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Couch to 5K
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Average times

Just wondering if any beginners are logging their times on runs if so what’s the average km time? Anyone know what I should be aiming for as an average time per kilometre.

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Good question and one I had myself when I started six months back.

The reality is that people differ so widely in age, height, level of current fitness etc that nobody can give you a pace you should aim for. And you don’t want to put yourself off running by aiming for a target that might not fit your current level of fitness.

Best advice I could give is to run at a pace where you can hold a conversation.

If you want to track your pace then no harm in that. You will see progress as you get stronger and fitter and that can be motivating (has been for me).

Hope that helps.

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Spot on. This popped up after I had started my reply, sorry.

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We said the same thing which is always nice 😀

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Same church, same preachers!

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Hi! You are asking the wrong question I’m afraid.

What you need is the average for a person identical to you, with your current fitness level and experience, running in your weather and terrain.

Sadly (and brilliantly) the only person who fits that is you.

There literally is no meaningful average.

I am guessing the question is based on “how do I run 5k in 30 minutes at the end”. That needs an average of 6 minute kilometres.

That is super fast and why 90% don’t reach 5k by the end of the programme. You just need to do three 30 min runs within 7 days to graduate.

My average pace is somewhere in the order 8min 16secs/km. It takes me about 44 mins to do 5k.

Don’t worry about your speed. Track it by all means and notice it improves over time. But this race is just with yourself.

Enjoy your next run.

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Hi there - what stage are you at? I didn't start monitoring my pace until W7 when we were running more than walking. I also steered away from looking at what an average pace was other than what was my average pace and seeing what I could learn from this. Stats are great - but you have to use them wisely!

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Wk3 and keeping track as a way to motivate myself as I had improved my average pace by 30s within a week. Just another way to see the app increase my stamina was to keep track of my runs.

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There's a lot going on between W3 and W7 and I'm not sure monitoring at this stage would give you a true reflection of where you are - but hey if it does motivate you to carry on - then all good. :)

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That’s a great improvement over a week.

The part from where you can get meaningful measures of your improvement is Week 6 run 3 onwards.

You will run a length of time (no spoilers) and then repeat that run through Week 7. Then run a bit more in each of Weeks 8 and 9.

Over those 10 runs you can measure your pace.

But bear in mind one important way of coping with the longer running times is to slow right down, so don’t be surprised to see your speed drop!

And that is not a bad thing/not a sign of going backwards. If you run further you sometimes have to run slower to do it.

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Well Done on reaching week 3!

I think it's great that you've started tracking early because when you get further on you'll want to see when you hit 100 miles, or how many weeks you've been running.

However, for now you don't want to push to increase both distance and time at once. After reading a number of articles by professionals in magazines and running websites, they all say the same - trying to do both is both counterproductive and courting injury. Nothing I say can better countless other veteran runners, who are all saying the same thing.

From my own experience, I noticed as the distance increased I had to slow down, to make sure I completed the run. In week 5 you'll get a shock that you can go from running 8 minutes x 2, to running 20 minutes straight. You want to give yourself the best possible chance at completing first time.

Once you've attained that, and perhaps better still, once you've completed the C25K, there's great podcasts (C25K+) which are designed for improving strength, stamina and speed. It's at that stage you want to think about pushing yourself, not before.

This is just my input and my experience, you don't have to listen, but it's given to you on the basis that I'd love to see you progress through safely and go on to achieve great things! That's all anyone of us want on here, to help and support our fellow runners.

I wish you the very best for all of your training and will watch your progress with interest.

Best of luck! 🏃‍♀️💨💨

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Thank you Sutsha this is very useful information. I’m gradually learning to pace myself it’s so hard to not start off fast and end up slower but I’m getting there. Really it’s just about keeping moving just now but everything is getting easier. Thanks again

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Learning to slow down is a lot harder than people think. Your legs naturally want to speed up as they warm up. Reining them in is crucial, especially if you eventually want to go on to long-distance races, marathons or what have you. They're all about pacing from the outset, so you but mind it's better building this in from the get-go. Your form and ability to pace are the two things you can work on from the beginning to create good running habits and save you training out bad habits later when you could be concentrating on strengthening and lengthening distance. That's how I see it at least.

At your age and with your motivation, it's so tempting just to fly, but it's your long-term game you'd be best focusing on, unless of course the long-term goal is Sprinter! 😆

All that said, there's nothing wrong with keeping something in the tank for the last 0.5K and finishing strong. That's what I did in the early days.

Now I save all my speed for the short fast run of the week as I work on increasing distance. But we can pick all that up as you near graduation and start thinking of what's next.

Hope this all helps.

Don't forget you can read all around the forum, reach week is covered in the links at the foot of the page and have older posts there too so you can see what others were thinking at your stage. You can also go on to people's list of posts and read the entire journey. It's all here for you.

You'll do brilliantly and I expect you'll be inspiring others just shortly with your "can do" attitude!

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All good advice here, personally I log my times but they are purely for my benefit and to show me how I’ve improved. There is only one real rule that I know of - it has to be comfortable for you and how you feel on that particular run; some days will be slower and some will be quicker but all will make you feel good about yourself 😊

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I didn't on the early runs. With all the walk/run its hard to get a clear indication of pace. I was more concerned with getting it done then.

From about W7 onwards (non-stop runs) I started to measure my runs to see how far I was getting over the allocated run time. That gave me an indication of how far I was away from 5k in 30 minutes.

Good advice about not pushing yourself at this stage by trying to run too fast. Build your stamina before your speed.

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Snap. I started tracking week 7 too and only tracked the run section. Useful to track progress and ensure not going too fast. I would often have a bad run and wonder why it was so hard - the tracking usually showed I’d set off too fast. Eventually I started using a running watch to monitor pace on the go so I could keep below the pace I knew I could sustain.

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For myself, my pace actually got slower by week 6 as I was slowing down to make sure I could survive the longer runs. By week 8, I got a little cocky when I completed run 1 and 2 with relative ease so I pushed myself harder than necessary for run 3 and it didn't end very pretty. I graduated for about 2 weeks and I done 5k a few days ago in 40 mins and today 38 mins.

We just started running, plenty of time to improve our speed in the future.

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Whatever floats your boat, if you want to monitor your runs then do so, most on here use strava, Runkeeper or map my walk, I have used all 3 (plus fitbit) am mainly using Strava now

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Your week 3 pace will differ hugely compared to your week 7+ runs as you’re still doing a lot of walking. Put pace on the back burner till you’re onto the straight runs.

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I was totally unaware of times when I started, I just concentrated on getting each 60 seconds of running over with! Sorry I can't help.

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