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Decent 5k time

richardpkennedy1richardpkennedy1 Posts: 1,682Member Member Posts: 1,682Member Member
Hi runners. What's considered a decent 5k time in running circles? I'm a 32 year old guy who runs recreationally but I want to get into it competitively. My current best is 23:18 but I did run under 22 minutes when I was in my mid 20s and that's where I want to get to.


  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Posts: 29,238Member Member Posts: 29,238Member Member
    Look up race times for your age group?

    For me a good 5k is 30 minutes, for someone else it might be 40 minutes, or 20 minutes...
  • BruinsGal_91BruinsGal_91 Posts: 1,212Member Member Posts: 1,212Member Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    " What's considered a decent 5k time in running circles? " Slightly better than the last time you ran that course. Unless you're running competitively, to win, in which case you should know the times needed, we all run against ourselves. Getting better is the goal.

    As stated above, you can always check your age graded result as it compares to the world record for the event in your age/gender group.

    My best 5K, to date, is 28:18. For the Half Marathon, 2:17:10. Let's see how you're doing in thirty years ;-)

    Yep. ^^^ Totally this.

    I race against myself, and try and get a new PB each time. My best 5k is 27:24. My best 10k is 59:59, and my best half is 2:26:32. Have to say, since moving up an age-group a couple of years ago, I've actually placed a few times.
  • ryborybo Posts: 5,419Member Member Posts: 5,419Member Member
    My experience is that a lot of people aim for a 20 min goal. In small races that will put you pretty high, in larger ones you would be a ways back. At one time that was a goal for me as well, and although I broke 21, I never reached the sub 20 mark.
  • naculpnaculp Posts: 225Member, Premium Member Posts: 225Member, Premium Member
    Competitively? I'd recommend getting your time under 20 minutes if you want to have a decent shot for placing in the male 30-39 age group. It also depends on who shows up/how the other runners feel. I ran 7 or 8 5k's last year, barely missing top 3 for my age group with ~23 minute times, but the guys in the top 3 were all typically sub-20
  • Spartan_GingiSpartan_Gingi Posts: 194Member, Premium Member Posts: 194Member, Premium Member
    Check out There's all kinds of info on there that may help you :). Best of luck on your goals!
  • rightoncommanderrightoncommander Posts: 108Member Member Posts: 108Member Member
    Under 22 minutes at my local weekly Parkrun 5k, with usually around 120 runners, would place you in the top 20, maybe higher depending on who turns up and whether they have a big race the next day.

    There's no such thing as a universally accepted "decent 5k time". I'm trying to break 20 minutes, which in my view will make me "a runner", but in terms of the UK national ranking would not move my position very much from my current position around 45,000th.
  • WhitneyDurham777WhitneyDurham777 Posts: 71Member Member Posts: 71Member Member
    I haven't raced in many years, but when I used to. I had so much fun stalking my opponents and learning there best times there weaknesses and strengths. You would just get to know the fast people and they would know you. I met a number of great friends during this time. Fast is competing against your friends. The joy of toeing the line some days you win some days you lose. Absolute times did matter a bit, but on the days that you beat your peers those were good days. The days you lost weren't that bad either.
  • scorpio516scorpio516 Posts: 823Member Member Posts: 823Member Member
    The guy who won the BAA 5k last weekend did it in 13:19. Something to aim for?

    That's twice as fast as my best time. Heck, I do a happy dance if get under 30 minutes.

    Yeah, but he broke his own American 5k road record.

    OP: next year I AG up to 40-44. At the aforementioned race, I ran a 22:xx and am very disappointed. The corrals and staging was a cluster kitty. Good enough to be just outside the top 10%, but inside the top 1000.
    I'm never happy with my times, unless I get close to a PR, but I haven't been close to a 17 minute 5k in 20 years.
    Most of my local races are won by a guy in his early 30s running 15:xx. Others are won in the low 18s.
    Long way of saying, to me decent 5k is sub 20:00
    edited April 2017
  • PackerjohnPackerjohn Posts: 4,403Member Member Posts: 4,403Member Member
    scorpio516 wrote: »
    The guy who won the BAA 5k last weekend did it in 13:19. Something to aim for?

    That's twice as fast as my best time. Heck, I do a happy dance if get under 30 minutes.

    Yeah, but he broke his own American 5k road record.

    Go big or go home :)
    edited April 2017
  • ROBOTFOODROBOTFOOD Posts: 5,467Member Member Posts: 5,467Member Member
    Looking to podium small local races? Sub 18
    At least in the Vegas area.
    Getting to sub 20 is a good thing to shoot for right now. You can do it!
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Posts: 7,522Member Member Posts: 7,522Member Member
    Fastest in my local Parkrun last week was 16:43.

    My PB of 22 wouldn't have me in top three of my age range.
    edited April 2017
  • amymoreorlessamymoreorless Posts: 905Member Member Posts: 905Member Member
    And here I am trying to get sub 30.

    Ditto. I ran my last local 5K in just under 31 minutes - felt like superwoman. LOL

    I love running long slow miles outside on a pretty day. I suck at trying to run anything over a turtle speed.
  • 7lenny77lenny7 Posts: 2,363Member Member Posts: 2,363Member Member
    If you put forth your best effort, without going so hard that you get injured, then you'll have a decent time. There's no reason every single person lining up at the start can't have a decent time.
  • madmickiemadmickie Posts: 215Member Member Posts: 215Member Member
    Check out 'Age-grading' It will allow you to compare your times to the world record for your age.
    50-60% would be a recreational runner - 60-70% a club runner - 70-80% regional level competitor - 80-90% national level - 95% international - all approximate of course.

    Based on what I know of the age-gradings at my local parkrun I'd say your time is probably around the 60% which may help you put in perspective.

  • kristikitterkristikitter Posts: 604Member Member Posts: 604Member Member
    The best I ever got was like 41 mins! The best time = one you finish the race in!!

    Have fun with your 5ks :)
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