Average Marathon Time by Age, Sex, and Ability Level

Matea Matošević, Olympic Runner
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The marathon race is ideal for runners who have already run several half marathon races and enjoy long-distance running. But you are probably wondering what is a good marathon finish time?

In this article, you will find out what is the average marathon time and will be able to compare your result with the average results according to age, sex, and ability level.

average marathon time

What is the average marathon time?

The average marathon time is between 4:19:00 and 4:30:28, which means that the average running pace is between 9:52 and 10:18 minutes per mile. Multiple factors, like age, sex, ability level, experience, weather, terrain, will affect your marathon time.

Age groupAverage marathon time for female runnersPace (min/mi)Pace (min/km)
0 – 156:04:3113:548:38
16 – 194:50:3911:056:53
20 – 244:29:1410:166:22
25 – 294:27:2910:126:20
30 – 344:28:4710:156:22
35 – 394:34:0210:276:29
40 – 444:34:2810:286:30
45 – 494:39:4310:406:37
50 – 544:55:5311:177:00
55 – 595:01:3411:307:08
60 – 645:12:5611:567:24
65 – 995:21:4112:167:37
The table shows the average marathon times with the average pace for female runners according to age groups.
Age groupAverage marathon time for male runnersPace (min/mi)Pace (min/km)
0 – 154:54:0811:136:58
16 – 194:16:599:486:05
20 – 244:02:089:145:44
25 – 294:07:229:265:51
30 – 344:07:499:275:52
35 – 394:11:199:355:57
40 – 444:10:009:325:55
45 – 494:11:459:365:57
50 – 544:20:299:566:10
55 – 594:31:5110:226:26
60 – 644:54:0811:136:58
65 – 995:07:4111:447:17
The table shows the average marathon times with the average pace for male runners according to age groups.

The statistics are based on the results of 24,000 runners that ran a marathon in 2010.

What is the average marathon winning time?

The average marathon winning time for female runners is 2:50:05, which means that the average pace is 6:29 minutes per mile.

The average marathon winning time for male runners is 2:26:00, which means that the average pace is 5:34 minutes per mile.

A runner capable of finishing a marathon race within the time displayed in the tables will most probably win in his age group.

Age groupAverage marathon winning time for female runnersPace (min/mi)Pace (min/km)
0-1904:09:329:315:54
20-2902:57:176:454:12
30-3902:55:186:414:09
40-4903:06:567:074:25
50-5903:28:427:574:56
60-6903:58:159:055:38
70-10005:49:4313:208:17
The table shows the average marathon winning time with the average pace for female runners according to age groups.
Age groupAverage marathon winning time for male runnersPace (min/mi)Pace (min/km)
0-1903:26:087:514:53
20-2902:29:545:413:32
30-3902:30:115:433:33
40-4902:42:016:103:50
50-5902:56:096:434:10
60-6903:22:407:434:48
70-10004:06:439:245:50
The table below shows the average marathon winning time with the average pace for male runners according to age groups.

The statistics were created by METEOR.RUN.

What is the average marathon time for a female runner?

The average marathon time for female runners is 4:44:48, which means that the average pace is 10:51 minutes per mile. To be among the fastest 10% of women, you must run below 3:39:37 (the average pace of 8:22 min/mi), and to be among the fastest 1% of women, you must run below 3:06:47 (the average pace of 7:07 min/mi).

PercentileTimePace (min/mi)Pace (min/km)
1st percentile3:06:477:074:25
10th percentile3:39:378:225:12
20th percentile3:56:499:015:36
30th percentile4:14:069:416:01
40th percentile4:29:0910:156:22
50th percentile4:44:4810:516:44
60th percentile5:00:5811:287:07
70th percentile5:21:3212:157:37
80th percentile5:46:0613:128:12
90th percentile6:24:3314:409:06

This data is based on 35 million results gathered over the course of the last 20 years from more than 28000 races.

What is the average marathon time for a male runner?

The average marathon time for male runners is 4:19:00, which means that the average pace is 9:52 minutes per mile. To be among the fastest 10% of male runners, you must run below 3:15:16 (the average pace of 7:26 min/mi), and to be among the fastest 1% of men, you must run below 2:42:56 (the average pace of 6:12 min/mi).

PercentileTimePace (min/mi)Pace (min/km)
1st percentile2:42:566:123:51
10th percentile3:15:167:264:37
20th percentile3:34:018:095:04
30th percentile3:49:238:445:26
40th percentile4:03:139:165:45
50th percentile4:19:009:526:08
60th percentile4:35:0710:296:31
70th percentile4:53:2411:116:57
80th percentile5:18:1912:087:32
90th percentile5:53:2613:288:22

This data is based on 35 million results gathered over the course of the last 20 years from more than 28000 races.

What is the average marathon time

What is the average marathon time for beginners?

