Am I the slowest EVER?

Hi there I've been running (a term I use loosely) since mid April and I can now run 5k without stopping. Thing is, my time is usually 45 mins which, reading other posts is abismal!  Now, I'm not going to beat myself up for not doing it in less than 30 or even 35 but 45 does seem unheard of. I use Endomondo (?) and it tells me my time at each km, ie "completed last km in 9 mins" etc. when I hear this I sometimes try to go faster, to try to beat it the next km but if I do everything starts to feel tired and, if not exactly painful, then "difficult". When I run at my normal pace it really is more of a jog, people could walk as fast as I jog. 

I decided to try running to get fit, lose weight, prove I could after my last two years of constant hip pain and 2 ops, and most of have fun. So, should I even care what my time is?  My heart says why worry, I'm doing this for me, my head says, "yeah but everyone can do 5k in 30 mins so why not you?"

id love to hear what other people's times were when they'd just started, and at what point did your times improve? And did they improve naturally, just by keep doing it, or did you go flat out, how did you improve?

sorry to ramble! Any comments welcome!



  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Hi Laine, I can't remember what my times were when I started, but I'm fairly sure that I gradually got faster naturally, just by keeping up the running at a manageable pace. Don't worry about going flat out and exhausting yourself.

    If you look at some parkrun results you'll see that you mostly wouldn't even come last, even if you are not the fastest, and you've only been doing it a couple of months so have plenty of time to improve. So it's absolutely not true that 'everyone' can do it in 30 mins.

    Good luck!

  • If you look at the Park Run website you'll see times like that, although admittedly at the back of the field. You're likely to get faster so see it as a starting point image

  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    You're starting to get hung up about times, that means you've become a real runner! This site sometimes can give a slightly skewed sense of what is "average" because it's a runners site (45mins is my 10k average, and I'm repeatedly left feeling that's terrible). But in the expanded world the ability to get outside and run 3 miles regularly is an achievement.

    Generally the more you run and the further in distance you are able to put in, the manageable pace tends to increase naturally. Pushing yourself does achieve quicker results and up your natural level, but it's hard work. If it's putting you off don't time and challenge yourself in terms of the distance you can manage. That's what I did when I started. Ensure you enjoy it.
  • You've come through hip pain and operations and you get out there and run 5km. You've already done amazingly well! So don't worry about your times, don't push yourself to beat them too hard. Just keep it up and the longer you do the fitter you'll get and the times will take care of themselves!

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    the slowest people are the ones who don't run or enter races

    You're well ahead of them.

  • Thanks to you all for such positive remarks. im just going to keep on keeping on and enjoy myself. You never know, perhaps I'll update this one day with a sub 40 time - and be really proud of it. For now, I'll just get out there. Thanks for calling me a runner, given me a real boostimageimage

  • Laine, first of all as all above have said it doesn't matter how slow or fast you are ... you are a runner end of.

    However that notwithstanding we ALL know the allure of going just that bit faster, the key is to doing it right without either a) injury from pushing too much, or b) demotivation from not being able to suddenly run like Mo. (hand in air for succumbing to both those!)

    You say when you try to speed up you try and do it for the next km and then can't sustain it because things feel tiredhurt etc ...  how about instead of trying to do the next km at a faster pace, try doing some fartleking. which I find always helps to get my legs used to going faster before I start any interval sessions in my training (please note whilst that last sentence may sound dead professional etc, if you ever see me you will realise its not exactly Olympic standard but it works the same for 12 minute miles as it does for 12 minute milers !!)

    So next time when you are out, why not try some shorter bursts of faster stuff, say from one lamppost to the next, then slow again, just to get your legs used to turning over at a higher rate, start off just doing a few short bursts interspersed with your normal speed for recovery, so when running speed up from one lamppost until you reach the next then drop your speed back to recover , then when recovered pick another couple of landmarks to speed up between and then repeat.

    Then as you get used to doing this you can make the faster segments longer (two lampposts etc) or the recovery periods shorter.


  • I can understand where you are coming from, but if it helps, research suggests that most of the population of the UK (or most Western countries) cannot actually run 5km and given the people I know/have worked with, most probably can't run for more than 10 minutes.

