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

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11/09/2005 at 01:33
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.
11/09/2005 at 06:13
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:-))
11/09/2005 at 08:50
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.
11/09/2005 at 09:20
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.

11/09/2005 at 09:40
Jane M-

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

11/09/2005 at 10:23
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!
11/09/2005 at 10:29
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
11/09/2005 at 10:59
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.
11/09/2005 at 11:24
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.
11/09/2005 at 11:35
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.

11/09/2005 at 12:06
Thanks Jane

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

11/09/2005 at 13:34
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.
11/09/2005 at 14:05
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.


11/09/2005 at 16:37
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.
11/09/2005 at 18:14
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!
11/09/2005 at 19:53
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.
02/10/2012 at 21:46

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. 

02/10/2012 at 23:10

Well done janet that is a great time, i know some younger people who couldnt run that,. i take my hat off to you, Like you i have only been running just over two years and im 48, i have now completed 3 marathons and 3 half marathons, im off to valencia in november to do a full marathon, keep up the good work and you will feel so much better for it, once again Well done.

03/10/2012 at 08:40

I know what a good time is for a certain distance for me, just by feel. If it's quicker that I last ran it and I know I gave it everything to get that time and I prepared as well as my I feasibly could, then that's a good time.

I'm still trying to crack a 2h half. That's not a quick time by general standards but, having run three of them in just over 2hrs, I will be over the moon if I manage it, and will consider it a bloody brilliant time. That's not to say I think it would be a particularly difficult thing for many people to do and it's definitely doable for me if I put in the training, just that my goals are to keep improving and get fitter, so any time that reflects that is a good one.

03/10/2012 at 08:50

Surely one good tool for deciding what a good time is, is the Age Grading system..  There are several tools out there, but why not look at the Runner's World one.. here


This allows you to input your gender and race distance/times, and it gives that performance a percentage rating...  100%= World Class...  70% Regional Class  60% = Local Class....  with other scores inbetween.

For example, Janet, post #61...  with a 10K time of 00:58:04  for a 56yr old women. That scores 64.6%, which is excellent for someone who's only been running for a short time, and achieved all that weight loss. I think the time would already mark you her out as a pretty decent club runner. 

So to answer the question from the OP - I say that you can input your achieved times for 3K, 5K and 10K - and maybe also some 'target' times, and play around with it, to get a sense of average/good times.

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