Calculate the half marathon finish time | RUNNER’S WORLD

Those who are realistic about their performance will find it easier to choose the right half marathon training plan and get the most out of the race. We show you what a realistic meal is.


How fast do you want to run a half marathon?

If you run a half marathon without a rough idea of ​​how quickly you want to finish, it may happen that you start running too fast and end up completely exhausted on the side of the road after the first half. If you start too slowly and only feel what you still have in you on the home stretch, you can convince the spectators with a grand final sprint, but at the finish you will mourn the lost minutes.


A realistic time target is calculated based on the results you have achieved at other distances. Runners have always asked themselves the question of calculating time targets for different running distances. The English performance physiologist Hill was the first to deal with it scientifically in the 1920s. The simple calculation quickly turned into a mathematical question game, which ultimately led to a long series of formulas and tables. In the 1970s, marathon runner and journalist Manfred Steffny published the formula “10 kilometer best time multiplied by a factor of 4.666 equals marathon time”.


The most manageable and comprehensive are the calculations and formulas of the American Pete Riegel. Riegel found that the logarithm of world record times related to the logarithm of the respective running distances resulted in a straight line. It sounds complicated, but it is practical. With this you could predict the world records at other distances based on world record times at one distance.


“What does that have to do with me?” you will ask yourself now. “I’m not a world record runner.” However, Riegel also found – to put it simply – that every runner at distances from 1500 meters to a marathon performs at a level that stands in constant percentage relation to the world record performances. Example: If a runner runs the 10 km at a pace that is 75 percent of the world record pace, she is also able to run 1500 meters as well as the marathon distance. This means: Best times at one distance make best times at other distances predictable.


There are of course also deviations. For example, runners over 40 tend to run at an increasingly higher percentage of the world record as competition distance increases. In other words, the older you get, the harder it is to perform adequately over shorter distances. But before it gets even more complicated, let’s get the facts straight.


According to Riegel, the following factors are used to calculate a realistic half marathon meal based on results from other running distances:


  • current 5k best time x 4,667 = realistic half marathon finish time
  • current 10k best time x 2,223 = realistic half marathon finish time
  • current best marathon time x 0.476 = realistic half marathon finish time

The basic mathematical formula is difficult, but the application is simple. And caution is advised: there are some influences that can negatively affect the calculation of the times. The most important thing first: without a conscientious preparation program with a sufficient proportion of running over longer distances, even the best calculation will not work.


Of course, the calculation results based on the table only show your performance, but not necessarily the current performance level, if you use, for example, a 10-kilometer result from the preparation period for a half-marathon, you should consider that you do not specifically focus on this 10-kilometer prepared for a race, but for a half marathon. He can deduct a little from the calculated half marathon time. On the other hand, the best 10 kilometer time is useless if you do not include a certain number of kilometers in the training program in preparation for a half marathon.


If you don’t want to do the math yourself: Click here for the RUNNER’S WORLD competition time calculator.


Using this list, you can from your current 5 kilometer time Calculate a realistic half marathon time goal.


You run 5 kilometers in 35 minutes

Her mark is 2:30 hours at a half-marathon pace of 7:06 minutes/kilometer


This is what you need to do for it:


Three units per week, time required: 1:50 to 2:50 hours


  • Main Run Session: A slow, long run that starts at 1:00 hour duration and then builds up to 2:00 hours weekly

Otherwise: calm and relaxed endurance runs of 30 to 50 minutes each.


You run 5 kilometers in 30 minutes

Her mark is 2:15 hours at a half-marathon pace of 6:22 minutes/kilometer


This is what you need to do for it:


Three units per week, time required: 2:00 to 3:00 hours


The main running units:


  1. A slow, long run that starts at 1:15 hour duration and then builds up to 2:00 hours weekly
  2. A fresh endurance run over 30 to 60 minutes in the half marathon goal

Otherwise: quiet and relaxed endurance runs of 40 to 60 minutes.


Here you will find our training plan over 12 weeks for a half marathon meal in 2:15 hours.


