13.1 Interesting and Fun Facts About Running & Half Marathons

Spring has officially arrived! That means millions of people across the country will be going outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. It’s also a great time of year to start getting in shape by running.

If you’ve been curious about the benefits of running a half marathon, you’ve definitely come to the right place for answers. This article is packed with running facts that will make you laugh and satisfy your curiosity about this fascinating sport. 

Keep reading as we take a deep dive into some fun facts about running that will make you want to lace up your favorite running shoes and start training!

1. Crank Up Your Tunes

While it’s true that many runners prefer to enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature while they run, you’re actually better off jamming to your favorite playlist during your next half marathon. Why? Believe it or not, listening to music while you run can increase your performance by up to 15%.

Just don’t forget your headphones!

2. Why Get High When You Can Run?

You’ve probably heard the term “Runner’s High.” Well, it’s for real. The feeling of euphoria that you experience during the race is due to the release of endorphins throughout your body. It feels amazing, it’s all-natural, and it will inspire you to keep going even in the face of exhaustion.

3. You Never Knew You Had So Many Muscles

The act of running might seem simple enough. After all, it’s a form of exercise that merely requires placing one foot in front of the other, right? In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Believe it or not, you use 200 muscles every time you take a step during a run. So go ahead and take a little breather…you’ve earned it.

4. McDonald's Isn't Your Friend

Feeling hungry. Running is a great way to burn calories fast. That means you’ll likely be starving once you’ve finished your half marathon. But you’d be wise to remember that a McDonald’s Bic Mac isn’t exactly the healthiest food choice for good nutrition. We’re talking 540 calories in just one tasty burger.

When you do the math you’ll realize that a 140-pound woman would have to run a 10-minute per mile for a full 52 minutes to burn it off.

5. It's Not a Popularity Contest, But...

In recent years, half marathons have become incredibly popular. Especially in the United States. How popular? Since 2003, it’s the fastest-growing type of long-distance road race in the country, boasting double-digit growth year after year.

With over 1500 active half marathons in the U.S. alone, it’s easy to find one in nearly any community and join in the fun.

6. Half the Distance & Twice the Fun

You might be wondering if there’s a difference in the overall popularity of marathons vs half marathons. Well, you’ve come to the right place for some solid data. Believe it or not, less than 50% of runners have ever attempted a full marathon, while about 45% have completed 2-5 half marathons. 

This fact really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, completing a race means you get to celebrate, and half marathons leave you with enough energy to have a great time with friends once you’ve reached the finish line!

13.1 Fun Facts About Half Marathons
Stylish half marathon haircut at the Islamorada Half Marathon in the Florida Keys

7. OK, So It's Not for Everyone

Unfortunately, not everyone is into fitness. While many people love the feeling of getting into shape and living their best lives, others simply hate the thought of exercise.

This applies to running as well. In fact, only around 0.5% of the U.S. population has ever completed a marathon. 

8. That's Just Simple Math

It’s no mystery that your body is doing a lot of work during a half marathon. And when you crunch the numbers, the data becomes even more impressive. For example, the typical runner burns 104.3 calories every mile when keeping a 10-minute per mile pace. 

That’s great news as long as you skip the Big Mac.

9. Just...Ewww

Are you the type of person that sweats a lot? While everyone is different, most people share one thing in common: human feet are capable of producing a pint of sweat per day.

10. What Were You Doing This Time Last Year?

Can you imagine running a marathon every day for an entire year? That’s exactly what Stefan Engels accomplished in 2011. Known as the “Marathon Man”, 49-year-old Engles complete a marathon every day for 365 consecutive days. 

That can make you feel tuckered just thinking about it.

Runners having fun at the Inaugural Canaan Valley Half Marathon in April of 2019

11. Why Walk When You Can Run?

There’s really nothing more relaxing or pleasurable than going for a nice long walk. But while walking is great for getting some fresh air, why not pick up the pace a little and run. In fact, running typically burns around 50% more calories than simply walking. 

12. Nobody Likes a Bragger

Usain Bolt is a man who really needs no introduction. This dude is crazy fast. How fast, you ask? He literally holds the record for the fastest human foot speed of 27.70 mph.

13. Will That Be Cash or Credit?

Do you own a pair of running shoes? If so, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, more than 40 million pairs of running shoes are sold in the United States each year. That’s a lot of shoelaces! 

Fun Facts About Running That You Probably Never Knew

Half marathon training can be a lot of work. Fortunately, these cool facts about running will give you something to think about the next time you lace up and hit the road.

Be sure to use this pace calculator when training for your next half marathon.

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Robby McClung

Robby McClung

This article was written by the editorial staff of the Canaan Valley Running Company and Robby McClung. Robby is the founder of the Canaan Valley Running Company. You can read more in the about section of the website on Robby and the Canaan Valley Running Company.

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