Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

Average 10K Time | How to PR NOW

Are you seeking how to move your average 10k time to greatness? If so, I am glad you have made it here to rundreamachieve.com. There are certainly strategies you can use to run a faster 10 kilometer or 10,000m race. One of the biggest is to ensure you are pacing properly in the race. A major mistake I see a lot of runners make is running far too aggressive in the early miles of the race. The result? They slow significantly in the latter stages of the race. So, the key tip to run a great 10k time is to train to improve your body's lactate tolerance.

Pace sustainment is what matters most in a race. How well you can handle lactic acid build it will determine how successful you are going to be over 6.2 miles. I have run 14:18 for 5K, 31:09 for 10K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. So, I do understand what it takes to run fast over the middle to long distances. My goal with this post is to share some strategies that you can use to drop significant time off of your current personal best.

The 10k is more of an aerobic event as opposed to an anaerobic event like the 800m to 5K race distances. Yes, you still need to focus on build your endurance but also speed. The key tactic is to get your goal 10k race pace to feel more in control and less demanding on your body. Running easy will build endurance but will not improve your lactate tolerance. So, we have to train at a higher percentage of our maximum heart rate for more of our mileage each week.

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Average 10K Time by Age and Gender

Below is a graphic that gives an overview of 10k times by age and gender. The average 10k time is around 50 to 70 minutes. Of course, times will vary depending on the overall fitness of the athlete. The world record for the 10k on the track is 26:11 by Geoffrey Cheptegei of Uganda. The top time for females on the track is 29:01. Remember, these are the very best times ever run in recorded history. So, do not compare yourself to these athletes. That being said, it is helpful to see what the human body is capable of.

Average 10K Time
Credit: Meteor.run

A legitimate 10k training plan should be 16 weeks in length. Remember, focus on doing about 3 to 4 weeks of easy, relaxed running before starting any 10 km training plan. First, you have to focus on building your aerobic base mileage. The reason for this is you don't want to get injured. In addition, it takes time for the muscles, ligaments and joints of the body to be strengthened. Once you have done this then you can start into a 16 week block of training.

Average 10K Winning Time

The average winning time will vary from men and women. There are some courses that are hillier and others that are flat. Are you seeking to go after a new personal best for the 10K? You definitely want to make sure you go after it on a course that will be conducive to giving you the best chance for success. So, pancake flat if you can find one. In addition, ensure that there is great competition. Never be afraid of competition. It will bring out the vert best in you.

The average winning times for most races for men is around 33:51. The pace comes out to around 5:27 per mile average. In addition, the female winning times for most competitive 10 kilometer races comes out to around 6:16 mile pace or 38:54 for the 10K. The below listed graph shows the average 10k winning times by age group for women and men for your review

Credit: Meteor.run
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Average 10K Time Female

The average time for 10k races for women is right around 68 minutes and 47 seconds. The pace per mile for a time like this averages out to 11 minutes and 4 seconds per mile. Women aiming to be in the top 10 percent of runners need to run a time of 51 minutes and 41 seconds or 8:19 per mile pace. Are you an athlete seeking to be in the top 1 percent of women who compete in 10 kilometer races? You will need to aim at around 41 minutes and 7 seconds. The pace you will need to hold in order to run that time averages out to 6:37 per mile pace.

What percentage of your weekly volume are you training at or below your goal 10k race pace? Is it 10 percent? 20? The best middle to long distance runners run around 40 percent of their weekly volume at faster paces. A common misconception is that the Kenyans are born runners. No, they work hard. Yes, they may have some genetic talent but unless they put in the mileage and factor in harder, anaerobic training they will run pool like the rest of us. So, you have to train like a world-class runner. Runners at this level focus on both mental and physical training.

A major mistakes females as well as males make is neglecting the other variables that go into running a fast 10k time. An average 10k time just about anyone can do with some work. ethic and commitment. That being said, it takes smart training and using leverage to run a great time. I recommend checking out the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new video content each week to help runners get to the next level in their training and racing.

