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What's a Good Time for a 10K?

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Updated May 16, 2014

Runners racing in marathon
Cultura/Frank and Helena/Riser/Getty Images

Question: What's a Good Time for a 10K?

"I just ran my first 10K. What is considered a good finishing time for a 10K?"

Answer: It's tough to give a definitive answer to that question because 10K times can be pretty subjective – what one runner thinks is a good time for a 10K race (6.2 miles) may not be considered good by someone else's standards.

Too see how your time compared with other race participants', look at the race results on the race website. You'll see that finishing times for a 10K vary greatly because there's usually a mix of experienced, fast runners and beginner runners and walkers. The winning male may run the 10K course somewhere between 30-35 minutes and the winning female may run it in the 37-40 minute range. Most people feel good about finishing a 10K under 45 minutes.

Of course, comparing men to women, and people in their 20s to people in their 40s isn't exactly fair. Your race performance really depends on numerous factors, such as your running experience, age, and gender.

One way to put all 10K participants on a level playing field, regardless of age and gender, is by age-grading. Age-graded results let you compare your race times to those of other runners in the race, as well as to the standard for your age and gender. You can use this age-graded calculator to figure out your age-graded race time to get a comparison of how your finishing time compares with others.

For your first 10K, try not to get too hung up on your finishing time. Focus on the accomplishment of finishing your race! And now that you have one 10K under your belt, you can focus more on your performance, but try not to compare yourself to others. A great thing about running races is that you can compete against yourself. You can try to run the same 10K next year (or another one later this year) and try to beat your personal record (PR). That way you can compete against yourself and measure their own progress rather than worry about what other race participants are doing.

More About 10K Times
If you're getting ready to run a 10K and curious about what your finishing time might be, here's how you can estimate your 10K time.

10K Training Schedules:
If you're planning to run a 10K, here are some training schedules to choose from:

Run/Walk 10K Training Schedule: This 10-week 10K training program is designed for beginner run/walkers who want to run/walk a 10K race. Even if you're not training for a 10K, this program will help you build up to run/walking for more than 60 minutes.

10K Training Schedule for Beginners: This eight-week training schedule is designed for beginner runners who want to get to the finish line of a 10K race. It assumes that you can already run at least two miles.

10K Training Schedule for Advanced Beginners: This eight-week schedule is geared toward runners who can run three miles and can run 4 to 5 days per week. You may have never run a 10K before, but you're looking for a schedule that's a little more challenging than the 10K Beginner Schedule.

10K Training Schedule for Intermediate Runners: If you've run at least one 10K race and you're hoping to improve your time, you'll definitely need to add speed training to your training regimen, if you haven't already. This eight-week training schedule is designed to help you run your fastest 10K.

10K Training Schedule for Advanced Runners: This eight-week training schedule is designed for advanced runners who can run up to 6 miles comfortably and can run 5 days a week.

Also see: What's a Good Time for Running a Mile?
What's a Good Time for a 5K?
What's a Good Time for a Half Marathon?
What's a Good Time for a Marathon?

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