How Long Does It Take To Run 10k? Beginner To Elite Run Times

The 10k is known for being an excellent fitness benchmark, with the average time it takes to run it varying significantly depending on fitness level, age, and gender

If you’ve never run a 10k race before—the famed 6.2-mile distance—you might wonder, “How long does it take to run 10k?”

Of course, the short answer is that it depends on your running speed, which is influenced by numerous factors such as your sex, age, fitness level, experience level, body size, and effort level.

Additionally, even factors such as weather conditions can influence your run time.

In this guide, we will get to the specific answers, looking at everything from the 10k world records to average 10k finish times, as well as your expected 10k time based on your running pace.

A silhouette of a runner and 10k.

How Long Does It Take to Run 10k for Elite Runners?

Before we try to parcel out what a good 10k time is for everyday runners, let’s take a look at the fastest 10k times with a peek into the database of running world records.

The World Record for the 10,000 meters (10k) on the track is 26:11.00, a blazing time set by Ugandan runner Joshua Cheptegei on October 7, 2020, in Valencia, Spain.1World Athletics. (n.d.). Worldathletics.org. https://worldathletics.org/records/by-category/world-records

The 10k world record for road running is not far behind, at 26:24. This fastest 10k time was run by Kenyan runner Rhonex Kipruto on January 12, 2020, in Valencia, Spain.

Running 10k in 26:24 works out to a blistering pace of 4:15 min/mile.

On the women’s side, the 10,000-meter world record is 29:01.03. This record was set in Hengelo, Netherlands, on June 8, 2021, by Letesenbet Gidey, a runner from Ethiopia.2World Athletics. (n.d.). Worldathletics.org. https://worldathletics.org/records/by-category/world-records

The women’s 10k world record for a road race was broken in February 2022 in Castellón, Spain, by Ethiopian Yalemzerk Yehualaw, in a time of 29:14. 

These records show that it is possible to cross the 10k finish line in under 30 minutes, but only for the world’s most elite, experienced runners.

Fast runners in a race.

What Is a Good 10k Time For The Average Runner?

The elite runners are in their own echelon that most of us mere mortals can only dream of touching.

So, what’s a good 10k time for regular, everyday, recreational runners?

Running Level reports that the average 10k finish time for men across all age groups is 46:43 at an average pace of 7:31 per mile or 4:40 per kilometer.

For women, the average 10k finish time is 54:13, which works out to 8:43 per mile and 5:25 per kilometer.

What Is a Good 10k Time For A Beginner?

According to the data, the average 10k time for beginner runners is 1:05:30 (10:32 min/mile pace) for men and 1:13:58 for women (11:54 min/mile pace).

For advanced runners, these times drop to 40:54 (6:35 min/mile pace) for men and 47:51 for women (7:42 min/mile pace).

How Long Should I Expect My First 10k Run To Take?

If you are a new runner, it is likely to take you around 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes to run a 10k for the first time, possibly longer.

If you already know how fast you can run a 5k or another distance, you can use our Race Time Prediction Calculator to get a personalized estimate as to how long you should expect a 10k training run or a 10k race to take you.

Runners' legs in a race.

Average 10k Finish Times By Age And Gender

Below are the 10k averages reported by RunRepeat in 2019 for men and women, divided by age groups.3 The State of Running 2019. (2019). Athletic Shoe Reviews; RunRepeat.com. https://runrepeat.com/state-of-running

As shown in the table below, the average time it takes to run a 10k depends significantly on age.

Age GroupMenWomen
0-1557:081:03:14
16-1946:361:00:21
20-2451:4059:50
25-2953:311:02:25
30-3454:211:02:31
35-3954:271:02:19
40-4453:311:02:37
45-4955:351:03:27
50-5456:121:04:04
55-5959:001:07:41
60-6458:481:09:51
65-991:03:021:18:57

How Long Does It Take to Run 10k Based On Pace?

We’ve looked at 10k world records and good 10k times, the latter of which is reflective of the average 10k times.

Now, let’s open up the scope of our approach and answer, “How long does it take to run 10k based on you pace?”

The answer can be gleaned from the pace chart below, which displays running speeds in miles per hour and kilometers per hour, pace per mile, and the resultant 10k finish time.

