Is 5 Hours Slow for a Marathon?

While completing a marathon is impressive, the question of how your time stacks up against other runners is common.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the topic and explore whether a 5-hour finish time is considered slow for a marathon.

    Is 5 Hours Slow for a Marathon?

    Finishing a marathon is a fantastic achievement that should not be considered slow.

    What Pace And Time Do I Need To Consider?

    As a marathoner, I know that finishing a marathon is an incredible accomplishment, regardless of the time it takes.

    However, 5 hours is a relatively slow finish time for marathon times. The average marathon finish time is around 4 hours and 30 minutes, so a 5-hour finish time is about 30 minutes slower than the average.

    In terms of pace, a 5-hour marathon finish time equates to an average pace of 11:27 per mile.

    For comparison, an elite runner may run a marathon at a pace of around 5-6 minutes per mile, while a beginner may run about 12-13 minutes per mile.

    So, while a 5-hour marathon may be challenging for some, it is still a pace many marathoners can achieve with proper training and preparation.

    What Factors Affect Marathon Time?

    Many factors affect a marathoner’s finish time, including fitness, weight, mental toughness, and training.

    A heavier runner may find it harder to maintain a faster pace, while a less mentally tough runner may struggle.

    It’s important to remember that personal records or time goals may also affect how a runner perceives their finish time.

    For example, someone who previously finished a marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes may feel disappointed with a 5-hour finish, but it’s still a significant accomplishment.

    What Is The Average Pace For A 5-hour Marathon?

    The average pace for a 5-hour marathon is 11:27 per mile. However, it’s important to remember that every marathoner is different and may have another pace goal based on their abilities and training.

    How Could I Train For A 5-Hour Marathon?

    You can’t go wrong focusing on the zone 2 training runs, especially if this is your first marathon.

    I’m not going to go into more detail than that. There are many great resources out there that will help guide to your training.

    Final Thoughts

    In conclusion, whether 5 hours is slow for a marathon depends on individual factors such as age, fitness level, and goals.

    While some runners may consider a 5-hour marathon a personal best, others may view it as a disappointing time.

    However, it’s important to remember that completing a marathon is a significant accomplishment regardless of the finishing time. Ultimately, what matters most is setting realistic goals, staying committed to training, and enjoying the journey towards achieving your best.

    Happy Marathon Runner

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is 5 Hours A Slow Time For A Marathon?

    For some people, running a marathon is an impressive feat, regardless of the time it takes.

    For others, they may have a specific time goal in mind and consider 5 hours to be slower than they had hoped.

    Men’s average marathon finish time is around 4 hours and 30 minutes; for women, it’s about 5 hours and 10 minutes. So 5 hours is slightly slower than average for women, but not by much.

    Is 5 Hours A Slow Time For A Marathon?


    Most marathons have a time limit of around 6 hours, so as long as you finish within that time frame, you should still receive a medal for completing the race.

    Some races may have stricter time limits, so check the rules and regulations before signing up.

    Should I Be Embarrassed If I Finish In 5 Hours?


    Running a marathon is a considerable accomplishment, regardless of the time it takes.

    It takes months of training and dedication to even make it to the starting line, let alone finish the race. Be proud of yourself for setting and working hard to achieve a goal.

    What Is A Five-Hour Marathon Pace?

    A 5-hour marathon pace is approximately 11:26 minutes per mile or 7:06 minutes per kilometer.

    How Does A 5-hour Marathon Time Compare To The World Record Time?

    A 5-hour marathon time is considerably slower than the world record time.

    Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya holds the current men’s world record for the marathon, completing it in 2 hours, 1 minute, and 39 seconds in 2018. Similarly, Brigid Kosgei of Kenya holds the current women’s world record, finishing it in 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 4 seconds in 2019.

    Therefore, a 5-hour marathon is twice as long as the world record time.



    Slightly obsessed middle aged runner.