What are 'good' PB's for club runners?

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20/11/2012 at 19:13

I was talking to an old friend at the weekend about his running. i know he's been keen on running for a good few years but when he told me his PB's i hadn't realised how quick he actually is / was. Certainly they are far away from anything i could get near to or even dream of in truth.  From memory they were something like:

5K - sun 16min

10K - sub 33min

10M - 52mins

1/2M - 69mins

He is 40 now and admits to "slowing down a bit" but it got me thinking what kind of percentage of local club runners would be at this level? Given i know very little about club running and am a novice to running, generally speaking would there be a good few at each club that could match them?


20/11/2012 at 20:24

I agree. Those times are about 'good local / regional' rather than club standard. 

20/11/2012 at 22:46

Interesting set of PBs; he appears to favour the longer stuff.  I suppose your definition of 'good' is always going to be open to interpretation, but you're only ever likely to get a handful of runners at most in any club running those sorts of times.

I've looked up my club's rankings for this year to see how many have reached those standards: 7 for 5k/5,000m - including me , 6 for 10k - not me, but a target for next year- only 2 for HM, and none for 10 miles.  And I'd say we're in the top dozen or so clubs in the country according to things like road relays and national athletics leagues.

Another way to look at it is to see where those times would get you in the national rankings for this year - according to runbritain:

5k road - 422nd
10k - 499th
10 mile - 52:00 = 37th / 52:59 = 64th, but there aren't as many of those around
HM - 69:00 = 100th / 69:59 = 157th

And being 40 is no excuse.  I didn't run 15:55 for 5,000m till I hit 40.    I'd bloody love to be able to run his HM time though.

20/11/2012 at 23:10
I agree with the above, no one at our club can run those times these days, we are a small but competitive club. I would use the national standards as a guide

5k - 16:45
5M - 28:00
10k - 36:00
10M - 58:00
HM - 1:20:00
20M - 2:05:00
Mar - 3:00:00

They made 10k, HM & mar a couple of years back, but these are the times that the top few at each club should be hitting
21/11/2012 at 03:22
There are a few guys at my club who run times like those or faster - one of them just ran a 2:14 marathon! - but it's a big club and at the fast end of things they're a seriously competitive bunch. More realistic times for the members who race 10Ks are 35-38 mins for the guys and around 42 mins for the women.

Of course there are loads of us rather slower than that too
21/11/2012 at 09:53

go on www.thepowerof10.info will bring up anyones time if they run for a club!

A lad at our club for eg





He will be probably the best on show at our club and hes 4 mins behind your mates half marathon pace. Im sure they will be plenty fast lads around! (not me tho )


21/11/2012 at 10:07

these are the fast end of club times, in my view.  there are plenty of people in my club running at a much slower pace - i would say low 40s is the average 10k time for example. COMPETING for the club is another thing. the important thing is not to be put off by people being faster than you, not least because your times will improve rapidly now that you've joined a club. and it will be fun too!!

21/11/2012 at 11:11

very true baldbloke!

There is no chance i will ever be competing with the fast lads at the club but each time i cross a finish line i will have competed against myself and hopefully beat my last time! 


21/11/2012 at 11:45

your friend is lying

21/11/2012 at 11:58

i too detect signs of slight "exaggeration"...if he runs 33mins for 10k, he's bloody quick and should look like a whippet

21/11/2012 at 12:13

hes running a better pace (min/mile) for half marathon than 10k but id didnt want to say anything I think the dude abides is less diplomatic than myself lol

21/11/2012 at 13:06
Tut tut. So quick to assume lies and fakery.

Perhaps his PBs are from different years, when he was focusing on different distances. Maybe he started off running shorter distances but as he improved he then moved on to the longer distances and didn't race at the shorter distances any more. I mean, when my 10K PB was something like 58 mins I ran a 1:50 half.

Or maybe his HM PB is from years ago when he was younger and faster and he only took up running the shorter distances as he got older and 'slower'.

Or maybe his friend who posted the query has just mis-remembered the times...

I want to know if I'm a mug for giving him the benefit of the doubt. Please jd11, go look him up on powerof10 and let us know!
21/11/2012 at 13:14

rwd - I'm with you on this one, I cant see any reason to suspect hes lying. The times are good but nothing unbelievable.

Certainly if he ran those sort of times in the 80s or 90s he wouldnt have been lonely and in many clubs he wouldnt even have been an automatic A team member.


21/11/2012 at 14:17

true rwd when u look at it that way I understand, Im new to the running scene so was just looking at the way i get times i know i get slower the further i run my bad 

cougie    pirate
21/11/2012 at 15:13
Prf - I don't follow your logic - times haven't massively improved since the 90s ?
I thought that times are generally a bit slower now compared to the 80s ?
21/11/2012 at 15:49

Cougie - The comments were around where those sorts of times would put you in a typical club. Since it is entirely possible that he is talking about PBs that go back some way it is worth noting that clubs in general in the 80s and early 90s had greater strength at the faster end than they do now.

My own club certainly wasnt one of the big clubs but it still had two sub 50:00 10 milers and probably 10 more between 50 and 55 minutes, so I didnt often get near the A team with 33:xx 10K and 55:xx 10 mile times.

To give an indication based on London Marathon finishers, this is how 1985 compared to 2012:

Sub 2:30:
2012 - 55 Finishers
1985 - 264 Finishers

Sub 2:45:
2012 - 364 Finishers
1985 - 1,110 Finishers

Sub 3:00:
2012 - 1232 Finishers
1985 - 2761 Finishers

And the field in 1985 was about 12,000 smaller than in 2012 so I'm sure you'll agree there were significantly more faster end runners around to be spread amongst the various clubs.

Edited: 21/11/2012 at 15:55
cougie    pirate
21/11/2012 at 16:00
Doh ! I read that as he would have been lonely !

Those stats are amazing. No end of tech is any substitute for miles eh ?
21/11/2012 at 17:02

Interesting stats parkrunfan.  Any real reason for this?  I'd never realised it before.

Is it because folk are much fatter and lazier in general these days I wonder?

21/11/2012 at 17:13

Yes and yes.

A club mate of mine said that back in the 70's the only real aim was running as many miles per week as possible. Some good race times were one result.

The other was body weight. No doubt about it. Just about every other shop now is a food outlet. And food you actually want to eat. 30 years ago it was just crap, so you didn't bother.

21/11/2012 at 19:06

The question is almost meaningless, not the least because the times are so out of kilter, a 52min 10 is way better than the 5/10k ones. But every club is different so what are we to compare it with? And what era? Even a 52min 10 was hardly exceptional in the early 80s when I started. And sub-33min 10k wouldn't even have got you in the 12-stage road relay team.

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