The average pace of running for men is around 7-8 minutes per mile (4-5 minutes per km) and, for women, 8-9 minutes per mile (5-6 minutes per km). However, factors such as fitness level, age, and running experience will influence this.
In this article, we’ll look at the average pace of running by age, fitness level, and over distances such as 5K and 10K plus a few top tips to improve your average pace of running.
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What is running pace?
Running pace refers to how long it takes you to cover a distance. It’s usually expressed as the time it takes you to cover a certain distance. For example, it might be in minutes per mile or minutes per kilometer. Average running speed focuses on the distance you cover over a certain time. For example, you were able to run 10 km in an hour.
When setting running goals, it’s important to consider your average pace and current fitness levels.
For example, if you want to know how to get faster at sprinting, knowing your average pace of running can be helpful. It can help you determine the intensity of your workout, track your progress, and monitor your performance over time.
What does the average pace of running mean?
The average pace of running is the overall pace or speed at which you run a particular distance.
It’s the total run time in minutes divided by the total distance in miles or km.
This will give you an average running pace of minutes per km or mile.
For example, if you run 3km in 30 minutes, your average pace will be 10 minutes per km.
If your average time to run 3 miles is 30 minutes, your average pace would be 10 minutes per mile.
What is the average pace of running for men and women?
Generally, the average running pace for men is 6 – 10 minutes per mile or 3.7 – 6 minutes per kilometer. Women will average between 7 – 11 minutes per mile or 4.3 – 7 minutes per kilometer.
The average pace of running will depend on the distance as well as the speed at which someone is running.
The average running pace data in this article is based on the average 1-mile run time by age plus several online resources including the Army Physical Test 2-mile run standards for men and women and Strava data.
As with all running times, results may vary between individuals and should be seen as approximations.
Average running pace for male runners
The average running pace for men can range between 6 to 10 minutes per mile or 3.7 to 6 minutes per kilometer.
|Running intensity||Average pace of running|
|Comfortable jogging pace||9 – 10 mins per mile (5 – 6 mins per km)|
|Moderate running pace||7 – 8 mins per mile (4 – 5 mins per km)|
|Fast running pace||6 mins per mile (3.7 mins per km)|
Average run pace for female runners
The average pace of running for female runners can range from 7 to 11 minutes per mile or 4.3 to 7 minutes per kilometer.
|Running intensity||Average pace of running|
|Comfortable jogging pace||10 – 11 mins per mile (6 – 7 mins per km)|
|Moderate running pace||8 – 9 mins per mile (5 – 6 mins per km)|
|Fast running pace||7 mins per mile (4.3 mins per km)|
What is a good running pace by fitness level?
Fitness level can greatly affect your running pace. Beginner runners will generally have a slower average running pace compared to elite athletes. As your fitness improves, along with your running technique, your average running pace will become faster.
Average pace of running for beginners
The average running pace for a new runner is about 10 to 15 minutes depending on your age. Older runners tend to have slower paces compared to younger runners.
Novice runners (those who have been running for 6 months) will have a pace of about 9 to 13 minutes.
Average pace of running for intermediate runners
The average pace of running for intermediate runners is 7 to 9 minutes per mile depending on your age.
Average running pace for advanced runners
The average pace of running for advanced to elite athletes is 6 to 8 minutes per mile depending on your age.
What is a good running pace by distance?
A good running pace by distance will vary between individuals. It also depends on gender, age, fitness, and running experience. Remember to gradually increase your pace, running too fast too soon can lead to injuries such as hip pain after running.
Distance also plays a role in pace. Shorter distances will have a much quicker pace compared to longer distances. For example, the average 2 mile run time by age will be quicker than the time to run a 5K.
The table below gives you an idea of a good running pace by distance.
Men’s Pace (min/km)
Men’s Pace (min/mile)
Women’s Pace (min/km)
Women’s Pace (min/mile)
Half Marathon (21.1K)
Average pace of running for a 5K — men
The average pace of running for a 5K (3.1 miles) for men will vary. However, generally, the average running pace for men is about 5 to 7 minutes per kilometer (8 to 10 minutes per mile).
|Age||Total 5K time||Min per km||Min per mile|
|16 – 19||29:45||05:57||9:34|
|20 – 24||29:30||05:54||9:30|
Average pace of running for a 5K — women
The average time to complete a 5K for women is between 35 to 40 minutes. This is a pace of approximately 7 to 8 minutes per kilometer or 11-12 minutes per mile.
Total 5K time
Min per km
Min per mile
16 – 19
20 – 24
Average running pace per km for 10K
According to a large-scale study in the USA, the most frequent finishing time for a 10K for men is about 54:30 – 55:30. For women, it’s between 58:30 – 59:30.
This is an average running pace per km of about 05:33 for men and 05:57 for women.
|Finishing time||Minutes per km||Minutes per mile|
|Men||54:30 – 55:30||05:27 – 05:33||08:46 – 08:55|
|Women||58:30 – 59:30||05:51 – 05:57||09:24 – 09:34|
What is a good average pace for beginners?
