What is a good 10k time for a beginner

[00:00:00] You’ve been running for a little while. You’ve done the 5K. Now you’re looking to step it up. You want to do a 10K, but you’re not sure. What’s a good time? In a follow-up video to my other one where I talked about what’s a good time for 5K runners. Today, we’re going to talk about what is a good time for a 10K for beginners.

[00:00:31] If you haven’t been with me here on the channel before, I’m Jesse Funk, the founder of Solpri.com and the host of this show Runner’s High, where we talk about everything running and endurance related. So if you like running, you like triathlon, you like going the distance, you’re going to want to stick around, hit, subscribe to see more videos every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as my other show on the channel, the Smart Athlete Podcast, where I get to talk to really, really cool people who do a lot of different cool things that are sport and sport related.

[00:01:00] Anyway, today we want to talk about 10K, 10K times. What’s a good time? Now if you haven’t seen my video where I talk about what’s a good 5K time? Thank you to all of you that have watched it. It’s one of my more watched videos. It’s almost always in the top three most watched videos on my channel. I had a particular definition for what good is, and we had a discussion about that. And many of you seem to appreciate that, but definitely gotten some flack for deciding what good is.

[00:01:35] And today, when we talk about these 10K times, I actually want to continue to defend my hypothesis in that good, so to speak, means better than average. So the flack I received is basically from people who come from a more competitive background, like me saying that’s not good. Now for clarification, before we get on to the times, good, I believe, should be entirely internal.

[00:02:05] So even if you’re not above average in what I’m calling the definition of good, that’s OK. If you are improving and enjoying yourself, then you’re in the right place and you’re doing the right thing. But we do all like to be competitive sometimes, so let’s talk about the actual times.

[00:02:25] Just like in that 5K video, I’m going to give you this table of times here to my left or right. I don’t know. The camera’s backward sometimes, so I don’t know which side it would be for you. But here, next to me, here next to my head. Looks at your age group. Kind of see what the average time is.

[00:02:41] And we’re going to say, if you’re above that average time, then you’re good. You’re doing well. If you’re below that average time again, not going to be a huge deal. If you are where you want to be and you are improving. The sport at its heart is a race against yourself. But on average, let’s say men finishing time for 10K, roughly 55 ish minutes and then the women about an hour too.

[00:03:13] Now, if you’ve seen that other video I did, you’ll notice a peculiar thing, and that is that the finish time for men’s and women’s 10K is faster than double of what the 5K was. So we were like low 30 minutes for like men, if I remember right. And so that should actually put us like an hour, 2-hour, 4 or something like that for finish time. Yet we’re here, we are at 55 and you go, “Well, that doesn’t make sense. Like shouldn’t it be double or even more because you’re going longer, you’re going to get more tired?” Well, I would say no.

[00:03:53] And, I don’t have the data to back this up for clarification, but I think there’s an intuitive reason, and once I say it, you go, “aha!”, why this is the case. And that is anybody who runs a 10K. Number one, it’s like kind of a redhead stepchild of the running world. But anybody who runs a 10 number one doesn’t want to run 5K and number two probably spends more time training.

[00:04:20] So you actually have a group of people who have self-selected a little bit because they are a little bit faster. They are putting a little bit more time versus 5K, much more like non training, I’ll say non runner. Not that that’s a great identifier, but just somebody who doesn’t spend regular time training a 5K much more approachable distance.

[00:04:43] So I think you see these faster times both on the men and women side because you’re going to get people that self-select and say,”Hey, I want to train, I want to do something longer. Maybe I’m not quite ready for half marathon or marathon”, or maybe you’re like me and you don’t really care about the longer stuff anyway. You like the short stuff, so you have that kind of self selection there.

[00:05:06] One other thing I want to address with a critique people have had with my approach here in this data where I say the average times is I’ve had people say the median, the median, what should what should we should be looking at, which is the middle of the road versus the average, which can be skewed with outliers. So like when you take. Say somebody who’s super elite trying to run a world record and you stick them in a race and maybe there’s nobody else there. They’re going to pull the average time down.

[00:05:39] It’s going to be faster than it would be because you have this outlier. Or conversely, if you have somebody who what if, I don’t know, for whatever reason takes 3 hours to finish their 10K, then they are going to raise the race average time. Now, this is a very large data set where this information comes from and in a large enough data set, the median and the average tend towards the middle.

[00:06:07] So they tend towards themselves. They tend to be the same because you have a large enough set of information that those extremes don’t tend to affect the average or the information quite as much. So even though purely speaking, we would prefer to find the median, this is data that’s reported that I’m not able to sift through the raw data for. So in any case, I don’t think you need to be that nitty gritty about is this the median or is this the average? Because, again, it’s a large data set. They’re going to tend towards the same number.

[00:06:49] And at that point, we’re splitting hairs. Right? 55 minutes. So I went 55:30. Am I OK? I may way went 54:59, is that what I need? You’re in the ballpark, right? That’s kind of what we want. And again, back to my first point from the beginning of this video, it’s about you. It’s about your race. It’s about how you’re performing. It’s about how you enjoy the sport, enjoy the training. And I hope you do enjoy the training more than you enjoy the racing. Because if you can find joy in that, you’ll be able to stick with it for the long term.

[00:07:27] So if you like more videos like this where we talk about running and endurance sports, obviously subscribe, you can check out more posts, videos, all that kind of things on our blog, Solpri.com/blog. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.

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