What is a respectable time to run 5k? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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What is a respectable time to run 5k?



Started Couch, took it slowly and in October started to run 5K about 3 times a week and love it. I can’t believe I’ve achieved this.

I’m a 54 woman and at present my time for 5K is around 31:26. Just wondered what average time you’d expect some of my age. I call myself the Turtle jogger!

Thanks SnowdropinSpring

26 Replies

That time is pretty darned good for anybody, but it’s not about speed I would never be able to run at your speed, it’s about being able to run and keep going and not pushing too hard and being fit without getting injured, and at 65 for me i think of every run as a month longer before i may need a zimmer frame 😀because stronger muscles mean less chance of falling over and breaking a hip and never being the same

So, enjoy what you do and don’t worry too much about pace

Thank you for taking time to respond. Excellent advice, thank you.

Gymbunny55Graduate in reply to Snowdrop63

I am 66 and just grateful to be able to run 5k at all!! I am not fast but still getting out there 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Go Gymbunny,


No average time really.. all different and all running at our own pace at whatever age we are...If you are running at a comfortable pace and enjoying it, that is just great :)


We don't encourage comparison because it might leave you disheartened or unbearably smug, neither of which is good for your long term mental health.

There will always be people of your age who are faster and always those who are slower.

If you look on a local parkrun webpage then you could see what sort of times women in your age range are running.

I hope you are not trying to get faster on every run, because your body will develop optimally at an easy conversational pace, which builds greater capillary density and more numerous mitochondria, whereas running hard can destroy muscle mitochondria. Only run hard for a max of 25% of your running time.

Thank you for replying. Take your point about comparison. I run early as I hate people seeing me run. I run to music at what seems a natural pace for myself. Appreciate your advice. As a new runner I’m interested in the benefits of running and will definitely take your advice. Many thanks.

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Snowdrop63

Have you read the guide to post C25k running healthunlocked.com/couchto5... which may be helpful.

Will do, thanks.


I've just started week 7 so into running (read jogging!) continuously for the first time. Just for fun I measured how far I jogged in the 25 minutes run and recon that it equates to about a 38 minute 5km. So when I eventually get to doing 5km I would be happy with anything under 40 minutes. But just finishing would be my first goal! Your sub 32 minutes seems unachievable for me (67 year old first time runner) but we are all at different levels of fitness and abilities.

Well done to starting week 7. It took me quite a long time to achieve 5K. At times I would repeat weeks if I had struggled. I have asthma so didn’t want to push too hard. It was difficult on cold and damp mornings. However now I’m running and I can’t believe it.

I was inspired by a 65 year old lady ex- Dr I met early one morning during the first lockdown. She looked amazing and I thought I want to be like that lady. Keep going you are amazing and enjoy. I love hearing the morning chorus on my early morning runs .🏃‍♀️


Snowdrop63, speaking as someone who has a bad habit of comparing herself (unfavourably) to others, my best advice is don't!

I check my stats on Strava after every run, but quite honestly, without looking them up I wouldn't be able to tell you my average pace, nor my fastest, nor my slowest, for any of the distances that I now run.

I can, however, wax lyrical about the scents of the fields and the forest, the views, the people or (more likely) animals that I saw, the weather, the new routes I've tried (and got muddy and lost on), etc.

Competitive me will never be satisfied with her running. Little kid me (ahem, I'm 60) is having a whale of a time.

Happy running!

Hi 31.26 is a respectable time - well done you. At park runs and time trials people chase getting under 30 minutes but it is still a dream for a lot of people and your time would put you mid pack for sure. I’m 56 and fastest I’ve raced a 5k was 26 minutes but much happier at a more relaxed pace. Getting out and doing 3 x 5k’s a week is fantastic and you deserve a lot of credit for what you are doing - I hope you continue to love your runs. When lockdown restrictions ease you could join a running group or go along to your nearest park run.

Annemarie 🏃‍♀️

Snowdrop63 in reply to Brooksy54

Thank you for taking time to respond. Completely agree with you. Getting out and embracing seasons and nature early morning is something very precious I’ve discovered in the 2 lockdowns.

Keep up the awe and wonder



I'm 59 and sloooow. I still haven't broken 40 minutes for 5k.

JetsNannaGraduate in reply to Ritmo

Me neither but I am still amazed and proud that I can even regularly jog for 5k! Be proud - ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ - something I’ve read on here before and it’s so true. We should all be joyful at being off the couch and being *runners* no matter how fast or slow we are 😊

Snowdrop63 in reply to JetsNanna


Snowdrop63 in reply to Ritmo

As everyone is telling me it’s not the speed it’s the resilience and joy of running. 🏃‍♀️


I would be happy with that time that's for sure !!😀

Snowdrop63 in reply to Pinkpig20

I’m learning that it’s about learning about yourself and enjoying the run.


I absolutely agree that comparison is the thief of joy but can also appreciate that it is interesting to know how you might be doing as a 'new' runner. So as fellow 54 year old woman who usually runs 3 x 5km a week and has been doing so for 1 + years having graduated C25K in August 2019, my average for a 5km is around 33 imnutes. But more importantly I love my runs, thoroughly enjoy every one, and never would have believed I could do it and keep it up! So huge respect and well done and keep up the good work.

heatybobGraduate in reply to Sewsandy

love it, Enjoy, Im finishing wk 7 and tbh I'm battling through several issues, I messaged a friend last night and asked "Is there a point where this running **** becomes enjoyable" she laughed and said "Yeah, for sure when you run to enjoy it and not chase times,friends etc"

Snowdrop63 in reply to heatybob

Keep going . I went slowly and on a number of occasions repeated certain weeks that I’d found difficult. I truly cannot believe I can now run 5K.

Snowdrop63 in reply to Sewsandy

Thank you

Snowdrop63 in reply to Sewsandy

A big well done to you also. Great to be in touch with such amazing people.


I agree about comparisons being unhelpful but I also had the same query about average times when I was doing C5K. I needed to know I was doing more than walking fast! I haven’t done a 5k for a while - I’m building back up to it as the weather improves. I was doing just over 38 minutes age 68 and felt good about that. I’ll be happy to get back to anything under 40 minutes

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