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



  • Good point Biff. It does depend on the race. By your definition, we have no `good' 5k or 10k runners (or maybe just Jon Brown) which is probably correct in world terms.

    For a local club HM 1hr 45 is probably mid-pack. For the GNR you're looking at 2hrs plus.

    I think a lot of people (myself included) define good as a little bit slower than they are with very good being their current limit and average being where they were last year.

    As you say, there's no real answer to that question.

    What's a good cricket score? Depends on the circumstances.

    If it's your first 10k then any time is a good time as you will have pushed yourself as hard as you can over a new distance. My first 10k was 53 mins and I was over the moon to have finished it in less than an hour, which was my target.

    Just enjoy it, get a time and then start thinking about what would be a `good' improvement.
  • An intuitive measure, based upon assessment of training quality, how you "feel" on the day, degree of effort you put in etc? And also progressive, based on racing history?

    Any time is a good time if I beat people from my old club. Haha!

    If I've done a race where I couldn't have put one more ounce of effort in then I'm happy. Although possibly that mindset is bad because you fight your way home, muscles tie up, and you get slower.
  • JJ - I don't know of a senior male club runner who puts in his regular 70mpw who can't do those times I posted.
  • I think the difference is between the old idea of a "club runner" who is now viewed as a quite talented club runner whilst in the old days it was the norm. and the new club runners who are the (sorry for using the terms but it works well and you guys know what I mean) fun runners, joggers and i suppose the best term is recreational runners who are now joining up and creating clubs that are less "serious athletes" and more people doing it for enjoyment. Hence the reversal in times for a "club runner", despite both sorts still existing with the "old sort" either being normal in an old club or one of the top guys in a newer club
  • Exceptionally fast and talented is "good" in a sense.

    "Good" is now a devalued word due to the trendy insistence on intensifiers to modify an adjective. I blame football commentators and mangers of the David Brent ilk myself.

    I'm reclaiming the language.

    Pele was a good footballer. :-)
  • Yes Bryn, standards used to be higher (as I hear every week:-))

    Our `fast group' down at the club consists of me, two V45s (one of whom is over a minte quicker than me over 10k) and a 53 year old who I am seriously worried about next time I race him as there won't be more than 10 seconds between us.
  • What a great post, Biff...:-)
  • ask 100 people the same question and you will get 100 different answers
  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    This thread highlights one of the main problems that I face as a runner, namely how do I measure my performance.

    The responses quite clearly suggest that the norm for a "good" performance is determined by age and sex. Moreover a vets performance can vary somewhat between ages 40 (or even 35, if you're American) and 70+. As a MV55 I set myself the target of achieving what I thought was reasonable club standard of 60 mins for 10M. Having achieved this, its seems rather feeble as compared to what lots of runners of all ages achieve. What it boils down to of course, is that a focused competitive runner is never going to be satisfied with what he achieved, irrespective of his age or standard.

    Ironically, many years ago I did reach a standard which I was satisfied with. So on that basis I thought I would never improve on this so I gave up running - big mistake, now many years on I'm niggled with the feeling that I didn't quite give it my best shot. Second time round, being much older, just isn't the same as I'm no longer dealing in absolutes, and it seems such a let down constantly having to make allowances for my age!
  • I could feking SLAP you

    dont look back
    how will that help now????????
    the worst word in the english languauge is -IF
  • I did a half marathon (well, nearly 14 miles) today, took me a smidgeon over 3 hours, went, stopped, yakked with partners, stopped for a pee, looked at the fish in the canal etc. Finished with a mile or so at 7.5 m/m.

    Very sore but a lovely way to spend a few hours with friends.

    Think may have aggravated a few injuries and struggled a lot.

    A fortnight ago, did 10 miles at a much faster pace, no hurts aches or pains and felt a whole lot better.

    The point is, some days you will have good'uns and some days you will have bad'uns.

    The bad days are hard but when that one good day comes along, it is worth it.

  • You're right Tom... if you're competitive there's always someone faster, someone you could have beaten if only you'd run a little better/trained a little harder etc.

    It's all down the individual.
    Last year I ran my first competitive race for about 13 years. I finished 405th out of 808 in a 10K in around 48 minutes. In a way I was pleased, as this was the first time in a very long time that I'd stayed injury free long enough to think I could enter a race. I was quite upset at missing the top half by one place, and I was simultaneously happy and disappointed with the time - happy that I'd beaten 50 minutes which was my target, disappointed that I was so slow compared to my potential.

    I'm sure there were people a long way ahead of me who'd performed far worse than I did on the day, and people behind me who'd performed much better than me.

    Except at the elite level, running is a personal thing, and what constitutes a good performance has to be related to your circumstances.

    Many years ago, when I was a more talented runner than I realised at the time, I ran some good times by the definitions given earler. In reality, they were not that good as I had the potential to run much faster but didn't train properly - I had many much betterthings to do back then! Given my curent situation, if I could get down to something like a 44 minute 10K that would be a much greater achievement than 35 minutes was when I was 21.
  • I'm going to add something too and I hope I don't get slapped!
    A agree with Bryn and Tom - probably one of the youngest and oldest posting here.
    Running is a funny old sport. We all do our best but I remember years ago, one runner new to the sport asking me why I wasn't doing a particular race and I answered that I only raced if I meant it. She answered that it was a shame that I was so competitive. A few seasons rolled on and the new runners got fit and so their competitiveness developed. It's one of those catch 22 things - you can't be competitive if you are not fit.
    I've been running for years and will never achieve the times now that I did before but have discovered we can all get a season's best:-))
  • The following are 4th standard times for my age group and sex and I am struggling to get even them.

