Couch to 5K

Being a bit sad & maybe just a bit competitive I was interested to see that anyone's actual 5k time can be adjusted for age & gender to get an 'age-graded' time. This can then be used to make a true comparison with other runners of different age & gender.

I wondered then what the age-graded target should be for different ages & gender for the C25K. By trial and error on the online calculator at runnersworld.com/tools/age-... I have compiled the following table.

Column 1 is age, Col 2 is the age-graded (adjusted) time of a 5k run in 30mins, Col 3 is the actual time you should be aiming for to achieve an age-graded equivalent 30 min 5k.

Women

20 - 0:29:59 - 0:30:01

25 - 0:30:00 - 0:30:00

30 - 0:29:59 - 0:30:01

35 - 0:29:41 - 0:30:19

40 - 0:28:58 - 0:31:05

45 - 0:27:48 - 0:32:23

50 - 0:26:14 - 0:34:18

55 - 0:24:36 - 0:36:35

60 - 0:22:58 - 0:39:11

65 - 0:21:20 - 0:42:11

70 - 0:19:42 - 0:45:41

Men

20 - 0:29:41 - 0:29:41

25 - 0:30:00 - 0:30:00

30 - 0:29:56 - 0:30:05

35 - 0:29:22 - 0:30:39

40 - 0:28:21 - 0:31:45

45 - 0:27:18 - 0:32:58

50 - 0:26:14 - 0:34:18

55 - 0:25:11 - 0:35:44

60 - 0:24:08 - 0:37:18

65 - 0:23:04 - 0:39:00

70 - 0:21:57 - 0:41:00

This is good news for those of us who are over 30, especially for the girls. If, say, you are a 55 year old lady who is despairing of ever doing 5k in 30m this table tells you that you don't need to in order to match your younger or male friends. Your target should actually be 36:35. The down side is that you need to run for a few minutes longer to do your 5k but I guess you already knew that...

42 Replies

Good work, for mine there's not much difference between the two or my actual for that matter. Makes me feel a bit better about the ultra fast runner who left me for dust this morning

I always assume that there must be some rational explanation other than pure ability & fitness to anyone shooting past me;

a) less than half my age

b) running away from police, dangerous dog, wasp etc

c) need the loo

d) all of the above

This is great , thanks for this , I'm 55 ( 56 in April ) & before I was injured I was doing 5 k in 33.59 so well pleased . Thanks again

So you have done your age-graded 5k in 30min then Rockette. Smashed it by over 2.5 mins. Well done.

I can run as fast as a 20 year old!! Yeeeeehaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Thanks for this fabulous stats table. Who'd have thought it eh?

Unfortunately this is rather depressing for me. I'm running at the level of a 50-55 year old. Nothing wrong with that of course.........except I'm 32.

HARRUMPH.

Yes, sadly Feefbev for you 30mins really does mean very close to 30mins. Great to have a target though...

1second off 30 minutes! God that's depressing. Why am I so slow!!!??

I think the coaching websites would suggest making one of your weekly runs a fast interval training session if you can do the distance but want to increase your speed...

Thanks Chris I am 60 yr old lady who can do 5k in 35.7 so according to table not as super slow as I thought Woo hoo! Probably stupid question but could you explain again what col 2 means

Column 2 is the time a 25 year old needs to run 5k in to beat you (age adjusted) if you do it in 30 minutes. (And another way of putting column 3, is that if you do it in under that time you've beaten the (age adjusted) 25 year old who did it in 30 minutes.)

Course, none of that helps when Ange gently cruises past me at parkrun, she's in the next age category up.......

Thanks for that beads I have been passed by a 75 yr old and at Christmas I was overtaken just at finish by a reindeer - not quite sure what age cat he fell into though!

Sure FitFor60. Due to natural physiology men are naturally faster than women & young people are naturally faster than older people. Asking a 60 year old lady like you to run 5k in 30m is asking a lot more than asking a 20 year old lad or girl to run 5k in 30m. Based on the world records for 5k by men & women at each year of age the statisticians have established exactly what the natural difference between the sexes and the ages is (admittedly at an elite level). The 2nd column shows the time at each age group that is the physiological equivalent of a 30m 5k by a 20 year old. This column is therefore the realistic 5k target time for each of us, given we are not all 20 years old.

If you do a parkrun they ask you your age so they can calculate your age-graded time. You may finish well down the field but your age age-graded time may mean you are actually among the best athletes there (for your age).

