5K times

Hello all, After a 2 year break from running (knee)I've been training a little while now and am starting to get a little more serious. I'm doing 5k sessions and am unsure of a decent benchmark time. I intend to do a 5k charity run in the spring and want to run a decent time. Can anyone suggest what would be a decent time for someone who's been training 6 weeks?

Cheers, Si


  • Cheers Loo - I've been doing 20 mins sessions (not quite 5k) for a few weeks and have done a 24:30 5k run the other day. Not too bad, I guess I better keep running and hopefully keep improving - a litlle boring on the treadmill but road running just ruins my right knee! Glad to see I'm not far off the pace.
  • Hi Simon, I find its difficult to say a decent 5km time as all our times are relative. Will the charity run be mainly club runners or fun runners do you think as this can affect the average time, and what sort of percentage of the field do you aim to be placed in?

    Regards, NN

  • Well, I've only done a couple of 5k runs on threadmill so my immediate aim is to just keep it going. I've no idea who'll be running in the race. I'll be aiming to place in the top 10%, although I've no idea who competes. I'm not too interested in going over the 5K at the moment - time is an issue for me (work!) and I'd struggle to put in the time to, say, go for a marathon. My views may change! I'm just looking to do a fast 5 k at the moment and be as good as I can at that distance.

    Cheers, Si
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Hi Simon,

    I ran a 5K charity race (Race for Life) in June after about 5 weeks of training (two weeks of a couple of runs a week, the rest 3 runs a week apart from the week of the race which I had to take off with a bad cold).

    Ran 26 minutes over a fairly muddy, uneven, mostly woodland trail course, and finished in the first 20 (out of a field of over 4,000). I was reasonably satisfied with that but having taken my running a lot more seriously since I would be looking to improve on that next time. My usual running routes are pretty hilly now and I can manage 4.1 miles in 31 minutes ...
  • Hi Simon, to finish in the top 10% would be quite an achievement, I can only just do that and my 5km PB is 18:28, the races I run in are pretty much all full of club runners though, hence my question in the previous thread.

    Have you got a local running track that you can run on, the treadmill is good training for these shorter distances but is still no comparison to road/track conditions.

    Best Wishes, NN
  • It's hard to say. A couple of months ago pre-injury my personal best for 5K was a smidgen over 17 minutes. Now I'm looking at getting more like 20 to 22 minutes, if I'm lucky. When I'd just started running I struggled to get anything under 25, and some find breaking 30 difficult. If you've only been training 6 weeks, my advice would be to try and get to sub-25 minutes in the spring as an initial goal. Then, should you want to work on 5K (it's one of my favourite distances so I was working on it a bit) you can concentrate on distance-specific speedwork and all that jazz. :)
  • My god I feel very slow compared to you guys doing it in under 20 minutes :(
  • Hi everyone,
    Newbie here I have also started running 5k and after some advise... I’m 31 years old and I would like to lose some weight I’m currently 13 stone and 5ft 7 I would like to lose around a stone and half. I started running two weeks ago and have done 3 runs per week.my first 5k was done in 30 mins 38 secs ,I had to stop a couple of times as I was unable to run that for without stopping today I did the same run in 27 mins 42 secs my personal best and without stopping I feel loads better when I’m out on my run then I did when I first started however my weight hasn’t changed. I’m trying to adjust my diet but to be honest I’ve not cut out everything bad. Will my weight come down if I keep doing this run or would you advise to run for longer? Any help will be massively appreciated
  • I think diet is really important too, I think running definitely helps but diet is a big part of it. Maybe just have a treat once or week and see how you get on.
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Hi Ashkam - you'll probably need to step up the running in terms of time, distance and intensity to achieve your weight loss goals. As Nads says you should also look at your diet as well.

    As an example I dropped from 14st to just under 13st a few years back by cutting out carbs and also stepping up the amount I was running as I training for my first half marathon. The weight stayed pretty much around 12st 8lb for quite a few years due to the fact I worked away from home so would eat out a lot. Last year I was away less and running a lot more, doing different types of runs, and I'm now down to 12st and have maintained that quite easily for the last 6 months.
  • Thanks for the reply lads I had in mind if I could get it down to around the 25 minute mark I was going to add another 2k on to the run. Of my three runs on the week I might just try and do an hours run and see how far I get. How many times a week do you lads manage to get out? Are 3 runs a week enough or is more required 
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Hi Askham, you can easily train for any event on three runs a week, even a marathon. Build up slowly and have drop down weeks, otherwise you run the risk of injury. Also strength training is your friend, as is stretching!
  • Looking forward to the day I can do a sub 30 5k. Gave up running for about 4 years and have just got back on the wagon. Since piling on a few stone and reaching 42 it certainly seems a lot harder this time round!
  • > @somberlain said:
    > Looking forward to the day I can do a sub 30 5k. Gave up running for about 4 years and have just got back on the wagon. Since piling on a few stone and reaching 42 it certainly seems a lot harder this time round!

    You can certainly do it, sub 30 is a very achievable goal with the right mindset. Get a consistent training program, eat well, get the weight off and prioritise recovery - you'll be there in no time!
  • > @somberlain said:
    > Looking forward to the day I can do a sub 30 5k. Gave up running for about 4 years and have just got back on the wagon. Since piling on a few stone and reaching 42 it certainly seems a lot harder this time round!

    This is my goal too, when I was running last year I got down to around 32minutes! Back on c25k though so let's see where it goes.
  • Hello everyone. Hoping for some advice. I've started running again although I've only ever done short runs in the past. Currently struggling with my pace/timing and breathing.