    Do they sound reasonable to you

    3k 16.50
    10k 53.30
    Half M. 2.04
    Marathon 4.24.

    I am FSV 50.

    the only one I have achieved is the 3k time, got close to half last weekend at 2.05.11.

    No 5k races in this area apart from RFL and an new off-road one this year.
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Good post NZC!

    I have no idea what a good/average time is for my age although like Jane I expect them to be quite a bit faster than what I can manage at the moment. I know what times I would like to achieve but they're based on what I feel I can achieve rather than because they're GFA. The only distace that I have ever gone for an age related time is FLM as a way of getting a place.

  • Jane M-

    Just wondered where you got the info from-and if you could let me know what the FV40 equivalents are.

  • Tom said:

    "What it boils down to of course, is that a focused competitive runner is never going to be satisfied with what he achieved, irrespective of his age or standard."

    It may just be the way you've phrased it, but surely that's the wrong attitude?

    Can you ever be happy with your running with such an attitude?

    I bet Haile didn't go home and kick the cat when he trailed a long way home in the Olympic 10K.

    Be the master of your running, don't let your running master you!
  • I think biff-you have epressed what i was trying to get at last night
    nowt wrong with being competitive-nowt at all
    it shouldnt make one permanently dissatisfied

    there are many potential constraints-and life isnt always perfect-and one has to sometimes accept that

    I know i should take my ow advice
  • When someone asks "what's a good time?" it's important to be clear whether they mean
    "what would be a good target FOR ME" or
    "what would I have to be doing to be a good runner"

    I'm heavily built, with short legs relative to my height, an injured disk in my back, asthma and diabetes, aged 48. I can't spend all that much time training. So I'm happy to run a 10k in 50 min, 10 miles in 105 min, and if I can complete a marathon at all that'll be a good result, for me.
    Those results also show that I'm not a good candidate for winning races, or breaking any records... other than my own. A "good result" for me, is not the same as me being a good runner.
  • Flying Fifer sorry I missed out saying they are my club standards and there are of course 3rd, 2nd and 1st standards based on age and sex. I will look up equilivant for you and get back and post them.
  • My club standards for FV40 are

    3k 1st 12.20
    2nd 13.00
    3rd 13.40
    4th 14.35

    10k 1st 40.00
    2nd 42.30
    3rd 45.30
    4th 48.30

    10miler 1st 1.06.30
    2nd 1.11
    3rd 1.17
    4th 1.22.30

    half marathon
    1st 1.29
    2nd 1.37
    3rd 1.44
    4th 1.54

    1st 3.10
    2nd 3.29
    3rd 3.47
    4th 4.02

    You need to get 3 times to get that standard.

  • Thanks Jane

    Like you, I'm hovering below the 4th standard---c'est la vie!

  • Would agree PH, and also to an extent MikeFrog.

    I think the instinct of many is to compare themselves with their running peers, or those just in front of them, and not be content with what they currently have.

    I believe it's totally possible to get quicker and quicker without exhorting yourself to do so, and without being unhappy with your efforts. I try to see myself in the context of continually climbing away from the "average" guy in teh street, rather than continuously focussing on the next person ahead. I feel that's more positive.
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    That's nice Jane I could equal your 1st:o)

    I've been looking at some of the races that give out Age Grading results. It's a good way of finding out how good you are in sceme of things. Obviously it doesn't take into account that you may be above average for weight etc or that you have asthma or other conditions, but it's there for those who want to know how good they are compared to the best in the world.


  • hilly I thought you might be at the 1st class standard. Do you have standards at your club? We also have a prize each year for the fastest combined time for the 3k, 10k and half marathon for both male and female.

    I am going to keep working away at getting the 4th class, its something to aim for and I have 5 years to do it before hitting the next age category.
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Hi Jane, no we don't have the same kind of standards in my club. The club prizes are based on collective points gained from a runners best 8 races from club champ races. We only award to overall winner, then first vet 40 both male and female, then vet over 50. We are only a small club, but are growing so maybe they will change the structure as it grows.

    Keep working I'm sure you'll get that 4th class with your dedication to training!
  • Johnny J I do train fairly consistently but have no real talent for running but enjoy it. I will keep getting advise on here and from club coach and see how I do. I think I would have made the half marathon 4th standard time last week if it hadn't been so hot on the day. Thanks.
  • I have just joined Runners World community, and as a relatively new runner was curious to know how I faired in terms of timings etc.  I have been running for just two years, I am female, age 56, and started off running on a treadmill in my garage gradually building it up to 5k runs on the road (and four stones lighter as a result).  Tonight I managed to run my first 10K after work in the rain in 58.04 mins, which I am very pleased with.  I too am happy just trying to be better than the 'average person in the street'.  I have a baseline now from which to keep trying to get a bit quicker and better.  The sense of well being and achievement I get from running and coming to the sport relatively late in life,  is everything to me;  I never thought I could feel so alive and vital and I am looking forward to many more years of running ahead.  I do, of course, worry about injury, like everybody else I guess, as I am also a keen fell walker and would not want to jeopardise enjoying this. 

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