    The fact you are running at all puts you in the top half, I would say - use that as a basis for improvement.  I love running, but am rubbish at it!  I don't care - I have fun!

  • Your already a winner...just by geting oyour but butt well done!

    everyone has to start somewhere,progress is slow but nice getting a bit faster now and will come.

    soon your be breaking PB s all over the place.


    dont give up!


  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    you are already doing well and when I first started running that was about the pace I was running at. Just carry on, maybe try to go a little bit further once a week and you will find yourself becoming fitter. I found that as I increased the distances I ran I naturally just got quicker

    why not try going along to a parkrun one saturday - they are all over the country and start at 9 on a Saturday morning and are free. Someone above posted a link - just follow it and find one near you. You will probably find that because you are running with others you will run a bit quicker. 

  • Yep I've reg'd with Parkrun and was all raring to go yesterday - until a Migraine stopped me in my tracks (I can run with chronic aches in my glutes and piriformis but a migraine floors me enough to send me to bed!) Can't do one this week due to work but I'm determined to go week after which will be the week before my first official event!  Super excited about that, and thanks for all the positive feedback. Funny, I always said I'd never care about times!  I think it's just when you hear what other people achieve then a natural competitiveness comes out - keeping up with the Jones's and all that!

  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    Laine - don't worry about comparing your times to other people's, it is better to compare your times to your own times, so if you go to parkrun regularly, compare your times to previous times and you will hopefully see yourself making progress.

  • Hi laine. No you are not the slowest ever. You are a whole lot faster than the hundreds your age who sit on the sofa doing sod all. Well done and yes you will get faster. A mistake many new runner's make is to go off too fast and get injured or give up. You've persevered at your pace so congratulations and welcome to wonderful friendly sport.image

  • Amen to that Soup D! Everyone's been great with their adviceimage

  • Tommy2DTommy2D ✭✭✭

    Laine, I can't really add much more to what others have said but just as an example have a look at the parkrun times from an event fairly local to me...

    As you'll see there are half a dozen or so people who are taking over an hour to complete 5K and plenty of people in the 45 minute region which is approximately where you are.

    You'll get faster naturally as you do more running.

  • First off well done on being able to run 5k.

    Speed will come over time. My first ever 5k distance took me just over 36 minutes. A few months of getting myself fitter and stronger (purely by running) gave me a 29:08 first actual 5k race time, over 7 minutes quicker. (My training times have been a bit quicker than that too). I genuinely never thought I was going to crack 30 minutes at one point, it seemed such a huge jump to me when I was stuck around 33 or 34 mins, but gradually I got there. I am sure if you just keep on you will get faster as you build up your stamina and experience.

  • Laine, others are right you will get faster. Everyone has a base level of fitness which differs, so some are annoyingly already fast!

    Keep on with it and if you want a tip to get quicker, just start doing some hills for one of your runs per week. You will slow down going up them, but they make you faster on the flat image

  • DMaxDMax ✭✭✭

    Hi Laine, hang in there. You are out there doing it and enjoying it and thats all that matters. Stick at it and try to stay injury free. You don't actually realise it but its all falling into place for you as you run. One day you will look back and put your times down to being a beginner ... we have all been there. Set yourself an anachievable goal, you will be doing 40 minutes before you know it, then 35, then 30.

  • A friend of mine with 5+ mara's under his belt has suggested one long run per week and the rest a combination of hills and speed work. 

    Thing is, Sunday I managed 6k with two long hills, one of which I did twice back to back, and finished with a short jog through the copse (so a kind of trail run if you like), and I actually believed I could start thinking of training for 10k. I really enjoyed it and although I was knackered I had enough in the tank to keep going. However, tonight I went out, jogged slow for first 1-2k then put a bit of power in.  to give you an idea, normally I do (according to Endomondo) 1k in nearly or just over 10mins, tonight I was averaging 7.5 mins. It was flat apart from one hill towards the end but I was huffing all the way, and I mean huffing!  I wouldn't have been able to hold a convo and I felt like there just wasn't enough air. I managed 4k so I felt that was acceptable (and more than enough!).   should I persevere doing this, my friend says it's to build stamina, so I can run longer distances without feeling like I'm spent? Or carry on doing longer runs with hills? I'm asking because, doing 6km although took just under one hour, seemed less effort and more enjoyable and greater sense of achievement, whereas doing faster speed, less distance made me uncomfortable from the beginning, and disappointed at the end!  I still feel good overall though image, and better than all those I passed who were sitting in their cars!  Your thoughts?  Thank you

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    It's really good to mix up your training.

