Walking the Half Marathon: How Long Should It Take?

The half marathon distance is 21 kilometers or 13.1 miles long. If you wonder how long it takes to walk a half marathon, the answer is between 3-4 hours. On average, most people can cover a mile or 1.609km in 15-20 minutes.

If the terrain is rugged or hilly, you might take longer.

Do I Need to Train for the Half Marathon Walk?

If you aren't overweight, have no health concerns, and are fit enough, you can challenge yourself on the half marathon walk without training. But you might still get injured because walking a long distance requires repetitive motion and consistent overuse of your legs.

It's not uncommon for trained athletes to experience pains and aches from long walks.

How to Train for the Half Marathon Walk

Any form of training is challenging and can be strenuous for your body. But training programs for the half marathon walk are achievable for most people, even beginner athletes. You can start by walking 30 minutes per day every week to get a rhythm. The more consistent you walk, the further your distance speed will improve.

If you can easily maintain the 30-minute walk daily, it's time to adjust to a 45-minute power walk for the weekdays and add an extra 10 miles on the weekends. The weekend should be casual walks and less strenuous to aid in your recovery.

Such a training program aims to gradually improve your time and distance while maintaining your fitness level. Without causing excessive body strain, your joints and muscles will develop exponentially.

In the initial training stages, the pace and distance shouldn't matter. Instead, concentrate on the time you spend walking each day and try to be consistent. For the first two weeks, it's important not to overexert your body. The benchmark should be to walk and talk at the same time.

You can incorporate these exercises to improve your speed work and cardio as time progresses.

How to Train for the Half Marathon Walk

Hill repeats

Find a hill that isn't too steep and briskly walk uphill and stroll downhill. Repeat this exercise between 7-15 times per session. The first week you can start with a seven-interval session and adjust by two every two weeks.

Brisk walk/ Stroll intervals

Speedwork exercise on a flat surface includes switching between brisk walking and strolling. You can incorporate the same technique in one training session or separate a day for brisk and casual walking within a week.

Treadmill walking

If you aren't fond of the outdoors, you can train on your treadmill by changing power and slow walking speeds. With the treadmill, you can set your program to have the time you walk fast and automatically switch to slow walks.

Diet/ Nutrition/ Snacks for half marathon walking

The half marathon walk takes between 3-4 hours to complete. It's a long time to spend on your feet, and you need to replenish your energy. Carbs are good sources of energy. You can consider carrying some or confirm if there will be on-course spots for snacks and drinks.

Using the products you consume in training during an event is recommended to avoid unnecessary complications.

Should Training Include A 13-Mile Walk?

You can train the same way professional athletes train for the half-marathon run. Walking the entire 13 miles every day in training isn't necessary.

If you can manage seven miles in training every day, you can quickly finish the half-marathon walk in 3-4 hours. But walking fewer distances in training makes it challenging to finish the half marathon walk within 3-4 hours.

Before you take the 13-mile challenge, at least have 10 miles of walking in your training. 

Controlling Your Breathing for the Half Marathon Walk Challenge

Controlling Your Breathing for the Half Marathon Walk Challenge

Running is more taxing to your breathing than walking. But brisk walking also affects your breathing, and you should develop a breathing system.

The best way to start is by adopting the 2:2 ratio. This means inhaling for two steps and exhaling for steps. After you master this technique, you can improve to the 3:3 ratio or venture deep to the 4:4 ratio.

It's essential to practice systematic breathing when training for the brisk walk half marathon event.


Many people don't get blisters from walking because they have comfortable shoes and maintain the exact routine distances each day. But walking 13 miles can cause blisters and injuries due to the friction involved in walking for many hours.

The question of how long it takes to walk a half marathon depends on whether the race is competitive or for leisure. A 13-mile brisk walk should take between 3-4 hours.

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