As a beginner runner, it’s important that you start at a comfortable pace that allows you to build endurance, and fitness plus avoid injury.
While it can be helpful to see where you compare to everyone else, make it your aim to improve your own average running pace as your fitness, running ability, and endurance grow.
Average beginner's running pace per mile
The average beginner’s running pace per mile can be between 10 to 15 minutes depending on your age and ability.
If you are new to running, make it your goal to simply finish a 1-mile run. Depending on your level, you might need to add walk breaks into your run to give yourself time to recover. Once you’re able to run a full mile, then work on improving your pace.
Runners who have been running for longer than 6 months, will be able to finish a mile in 9 to 13 minutes.
Average beginner's running pace per KM
If you are completely new and unfit, then an average pace per km of 9 to 10 minutes per kilometer is a good starting point.
If you are relatively fit, then aim for an average pace per km of 7 to 8 minutes. Once more, add walking breaks into your run until your fitness and endurance have improved.
Be sure to listen to your body and adjust your pace as needed. As you progress, you can gradually increase your pace and reduce the frequency of walk breaks.
Remember, the key to building endurance and achieving your running goals is consistency and gradual progression. This will help your body to adapt and prevent injuries and conditions like ankle pain from running.
How to use running pace, heart rate, and VO2 max to track your progress
While measuring your progress subjectively can be encouraging, there are some key objective metrics that you can use to help you monitor your average pace of running. These include your running pace, heart rate, and VO2 max.
- Running pace – this is your average running speed and is usually measured in minutes per mile or KM.
- Heart rate – the number of heartbeats per minute (bpm) which indicates how hard your heart is working in a run.
- VO2 max – is the maximum amount of oxygen that is used by your body during exercise. It’s an indicator of your aerobic fitness.
Most fitness trackers or smart watches will be able to record your running pace and heart rate, some like the Garmin Forerunner 245 will also give you an estimate of your VO2 max.
Before you start tracking your metrics, establish a baseline so that you can note your improvement.
Running pace and heart rate
Running pace and heart rate have a direct relationship. The faster you run, the more your heart rate increases so that your body can pump blood and oxygen into your muscles.
- If you can run at a faster pace while keeping your heart rate the same, this is an indicator that you are getting fitter.
- If you can run at the same pace while maintaining a lower heart rate, this also indicates that your aerobic fitness is improving.
Running pace and VO2 max
Generally, it is thought that a faster run pace tends to have higher VO2 max values. However, middle to long-distance runners also tend to have higher VO2 max values. VO2 max can be used as an indicator of your cardiovascular fitness and endurance.
If you can achieve a higher VO2 max rate, it’s an indicator that your aerobic fitness is improving. Keep a record of your VO2 max values over time to assess improvement in your cardiovascular endurance.
How to improve your average pace of running
There are a number of factors that can influence your average pace of running:
- Current fitness levels
- Running experience (beginner runners versus an elite athletes)
- Muscle mass
- Given distance
You can improve your average running pace by implementing a well-rounded approach that includes a structured training plan, nutrition, and sufficient rest.
Here are a few strategies that you can use to help elevate your running game and achieve new milestones.
Keep a training log
Keeping a record of your running workouts over time is a great way to track and improve your progress. Many fitness apps will keep a record for you but if you are going old school, keep track of your distance and pace, as well as metrics such as your heart rate and Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).
Compare your pace over time
Once you’ve tracked your workouts and data, you’ll be able to compare your pace over time. For example, if you initially struggled to run 1 mile but can now run the same distance in less than 10 minutes, it’s a good indicator that your fitness and running ability are improving.
Analyze your paces for different types of runs
If you compare your running pace for different types of runs, you’ll be able to get a good idea of areas where you need to improve. For example, you might find that the pace for a tempo run might be slower than your goal race pace. This would then be an indication that you need to work on tempo running.
Set realistic goals using your existing pace data
Your existing pace data will give you a good idea of your current fitness level. You can then use that info to set realistic training goals such as using your pace data to work out your goal finishing time for a race.
Gradually increase your distance
One of the easiest ways to help your body adapt to running, build endurance, and prevent overuse injuries is to gradually increase your running distance. Run the same distance for a week and gradually increase it the following week or every two weeks depending on your fitness level and how your body responds.
Add hill training
Adding hills to your run will help you build lower body strength, increase your cardiovascular endurance, and improve your overall running performance. Plus, it can also help you stay motivated and build a sense of accomplishment.
Run at a comfortable pace
During long runs, aim to run at a comfortable pace on long runs. This will help you build a strong aerobic base and develop endurance without placing excessive strain on your body.
Do interval training
Interval training involves alternating between periods of high-intensity running and active recovery. This helps enhance your speed, cardiovascular capacity, and overall running efficiency which leads to improved performance.
Do strength training
Add strength training into your training plan to build muscle strength, stability, and overall running efficiency. This will also help reduce the risk of injury and will enhance your overall running performance.