10K World Record

The 10,000 meter world record (10K) on the track is 26 minutes and 11 seconds. The female 10,000m world record is 29:01. The pace per mile for the 26:11 10K time is 4:12 per mile or 2:37 per kilometer. The pace for the world record for women over 10k is 2:54 per kilometer or 4:40 per mile.

The road 10k world record for men was set in 2020 by Rhonex Kipruto who held 4:15 per mile for 6.2 miles to run 26:24. Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya ran the 29:43 world record for 10K on the roads in 2017. She averaged 4:47 per mile for 6.2 miles or 2:58 per kilometer for 10 kilometers.

Average 10K Time Male By Age

As mentioned above, the world record for men is 26 minutes and 11 seconds. The pace per mile Geoffrey Cheptegei of Uganda held that day was 4:12 per mile for 6.2 miles. Again, an incredible time and this athlete has a very high vo2 max. Your vo2 max is the maximum oxygen uptake of the athlete. There are some runners with high vo2 max and others with lower vo2 max scores. It is one of many variables that exercise physiologist measure how fit and economical (efficient).

So, what is the average time for a male? The majority of male runners who compete in 10k races run around 9:24 per mile or finish with a time of 58:24. The men who can get within the 10 percent of runners will run around 7:01 mile pace or 43:37. Are you seeking to crowd into the top 1 percent of male runners? If so, you will need to be thinking about running around 34 minutes and 37 seconds. A time like that comes out to an average of 5:34 mile pace per mile. One major way to improve is to start doing faster long runs.

Do you run long and slow every single weekend? If so, start alternating one, faster paced long run one weekend followed the next weekend by an easy long run. Again, rest and recovery is essential to run an average 10k time. All of the benefits of your hard work are going to come within the rest. Also, your body is about 2 to 3 times as weak as it was prior to the start of your speed, fartlek or tempo run workouts.

Average 10K Time for Beginners

The average 10k time for most beginners ranges between 66 to 68 minutes. I always recommend to runners to focus on doing a negative split. So, aim at running the second half of your race faster than the first half. There will be many runners who will take off far too aggressively in the early miles or kilometers of the race. You want to be smart and be able to pass people in the latter stages of your race instead of get passed.

Focus on doing strides 2 times per week on top of your weekly workouts. Remember, strides are only 50 to 100 meters in length. So, you are not going to build up a great deal of lactic acid doing these short sprints. That being said, you will be working on your acceleration and form doing these. Also, you will have spent several miles or kilometers at sprint paces over a 4-month block of training. Again, when it comes to the 10k, speed kills. So, you want to build your endurance but you also want to work on your overall leg speed.

I would recommend running a 5K first before attempting a 10K. So, see what you can do over 5 kilometers before moving on to the 10 kilometer distance. Focus on getting that long run out to round 10 to 11 miles in length training for your 10k. Also, don't run the entire long run slow and easy. You want to spend between 40 to 60 percent of it running at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Remember, it will take time to get into great shape. So, be gradual in your build up.

Closing Thoughts

So, we have covered some statistics as they relate to running an average 10k time in this post. My hope is that you have learned some new strategies that will help you to be successful in this event. Again, focus on doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. You should also do 1, tempo run per week and a long run at the end of the week. Make sure to check the resources available to you here at rundreamachieve. Are you seeking an online running coach? If so, rundreamachieve fitness consultancy is an option here. You can work with me month to month. In addition, can cancel your subscription at anytime or re-join at anytime.

Simply click on the green button below to learn more about rundreamachieve coaching. I also have running courses and training plans that I have built to help speed up your progression. A performance coach can help guide and mentor you to get past the setbacks you have had in the past. The 10K involves a lot of work and time. So, if you are going to compete in one you might as well do it right the first time if you can. I'm excited to work with you and look forward to hearing about your new personal bests over the 10K or 10,000 meter distance.

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