What is a good average 5k Time?

I’ve been researching this a bit.

Really my goal was to finish in the top 50% of races I run in.


The eternal sky

I saw some lists on the internet, but I think they were meant to describe:

  • elite runners
  • cross-country
  • college
  • high school
  • Olympians
  • otherwise competitive runners.

What I’m talking about is the average 5k event, in other words, none of the above.

I just mean your local or regional 5k where a full cross-section of people sign up to run.

I concede the point that I am not a good runner.

Do I call myself a jogger?

No, I train too hard for that.

I’m just not a good runner.

I’m not sure that I ever was.



OK Runners

36:00 is an OK time with some training, but it’s barely above jogger. It will likely be bottom 25% at best

33:00 is usually a runner who trains hard and runs throughout the year, but just isn’t a fast runner even if they are otherwise fit and relatively low body-fat.

30:00 is usually no better than the bottom 33% of the field, but to me it’s a fairly hard-paced run.

Good Runners

27:00 seems to be the dividing line in the average race for a male or female to finish in the top half of the field. This should get you in the top three in many age and gender categories, so it’s really not too shabby.

I’m not even close to that, I have work to do.

25:00 almost always puts you into the top quarter.

Yes, 25:00 seems to be just under an 8 minute mile. That’s pretty darn good.

Sure, there are fluky races where the local high school cross-country team signs up and 25:00 barely hits the top 50% but I’ve only seen that happen a couple of times.



Strong Runners

24:00 that’s a very solid, relatively fast run. Not an elite runner, but a pretty damned fit individual. This should guarantee a top three in most races in your category. Maybe not in the high-school/college age of brackets though.

21:00 should win you your category every time in most races, even in the fastest age groups.

Fast Runners

20:00 this is the dividing line between competitive runners and the hard-working average Sheila or Joe.

Sub 20:00? I don’t know anything about that, I’ll leave that to the competitive runners to figure out. But you should be at the top of your field or damn close in every race.



Elite Runners

17:00 You have a good chance of winning at least one out of every three races you are in from what I’ve seen.

15:00 Almost a guaranteed win in every local 5k, even more major ones. The most competitive races, you may need to be a bit faster. Remember, we are not talking about track meets, just the typical sign up and run races.

Peace be the Botendaddy


About Botendaddy

Three times voted extreme sexiest man alive...by acclamation. I run because I must...I must!
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