Do tempo training
Tempo training (tempo runs or threshold running), involves running at a challenging (but not your maximum) pace for a sustained period. It’s designed to increase your lactate threshold, which is the point at which lactic acid starts to build up in your muscles faster than your body can clear it away.
By running at this threshold pace, you train your body to clear lactate more efficiently, which allows you to sustain a faster pace for a longer duration.
Listen to music
If you’ve trained or run to music before, you’ll know that it helps you get the most out of your workout. If you are running in a safe location, listening to music can help increase your average running pace.
In a small study on the effect of music on lap pace for a self-paced 20-minute run, researchers found that listening to music significantly increased the lap time for trained and untrained participants. What was also interesting was that untrained participants also experienced decreased heart rate when running while listening to music compared to running without music.
Get enough sleep
It’s important that you incorporate rest days and prioritize sleep. This allows your body to rest, recover, and repair so that it can adapt to the demands of training.
Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated
Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet that includes a variety of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and essential nutrients. This is crucial for providing your body with enough energy, the nutrients for muscle repair, and overall well-being. This will help improve your running performance and overall health. Remember to stay hydrated during and after your runs, especially in hot or humid environments.
Tips for running at a comfortable pace
If you’ve just started running or have perhaps been running for a while, you might be wondering how you can find your average pace of running. Follow these easy tips to work out your average running pace.
Focus on effort and breath
One of the easiest ways to focus on pace is to pay attention to how hard you’re working (effort) and how difficult it is to maintain your breathing.
If you find that you’re out of breath and struggling to keep up your pace, you’re likely running too hard. On the other hand, if you can carry on a conversation easily, you might not be pushing yourself enough.
By finding the right balance between effort and breath, you can maintain a sustainable pace that will allow you to run longer distances without getting too winded.
Monitor your heart rate
Your heart rate is a good indicator of effort and can help you adjust your pace accordingly. Use a smartwatch to monitor your heart rate and set your pace.
Your target heart rate for moderate-intensity activity should be between 64 – 76% of your maximum heart rate.
To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, someone who is 45 years old will have a maximum heart rate of 175.
To find your target heart rate, subtract your age from 220 and multiply that number by 0.64 or 0.76. For the example above, the target heart rate for a 45-year-old would be between 112 and 133 beats per minute.
By keeping your heart rate within this range, you’ll be able to maintain a steady pace without overexerting yourself. Using a watch like the Garmin Forerunner 245 will make it easy to monitor your heart rate and running pace.
Count time not distance
Set a time goal for your run, rather than distance. This will help you run at a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable, without worrying about the distance. As your endurance and fitness levels improve, you can gradually increase your time goals and start tracking your distance.
Use the run-walk-run approach
The run-walk-run approach involves alternating periods of running with periods of walking. This allows you to rest and recover while still progressing toward your goals.
For example, you might run for 3 minutes, walk for 1 minute, and repeat this cycle for the duration of your run. By using this approach, you’ll be able to maintain a consistent pace and gradually build up your endurance.
Listen to your body
Perhaps the most important tip to help you find your average pace of running is to listen to your body. Pay attention to how you feel during your run, and adjust your pace if needed. If you feel tired or sore, slow down or walk. If you feel strong and energetic, you can pick up the pace a bit.
By tuning in to your body, you’ll be able to find the right balance between effort and rest. This will allow you to maintain a sustainable pace and gradually improve your endurance over time.
Slow and steady wins the race
Finally, remember that slow and steady wins the race. Don’t worry about trying to run at a certain pace or keeping up with others. Focus on finding a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable for you.
By building up your endurance over time, you’ll be able to run longer distances and naturally increase your pace, without pushing yourself too hard too soon.
The key to success in running is consistency and patience, so take your time and enjoy the journey!
A good running pace per km is about 5-6 minutes a kilometer. This is about 10-12 kph.
Running at an average speed of usually recorded in minutes per km or per mile. It can also be kilometers per hour or miles per hour. The average running speed is about 10 – 12 kph or about 6 – 7 miles per hour.
No, a higher average pace of running indicates a slower speed. For example, someone who runs a kilometer in 7 minutes, will be slower than someone who runs it in 5 minutes.
An easy run is at a pace where you can easily hold a conversation. This is between 65% of your max heart rate. It will help you build endurance and running experience.
A good average pace is about 6 miles per hour. This is about 10 minutes per mile.
In general, the most efficient running speed is about 10 miles per hour or 16 kph. This will vary depending on the individual.
- The average pace of running for men is around 6-10 minutes per mile (3.7-6 minutes per km).
- The average pace of running for women is about 7-11 minutes per mile (4.3-7 minutes per km).
- Finding your average running pace will help you achieve your running goals.
- Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)
- Strava Year in Sport 2022
- Performance Trends in Large 10-KM Road Running Races in the United States
- A study of cardio-pulmonary efficiency in different categories of runners
- Perceived Exertion (Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale)
- Effects Music Has on Lap Pace, Heart Rate and Perceived Exertion Rate During a 20-Minute Self-Paced Run
- Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate