What is the average Half Ironman time?
Across all amateur athletes, the average Half Ironman time is 5:51:25 for Men, and 6:18:13 for Women. Broken down by discipline, on the Men’s side this works out to a swim time of 38:51, a bike time of 2:54:38, and a run time of 2:04:16.
On the Women’s side, this breaks down as a swim time of 40:39, a bike time of 3:10:44, and a run time of 2:13:06. See below for a breakdown of average Half Ironman times by Gender and by Age Group.
Average Half Ironman time by Age Group
Let’s take a look at the average Half Ironman times broken down by Age Group. As a general rule, average times tend to get slower with age on both the Men’s and Women’s side.
On the Men’s side, you can see that the fastest average time is in the 18-24 year old age group. This doesn’t necessarily mean that athletes in this category are always the fastest. Seeing as, on average, this category only represents 4% of the number of Male athletes, it more so indicates that there are fewer slow times to bring down the average.
|Average Half Ironman Times (Male)|
When taking a look at the Women’s side, you can see that the 25-29 year olds slightly edge out the 18-24 year olds as the fastest age group.
|Average Half Ironman Times (Female)|
Men’s and Women’s Data sourced from The Obsessed Triathlete.
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Factors that affect Half Ironman times
Beyond gender and age group, there are several factors that affect the average Half Ironman completion time. Even though all Half Ironman events are the same distances, there can be significant variances in completion times between events held in different locations. This is driven by several factors.
For example, the differences in the amount of elevation gained on the bike and run courses can make some courses much faster or slower than others. On the swim, water currents play a role, as does the salinity of the water (i.e. ocean vs lake or river). Lastly, the altitude of the race location plays a massive role. Higher altitude locations make our bodies less efficient and therefore our cardiovascular systems must work harder.
Even when comparing one year’s race results to the results of that same race in a previous year, there can be large variances. Weather variables like temperature, wind, waves, and precipitation can play significant roles in finishing times.
Setting your own target completion time
If this is your first Half Ironman, then you’re probably trying to figure out what your goal should be for your completion time. Or maybe your goal is just to finish, and that’s great too!
But if you are looking to determine your own target completion time, the best place to start is by looking at the past results from the specific race that you plan to do. Navigate to your race on the Ironman website, and you’ll be able to find last year’s race results.
From there, select your Age Group category from the dropdown menu and take a look at the times. Then, determine what your goal is in terms of where you want to finish. Do you want to finish in the top half of your age group? The top 30%? Maybe push for the top 20%? Once you’ve determined this, you can determine the completion time that would have been required to achieve this goal in last year’s race. Again, weather and course changes can create variation in year-to-year average times. But this will still give you a good indication of where you need to finish in order to achieve your goal.
With that goal time in mind, you can see the breakdown of the swim, bike, run, and transition times required to achieve that time. If you know you’re slightly weaker in a particular discipline, you can figure out how much time you’ll have to make back in the other two disciplines in order to reach your goal.
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How about average Half Ironman times for the Professionals?
So far we’ve been talking about all the average Half Ironman times for amateur triathletes. But, just for fun – and maybe some motivation – let’s take a look at the average Half Ironman time for the Pros. Why not, right?
The top professional male triathletes can clock sub-4hr Half Ironman times, often in the range of 3:50-4:05. However, Jan Frodeno currently holds the Half Ironman record with a blazing fast time of 3:36:30. That includes his lightning speed 1:06:33 half marathon to close it out. Wow. Just, wow.
Among professional female triathletes, the Swiss speedster Daniela Ryf set the Half Ironman world record of 3:57:55 at 70.3 Gdynia in August 2018. Crazy fast! Beyond the world record, the top professional female triathletes clock in average times of 4:20-4:35. Here’s a link to the Men’s and Women’s 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France if you want to see some fast times.
Achieving your fastest time on race day starts with being prepared. We’ve got you covered with our Ironman Packing List: 31 Essentials for Race Day. Check it out here.