Running a 5k is something that almost every beginner is determined to do. It is probably the most popular distance among new runners.
Many of you who are new to running are wondering what is a good 5k time. The answer is not so simple – it depends. For example, 25:00 might be a great 5k time for somebody new but 30:00 might be excellent as well, especially if you are not starting as a slim runner. Being overweight is a barrier for a fast 5k time, and age could be a factor as well. Your experience will play a role too when you start running more often.
Once you find out what 5k time you want to chase, you have to work on that particular pace to get familiar with it. For example, if you are aiming to hit 22:30 for the 5k, this means you have to run each kilometer for 4:30. In this case, your pace is 4:30 and your goal finish time is 22:30. But this sounds like too much math, especially when you see something like 13:30 passing the 3k mark on the road and you are wondering if this is good or bad. For this reason, we created a running pace chart where you can find your desired finish time and each split you have to hit.
The table provides common times for beginners down to some fast times that professional runners do. Thus, it can be helpful to runners of each level and experience.
You can download the 5k pace chart from HERE.
How to use the 5k pace chart?
Let’s use again the example above. Your goal time is 22:30, which means your average pace (or just pace) will be 4:30 per kilometer. This means that you will pass your first kilometer in 4:30, you have to reach the second kilometer in 9:00 minutes, your third in 13:30, your fourth in 18:00 and you should close your total 5k in 22:30. You will see each split in the table. On the left side, you will find your pace and on the right side, you can see your running time. The middle part is to help you with calculation.
For what else can this be helpful?
Most GPS watches already give you splits for each kilometer, as well as split time. But if you want to do, let’s say, 3x2km or 2x4km, you can see easily what total time you need to hit without the need of calculating it. For example, if your goal time is 30:00 for the 5k, you will see that this is 6:00 pace per km. If you do 3x2km, this means that you are targeting 3x 12:00 and if you do 2x4km, this means 2x 24min in your case.
What else should I consider as a runner?
Although the 5k pace chart is showing you exactly how fast you should pass each kilometer and split, often we are off by seconds or even minutes. Thus, do not expect you will run so evenly but rather use this table as an example of where you are at the moment. You may have some seconds in advantage, or you may have to speed up a bit. But what is important is that you will have an idea of where you are at while you run.
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