You run 5 kilometers in 25 minutes

Her time target is 1:50 hours at a half-marathon pace of 5:12 minutes/kilometer


This is what you need to do for it:


Four to five units per week, time required: 3:05 to 4:40 hours


The main running units:


  1. A slow run that starts at 1:20 hour duration and then builds up to 2:00 hours weekly
  2. A lively endurance race over 40 to 60 minutes in a half marathon

Otherwise: quiet endurance runs of 40 to 75 minutes.


Here you will find our training plan over 12 weeks for a half marathon meal in 1:45 hours.


You run 5 kilometers in 20 minutes

Your time target is 1:30 hours at a half-marathon pace of 4:15 minutes/kilometer


This is what you need to do for it:


Six units per week, time required: 5:15 to 6:15 hours


The main running units:


  1. A fresh endurance run over 20 to 40 minutes at the desired half-marathon pace
  2. Tempo runs once a week: 6 to 8 x 800 meters in 3:05 minutes (with a 2-minute break from the trot).
  3. A slow, long run that starts at 1:20 hours and then builds up to 2:00 hours weekly

Otherwise: easy long-distance runs lasting 45 to 80 minutes.


Here you will find our training plan over 12 weeks for a half-marathon meal in 1:30 hours.


Using this list, you can from your current 10 kilometer time Calculate a realistic half marathon time goal


You run 10 kilometers in 60 minutes

Your target is 2:05 hours at a half-marathon pace of 5:55 minutes/kilometer


This is what you need to do for it:


Four units per week, time required: 2:35 to 4:25 hours


The main running units:


  1. A slow, long run that starts with 1 hour duration and then builds up to 2:00 hours weekly
  2. A lively endurance race over 40 to 70 minutes in a half marathon

Otherwise: calm and relaxed endurance runs of 30 to 50 minutes each.


Here you will find our training plan over 12 weeks for a half marathon meal in 2:00 hours.


You run 10 kilometers in 50 minutes

Your time is 1:45 hours at a half-marathon pace of 4:58 minutes/kilometer


This is what you need to do for it:


Four to five units per week, time required: 3:15 to 4:50 hours


The main running units:


  1. A slow, long run that starts at 1:20 hour duration and then builds up to 2:00 hours weekly
  2. A lively endurance race over 40 to 60 minutes at target half-marathon pace

Otherwise: calm and relaxed endurance runs of 45 to 75 minutes.


Here you will find our training plan over 12 weeks for a half marathon meal in 1:45 hours.


You run 10 kilometers in 40 minutes

Her time target is 1:25 hours at a half-marathon pace of 4:02 minutes/kilometer


This is what you need to do for it:


Six to seven units per week, time required: 6:15 to 7:40 hours


The main running units:


  1. A fresh endurance race over 5 to 8 kilometers at the desired half-marathon pace
  2. Tempo runs once a week: 6 to 8 x 800 meters in 2:50 minutes (with a 2-minute break from the trot)
  3. A slow, long run lasting 1:30 to 2:00 hours

Otherwise: easy long-distance runs lasting 45 to 80 minutes.


Here you will find our training plan over 12 weeks for a half marathon meal in 1:20 hours.


You run 10 kilometers in 35 minutes

Her time target is 1:15 hours at a half-marathon pace of 3:32 minutes/kilometer


This is what you need to do for it:


Six to seven units per week, time required: 7:20 to 9 hours


The main running units:


  1. A fresh endurance race over 6 to 10 kilometers at the desired half-marathon pace
  2. Tempo runs once a week: 7 to 10 x 800 meters in 2:35 minutes (with a 2-minute break from the trot)
  3. A slow, long run lasting 1:40 to 2:00 hours.

Otherwise: easy long-distance runs lasting 40 to 90 minutes.


Explanations: HRmax = maximum heart rate; slow running = 70 to 75% of HRmax; calm DL = 75% of HRmax; relaxed DL = 80% of HRmax; healthy DL = 85 to 88% of HRmax


Alternatively, you can calculate your competition time with our competition time calculator. On our overview of all half marathon training plans, you will find 12-week plans with different meals.


Our pace table for half marathons gives you an overview of pace, intermediate and running times.


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