Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

What is a Good 5k Time? | Tips to PR NOW

Are you seeking what is a good 5k time? If so, I am glad you have made it here to rundreamachieve.com. I have run 14:18 for 5 kilometers on the road. So, have some background in this event. You definitely need to work on your speed in order to go beyond just an average 5k time and run a good 5k time. The race is a highly anaerobic event. So, you have to be very smart when it comes to racing over 5 kilometers. The biggest mistake I see many runners making is going out far too aggressively in the first mile. My strategy for running a fast 5k time is to make it a 2.1 mile race.

I recommend waiting until you hit that first mile before making your major move. Remember, you have far less time to make a mistake in a 5K. So, to run a good 5,000m time you have to think outside the box and outsmart your competition. What percentage of your weekly volume are you training at or below your goal 5k race pace? If this percentage is too small then you know you need to make some changes. It took me many years to eventually run 14 minutes and 18 seconds. I ran 15:53 on the roads as a high school senior and 15:19 for 5,000m when I was in college.

What is a Good 5K Time for My Age?

Below is a general overview of a good 5k time based on age for the average athlete. Of course, these are just estimates. There are men and women who can run much faster than these times. Athletes come from all different backgrounds and have varying capabilities. The below chart is a basic overview for good 5k times but you may be far faster or slower than the times listed. The key thing to keep in mind is to not get caught up with the times. Focus on long-term growth.

Running fast takes time. It takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it. The training plans and running courses that I teach here at rundreamachieve are 16 weeks in length. So, 4 months is sufficient time to prepare properly from the 5k to the 50k race distance. What is a good 5k time is often asked because, generally, people are seeking to run faster over 5,000m. So, naturally, they want to run a competitive time and challenge themselves.

Source: MarathonHandBook
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What is a Respectable 5K Time?

Beginners usually run anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes for the 5k distance. Of course, these are respectable times considering these are new runners who may have never run a 5k in the past. The running community can be very harsh at times when it comes to comparing runners and their times. I have the utmost respect for beginners to elite level runners. In addition, understand how difficult and time consuming it can be to run a fast race times. Again, my goal here as a performance coach is to help runners use leverage.

You already know how to run easy and work hard. It is an art form to run fast. In addition, working smarter usually yields better results than working hard. How many hard working, highly educated people do you know who are broke? Why is that? They were taught to work hard via the school system we operate under. Of course, you still have to work hard but you also have to seek new and better ways to prepare. The goal is to work smart and use leverage. Leverage simply means that you are doing more with less.

What is a Good 5k Time for a Beginner

As mentioned above, I believe a legitimate time for a beginner could be around 25 minutes or faster. That being said, if you haven't run that fast just yet don't get discouraged. You could be a 27 minute 5K runner today and break 21 minutes in a matter of months. My recommendation is to take 3 to 4 weeks and run easy, aerobic miles or kilometers first.

So, focus on building your foundational mileage first before starting a 16 week 5k training plan. The reason being is you want to ensure your muscles, joints and ligaments have become strengthened first. You also want to ensure you are well-prepared before going into race-specific training.

Again, it goes back to pre-planning correctly and using leverage. There are far too many runners in too much of a rush to get into great shape. It simply doesn't work like that. The best middle to long distance runners are patient and never let a disappointment get the best out of them.

I have trained with world-class 5K to marathon runners. They all have the same traits. They get over setbacks quickly. In addition, they understand that it is the process that matters most. The event (end goal) is what most people focus on. They see Usain Bolt run a 9.58 for the 100m or 19.19 second 200m time. What they didn't see was the process and hard work that went into those performances.

Is 21 Minutes a Good 5K Time

Yes, a 21 minute 5K is a very good time. The faster you run in these races the more speed development is going to be required out of you. The key tactic here is to improve upon your body's lactate tolerance. You want to teach the body to become more efficient at handling higher amounts of lactic acid build up. So, you have to train at paces that are significantly faster than goal 5k race pace. I used this tactic to lower my 5k personal best from 15:19 to 14:18. In addition lowering my half from 1:10:31 to 1:07:06 and marathon from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35.

I was consistently training at paces that were at paces that I knew I couldn't hold for my race. The reason for this strategy was I needed to get my goal race pace to feel more like a tempo run than a race. In addition, I wanted to pick up pace at the end of my races when my competition was slowing down.

