Participation in running has grown 57% in the last ten years alone, so it’s pretty unquestionable that many of us partake in the sport to keep us healthy: mind, body and soul.
But however you feel about running: whether you’re an avid runner or a complete newbie, running a 10k is a great goal to aim for. 10k converts to 6.2 miles and is the great distance for a runner with some experience that wants a bit of a challenge.
When it comes to running a 10k, though, it’s important to be aware of the average 10k time so that you know where you match up to, as this acts as a pretty helpful guide so that you can keep track of your progress – especially if you’re training for an upcoming race, fun-run or event.
Being in-the-know when it comes to this information is key to ensuring you’re on the right track when it comes to reaching your fitness goals! But what is a good 10k run time? 45 minutes? One hour? 2? Here’s the average time to run a 10K, and helpful tips and ways to improve your run time, too.
What is the average 10k time?
It’s important to note that the average 10k time will vary from person to person due to a number of factors, with many reflecting the stage of your running journey. Age is also a really important factor when it comes to your average 10k time, too.
For example, someone who is just starting out in their running journey will run a very different 10k race than someone that has been running marathons for years. And that is A-Okay. It’s all about perspective.
What is a good 10k time?
For someone with a relatively healthy stature that engages in regular exercise, the average 10k time is anywhere between 50 minutes and 70 minutes. For those that run more regularly, you can expect this time to fall somewhere between the 40 and 50 minute mark.
Average 10k time by age
But, like we said, age is a hugely important factor, and a study by The State of Running in 2019 reiterated this statement. This analysis mapped the results of a global running participation database that detailed the information of over 70,000 events dating back to 1986 to 2018, with results showing that those aged between 16 and 19 ran the fastest 10k race overall. Hmmm, guess youth really is on their side.
Preparing to run the 10k race
When preparing to run any race, there are four key components: nutrition, hydration, stretching and music. All important – who doesn’t love a good playlist during a particularly challenging run?
- Maximising your nutrition
It’s important that if you’re planning on running a 10k any time soon (and want to improve your average 10k time) that you’re following a healthy, nutritious diet.
Make sure you’re getting in your five-a-day (yes, really), include fibre in your diet through foods such as potatoes, bread and pasta, and make sure you’re getting a source of calcium (through dairy products or alternatives). Oh, and don’t forget the protein.
- Staying hydrated
We recommend that you ensure you’re properly hydrated at least thirty minutes before you run, as a general rule of thumb. An hour before is the absolute golden spot, though.
If you need an extra energy boost, pop some pre-workout into your water (like The Energy Booster), and try and avoid bottled sports drinks. They often contain unnecessary sugars and dyes that take away the goodness of a bottle of water or a good, research-backed pre-workout like ours. Just saying.
Make sure you take some water out with you on your run, but we recommend you drink this in small, regular sips rather than big gulps so that you can avoid a nasty stitch at the halfway mark. Ouch.
- Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
The key to injury prevention is in the pre-run or pre-workout stretch, and this is where that annoying old saying that your teacher used to say to you comes in: fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
If you head straight off into a 10k run with no prior stretching, you’re going to pull a muscle. Period.
So don’t rush the process. Warm up and stretch properly, and then you’re good to go. Slow and steady wins the race and all that.
- Your playlist of choice
A playlist is a very personal thing, and a running playlist is even more sacred. We’d even go as far as to say that the quality of your running playlist is a key player in the indication of your workout.
Make sure that you’ve got your music streaming platform of choice ready and raring to go, packed with your favourite motivational tunes: the louder the better. If you need some inspiration, though, check out our favourites below. We’re sure they’ll help you improve your 10k run time in no time…
- Bethany Duckworth’s Workout Playlist
- Lauren Schramm’s Workout Playlist
- Nik Naidoo’s Workout Playlist
- Laura Ruthnum’s Workout Playlist
How to improve your 10k run time
Now you’re clued up, you’re probably thinking about ways to improve your run time, right?
The key to improving your run time is practice and perseverance, as good things come to those who wait, but here’s how to improve your run time:
- Switch up the pace
Challenge yourself with a mix of sprints amongst your usual pace to get your body used to a faster pace. One step at a time.
- Engage in Tabata training
If you don’t know what Tabata training is, get to know. Tabata training, or Tabata protocol, is a type of HIIT that requires a hard and fast training style to really test and challenge your body to work to its max. You can find out more about Tabata training in our Innermost guide to Tabata training, and we really recommend.
- Work on your form and stride
Improving your running form is a great way to maximise your speed. Make sure that your posture is correct with your head held high and your back straight, focus on your breathing and make sure you’re not over-striding. Remember to relax and GO!
- Run whenever you can
…. See you at the finish line!
- Run Repeat (2019). The State of Running 2019. Click here.