What Does It Take to Run a Half Marathon?

Jan 24, 2024

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How many kilometers per week do we need to train? It’s a question we often hear, mostly from beginning runners or folks who have never run such a distance before. Similarly, people who have already done a half marathon may be curious about what it would take to be, like, ten minutes faster.

Of course, the obligatory and boring answer is, “It depends.” Many factors, such as your age, sex, weight, and prior fitness, influence your race results. There are also unmeasurable influences, such as natural talent (it will take a long time before our digital fitness assistants use genetic data), motivation, and willingness to suffer during the race. 

After partnering with the Egmond Half Marathon, several of our first Vortza users participated in this event, which allowed us to gain preliminary insights into our question. The chart shows the kilometers per week each participant trained in the months before the event, compared to their finish time. Each dot is one runner. The line indicates the relation between these for an average 40-year-old weighing 75kg.

Even when ignoring most of the other factors above, we can see a relationship between the weekly amount of training and the race result. Also visible is the “law of diminishing returns”: becoming ten minutes faster when you already run a half marathon in 1h30 takes much more extra training than when your PB is 2h00. But keep in mind that there are huge differences between individuals, especially in the group that trains less than 30km per week.

In the next episodes of this blog, we’ll dive into the detailed influence of the other factors mentioned above and the effect of the taper before the race, so stay tuned by following our socials.

Finally, at Vortza, we use insights like these to help you choose ambitious, realistic goals. Please try it out by installing the app!

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