Whether you plan to run a 5k running race or for any other reasons, knowing how fast people run can be useful. So what is a good 5k time?
Your 5k time will vary because of details like age, running surface, where you run, physical fitness, weather, and much more. That being said there are some general estimations.
One data source on over 10.000 results of 5k races has an average of 11:47 per mile (7:19 per kilometer). This translates into a 36:37 finishing time. If you are more of an exercise beginner this can be a good 5k time for you.
In general, more experienced runners can consider 25-35 minutes a good 5k time. 10 minutes is a big difference but what a good 5k time is also varies a lot from individual to individual. Most big 5k running races will have the 5k results from their previous years on their website per age and gender.
At the time of writing the world record time for running 5000 meters is 12:35.36 by Joshua Cheptegei set in 2020 (1).
That being said, it is generally better to compare your 5k time to your previous 5k times than comparing to other people’s results today. It can be motivating and fun to note down your personal records and see them get faster over time instead of comparing yourself to someone 20 years younger with amazing genetics.
This article will go over how long a 5k is in miles, the biggest factors in running speed, more specific 5k time estimations for different ages and genders, other interesting 5k times, and how long it takes to run a 5k at different speeds.
Why a 5k?
A 5k is a popular type of running competition. Its name stands for 5 kilometers, the distance you run. A 5k is about 3.1 miles or about the same as 25 laps around a football field, assuming you consider the end zones and sidelines part of the football field.
One of the reasons 5k races are so popular is that they generally do make you push your limits and require some extra training. At the same time, they are not as out of reach as a 10k. This combination makes a 5k perfect for something like a couch to 5k.
Biggest factors in running speed
A fact that may feel annoying is that how fast you will run a 5k is hard to predict correctly. This fact can make things like predicting how your 5k time compares to other people feel like a guessing game.
Even so, good estimations can be a helpful starting point. By taking a few important factors into account you can make your estimations more accurate. Some of the biggest factors that influence how fast you will run include:
- Physical fitness: The first factor that influences how fast you run a 5k is your current physical fitness level. If you are used to running at high speeds you will likely also run a 5k than someone who has not worked out for the last few months. This is due to factors like cardiovascular endurance.
- Running surface: Your running surface can influence your 5k time in a few different ways. First of all the slope of your running surface will matter a lot. Generally the steeper the slower you will run. There will also be a difference between running on a flat concrete surface vs running on a forest trail.
- Age: The next factor may be a consequence of other factors but generally from a certain point on the older you get the slower you run.
- Weather: There will be a difference in the time it takes to run a mile in a clear sky without wind compared to running in the rain with a headwind all the way.
Estimations for 5k times by age and gender
There is a source that looks at 10.000’s of race results from people running in 5k races (2). You can find the average time per mile for the 5k per gender and per age below. The resource also shows an informative graph.
These are people that do have the physical fitness to compete in a 5k running race so you may not consider these average running speeds. That being said, this table will give you a better idea of what a good 5k time is.
The below table will show you the average time per mile of these 5k runners per age and gender and how fast this is in miles and kilometers per hour. Keep in mind that these are rounded numbers.
|Age||Men||Running Speed |
|Women||Running Speed |
|0 – 15||11:12:20||5.3 mph (8.6 kmh)||12:14:57||4.8 mph (7.8 kmh)|
|16 – 19||09:34:42||6.2 mph (10 kmh)||12:09:50||4.9 mph (7.9 kmh)|
|20 – 24||09:30:36||6.3 mph (10.1 kmh)||11:44:47||5.1 mph (8.2 kmh)|
|25 – 29||10:03:22||5.9 mph (9.6 kmh)||11:42:37||5.1 mph (8.2 kmh)|
|30 – 34||10:09:33||5.9 mph (9.4 kmh)||12:29:29||4.8 mph (7.7 kmh)|
|35 – 39||10:53:45||5.5 mph (8.8 kmh)||12:03:33||4.9 mph (8 kmh)|
|40 – 44||10:28:26||5.7 mph (9.2 kmh)||12:24:47||4.8 mph (7.7 kmh)|
|45 – 49||10:43:19||5.5 mph (9 kmh)||12:41:48||4.7 mph (7.6 kmh)|
|50 – 54||11:08:16||5.3 mph (8.6 kmh)||13:20:52||4.4 mph (7.2 kmh)|
|55 – 59||12:07:58||4.9 mph (7.9 kmh)||14:37:34||4.1 mph (6.5 kmh)|
|60 – 64||13:05:47||4.5 mph (7.3 kmh)||14:47:48||4 mph (6.5 kmh)|
|65 – 99||13:52:03||4.3 mph (6.9 kmh)||16:12:01||3.7 mph (5.9 kmh)|
Other interesting 5k times
Besides the average 5k times of regular people, you may also be interested in the top speeds of some of the fastest humans alive. Here are some other interesting 5k times (1, 3):
- 5000 meters world record women by Letesenbet Gidey: 14:06.62
- 5000 meters world record men by Joshua Cheptegei: 12:35.36
- 5k world record women by Sifan Hassan: 14:44
- 5k world record men by Joshua Cheptegei: 12:51
- 2020 Olympics qualifying standard 5000 meters for females: 15:20.00
- 2020 Olympics qualifying standard 5000 meters for males: 13:25.00
As expected these are very impressive 5k times.
How long it takes to run a 5k by speed
Besides wanting to know what a good 5k time is, you may be interested in how long it takes when you speed up or down. The times in the table are minutes : seconds and rounded numbers.
|Running Speed||Time Per Mile||Time Per Kilometer||5k Finishing Time|
|4 mph (6.4 kmh)||15:00 minutes||9:19 minutes||46:36 minutes|
|5 mph (8.1 kmh)||12:00 minutes||7:27 minutes||37:17 minutes|
|6 mph (9.1 kmh)||10:00 minutes||6:12 minutes||31:04 minutes|
|7 mph (11.3 kmh)||8:34 minutes||5:19 minutes||26:37 minutes|
|8 mph (12.9 kmh)||7:30 minutes||4:39 minutes||23:52 minutes|
|9 mph (14.5 kmh)||6:39 minutes||4:07 minutes||20:39 minutes|
|10 mph (16.1 kmh)||6:00 minutes||3:43 minutes||18:38 minutes|