave minutes off your half marathon time:

Train Consistently

Consistency is vital when it comes to improving your half marathon time. Aim to run at least three to four times weekly, with one long weekly run to build endurance. Incorporate speed work, hill repeats, and tempo runs into your training to improve your overall speed.

Focus on Your Form

Proper running form can help you run more efficiently, leading to faster times. Focus on maintaining good posture, relaxing your shoulders, and taking quick, light steps. Avoid overstriding, which can slow you down and increase your risk of injury.

Fuel Your Body Properly

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for all runners, but it’s especially crucial when training for a half marathon. Ensure you get enough carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to fuel your runs and aid recovery. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and during your runs.

Get Enough Rest and Recovery

Rest and recovery are as important as training to improve your half marathon time. Ensure you get enough sleep each night to allow your body to recover. Incorporate rest days into your training schedule, and consider adding activities like yoga or foam rolling to help prevent injury and aid in recovery.

By following these tips, you can work towards improving your half marathon time and achieving your running goals.

Is 2 Hours 20 Minutes a Good Half Marathon Time
Chester Half Marathon 2019

Final Thoughts

The half marathon is challenging, requiring much training, dedication, and hard work. Whether 2 hours 20 minutes is a good half marathon time depends on various factors, such as age, gender, fitness level, and experience.

For some runners, 2 hours and 20 minutes might be an excellent time, while for others, it might be average or below average.

However, according to the average half marathon times for different age groups, 2 hours 20 minutes is a good time for most runners.

It’s important to remember that running a half marathon is a personal achievement, and it’s not always about finishing first or setting a new personal best.

The most important thing is to enjoy the experience, challenge yourself, and have fun.



Slightly obsessed middle aged runner.