How does your speed measure up against the average runner?
If you’re a runner, you’ve probably already asked yourself that question. Those runners who regularly race in spring and fall likely already have a good idea of how they compare to other competitors– you usually know if you’re a top-ten, middle-of-the-pack or in the top half kind of runner.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, lets point out that running isn’t always about comparing yourself to others. Enjoying the action of running purely for what it is, arguably, is what makes the lifestyle so great. And anyone can do it.
A little friendly competition does go a long way for many of us. That competitive edge often works as a motivational boost. If overtaking other runners on a race course is what’s getting you fit, hey, we’re all for it.
If you’re one of those self-doubting runners, you may also be due a reality check. We all know that runner who thinks they are slow and out of shape but then shows up to a race and places seventh. If you’re someone who tends to underestimate your abilities, some concrete statistics on average runner paces may be the emotional boost you need.
If you’re a marathon runner…
Last year, one of our bloggers with a knack for crunching the numbers looked into the ways in which we define terms like “sub-elite” and “middle of the pack.” Using results from the Chicago Marathon (in which over 40,000 compete), he removed the times which indicated that a competitor was a walker. He found that…
4:15 is what a man has to run in a marathon to be in the top half.
4:45 is the time a woman has to run to be in the top 50 per cent.
3:00 for a finishing time makes a woman in the top per cent of her race and a man in the top five per cent.
3:40 earns a man bragging rights for finishing in the top quarter.
4:10 means a woman is in the top quarter of her race.
TOP HALF OF MALE AND FEMALE MARATHON PACKS
4:45:30 is what Running USA says is the average marathon finishing time for a woman in 2015.
4:20:13 is the average marathon for a man during the same period.
If you opt to go half the distance
According to Running USA…
2:22:21 is the average female finishing time and…
2:04:00 is the average male time for 21.1K.
If you prefer to go hard in training
Consider the average paces of what Strava has dubbed the fastest cities in the world…
5:33 is the average pace of runners from Paris.
5:36 is what Londoners’ paces averaged out to.
5:42 is what Berlin runners are clocking for an average kilometre.
If you’re more about the moderate to easy runs
Earlier this month, Shape Magazine reported that in 2016, the average American woman on Strava ran 4.6 miles at a pace of 9:55 per mile. In Canadian speak, that translates to 7.4 kilometres at a 6:10 pace.