Wannabe Marathoner : 2 – Running Times

If you are a beginner marathon runner like me, the greatest curiosity you are likely to have is “How much time do all the experienced guys take?!” or “Maybe I can run, but am I good enough to compete?”

running times

Marathon Running Times – image courtesy –

If you are one of those who is running solely for keeping yourself fit without looking to take it to the next level, then honestly, you should not be thinking about distance covered vs running times at all. It should just be a nice, comfortable, constant pace for the target duration (20 mins? 30 mins? one hour?) If however, you are curious and (like me) have searched in vain for the “magic” answer to standard running times, then here is a quick overview from whatever I have gleaned from my research.


5 kms


a good time is between 17 minutes to 25 minutes

an average/decent time is between 25 to 35 minutes

Anything beyond that is a laid back time and if you wish to end up in the upper half of the field, you should start pushing yourself.


10 kms


a good time is 32 minutes to 47 minutes

an average/decent time is 48 minutes to 1 hour – 10 mins

Anything beyond that and you will be in the lower half of the field


21 kms 


I haven’t personally experienced this yet (my first half marathon coming up in Feb) but I do know that anything between 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes is a good time.


In general, as a thumb rule, running times of between 6 and 7 minutes per km are decent mid level times while anything below 6 minutes per km will start pushing you up into the top bracket of the runners. 🙂

To put things in perspective, in the recent Run Powai Run marathon, we had 2664 runners for the 10 km run. My time of 1 hour 15 seconds put me in 510th place, while Tapan’s time of 56 mins 44 seconds put him in position 339. The winner had a time of 32 minutes! 😀

In Retrospect


I would say you should not worry too much about setting times too early. Keep them in mind and perhaps look for miniscule improvements, but the important thing is to ENJOY running. In the beginning, I probably pushed too much, or maybe I was just exercising beyond my abilities; but for me, my initial runs used to feel like a chore that had to be done!

Luckily I persisted with it and read up about others’ experiences. I changed my running style, my habits, my nutrition and actually started enjoying my runs. This started to help me perform better and now I actually look forward to my runs! 🙂



Today was a great day for me…there is this daunting slope – the final approach to Kanheri Caves, that I had alluded to in my previous post. It was the insurmountable dragon for me and after having tried 4-5 times previously, I had shied away from it. Since the last couple of days I have just begun using ankle weights to improve my runs and today I decided to retry this monster WITH my ankle weights.

I had decided that I would just not give up, come what may and would rather take small steps and go slowly rather than stopping. (but then I have said this on all previous attempts and have always failed) This time to my shock and surprise I managed to run all the way up without stopping! In fact right at the end, I was even able to sprint for the last 50 metres, which was such an amazing feeling for me!

This is what I felt like! 🙂 Image courtesy –

It is these small pleasures that make marathon running worthwhile! 🙂



From tomorrow I will begin a daily log of my practice leading up to the 21 km Kihim/Alibag beach run. I will mix the daily schedule with any other thoughts or info that comes to my mind.

The countdown has begun for the Sunday 10 KM Mathe-Run and I’m already feeling the excitement 🙂


The Mathe-run Man and Mountain Meet

About windowtoindia75

Architect by education, game developer by profession. Help us by downloading our FREE games for the iphone and Android! Love travelling, science, science fiction, music and computer games, so expect the blog to be a mix of ideas and thoughts!


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