What is a good run pace?

Answer… It depends!

We are comparative creatures, it’s been part of our evolution process and was essential for survival. We need to know our place in our community and be wary of potential threats. So wanting to know if our running pace is ‘good’ is only natural.

The reason I’ve answered with the frustrating “it depends” is because the distance and desired result is incredibly important for that answer and the athletes background also helps provide additional key information to calculate an answer. The question itself is also incredibly subjective, one persons idea of “good” is often different than the next persons.

When I started running in my 30s after having my 4th child, I had it in my head that 10 minute miles was a good pace. Is it a good pace? Some people reading this will scoff and think that it’s a rubbish pace. 

It’s too subjective, Usain Bolt would sprint at 23mph whereas Eliud Kipchoge runs marathons at 13mph. Who is the better runner? Its like asking which is more useful, your arms or your legs… it depends on what you’re trying to do.

What would be a better question to ask is “What pace should I be running at”. This would however again depend on what your goal and background is. Are you planning on running a marathon or your local 5K parkrun? Are you running in a triathlon, duathlon or are you running rested? Is your upcoming race hilly or has mixed terrain or is at an untested altitude?

Maybe have a look at the past results for a race you’re planning to compete in, have a look what the previous athletes in your gender and age group have completed it in as a guide for a goal.  It will give you an idea of how you stack up in terms of pace and distance against your peers. 

You need to also be mindful of training zones. Typically running an ultra marathon or long endurance race like triathlon needs you to sustain your pace closely to Zone 2 for your heart rate. If it’s a shorter race then intensity could be increased but it would depend on your training and how sustainable it is.

What Is A Good Running Pace

So why do you want to know what a good running pace is? The answer might help you and your training more than you a given pace. Are you thinking of joining your local running club and looking for validation that you might be able to keep up? Are you looking at your run times on Strava and wonder whether you’re performing well for your age? If that’s the case then here’s a good article that covers average speed for different age groups over a mile: Healthline Average Mile Time

If you have a Garmin watch then the Connect app gives good insights to how you stack up with other Garmin users in your gender and age group. The other consideration I’d have as a coach is the athlete themselves. We have all pushed through adversity in one form or another, what mental and physical achievements and set backs have you had? When considering these setbacks then you’ll likely find that your pace is actually bloody good regardless of what Google says it should be.

If it’s not validation you need, maybe you feel like you should be able to run faster and maybe the answer is you just need to spice up your training with some fast intervals. You will only race at the pace you train to run at, so teaching the body to sustain a faster pace for longer might be all you need to do.

Sales pitch time, as a run coach and personal trainer I will be able to help you with your training plan virtually as an online coach if you’re not local. We can work together to help you improve your pace or sustain it for your required distance. More information is available below.

Good luck!


Run training Plans

Get faster with a bespoke training plan

I am a qualified Coach in Running Fitness and Triathlon Coach and I’d love to help you get faster and smash your next event. Whether you’re looking to complete or compete, I can help create the perfect plan to get you upto the pace or distance required.

I have quite a holistic approach and like to give you training that lights a fire in your belly, workouts that make your heart sing! It’s my job as a coach to work with you and find out what makes you tick to bring out your best results.

If you would like to know more and think I might be the right coach for you Contact Me or check out my page on Running Training Plans.

Jen Coppock
Jen Coppock
run & Triathlon Coach
llangollen, North Wales