Pace yourself! Be race-ready with our over 50s half-marathon pace chart

Your guide to the speed you’ll need to run for each mile on the way to your best-ever time.

Running at an even pace when you’re taking on a major race is almost like a light-bulb moment. Get it right and success awaits – but get it wrong and even the shortest race can seem like a very long way.

If completing the 13.1 miles (21km) that makes up the half marathon distance is your next road running challenge, I’m here to help you set the pace.

As Saga Exceptional’s Senior Coaching Editor, I’ve devised this half-marathon pace chart with the average over-5os runner in mind to help you set your goals and make sure your next race goes well.

An older man running in the forestCredit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

Half marathon pace chart

Minutes per kilometre Minutes per mile Key split: 5km Key split: 10km Half-marathon
3:06 5:00 15:30 31:00 1:05:33
3:13 5:10 16:05 32:10 1:07:44
3:38 5:20 16:34 33:08 1:09:55
3:25 5:30 17:05 34:11 1:12:06
3:31 5:40 17:36 35:13 1:14:17
3:37 5:50 18:07 36:15 1:16:28
3:44 6:00 18:38 37:17 1:18:39
3:50 6:10 19:10 38:19 1:20:50
3:56 6:20 19:41 39:21 1:23:02
4:02 6:30 20:12 40:23 1:25:13
4:09 6:40 20:43 41:25 1:27:24
4:15 6:50 21:14 42:28 1:29:35
4:21 7:00 21:45 43:30 1:31:46
4:27 7:10 22:16 44:32 1:33:57
4:33 7:20 22:47 45:34 1:36:08
4:40 7:30 23:18 46:36 1:38:19
4:46 7:40 23:49 47:38 1:40:30
4:52 7:50 24:20 48:40 1:42:41
4:58 8:00 24:51 49:43 1:44:53
5:05 8:10 25:22 50:45 1:47:04
5:11 8:20 25:53 51:47 1:49:15
5:17 8:30 26:24 52:49 1:51:26
5:23 8:40 26:56 53:51 1:53:37
5:29 8:50 27:27 54:53 1:55:48
5:36 9:00 27:58 55:55 1:57:59
5:42 9:10 28:29 56:58 2:00:10
5:48 9:20 29:00 58:00 2:02:21
5:54 9:30 29:31 59:02 2:04:32
6:00 9:40 30:02 1:00:04 2:06:43
6:07 9:50 30:33 1:01:06 2:08:55
6:13 10:00 31:04 1:02:08 2:11:06
6:19 10:10 31:35 1:03:10 2:13:17
6:25 10:20 32:06 1:04:12 2:15:28
6:32 10:30 32:37 1:05:15 2:17:39
6:38 10:40 33:08 1:06:17 2:19:50
6:44 10:50 33:39 1:07:19 2:22:01
6:50 11:00 34:11 1:08:21 2:24:12
6:56 11:10 34:42 1:09:23 2:26:23
7:03 11:20 35:13 1:10:25 2:28:34
7:09 11:30 35:44 1:11:27 2:30:45
7:15 11:40 36:15 1:12:30 2:32:57
7:21 11:50 36:46 1:13:32 2:35:08
7:27 12:00 37:17 1:14:34 2:37:19
7:34 12:10 37:48 1:15:36 2:39:30
7:40 12:20 38:19 1:16:38 2:41:41
7:46 12:30 38:50 1:17:40 2:43:52
7:52 12:40 39:21 1:18:42 2:46:03
7:59 12:50 39:52 1:19:45 2:48:14
8:05 13:00 40:23 1:20:47 2:50:25
8:11 13:10 40:55 1:21:50 2:52:30
8:17 13:20 41:25 1:22:51 2:54:47
8:23 13:30 41:55 1:23:50 2:57:00
8:30 13:40 42:28 1:24:55 2:59:10
8:36 13:50 43:00 1:26:00 3:01:45
8:42 14:00 43:30 1:26:59 3:03:32
8:48 14:10 44:00 1:28:00 3:05:31
8:54 14:20 44:32 1:29:04 3:07:54
9:01 14:30 45:05 1:30:10 3:10:05
9:07 14:40 45:34 1:31:08 3:12:16
9:13 14:50 46:05 1:32:10 3:14:37
9:19 15:00 46:36 1:33:12 3:16:38
Advertisement

Half marathon pace tips

Be realistic

Pacing only works if you have a realistic goal. Set a target based on times you have previously done and what key workouts, such as your longer runs, suggest you can achieve.

Keep training consistent

Learn to be consistent in your training. The first mile should be the same time as the last one, again especially on longer runs. 

Adapt accordingly

As a very rough guide, your long run pace should be around 90 seconds per mile slower than you’d expect to race at. So, create a pace goal based on that.

Embrace technology

A GPS watch is always handy. Watches such as the Garmin Venu 2 Pro include Pacepro, which you can use to adjust your pace according to the terrain by downloading a course map beforehand. So, you can run slower when going uphill and quicker when you go downhill.

Advertisement

Aim for ease at the start

Negative splits (running the first half of the race slower than then second) are one way to achieve your pacing goals, although surprisingly there’s not much statistical evidence to confirm that strategy works. Perhaps more importantly, try to run as easily as possible for the first few miles. They may ultimately be the quickest of the race, but you need to run them as the easiest.

Race with the pacers

Major half marathon events typically have pacers you can run with at your desired goal time. They’ll carry a banner indicating the final time, such as two hours, or a minute per mile pace time.

Advertisement
Paul Larkins

Written by Paul Larkins

Published:

Paul Larkins has been a sports journalist for more than 30 years, covering two Olympic Games, one Paralympics, numerous World Championships and, most recently, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022. He’s also been a magazine editor, heading up titles covering everything from running to cooking and buying tractors. But his real passion is running. As a former GB International athlete and sub-4-minute miler in the 1980s, Paul has a great understanding of life-long fitness and the benefits it can provide.