Marathon Pace Chart – How To Determine Marathon Race Pace

Marathon Pace Chart

Curious about how to find the right marathon pace? Then using a marathon pace chart is one step in the right direction.

Here’s the truth.

Running a marathon is an incredible feat, regardless of how prepared you may be. The distance of 26.2 miles is so long that estimating your finish times is often trickier than expected.

What’s more?

Keeping a consistent marathon pace is harder than anything you might experience during training.

Fortunately, by using a pace chart, just like the one provided below, you’ll be able to break down each mile—and kilometer-spilt during the race—this can be incredibly helpful for beginner and veteran runners alike.

So how do you navigate all of this when planning for a marathon? How do you choose a time goal? What pace should I try to keep? And so much more.

Keep on reading to check out the pace chart.

What Should My Marathon Target Time Be?

This is an important question for newbie and advanced runners alike and tricky to answer.

Figuring out your ideal marathon pace depends on a host of factors. The two most important ones are your current running ability—as in what pace you sustain and for how long—and your goal marathon time.

Additional resource – How to nail your sub 4 hour marathon pace. And here’s the full guide to how long is a marathon.

Want more challenge? Check this 50K training plan.

Estimating your Marathon Finish Time

There are many ways to estimate your finish marathon time. One way is to take your recent half marathon times, doubling it then adding eight to ten minutes.

But all in all, I’d recommend being conservative with your goal. If this is your first marathon, your main goal should be to make it to the finish line instead of worrying about a specific target time.

During the first 13 miles, stick to a pace you’re comfortable with, then speed it up the second half of the race and see what time you can do. Just remember to stay patient and to keep everything under control.

Have been running for a while, but is this your first event? Choose a marathon pace based on your current running pace.

Additional Resource – Your Guide to fun runs

The Most Common Marathon Mistake

A common mistake made by beginner marathoners is starting out too fast. The truth is, logging the first few miles at a faster pace than you’re capable of keeping throughout the race can do more harm than good.

The best way to avoid this mistake is to understand, train, then follow your marathon pace strategy per mile—or kilometer—without letting anything else interfere with your plan.

Additional Resource – Guide to running pace charts

What Your Marathon Pace Depends ON?

Many variables play a role when it comes to the marathon goal pace.

The main ones include your;

  • Your running experience
  • Your running history
  • Your weekly mileage
  • Your genetics
  • Your age
  • Bodyweight
  • Nutrition plan
  • The course rouse
  • Race conditions, especially the weather temperature

Additional resource – Guide to pacing strategies for different races

How to Find What Your Marathon Pace Should Be

There are many ways to help you determine your next marathon pace.

What Should your Pace Be For A Marathon?

The most common formula runners use to estimate their marathon time is to take a recent half-marathon time, double, and then add around 15 to 20 minutes.

You can also base it on your best performance in the mile. Or what’s known as the Magic Mile in the running world.  You can also take your recent race (5K, 10K, or half marathon), then compare it to the following chart to find what your estimated marathon time might be.


Already run a marathon? Aim to take off roughly five to ten percent from your finishing times as your new marathon time target.

Just keep in mind that these methods only predict how fast you could POTENTIALLY run a marathon, so take with a grain of salt. Different elements can drastically impact your marathon time, such as temperature, course, recovery rate—so nothing is for sure.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to beginner running pace

The Marathon Pace Chart You Need

The charts offer practical guides as you dive into marathon training and prepare for the big day. They show you the average pace needed to run to achieve your marathon finishing time.

Best Mile Performance to Marathon Finishing Time Goal Prediction Chart:

Additional resources: