Although it can be quite challenging, a 5K race is usually the first race that every beginner will run. It is popular with runners of all ages, regardless of their ability level.
The race is short enough that you can walk it in less than an hour. That is the reason why it is ideal for beginners. When it becomes too hard for you, you can add walking segments and that way safely finish the race.
In this article, you will find what is the average 5K time and will be able to compare your result with the average results according to age, sex, and ability level.
Average 5K time
The average 5K time is between 28 and 38 minutes, which means that the average running pace is between 9:01 and 12:14 minutes per mile. Multiple factors, like age, sex, ability level, experience, weather, and terrain, will affect your 5K time.
Average 5K time by age and gender
The table below shows the average 5K times according to age and gender.
Average 5K winning time
The average 5K winning time for women is 19:12 minutes, which means that the average pace is 6:11 minutes per mile.
The average 5K winning time for men is 16:52 minutes, which means that the average pace is 5:26 minutes per mile.
A runner capable of finishing a 5K race within the time displayed in the tables will most probably win in his age group.
The table below shows the average 5K winning time with the average pace for women according to age groups.
|Age group||Average 5K winning time for women||Pace (min/mi)||Pace (min/km)|
The table below shows the average 5K winning time with the average pace for men according to age groups.
|Age group||Average 5K winning time for men||Pace (min/mi)||Pace (min/km)|
Average 5K time for women
The average 5K time for women is 36:24 minutes, which means that the average pace is 11:43 minutes per mile. To be among the fastest 10% of women, you must run below 25:16 minutes (the average pace of 8:08 min/mi), and to be among the fastest 1% of women, you must run below 19:29 minutes (the average pace of 6:16 min/mi).
|Percentile||Time||Pace (min/mi)||Pace (min/km)|
The table below shows the average 5K times with the average pace for women according to age groups.
|Age group||Average 5K time for women||Pace (min/mi)||Pace (min/km)|
Average 5K time for men
The average 5K time for men is 31:18 minutes, which means that the average pace is 10:04 minutes per mile. To be among the fastest 10% of men, you must run below 22:06 minutes (the average pace of 7:07 min/mi), and to be among the fastest 1% of men, you must run below 17:49 minutes (the average pace of 5:44 min/mi).
|Percentile||Time||Pace (min/mi)||Pace (min/km)|
The table below shows the average 5K times with the average pace for men according to age groups.
|Age group||Average 5K time for men||Pace (min/mi)||Pace (min/km)|
Average 5K time for beginners
The average 5K time for beginners is around 35 minutes, which means that the average pace is 11:16 minutes per mile.
TipBeginners might not be able to run all 5 kilometers in continuity, without a break. In that case, walking segments should be combined with running to successfully finish the race.
In time, as your body adapts to stress and increases your ability level, you will be able to run longer in continuity, without a break.
Read more: Is It Bad To Take Walk Breaks During A Run?
If you have decided to walk all 5 kilometers at a faster pace, it will take you around 50 to 60 minutes, which means that the average pace is between 16:06 and 19:19 minutes per mile.
Average 5K time for intermediate runners
The average 5K time for intermediate male runners is around 20 minutes (the average pace of 6:26 min/mi), and around 22 minutes for intermediate female runners (the pace of 7:05 min/mi).
TipIn order to improve your running time, hard work and continuous training are necessary. It is important to run according to a training plan that includes a combination of different types of workouts and sets different requirements for your body.
What is a good 5K time?
In general, most runners consider a finishing time that’s under 25 minutes to be a good 5K time. A good 5K time depends on many factors such as age, gender, fitness level, experience, weather, and running terrain.
A good 5K running time varies from person to person. Someone will find 25 minutes a good 5K time, while some other runner might be dissatisfied with that result.
Many factors affect the race results, including:
- Age – Most professional 5K runners run their personal records between the ages of 20 and 30.
- Gender – On average, men run faster than women due to genetic predispositions.
- Ability level – Form and health also affect your running time.
- Experience – With years of training, you gain experience that also affects your running time.
- Weather – 5K is a relatively short race. So, to have suitable conditions, it is important that there’s no precipitation and that it’s not too cold or too hot.
- Terrain – Flat terrain is ideal for a good 5K result since it allows you to maintain a steady pace and not lose additional energy running uphill and downhill.
A good 5K time is a result you are satisfied with.
TipDo not compare yourself to others, everyone is different. Track your own results and overcome your boundaries. Enjoy running and progress gradually in order to train without injuries, because that is most important.
How to predict your 5K finish time?
If you want to know what time you can expect during a 5K run, use my race time predictor. This predictor can predict the result of a targeted race and calculate its average pace based on previous run or race results.
Race time predictor assumes that the runner has done the appropriate training for the distance they want to run.
TipA perfect race has minimal pace changes, which is why this race predictor also calculates the average pace. This way you will avoid running too quickly in the earlier stages of a race and exhausting yourself early.
Keep in mind that the predicted result is just an estimate since factors like weather and running terrain can affect the end result of a race. It might happen that the race takes part on terrain with plenty of slopes, or that there are strong wind and rainfall that will negatively affect your results, and which the predictor simply won’t be able to anticipate.
How to improve your 5K time?
One of the ways in which you can improve your 5K time is to follow your individualized training plan. Training according to a training plan and keeping a training log can allow you to track your progress and better understand what suits you best.
Besides running, include strength training. By strengthening your whole body, you will reduce the risk of injury, improve strength and stability, correct your muscle imbalance, and with that also become faster.
Besides that, check your running technique. Add running drills into your training routine to improve your running technique and develop proper ground contact.
It is important to focus on proper form during running drills. If you are unable to maintain proper form, it is better to do fewer repetitions or stop altogether. By doing the drills incorrectly, you ruin the proper running technique and increase the risk of injury.
TipIt is advisable to do running drills in the presence of a coach. If that is not an option, ask another runner to observe you or record yourself to see if you are doing the drills correctly.
With running drills, you improve the communication between your brain and your legs. Because of that, despite the exhaustion, you will still be able to maintain a proper running technique. With a proper running technique, you will improve your running economy, which means that you will maintain the same pace while losing less energy.
Don’t forget to rest! It is just as important as training. Your body needs time to adapt to stress and recover for the next training.
TipListen to your body and recognize the signs of overtraining.
Hi, I’m Matea! I’m an Olympic Marathon Runner, founder, and writer behind OLYRUN.com. On this site, I provide help in the form of my knowledge and experience to all who love running and active living. Read more…