The average marathon time for beginners is between 4:50 and 5:20, with the average pace between 11:03 and 12:12 min/mi).

If you are a beginner, it is advisable to run a few half marathon races before you start preparing for your first marathon.
How much time you need to prepare for a marathon race all depends on what your current form is, how active you are and how much you weigh.

If you are not able to run the entire marathon in continuity, without stopping, plan your walking and running periods in advance.

Read more: Is It Bad To Take Walk Breaks During A Run?

Tip

If you decide to walk for most of the race or your running pace is slower, be careful when choosing a race. In the race schedule, see if the race has a time limit, that is to say, a limit within which all participants must complete the race. Otherwise, your finishing time will not be taken into account and you will be left without a finishing medal.

What is the average marathon time for intermediate runners?

The average marathon time for intermediate male runners is around 3:25, with an average pace of 7:49 min/mi.

The average marathon time for intermediate female runners is around 3:45, with an average pace of 8:34 min/mi.

Tip

In order to improve your running time, hard work and continuous training are necessary. It is important to run according to a training plan that includes a combination of different types of workouts and sets different requirements for your body.

What is a marathon world record?

The marathon world record for females is 2:14:04 (the average pace of 5:06 min/mi), and it was run by Brigid Kosgei in Chicago (USA) in 2019.

The marathon world record for men is 2:01:39 (the average pace of 4:38 min/mi), and it was run by Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin (GER) in 2018.

What is a good marathon time?

In general, most runners consider a finishing time that’s under 4 hours to be a good marathon time. A good marathon time depends on many factors such as age, gender, fitness level, experience, weather, and running terrain.

A good marathon running time varies from person to person. Someone will find 4 hours a good marathon time, while some other runner might be dissatisfied with that result.

Many factors affect the race results, including:

  • Age – Most professional marathon runners run their personal records between the ages of 28 and 33.
  • Gender – On average, men run faster than women due to genetic predispositions.
  • Fitness level – Form and health also affect your running time.
  • Experience – With years of training, you gain experience that also affects your running time.
  • Weather – A marathon is a long-distance race. So, to have suitable conditions, it is important that it is not too hot and windy.
  • Terrain – Flat terrain is ideal for a good marathon result since it allows you to maintain a steady pace and not lose additional energy running uphill and downhill.

A good marathon time is a result you are satisfied with.

Tip

Do not compare yourself to others, everyone is different. Track your own results and overcome your boundaries. Enjoy running and progress gradually in order to train without injuries, because that is most important.

How long is a marathon?

A marathon is a road running event of 42.195km (26mi 385yd). A marathon is known as 42K which is not an exact distance but is a rounded value of actual length.

How to predict your marathon finish time?

If you want to know what time you can expect during a marathon run, use my race time predictor. This predictor can predict the result of a targeted race and calculate its average pace based on previous run or race results.

Race Time Predictor

Read more: Race Time Predictor

Race time predictor assumes that the runner has done the appropriate training for the distance they want to run.

Tip

A perfect race has minimal pace changes, which is why this race predictor also calculates the average pace. This way you will avoid running too quickly in the earlier stages of a race and exhausting yourself early.

Keep in mind that the predicted result is just an estimate since factors like weather and running terrain can affect the end result of a race. It might happen that the race takes part on terrain with plenty of slopes, or that there are strong wind and rainfall that will negatively affect your results, and which the predictor simply won’t be able to anticipate.

How to improve marathon time

How to improve your marathon time?

You can improve your marathon time in several ways.

Follow an individualized training plan – Training according to a training plan and keeping a training log can allow you to track your progress and better understand what suits you best.

In addition to running, add strength training – By strengthening your whole body, you will reduce the risk of injury, improve strength and stability, correct your muscle imbalance, and with that also become faster.

Pay attention to your running technique – Add running drills into your training routine to improve your running technique and develop proper ground contact. With running drills, you improve the communication between your brain and your legs. Because of that, despite the exhaustion, you will still be able to maintain a proper running technique. With a proper running technique, you will improve your running economy, which means that you will maintain the same pace while losing less energy. The proper running technique will also reduce the risk of injury. If you are not running with the proper running technique, injuries will likely happen.

Read more: Top 8 Running Drills To Improve Your Form [Video]

Do running strides – Instead of focusing only on increasing mileage, you should do exercises that increase your speed.

Read more: What Are Running Strides And How To Do Them?

Don’t forget to rest – It is just as important as training. Your body needs time to adapt to stress and recover for the next training.

Tip

Listen to your body and recognize the signs of overtraining.
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Matea Matošević
Matea Matošević
Article by:
Matea Matošević

Hi, I’m Matea! I’m Olympic Marathon Runner, founder, and writer behind OLYRUN.com. On this site, I provide help in the form of my knowledge and experience to all who love running and active living. Read more…