What is the average 5K time?

Have you recently signed up for a 5K event? Or maybe you have already completed one and you’re looking to improve your time. Either way if you are training for a 5K, you are probably wondering “How long should it take to run a 5K?”

Runner timing a 5k run

How can I measure my running time?

The time it takes to run any distance will depend on your pace, for example if you run at a speed of 10km (6.2 miles) per hour you will finish a 5K in 30 minutes. There are lots of tools that can help you measure your pace, such as fitness trackers and apps that will keep a log of your speed and distance. If you are training on a treadmill you can manually set your running pace and adjust this as your fitness improves.

The average time it takes someone to run a 5K will also depend on a variety of factors such as age, fitness level and gender. An age graded calculator provides a performance score based on running data for your age and gender, allowing for a fairer comparison across the board.

The ultimate 5k run guide

Average 5K time for beginners

For beginners, you can expect to cross the finish line of a 5K somewhere between 30-45 minutes. As you will be fairly new to training, you may be more comfortable doing a combination of running and walking to begin with. Training plans such as Couch to 5K will ease you in to running and help you improve your pace over time.

Average 5K time for intermediate runners

For intermediate runners (generally those who run 10 – 20 miles per week) an average 5K time would be around 20-25 minutes, which is an average speed of around 7-9mph over the course. Those hoping for a new personal best 5K time may benefit from incorporating interval training into their training schedules to help build up pace and endurance.

Average 5K time for athletes/elites

Athletes and elite level runners follow rigorous training routines to attain increasingly competitive running times. The world record time for a 5K stands at 12:37.35 minutes for men, held by Kenenisa Bekele, and 14:11.15 minutes for women, held by Tirunesh Dibaba – pretty impressive! The average 5K time for an advanced/elite runner is under 17 minutes for men and under 19 minutes for women.

How can I improve my average 5K time?

If you’re looking for ways to improve your pace and as a result, get your 5K running time down, there are a few things you can do to get moving that bit faster.

Practice makes perfect: Having a structured training plan in place is one of the best ways to improve your speed and measure your progress. For example, a 6-week training plan for a 5K might have you walk/run for the first couple of weeks, then gradually increase the amount of time you spend running instead of walking. By adding more speed gradually you’ll adjust more easily and see your 5K time reducing each week.

Train your muscles: Whilst running is a great calorie burning exercise, there’s a reason that most elite long-distance runners are lean as opposed to muscular. Running alone won’t help you build much muscle but adding some weight and resistance training into your routine will. Building muscle can help you run faster as it will put more power behind your strides, increasing your overall speed.

Add some sprints: Mixing up your speed with bursts of high-speed sprinting is a great way to get your body used to running at a higher pace too. Start with short 30 second bursts of sprinting at a close to your maximum effort, then return to your comfortable running pace. Repeat this throughout your run and not only will you add some speed you’ll also torch more calories.


If you are looking for your next 5k run, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - 5k Run Listings

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Why run a 5K?

For anyone looking to start their fitness journey, whatever your age, training for and taking part in a 5k race is a great place to begin. If you’ve never ran competitively before, a 5K run is probably the best way you can start your adventure, as you will experience something that is challenging, but not too tough. Even with just a few weeks of training you should be able to pull off a 5K run.

Aside from being a great way to keep active, there are plenty of other great benefits to running a 5K too. Firstly, if you’re looking to lose some weight through exercise, running a 5K is a great way to start increasing your heart rate and burning those calories. Another reason to sign up to a 5K race is that it’s a great way to raise money for a good cause, with plenty of charity 5k runs taking place near you and across the UK all year round. Finally, running your first 5K is a great way to get into longer distance running. Once you’ve caught the running bug you’ll soon be progressing on to 10K, half marathon and eventually marathon races!

5k Runs Near Me

Whilst there are plenty of high-profile running events taking place in the larger towns and cities in the UK, there are also plenty of opportunities to join a 5K run closer to home too. There are a number of 5K events springing up across the UK all the time, meaning that there is bound to be one that is easy and convenient for you to get to.

Another great benefit of running a local 5K is that it’s easier to get your friends and family involved too, whether they choose to run alongside you or cheer you on at the finish line. We list lots of 5K running events that take place all over the UK, so be sure to take a look for 5K runs near you using the search bar on the left. You can then filter races based on location and other options to find the perfect event for you.

Charity 5k runs near me and fundraising

As we’ve mentioned, running a 5K is a great way to raise some money for charity, and the race is a great length for people of all ages to get involved. As well as the well-known races, such as the Great Run series, there are a number of smaller events for people to get involved in too, and in fact many, many charities hold races throughout the year with the sole intention of raising money to help people.

Fundraising for a 5K is really easy to set up too. Many charities will provide you with a sponsor pack to get started once you sign up for a race, and you can also fundraise online and share your goals with your friends on social media. Running a 5K race near you is also a great way to show your support for locally based charities.

5K Charity races, as well as 10K Charity races, are some of the most popular events out there, so if you want to get into running then these are a great place to start!

How can I find charity 5K races near me?

So, if you’ve decided to take part in a 5K race to raise money for a charitable cause you may be wondering ‘How do I find a 5K near me?’. The answer is on our site! On our events page, you’ll find all sorts of fitness events that are happening all over the UK. The search bar on the left of the page can be used to help you find the perfect event. Once you’ve narrowed down the type of race you’re looking to take part in, a 5K in this case, you can then further refine the results by selecting your location and then choosing from a range of charities that you are interested in supporting.

If you’d like to support a charity that isn’t listed, you’re welcome to do that too! Be sure to check the website of your chosen charity to find out more about getting started with fundraising.

Most popular 5k races in the UK

As we’ve mentioned, as well as smaller, local 5K events, we also list some of the best known and loved event series on our site too. Our most popular searches include:

Royal Parks

The Royal Parks is a charity that looks after London’s largest green spaces such as Hyde Park, The Green Park, Richmond Park, Greenwich Park, St James’s Park, Bushy Park and The Regent’s Park, and Kensington Gardens. The Royal Parks running series takes runners through these beautiful green spaces with events ranging from 5K races to marathons.

London 5k Runs

London may be well known for its annual marathon, but did you know there are loads of 5K runs to sign up to in the capital too? We’ve got plenty listed on our events page so be sure to check it out!

5k Inflatable Run

If you’re looking to turn up the fun factor, an inflatable 5K run could be the right race for you. With an inflatable 5K race, you won’t just be running, you’ll be bouncing, jumping and springing your way to the finish line through a series of inflatable obstacles. These events are great for thrill-seekers!


Related Posts

Are you looking for some more information or advice about running a 5K? We’ve got plenty of informative articles in our blog that will tell you everything you need to know to get started. We’ve also got tips for training, burning calories through running and improving your race time. Get started with some of the articles below:

How long is a 5k run?

What is the average 5K time?

5k Running Tips

5K Training Plan

Calories burnt running a 5k

What to eat before a 5k Run

How to run a 5k faster