A Good 10k time?

What would be considered a good or above average 10k time?

I've been doing a fair bit of HR training (@ 70% max WHR) the past few over a 10k road route.

I decided to see how fast I could do it tonight and achieved a time of 42 mins 25 secs, av. HR of 176bpm and max of 187bpm.

I could possible have pushed a bit harder, but not much lol!

Just curious as to how this compares image


  • I've only been running recreationally for a couple of years so i'm be no means an expert, but I think it's all relative and depends on your fitness background. There are people in my club who have grown up around running and were started in it when they were children. They would see anything under 40 minutes as being a reasonable time for a female. In contrast, many of my friends who do not run think I am incredible being able to run 10k at all without stopping, so any time in their eyes is 'good'. My perception of my time is that is is 'good' considering I used to be a smoking couch potato a few years back, but not that it is a good time compared to most runners my age.

    Sounds like a good time to me. If you enter races you can usually see from the average time how your time compares. I think people will always have different perceptions of what is good. What matters is that it is a good time for you, I think.

  • I've been training again properly for the past 8 weeks or so, having being out of action for 12 months with a fairly severe SLAP injury.

    Guess my new goal will be a sub 40min 10k then image

  • Mr VMr V ✭✭✭

    Times are all relative. What constitutes a good or average time depends upon what you are basing it on. Generally (for senior men) sub 30/31 would be elite and sub 33 semi elite. Beyond that you are all on opinion. My personal take is that sub 35 would be a good club runner (and top 10 for many local races), sub 38 decent club runner, sub 40 average club runner, sub 45 improvers. There does also seem to be a bit of consensus that if you can run a sub 40 you are considered a reasonable runner.

    In terms of what an average time is if you pick a standard local race and look at the time of the person who finished bang in the middle it will probably be around the 48 minute mark. Of course if you are a senior man you would have to be faster than this to be ‘average’ as this obviously includes females and vets. Then again if you look at the middle time for a mass participation event like run for all the middle time would be way over an hour. So as I say it all depends on what you are comparing yourself to.
  • Today i run my first ever 10k in 1hr 1min!!!!fell really excited!!!!hopefully i will be like you all can finish 10k in sub-40!!!
  • I think generally speaking and without reference to elite runners or good club runners, a time somewhere between 40-50mins would be considered a good time certainly by persons who are non runners. It is of course all relative but to be hitting sub 40min times requires alot of training and a certain amount of natural aerobic ability. Sometimes the ability is innate and it would only take alot of training to improve on this (if you don't have the innate ability) and conversely if you have.

    Age, diet, liefstyle, preparation are all factors that can be worked upon. Personally, I have started taking 10k racing more seriously and I'm presently buiding up to the Manchester 10k which I'm running for Diabetes UK. I'm taking on smaller 10k's as practice both for pre race preparation (which I'm awful at) and tactics. I came in at 44.03 in my first competitive 10k run for several years so there's only hope that this can be improved upon!

     Like I say though, I suspect that even with practice and dedication I will struggle to come in sub 40mins and come anywhere near the level of good club runners, maybe I'm wrong..we'll see....

  • Back in 2005 I was able to hit 33 mins for a 10k.  I had an injury and was out for almost 9 months. 

    Since then I've not raced much and generally have done a few marathons and 1/2 marathons. 

     I did my first 10k in ages on Sunday last week in Wimbledon and clocked 38mins and 10 secs.  I was aiming for 38 mins.  I suppose the steep hill and going the wrong way set me off that time. 

     I'm trying to push myself down to 35 mins before the end of the year.  I am aiming at a 10k every 4 weeks.

  • It's very hard to say: one of the fantastic things about running is that you can be competitive at any level - there's always someone just in front or just behind you, and you have also always got yourself to compete with.

    Only you can decide what is good for you! However things you may do to help you decide:
    1) Enter some races.
    2) Look at some 10k race results over a similar course - e.g. Easter Bunny 10k last year - you would have been 85th out of 351 finishers.
    3) Have a look on Fetcheveryone.com on their standards page http://www.fetcheveryone.com/race-standards.php
  • All depends on who you're comparing yourself with I suppose. A 40 minute 10K time would be pretty damn fast in a mass participation charity event, but pretty damn slow in a small event full of dedicated club runners. My dad always said 42 minutes was what everyone at his running club considered a 'serious' time.That was 30 years ago though, and I suspect 42 minutes would now be thought of as rather slow by the serious runners at my club. 