Speed (mph)Speed (km/hr)Pace (minutes/mile)Pace (minutes/km)10K Finish Time
4.4713:478:341:25:42
4.57.213:258:201:23:20
4.67.413:038:071:21:04
4.77.512:528:001:20:00
4.87.712:327:471:17:55
4.97.812:237:411:16:55
5.0812:047:301:15:00
5.18.211:477:191:13:10
5.28.311:387:141:12:17
5.38.511:227:041:10:35
5.48.711:066:541:08:57
5.58.810:586:491:08:10
5.6910:446:401:06:40
5.79.110:376:351:05:56
5.89.310:236:271:04:30
5.99.510:106:191:03:09
6.09.610:046:151:02:30
6.19.89:516:071:01:13
6.29.99:456:041:00:36
6.310.19:345:560:59:24
6.410.39:225:500:58:15
6.510.49:175:460:57:41
6.610.69:075:400:56:36
6.710.79:015:370:56:04
6.810.98:525:300:55:02
6.911.18:425:250:54:03
7.011.28:375:220:53:34
7.111.48:285:160:52:37
7.211.58:245:130:52:10
7.311.78:155:080:51:16
7.411.98:075:020:50:25
7.5128:035:000:50:00
7.612.27:554:550:49:10
7.712.47:474:500:48:23
7.812.57:434:480:48:00
7.912.77:364:430:47:14
8.012.87:324:410:46:52
8.1137:264:370:46:09
8.213.27:194:330:45:27
8.313.37:164:310:45:06
8.413.57:094:260:44:26
8.513.67:064:250:44:07
8.613.87:004:210:43:28
8.7146:544:170:42:51
8.814.16:514:160:42:33
8.914.36:454:120:41:57
9.014.46:434:100:41:40
9.114.66:374:070:41:05
9.214.86:314:030:40:32
9.314.96:294:020:40:16
9.3156:264:000:40:00
9.415.16:233:580:39:44
9.515.36:193:550:39:12
9.615.46:163:540:38:57
9.715.66:113:510:38:27
9.815.76:093:490:38:12
9.915.96:043:460:37:44
10.016.16:003:440:37:16
10.116.25:583:420:37:02
10.216.45:533:400:36:35
10.316.55:513:380:36:21
10.316.65:493:370:36:08
10.416.75:473:350:35:55
10.516.95:433:330:35:30
10.6175:413:320:35:17
10.717.25:373:290:34:53
10.817.35:353:280:34:40
10.917.55:313:260:34:17
11.017.75:283:230:33:53
11.117.85:253:220:33:42
11.2185:223:200:33:20
11.318.15:203:190:33:08
11.318.25:193:180:32:58
11.418.35:173:170:32:47
11.518.55:133:140:32:25
11.618.65:113:140:32:15
11.718.85:083:110:31:54
11.8195:053:100:31:34
11.919.15:043:080:31:24
12.019.35:003:070:31:05
12.119.44:593:050:30:55
12.219.64:563:040:30:36
12.319.84:533:020:30:18
12.419.94:513:010:30:09
12.520.14:482:590:29:51
12.620.24:472:580:29:42
12.720.44:442:560:29:24
12.720.54:432:560:29:16
12.820.64:412:550:29:07
12.920.74:402:540:28:59
13.020.94:372:520:28:42
13.1214:362:520:28:34
13.221.24:332:500:28:18
Runners in a race.

How To Improve Your 10k Time?

You can improve your 10k time by doing solid weekly long runs, varying your workouts to include different styles of running such as tempo training or speed work, practicing strength training and cross-training, and working to increase your lactate threshold.4Ghosh, A. K. (2004). Anaerobic threshold: its concept and role in endurance sport. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences : MJMS11(1), 24–36. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3438148/

Increasing the total mileage that you run each week (also known as your training volume) can also help to improve your 10k time. Just make sure to listen to your body and be mindful of overtraining, making sure to take rest days when needed and slowly building your mileage.5Kreher, J. B., & Schwartz, J. B. (2012). Overtraining Syndrome. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach4(2), 128–138. https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738111434406

In particular, maintaining a high volume of easy runs is also a key factor in improving 10k performance and building endurance.6Casado, A., Hanley, B., Santos-Concejero, J., & Ruiz-Pérez, L. M. (2019). World-class long-distance running performances are best predicted by volume of easy runs and deliberate practice of short-interval and tempo runs. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research35(9), 1. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000003176

Working with a qualified running coach who can give you a personalized training program is an excellent way to improve your 10k time.

For a more detailed breakdown of how to improve your 10k time, check out our guide on how to improve your 10k personal record.

Or, ready to take it to the next level? Then, take a look at our half-marathon training plans.

How Long Does It Typically Take To Train For A 10k Race?

As a beginner, it will generally take you 8 to 12 weeks to train for a first race.

Our 10k training plans for beginners slowly and safely build up your running fitness from an easy starting point so you are completely ready by race day.

For intermediate runners, it is possible to train for a 10k in less time, depending on your specific time or race pace goals.

References

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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