Whether you're running a 10K for sport or just for fun, you might want to have a idea of how fast you should go. Serious runners or elite athletes will complete the 6.2-mile race in 30 minutes or less, meaning they are running about a 5-minute-mile pace or faster. Joggers or casual runners will hit the finish line at a range of slower times — generally between 45 and 75 minutes, depending on the fitness of the jogger.
The length of time it takes you to finish a 10K depends on your level of fitness, age and gender. At age 25, a man typically runs at a 8:20-per-mile pace, which is equal to approximately 51 minutes, 46.85 seconds, for a 10K race. By age 40, the average pace dropped to 8:50 per mile, or 54 minutes and 53 seconds.
For women, the averages are slightly lower. A 25-year-old's average mile pace is 9 minutes and 42 seconds, making her 10K time around 1 hour, 16 seconds. At age 40, the average pace decreases to 9:52 per mile, for a 1 hour, 1 minute and 49 second 10K.
Depending on the training regimen and goals, a runner who is extremely fit but not a professional elite runner could strive for a typical 10K time in the 43- to 50-minute range. An avid jogger who might not train for specific speed goals or might not be as naturally fast could work to complete a 10K in about 62 to 80 minutes or more. Each runner has different and goals and abilities, so it's not always a good idea to base your pace on "average" times.
While it doesn't do much to compare yourself to elite runners, their times can be something to strive toward or motivate you. As of 2017, the fastest time recorded in a 10K race is by Ethiopian Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele, who ran the distance in 26 minutes, 17.53 seconds, in August 2005, at the Memorial van Damme meet in Brussels, Belgium. The record for women is held by Almaz Ayana, who set the record of 29 minutes, 17.45 seconds, in Rio de Janeiro during the August 2016 Summer Olympics.
Take into Consideration
The type of course for the race will affect 10K times. More challenging races that include many hills, such as the Bolder Boulder, an annual Memorial Day race in the hills at high altitude in Colorado, will yield slower times than a flat sea-level course. Cross-country layouts that include a variety of terrains such as grass fields, dirt paths with tree roots and streams also will generally slow a runner’s typical 10K time.