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The Average 5K Time by Level, Age and Gender

Five kilometers is the most common distance new runners are prone to try. It is very typical for a beginner to sign up for a 5k for its first race. Furthermore, the 5k is a distance that in many cities, you can run each weekend. We can say that is the most popular distance for beginners and luckily because of this we have a lot of data we can analyze and discuss.
When a beginner is about to get into running and racing more seriously, the first thing that comes to its mind often is “what is a good 5k time?”.  This is perfectly normal because it is in human nature to be competitive. We want to be good at what we do and then we want to get better and better. To start from somewhere, we will discuss what is a good 5k time based on your gender, age, and running experience.

As a side note, I want to say that you should not be discouraged if your 5k time is slower than the average. In fact, at the beginning of my running career,  I was much slower than the rest of the runners at my age. You can always improve and it is not important from where you will start but where you will finish. I’ve seen tons of people improving signicifantly once they put every piece of the puzzle at the right place to run better and we often write about these efforts that will help you become a stronger runner. Thus, I ask you to see these time as a motivation to train hard, rather than a discourage.

Average 5k time for women

The average time for women from age 10 to 90 is 26:21. This mean that running around 26 minutes it’s a good start. However, it is good to consider your running level too. If you are a beginner and you are between 20 and 40 years old, an average good time would be 35:53, for novice 30:53, for intermediate runner 26:31, and for advance runner 23:17. Elite runners and professionals run anything between 21:00 minutes down to almost 14:00 flat. Find out your current level and work to get to the next one. You can use our coach to help you achieve your goal time. Make it realistic and try to improve a little each race.

Average 5k time for men

Men are faster than women by nature. The average time for men across all ages is 22:40. If you are a beginner and your age is between 20 and 40 years old, a good average time is 31:59. However, if you are novice or intermediate you are looking for 26:42 and 22:58 respectively. Advance runners run on average 20:12 but elite and world class athletes often record times between 18:00 down to 12:35! If you are not where you would like to be, the good news is that you can always get better and faster with the right training plan. Our Vitesse coach is there to help you and once you give him your GOAL time or pace, he would make sure you get optimal fitness level to achieve this. Don’t forget that your goal time should be realsitic. If you are running 25:00 per 5k, putting a goal time of 20:00 is not realistic in short term. It is definitely achievable but in order to stay healthy and progress gradually, you have to take it easy and step by step.

Just a reminder that there are many factors which can contribute to your race time. Your weight, sleep, nutrition, how hot or cold it is on race day, how fast (meanning flar or hilly) is the course and many more can influence the result you will achieve. In order to get better, make sure you are doing all the little things that will make you a champion. Also, every next personal record is a moment that deserves celebration. Don’t take anything for granted and give yourself the credit you deserve!

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