    And in case that sounds like a snotty elitist answer, I'd like to qualify it by adding that my own PB is 52 minutes image

  • 30 years ago 42 minutes might possibly have just sneaked you in the top half of a local 10k, nowadays it would probably get you comfortably in the top 25%.
  • Really? Is that because more and more 'fun runners' are taking part? Cause it's not as if the fastest people are actually slowing down...
  • 40-45 minutes is a respectable time but to be classed as a good runner...you need to do a sub 40 for it,dont you....

    (one of my goals for this year)


  • Any time under 50 mins for a 10 k is a good foundation to build on if you are a fitness all rounder,and not just a runner.
  • I have always considered these times to be bench marks which if you reach you can say your training is working 

    sub 20mins 5 k

    40mins 10 k or faster

    1:30 HM.or faster

    3 hours Marathon or faster

    I would say if you can do these then your doing much more that is necessary to simply run a distance or compete against the majority of those who run. Your on the outer edges of what can be called "competitive" but have significant potential and personal drive. 

    After a few years of running if you being true to yourself  you know that its not "all relative" That some times are better than others because of how much effort each bench mark takes to reach.That to run a 20minute 5 k is simply more difficult than a 21 or 22 or 24 but not as hard as an 17 16 or 15.

    Though when you can run a 19 minute 5k you will find that it takes significantly less time to get to 18 minutes due to what you have learnt about conditioning.

    Also one other thing.

    Do not underestimate the importance of competition in achiving a fast time

    You may run on your own and get 42 minutes, but I would say in a race you may get 41.


    Well on your own you havent got me breathing down your neck from mile 4, and there is no way your going to let a smart arse know it all like me beat you home.

    Are you?image

  • Noanie, if you look at old race results, it quickly becomes apparent that the times of the first few have hardly changed at all. What has changed is that there used to be a great strength in depth, and not so many slower runners. In 1989 I ran a 7 mile race in 47:09 (6:44 pace) and came 183rd out of 426 (43% of the way down the field). In January I ran a 10K in 46:55 (7:34 pace) and came 37th out of 102 (36% down the field). You used to get a significant number of runners getting sub 60 mins for 10 miles, nowadays it is very few - only 9 in last years' Weymouth 10.

    I think this is due to a number of reasons. People train a lot less now - back in the eighties it was not that unusual for people to run 80 or even 100 miles a week, and many, many people would run over 50. Now it's a lot less, and people often combine running with other sports. People are probably more sedentary in the rest of their lives now (on average). Due to things like Race for Life, there are a lot more women running now, and there is a lot more participation from people who just aren't as fast and years ago probably would never have thought of running. The average age of runners has increased dramatically.

    Most of those I would say are good things, though I do think it is a shame there isn't the same strength in depth as well (though it does mean I finish relatively higher up the field!).

    Stephen - yes, and no. The time, effort and quality of your training has a massive impact. But I think natural ability comes in as well. I am convinced I could run a sub 3 hour marathon, or a sub 36 min 10k, if all I did was focus on running, and didn't have a family or job. But I know I could never run a 2:05 marathon, or a 28 min 10k!
  • Depends on your age as well. I'm 48 and would say a sub 40 minute 10k is seriously fast.Its my aim, as is a sub 20 minute 5k.

  • when I was 41 years old I ran a 10k race in 45 mins and I was quite chuffed. 19 years later, after having completely packed in running in for 17 years and then started again after being inspired by my daughter, I'm building up again. Currently my 5k is about 30 mins - I'm happy with that, more to come! Why did I stop!

  • If you are interested then there are some free 10k training plans here:


  • Some interesting responses in here. Iv just taken up running and ran 10k last night as a starting marker. Ran it in 52 minutes, wasn't really pushing just aimed not to stop. Hoping to do a few 10k races this year and get my time down to very early thirtys.
  • Some interesting responses in here. Iv just taken up running and ran 10k last night as a starting marker. Ran it in 52 minutes, wasn't really pushing just aimed not to stop. Hoping to do a few 10k races this year and get my time down to very early fortys.
  • We have an 18-year-old member of our triathlon club who just ran a sub-35min 10km. I'd say that's damn good.

