What Is a Good Marathon Time?

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What Is a Good Marathon Time?

For beginner runners, a good goal time is under 5 hours. This is a challenging but achievable goal for most people who are new to the marathon distance. Experienced runners may be able to finish in under 3-3.5 hours. Elite runners can finish in around 2 hours.

The most important thing is to set a challenging but realistic time for your own abilities. If you set a goal that is too ambitious, you may become discouraged if you don’t reach it.

Factors That Will Influence Your Time

For most runners, a good marathon time is fast enough to be competitive but not so fast that it is unattainable. Several factors can influence what is considered a good marathon time, including age, gender, and experience level.

Factor 1: Age and Gender

Age and gender are two of the most important factors to consider when trying to determine a good marathon time. As people age, their bodies tend to slow down, and they may no longer be able to run as fast as they once could. The same is true for women, who generally have slower marathon times than men.

Factor 2: Experience Level

Novice runners may not be able to run as fast as experienced runners, but they can still have a good marathon time if they train properly and are able to complete the race without any major issues. In general, however, most runners will consider a time of 3:30 or less to be a good marathon time regardless of age, gender, or experience level.

Factor 3: Training and Preparation

Of course, training and preparation are also important factors to consider when trying to determine a good marathon time. Runners who train properly and are well-prepared for the race will usually have a better chance of running a faster time than those who do not.


An achievable marathon time for someone new to the race or without experience is around 4 to 5 hours. However, if you are more experienced and have trained properly, you could potentially finish in under 4 hours.

The world record for the marathon is currently 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 40 seconds, so anything under 4 hours is considered a good time. Of course, the time you ultimately want to achieve depends on your own personal goals and abilities. But if you’re just starting out, 4 to 5 hours is a reasonable goal to aim for.