“I’m a slow runner” – What do statistics say?

It is again the time of year when many have started or are about to start the race season. In particular, social media are filled with medal images, and many also compare their own times with those of others. It’s easy to think that “I’m so slow runner” compared to others, but what do statistics say?

what do statistics say?

First of all, race times don’t just tell the whole truth, as not every runner participates in races. Many use running to maintain health and well-being. While there are a lot of racing runners, not nearly everyone puts a number tag on their chest or talks about their time anywhere, no matter how good they are.

According to statistics, in 2018, the average time for a marathon was 4:48 for women and 4:21 for men. There are some year-on-year differences, but less than the 4-hour average is not seen in global statistics. In fact, a few countries’ averages are less than a four-hour marathon. So, in reality, there are not many under three-hour marathoners.

For shorter distances in the United State, the averages are:

  • 5km for women: 40min and for men: 34min.
  • 10 km for women: 1h 14 min and men: 1 h.
  • Half marathon for women: 2h 15min and men: 1h 48 min.
    Most other countries will certainly follow the same line.
Comparing yourself to others

Only a small fraction run marathons in less than three hours, and it doesn’t matter. So don’t compare your own time to others, if you run slower, the fact that you run at all is already a big deal. And if you run marathons in less than three hours, don’t underestimate others. It should be remembered that times and pace are influenced by many factors such as input, proper training, background, age and many physiological factors.

We can never know other’s backgrounds, few fully share in public the entire workout or their own workout history. Even if they do, it’s not worth others starting to follow these. Everyone is an individual and develops in a different way. If your own times are annoying and you want to become a faster runner, it usually requires a change from previous training. Fast times don’t come for free.

The main thing is that the run feels good itself. You don’t have to put the race number on your chest if you don’t want it, it doesn’t make a runner any less important runner. There are many health benefits to running, both physically and mentally. If the times and exercises posted by other runners cause jealousy and anxiety about your own training and fitness, avoid following them. As long as others remain the only source of motivation, the following can be good.




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