    I seem to be getting slower with every with every run. I started out 28mins for 5km then 30min then 34min then 32min. Can't get to the sub 30min anymore after about 4 weeks of running. finding it harder and harder. Lungs feel like there are two feet standing on them when trying to increase pace. A friend is training too and her times are insane getting quicker and quicker and she has no history of exercise. Itsngetting disheartening and wondering what I'm doing wrong. I'm 30 y/o healthy female.

    I decided to try hills tonight - 2.4km uphill (5.57mim/km) then ran home 2.6km (6.12min/km)

    From the experienced runners/coaches - should I be running more or less each week? I do about x2-3 5km runs a week including a Hiit class once a week

    Would it be worth doing shorter runs at a faster pace or longer runs at the same pace? Or both? #confused at all the information out online. I don't have any goals for marathon running but regular 10kms would be a honest goal eventually.
  • <span>Ive been running for around 4 weeks so i am relatively new to the world of running. My main sport is cycling in which i have been riding 150+miles a week for around 6months now. I have never been able to run my whole life and building up my fitness through cycling i thought it was time to have a go at running. My first run was 2miles in about 24mins and my next was 5k in 35mins which i was very proud of just for finishing!! I am also currently well over Weight and currently on a weightloss programme having lost 31lbs with approximately 20 still to go. My first 10k came 2 weeks later in a time of 1:12 and my next 10k today ten days later in 1:08 while feeling good running. A few months ago i would never of dreamed of running 5k never mind 10! My 5k time is now at around 33mins and I currently run a 5k and a 10 k each week as well as cycling. As i am still losing weight i would like to hit a sub 30 5k over the next few months. Is there any workouts i should be doing to increase speed or what should i be doing to cut my 5k time as i have no experience running in the past! Any advice would bevgreat thanks </span>
  • Im fairly new to running and have doing a 3.54 mile run 2/3 times a week since lockdown and working from home. I do enjoy it ( my legs ache all the time now ). I usually hit the 5k at around 26-28 mins. and find the 3.54 around 30/31 mins
  • Askham89, if weight loss is your goal, I've found myself that it's all in creating a healthy weekly deficit and teaching literally everything I put past my mouth in myfitnesspal, and being completely honest with it (if you eat something "bad" and don't track it, you're only setting yourself up for disappointment). Set it to lose 1kg a week as "sedentary" and don't eat back the extra calories you think you burn running, as the figures vary widely and aren't necessarily true, it's just a bonus when you lose a bit more than the 1kg.

    To add some context, I'm over 10kg lighter than I was 7 weeks ago (92kg down to 81.5). I focus on the weeks target calories rather than day, protein is 40% of daily cals, and reducing intake on rest days and increasing intake on strength or running training days, especially pre and post training. I also have a blowout Saturday night but still track it all as honestly as possible even if it's a full bag of munchies! and usually near-fast on Sundays.  It's very doable on diet alone, but you get extra motivation from running because as you get lighter you do get faster. Do it healthily thigh and keep your body fed for good recovery.
  • @adelem02 I am no coach but I can tell you from my experience that doing easy (could hold a full conversation) pace long running far further than 5k (work it up adding 1km per week up to 10k) will drastically help how 5k feels. Recovery could be a problem if you are getting slower, but if you are right at the beginning of your running, and that first run was your literal start point, this could very well be short term adaptations. 28 minutes is very good and you will still be capable of that barring any injury.

    When anyone first starts they have a very fresh first run, but the second and third on the following days will be probably painful (doms and connective tissue stress) and usually enough for someone to stop running thinking its not for them, sadly. It just requires some persistence, and your friend is perhaps just a couple of weeks ahead in that initial adaptation. You have a good level of fitness and pace if you've done it in 28 mins, now turn off the timer, and attempt a 6km EASY run. Also consider changing the terrain (safely, with the right footwear). Trail running promotes activations in many different leg muscles throughout because you're not just hammering flat concrete all the time, plus it's a lot more scenic than a road/path run so you find you can go longer without the boredom/monotony, ideal for the easy runs
  • I just started running in April of this year as a 48 year old. It wasn't that long ago when running .5k without stopping felt like an achievement. Now I'm running 5k in around 29min. Onwards!
    48 year old beginner running since April 2020
  • 25-30 mins for me. I plateaued a while back and trying to get that time down a bit more. Big goal for the winter.
  • 24m for me, but haven't really tested.
    I think it was captured on one of my 10k runs.
  • I'm 46 years old, started running daily in March/April 2020... first 5k time was around 29 minutes... best 5k time in December was 24.04... now hampered by niggling injuries, I struggle to get under 26 minutes!
  • used to be 19s now with injuries about 22 
  • Hi everyone, I play 5 a side football and think I'm fairly fit for 40.. For work got myself into the Manchester 10k for charity, where I set myself a1hr goal, did no training at all and ran a 45:45 thou was painful for a few days after, and have just ran first 5k today at 20:49,feel with training I would like to challenge myself to finish in under 40mins and 18mins. What would best training routine be to get to this?could I cut down times to this or is this unrealistic? Any advice or training plans would be great, I'm also looking to join a running club in Southampton 😁
  • My feet are so sore after my first 8k run, any advice as to what to do?
  • I ran as a teenager, but only got back into running again this summer. I did my first Parkrun in 27:35 which isn't too bad for an unfit 53 year old. Since then I've managed to improve my PB to 26:14. I often have to work long hours so I tend to run an easy 10k early in the week and a 5K Park run on a Saturday. I have managed to do some speed training (Multiple 800s) on a couple of occasions. I'm planning to run a 10K race in June. Am I going to have to increase my mileage if I'm to improve my times for 5K and 10K?
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