    For most people that would be one long slow run each week, one speed session and one or two easy short run(s). 

    Unless you live in the fens you'll have hills on all your runs. My club is based in quite a hilly town so all our club runs apart from a few will have hills. You can do specific hill work but at your level of running I really wouldn't bother, just don't look for routes that avoid them.

    You are right to keep your faster paced runs short and sounds like you set the pace about right. I love running fast and short fast runs are really great for improving your pace. If you slow the pace down a bit so it doesn't feel quite so painful you might enjoy it a bit more.

    Don't try to fly before you can walk, just try to enjoy your running, don't get het up in speed and pace. I have a GPS watch so that i can see where I've been, not so I can see how fast it took me to get there. I like to stop and enjoy the views on my runs.

    You're doing well.

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    definitely keep the mix.

    The "hard" sessions do an enormous amount of good... but they are hard and uncomfortable.

    Might not be as "pleasant" as doing steady longer run but for me, they bring a much bigger sense of achievement (once you're back on your couch!).  They also have the advantage of taking much less time.

    So... keep up with these harder sessions (perhaps every third run).  Maybe you're ready to do a 2-3km jog before - and a 1km jog after a hard session like the one you did.

  • Thank you. I will keep on with the harder sessions then, just wanted to make sure it was right to do - cos it didn't feel like itimage

  • john2443john2443 ✭✭✭

    Reading your profile from hardly being able to walk 100 yards to now running 5k is a pretty big achievement, well done. There are plenty of people who can't run 100m never mind 5k, don't worry about people who can run it in 15 mins, we can't all be young and athletic!

    You'll see with your parkrun registration you don't get a runner ID, it's an athlete ID, so that's further promotion!

    Lots of parkruns have people who take 45 mins, but if your local one is faster than that as ours is then it's worth telling the run director so that they know to wait for you - we don't mind waiting but sometimes it's difficult to spot parkrunners amongst other people running in the park and it's easier if we know who to look out for.

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Are you the slowest... who cares just keep on going image

    I started running 14ish months ago.  I remember still getting below 40 minutes for the first time for 5k it was an awesome feeling.

    If you can keep increasing the distance of your long slow run weekly just by a little it starts to make the 5k feel a lot easier. 

    I'm now down to 26:34 for a park run.... Just keep going and you will speed up.  Upping the distance just makes the 5k that much easier, once you know you can do the distance easily you are more willing to put the extra effort in which is needed to keep bringing the time slowly down.

  • I only have a little bit of extra advice that hasn't been put on here already and it is very very important! Are you ready?!

    Don't forget to smile! image Its the biggest weapon you have against giving in to ANY challenge! 

    Over the last 3 years I have gone from struggling to finish a 5k to finishing my first 50 mile Ultra marathon last month!

    The only real change is your mind set, well that and a "few" more miles! image

    Your brain is the hardest muscle to train, get your mind on board and you will be unstoppable. You can go faster and further than you think!

    Remember after all its just one foot in front of the other, its your choice how many times you do it!

    oh and Don't forget to smile! image image

  • Hah ha. I love that advice B2B! image I'm smiling already!

  • Laine, your "more about me" page says it all - you've done immensely well, keep it up and enjoy it!

  • my work here is done! image

  • Laine you are doing fine. The important things are that you are obviously enjoying yourself, you are getting better the whole time and remember you are already miles ahead of many others. Keep at it and your times will naturally improve.

    You need to learn and train to run 5k and that you have done so shows determination and dedication.


    Well done!


  • Ha! I went for my usual run at my usual time at my usual pace - and came in at an average of 8 mins/km - without trying!! I managed the whole 5k in 41 mins, the quickest I've ever beenimage

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