Thanks Chris This forum is so great for finding out stuff

If you go to runnersworld.com/tools/... and put in 35:07 as a 60yr old female this translates as equivalent to a 20 year old running it in 26:53 so very well done you !

Oh I am loving this age grading thing more and more

That is helpful, and I'm happy with my 43 year old statistics! I've been dreading 45 ( bit like I dreaded 40) and now I just see it as an opportunity to beat the s*** out of my 5k time!!

that was one of the BIG plusses of turning 60 juicju

Just imagine how hot you will be at 50 JuicyJu. Or 55, or....

I will be as hot as my 5k PB.!!!..which is why I have a pic of Blondie wearing a collar at 50 on my fridge...thats my inspiration....

I knew you reminded me of someone....

It would be fun to do a "handicapped" Parkrun - whereby we all got to start at our age graded time. Theoretically it would mean that everybody finished according to their age and ability I'd LOVE to finish ahead of some of those fast young ones!!

That would be very satisfying but might make for a bit of a scrum at the finish line methinks...

Excellent idea or one can sort on age grade and see who has the highest age grade .... and see also were one is on the list 55 percent is fit ...

Great idea bazza

As a 59 year old fairly new runner, this is brilliant encouragement. It was interesting on Friday that at our lunchtime Jogscotland session with our leader away, that the only 3 that tuened up were the ones in my age group in the rain & a gale, when all the youngsters said last week they would turn out!

Just found this and it's made my day! This means that I can run like a 25 year old (let's be honest here, when it's a very good day) and I'm nearly 55!! Hurrah!! Thanks for going to all the trouble of compiling this list. Just imagine how many people here you have made happy!!

Good news, thank you! Now if I just lay off the prosecco, cheese and tiramisu the day before, I can smoke those 35 year olds.

Our local Parkrun do put out the results of each Saturday run which can be "sorted" out by results according to age. parkrun.com.au/loganriver/r...

So, for example, last weekend the run was "won" on an age basis by a runner in the 60-64 age category with a 76.22% ( real world race time of 21:48 minutes -- that's real time - not adjusted time)

Do the Brit Parkruns put out their results this way as well?

Yes they do Bazza. At least my local one does. I think they all use the same system.

Yes you have made us very happy! I felt very put out by someone pounding the treadmill at more than twice the rate that I was going. With a bit of luck she was less than half my age.

You have made one 56 year old very happy by posting these stats. At a PB of just a few seconds over 34 minutes I am well chuffed. Totally makes sense but it is heartening to see it in black and white. Thanks so much.

Some geeky stuff from me. Parkrun gives you a age grade % so that for example you can compare how you did as a veteran against the seniors and juniors who are on the pass you. I dumped the results from the Edinburgh Parkrun a few weeks ago into Excel and plotted the age grade % against finishing time and position. We had about 450 people. Looking at the cluster for the top 50 finishers, there is a range from 66% to 86%. Even the tail-enders score 59% to 37%. presumably anybody below that is still in bed on a Saturday morning! there's obviously a bit of clustering and a trend of lower % as you go down the field. some of the high outliers are interesting. when I go back into the data many of these are folk well into the 'vet' categories.

I am just debating starting so this is really helpful, thanks

Thank you, now i have a time to aim at.

I will be 65 in April and my PB at the moment is 45.05. Now I have a time of 42.11 to focus on for then, was thinking I would be a failure if I did not do it in 30minutes.

Merry christmas

Happy new year for 2017

Happy 42.11 for my 65th birthday on 21st April

Hey, thanks this makes me feel really good at clocking 37.31 this morning. Not bad for a 69 year old lady

Your age-graded score is the ratio of the approximate world-record time for your age and gender divided by your actual time. To score 100% as a 32-year-old man, you would need a time of 13:05.

im still confused

47.10 % average on parkrun. does that make me 53% away from being a gb elite runner? XD

I haven't seen this before but it just popped up in my feed for soe reason.

I'm not sure I understand it. Why does it use the performance of a 25 yr old as the baseline?

I have been wondering if I am close to my age group in a 5k and now I know that, I AM. So Cool. Thanks for the info. I was feeling bad since my last race, a lady close to my age just passed me up at the finish line and I came in fourth. I don't know where she came from. I have wondered since then if I was even in range of where I should be. Thanks again.

According to this beautiful table I should aim at around 33:45 minutes (as I'm 48 years old, a bit closer to 50 than 45). I currently do about 4k in that time so I have...a ways to go. But not as far as 30 minutes! pace is about 6min 20 sec per km. Yeah... still well off that with my best pace at 7 mins 59 sec. But I also blame body structure. I've never ever been fast.