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Running Pace Chart: 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon and Marathon Pace Charts

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If you are training for a running race, it is only a matter of time before the talk turns to pace.

 Discussion of pace has many different dynamics. There are training paces, easy run paces, and goal paces.

In addition, you may find yourself trying to hit specific paces at various points of your training plan. There are also different paces for each distance you run. 

Suppose you are like me and have been at it for a while; if the workout reads “4 minutes at 10K pace”, you know what that means. 

Rookie athletes may be scratching their heads, though. If that’s you, don’t fret. Read on to learn more.

What Is A Good Running Pace?

I sincerely struggle with this question because a good running pace looks different for everyone. I am a 51-year-old woman, and I’m pleased when my training runs are anywhere from 8:45 – 9:15 minutes per mile if I run anywhere from 3-6 miles. If I am running longer, I am happy with running slower. 

However, my 31-year-old daughter looks at things entirely differently. The last time we ran 4 miles together, she intentionally scheduled a brisk 6 mile run the day before our scheduled time together. At the end of her week, she had 31 miles of running on her legs and was ready for an “easy run.” We averaged 9:15s for 4 miles. What was a challenging run for me was her recovery run

In other words, it is all about perspective. 

According to running data posted across the globe on Strava, the average running pace is a 9:48 minute mile. 

Male athletes average about 9:03 per mile, with women going quite a bit slower at 10:21. 

That isn’t to say you should not honor your speed. It’s just data.

What Is a Good Running Pace for a Beginner?

New runners often find themselves running upwards of 12 or 13 minutes per mile.

A lot of things come into consideration that determines how fast a runner will go.

These things include age, gender, overall physical well-being, body size, past medical history, and current fitness level, among other things. 

What does that all mean? It means that a 20-year-old in great cardiovascular shape will probably run much faster as a newbie runner than a 50-year-old person who is overweight and out of the body.

What Is a Good Running Pace for a 5K?

Again, pace depends on various factors. The average person finishes a 5K somewhere between 35 and 40 minutes. At a race series I participate in near Waukesha, Wisconsin, they give an Average Joe and Jane award with each race. That award goes to the people who finish precisely in the middle of the “pack” of runners. 

Understanding that it varies based on participating in any given race, the average Joe and Jane runner typically finishes around 33 minutes

Good is relative. If I finish around 27 minutes, I am pleased with my effort. However, my PR is a 24:12. I frequently run with a friend who is still pushing herself to break 27 minutes. For her, hitting that milestone would be an incredible moment. 

A colleague who ran cross-country in college gets frustrated if she finishes a 5K in anything slower than 22 minutes. Speed and achievement are relative.

As a coach, I kept a 5K pace chart handy to tell at each mile marker if the athletes were on target to achieve a PR (or be within striking distance of doing so). It would be too complicated to keep all of the math in my head with so many different athletes.

A pace chart helped me glance down, peek at an estimated finish time, and determine if the athlete was on target.

What is a Decent Running Pace per KM?

While my brain thinks in minutes per mile, some people process their distance by kilometers.

One perk about measuring things in kilometers is it is a shorter distance to measure. Equalling roughly .6 of a mile, you can recognize if you are not on your target pace. 

FOR EXAMPLE, if I plan to run 9-minute miles, I would expect my KM time to be 5:35. If you are not on target pace at that point, you can calibrate it by speeding up or slowing down.

If you are running 8 minute miles (which in my world is fast) you would be running 12 kilometers per hour. However, fast in “my world” is not fast for elites or college runners. 

A 6:00 minute mile (or 2:37 marathon) is 16.20 KM per hour. That is wicked fast, unless you are watching the pros run a marathon!

What Is a Pace Chart?

A pace chart is a chart that helps you determine the average pace for a certain distance. If you are running 9-minute miles and have maintained that pace for 9-10 miles consistently throughout your workouts, you may look for a pace chart that tells you what that will look like to complete a half-marathon. 

The pace chart below will show that if you can maintain that pace for the entire 13.1 miles, you will finish the race at 1:57:54. Of course, you might also take into consideration that race day adrenaline may find you running faster than you ran on weekly long runs.

You can also use a pace predictor to help you determine if you are on target to hit your race goal.

Training & Race Pace Chart

In the chart below you’ll find 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon times based on your target pace. You’ll also find paces based on percentage output during your run training. 

Target Race PaceTraining 110%Training 100%Training 95%Training 90%Training 80%Training 70%Training 60%Training 50%5K10K13.126.2

Using a Pace Chart for Your Race Goal

Runners training for a marathon may feel like they need some mile-by-mile guidance to ensure they stay on target to reach the goal time. There are a couple of ways to achieve that.

Some races offer a pace team. A pace team has runners who will bring you into your goal time. 

Pace leaders are helpful if you struggle to hold a pace on your own. If a person is leading a 4-hour marathon pace group, they are not a 4-hour marathoner. Typically, they assign you a pace group roughly 20-30 minutes slower than your own race pace. This helps ensure that the leader won’t break down, struggle, and bring the group in on time. 

If you don’t like running with others, you might want a pace chart tailored to your personal goal.

pace chart by mile

If you’re going to finish your marathon in under 4H:30M, this is an example of a pace tattoo that breaks it down by mile (below). You can peek down each mile to see if you are still on target to reach your goal. 

Other pace charts may not use miles; instead, they break it down into larger chunks. It may have you check where you are when you reach 2 miles, 5K, or other types of distance intervals. 

For instance, some pace charts at varying race distances will note paces based on a specific time you’re looking to achieve. These may be helpful when it’s evident you need to run faster.

6 Reasons to Use Pace Charts

  1. To calculate for a tempo run
  2. So you know your minute per mile pace for a practice run
  3. It gives you a goal time for an upcoming race
  4. To estimate how fast you should be able to complete a particular distance
  5. Allows you to find a friend who is running a race
  6. Put one on your arm during a long run or race so you can quickly check the progress

There are many reasons people turn to pace charts. Don’t be afraid to investigate them for yourself!

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