What is a good/average time for a 3K, 5K and 10K?

Hi all,

I've just got into participating in short races - 3K and 5K mostly - and wondered what an average time is for these and also for a 10K.

Thanks x


  • Look up some race results and aim for a time that puts you in the top half for a good time, top 75% for an average time.

    Its easier tho' to see if you can recognise the names of a few runners who finish ahead of you and see if you can get closer to them as you progress.

  • Is this for male or female?
  • Everyone will give you a different answer - for what it's worth my take on it would be...

    For a young man training relatively seriously for a year or so maybe 36 minutes for a 10k and 17 for a 5k or thereabouts. Add a minute or two on for a woman. I'd say those are fairly good times, achievable by the vast majority but requiring serious training. If you wanted a target for a beginner 40 minute 10k seems to be the classic.

    You can't really look at race results as a large proportion of people in most races are vets or people who have only entered for a laugh, are not very fit, carry too much weight etc.
  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    "a large proportion of people in most races are vets or people who have only entered for a laugh, are not very fit, carry too much weight etc".

    I'm not necessarily sure you should be including vets in your statement above, as the inference does a great disservice to those vets who do train hard and are capable of achieving the times you state in your previous paragraph.

  • There is no implication that vets can't run very good times Tom - it's just a statement of fact that all other things being equal we slow down as we get older and what qualifies as a good time for a 25 year old would be slightly different to what we would judge as good for someone twice as old. If you want an extreme example that Sikh guy that runs marathons in 5-6 hours is incredible but if I ran that time it'd be no achievement.

  • peeks in
    decides not to comment
  • Isn't 40 minutes for a beginner a bit ambitious I have been running off and on for about 20 years and am still trying to break 50 minutes for a 10k, in fact I have got worse! but then that is another story - maybe I should have been like Hipps and not bothered commenting. The most important thing is to enjoy it!
  • I only didnt comment cos i would have ranted and i have to be nice to patients this afternoon
  • I don't know anyone in my club who's come even close to that kind of progress. Which may say something about my club, but I think it says Popsider's away with the fairies again. ;-)
  • 3k = 14'30" mins
    5k = 25 mins
    10k = 52 mins

    times based on 57% age graded senior lady
  • Bob Glovers charts are pretty good for this sort of thing (author of "The Runners Handbook" and "The competitive runners handbook"). He bases them on percentages of world bests.

    What he calls a "basic competitor" is a mid-pack runner prepared to train diligently and intelligently. I list his 20-34 & 50yr old age range times for men.

    5k - 25:56, 29:03
    10k - 53:56, 1:00:36

    He does go on to say that with proper training you could go on to his "Competitor" category. I think he means getting a bit of coaching by proper training and being in the top 3rd of the pack. (60% of world bests)

    5k - 28:47, 32:57
    10 - 44:57, 50:24

    To be honest I think he is perhaps being a bit conservative but I'm not in the best position to tell being quite well suited to running (scrawny and 5'9"). I reckon my lack of hair on top helps with the streamlining as well ;-)
  • the 5k times for the Competitors look a little chaotic but otherwise a helpfull guide!
  • I'd personally say Popsider has it right, but that's for a young man/lady who is taking running moderately seriously and is running somewhere between 30-60 mpw (60s probably a little on the high-speed) and has a decent sporting back-ground. Perhaps 18 minutes for 5k and 40 minutes for begginer is a bit more reasonable, but for a young man with training those times should be accomplishable.

    For teh average runner I'd say 45 minutes is a good "aspirational" time, which most if they're willing to put the training in should be able to achieve and add a minute or two for the ladies.
  • Chaos, something's not right there, your Competitor is slower than your basic competitor at both ages.
  • x post, I must have spent over 5 minutes figuring that out and have my coat on already.
  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    Apologies for the cheap and waspish (yes BR cheap and waspish!)jibe about vets. I would howver agree that both Popsider and Bryn have got it spot on.
  • I'm female, 30, and have only been running 6months for fitness. Haven't done any competitive racing, but comparing myself to others I see I think I am really slow!! Last week i did a 3K training race in 20minutes - is that poor?
  • 40 mins for a 10k is fast.
    My PB is 44, off 70mpw.

    I think the first goal of a lot of club runners is to break 60 mins for 10k, but this varies a lot.

    My Mum (59) is doing her first mara soon - we will be happy if she finishes, & getting under 3hrs would be really nice.

    My club counts you as a competitive runner if you can run sub-45 for a 10k (female). I just squeak in, but it's OK 'cos I do silly long runs that scare them.
  • doh! read from the wrong table

    "Competitor" 5k times ought to be

    21:37, 24:13

    Having said that, according to Bob Glover I ought to be winning local races and am nowhere near that. Perhaps the americans have a lower standard than us?
  • Lol Swerve, maybe I should tell people to have a look at tritalk where that guy classified "good" as a 2.20 marathon!

    I'm quite happy to take Bob Glover's times for what is good - on his account I am on my own I miss the cut.
  • DG, I'm sure getting under 3hrs would be very nice, but are sure you meant 3hrs?:o)

  • Depends who you talk to. If you talk to the vets at my club 34.xx is `nothing special' and 33.xx is `ok but you should be doing better than that'.

    That's for a 10k btw.

    I agree with Popsider and Bryn. A male aged under 35 willing to train properly with no particular medical or life issues should be targeting...

    5k - 17:30
    10k - 36 mins
    10miles - 60 mins
    HM- sub 1:20
    Marathon - sub 3hrs.
  • (still think a 5 hour marathon is an achievement though)
  • The original question was about good / average times.

    I think those times I've posted are `good' for a senior male after a few years' decent training.
  • Does this mean the time of an average runner, or the average finishing time in races ...

    ... two different things I reckon (putting glasses and stats hat on). And "average" is a contentious term anyway.

    At the middle of the mid-pack I'd guess that it's 45 mins (perhaps more) for a 10K. Really wouldn't know for a 5, maybe 22 mins?

  • And if you want to know what is "good" (how do you define that?) then I'd say ...

    low thirteens for a 5, and 27 something for a 10K. How many here have done that?

    Probably what the geezer wanted to know is what he should aspire to. But, without knowing his background, who could tell, and anyway, he should be the judge of that himself ... few more races should give him an idea.
  • Thanks for the support Biff - i'm a beginner and just wondered what I should be aiming for time wise so that I'm not embarassingly last in my first race in October!

    And by the way, this 'geezer' is a girl!!lol
  • Apologies, if you were stood in front of me I'm sure I'd know you were a girly. (Blush.)

    if you use google I'm sure you'd be able to find last year's results for whatever race you're doing.
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