So, always make training the most difficult part of your preparation. The race should be the celebration of all of you hard work. Again, don't try to make a move in the 5k distance until you get to the first mile. Let the crowd take off in that first mile and make your move after so that it becomes a 2.1 instead of 3.1 mile race.

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What is a Good Time for 5K by Age?

Below are some of the top times ever run for 5,000m by age. Remember, these are the best times ever run for these age groups. So, we are talking about elite times. They are good just as a reminder of what is possible. That being said, it is important not to compare yourself with runners like this. Focus on your speed each week and work on dropping your times in seconds or minutes a little at a time. You can do strides 2 times per week during your easy runs. Strides are very short so you won't build up any significant lactic acid.

These workouts are 50 to 100 meters in length. Remember, strides are not meant to be all out sprints for the entire stride. So, focus on gradually increase in pace until you are sprinting all-out about the last 10 to 20 meters of the sprint. What is great about strides is they help you focus on form and leg turnover.

In addition, they also focus on acceleration like you will need to do in a a race. The training plans and running courses I teach here focus on doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. The focus of vo2 max running is to run much faster than goal race pace.

What is a Good 5KM time for a Man?

The times you see below for both men and women are times that can be achieved if you work on your speed. In addition, you also want to train at your anaerobic threshold as well or your tempo race. Tempo runs will help build your strength and stamina that are essential to running a legitimate 5k time. A common mistake I see runners making is running too slow too often. Again, this is a 5k we are talking about here and not the marathon. Yes, you still need to work on speed development in the marathon too.

That being said, speed kills when it comes to the 5k. So, you certainly want to train more often at much faster speeds that you are planning on racing at too. Also, you need to jog on recovery days. I see a lot of runners who are still too caught up with what pace per mile or kilometer they are running at on easy days.

All that matters is what pace you are hitting on your moderate and hard days. So, your recovery days should be exactly that, easy. I have trained with sub-2:10 marathoners who could run 4:57 mile pace for 26.2 miles who would jog at 9 to 10 minute mile pace on easy days. So, if they can slow down than so can you and I.

What is a Good 5KM Time for a Woman?

Remember, the key tactic we have been discussing here is to work smarter rather than harder. Proper planning and strategic racing is absolutely essential in order to run a fast 5k time. Your time is priceless. So, it makes much more sense to do it right the first time rather than continuing to make mistakes and slow your progress right? I also believe in doing a 10-day taper. Of course, you can still get great results in your 5k by doing a 21-day or 3-week taper. There are many runners who do this and still set new personal bests.

That being said, what I have found out that works best is not dropping your mileage and intensity too many weeks out from your main race. So, continuing to train hard but smart up until about 10 days out from your main event. You will go into your race feeling energized and confident rather than tired and lethargic. The reason being is you haven't started dropping intensity too soon. You continue to remind your legs of what you are training them to do up until only a few days from your goal race.

what is a good 5k time

What is an Elite 5K time?

What is a good 5k time? The world's fastest times ever run for 5,000m is 14:06 for women and 12:35 for men. Again, these athletes are running about 40 percent of their weekly mileage at or below goal 5k race pace. So, there is a reason they are able to cover the distance in such a short amount of time. You can use similar strategies to see significant gains in your own training. I recommend subscribing to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new video content there each week to help runners of all abilities set new personal bests.

Remember, if you spend too low of a percentage of your weekly mileage running too easy you will not be prepared to race a 5k fast. Yes, you do still need to run slow and build your endurance. That being said, be mindful of how you are setting up your training. You want to study and how a world-class runner training and also how they think.

Mental training is a vital piece of 5k racing success. How often are you visualizing yourself running at the level you are dreaming about? You need to spend 10 to 15 minutes daily over several months seeing yourself getting across the finish line in your goal race time. So, it has to happen in the mind first before it can ever become a reality.

Closing Thoughts

Are you seeking an online running coach? Would you like to take your training for your future races to the next level? Click the button below and check out our monthly coaching option. Perhaps this is something that would help you in your quest to run a good 5k time. Remember, there are many options available here to you. I have created running courses, training plans and even have one-on-one zoom consultations calls. In addition, athletes that want to work with me on a monthly basis seek me out in our private running community.

I am certain you are going to drop significant time off of your 5k time if you listen to the strategies discussed in this brief post. Of course, I go far more in depth in the running courses and training plans. These are great resources that will speed up your learning curve. In addition, you'll know what workouts you need to be doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I'm looking forward to working with you and helping you set a new personal best in your chosen race distance.

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