  • as above - depends on your perception of "good" really. to joe bloggs it's probably under 50mins, to most half decent runners the bench mark is sub 40. i recently ran just under 36mins but to me that's "OK", i'm the slowest runner in my group, the quickest has run (JUST!) sub 30 which is seriously good. for me, i'd say sub 35.


    but it's all relative image you're out there running, that's the main thing.

  • Sadly, currently I'm not! About to undergo a hip operation and I'm banned from running until approx. December.


  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭✭

    Good time for a 10k is a relative and changeable feast.

    No doubt when you start out sub 40 is a big benchmark. Often by sheer convenience of it simply being a big number.

    For your average small town event, your 200-300 field race, you'll be pretty competitive in the mid 30s. To win one of these level races you probably need to be in the 33-34 domain.

    If you can get sub 33 or quicker, you can basically become a professional race winning hustler image

    Power of 10 used to hold up sub 36mins as the benchmark to get a UK ranking, and perhaps 1,500 would hit that each year.

    However, unfortunately they've extended the barrier to 40 which just takes a little away I think, as you suddenly get 5,000 or so in the rankings 1/3 of the way through the year!

  • For club runner - Sub 35 I would call outstanding, sub 36 very good, sub 38 pretty good, sub 40 good, sub 42 competetive (These are all male times)

  • Not sure that sub 33 makes you a professional race winning hustler!

    Local 10K (Yeovil Easter Bunny) - just under 400 finishers - winner did 30:19. 32:30 only got you 5th!!

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I imagine Stevie specifically used the word "hustler" because being a 33 mins 10k runner is about the level where you can start to pick and choose soft races to try and go prize bagging.  Not that you'd make much money out of it cos if they're particularly low-key events you'll probably just make your entry fee back in vouchers!  image

  • Yes - you'd definitely be in with a chance of getting prizes if you picked and chose your races carefully. Not sure you'd be able to make a living out of it though. Not that I will have to spend time worrying about that!

  • Oh, I don't know about that Phil.  I once won a new bike running 35 mins at the local 10k.  not a Colnago unfortunately, but it made a change from vouchers.  Mind you, I run it most years and the winning time is usually a bit quicker than that

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭✭

    It's completely the luck of the draw who turns up. That Yeovil race sounds a super quality race.

    In my experience down south, I've found ever since I went 38:30 in 2008, I've come top 10 in every race with less than 400 runners.

    You get so many 10k events, that the really top runners are diffused between races. The vast majority of 10ks I've seen have been won in the mid 33 to 34s. Exceptions have been the big local races, where winning times can sink to the 30s.

    Phil, I'd say 37-38mins 10k is the time you can start to pick and choose soft races to win image I'd say if you're a low 33min man you'd have a pretty excellent chance of winning most races that are 200-300 strong fields.

     I won 3 ultra low key races when I was in that 37-38 time slot, not to mention a stack of 2nd and 3rds, none of them fun runs. First year events, not put on by a running club, where there's a longer distance race on at the same time are classics image

    However, the most bootleg race I won was some 4.7miler in Gloucestershire. That was a race that also featured a 2.9mile run as well. A ruddy faced portly chap heard my winning time for the 4.7miler, realised he'd run his (shorter) race slightly quicker, and actually told the organisers he'd won. The fact they even listened to him for a few seconds, even though they'd seen me win, and him not even win the 2.9miler, showed how low standard the whole set up was!!

    For now, i'd much prefer to do a higher quality race and try and get a pb, then win some pony affair...how things change!

  • I began running about 3 weeks ago and it takes me like 55 minutes. I'm about 6'5" 265 pounds, use to play in NFL and prior to starting to run 3 weeks ago I have not done any physical exersice sence my career ended about 4 years ago and this is my first time running long distance also. I would like to get my speed down, so I was wondering in training for a 10k is it better to work more on conditioning my legs to run 10k by running 10 mile runs or better to do 400's and 1600's as fast as I can. Which is better in actually getting my time better? I've kind of done a combination of both but I'm about 2 weeks from the race and was wondering what would be more effective.

Sign In or Register to comment.