Originally Posted by maggmaster
Yea 20 is not the measure that I would use, 18 is a bit tougher but I ran 17:15 last year with only a couple months of training. The top high school athletes are much faster than that.
Yup- The top high school runners run in the low 14s on a cross country course. Some of them could might be able to break 14 minutes on a straight track but 5k is not contested in T & F in high school. A lot of people who don't run really don't have the concept of times. Someone who runs a 5k in 15:01 is in a completely different class of runner than someone who runs a 15:59. It is like the difference between a 5.0 and 6.0 tennis player. They may look the same from outward appearances, but they are totally different levels in reality. You can shave off a minute running when you are running 5ks 20s and 30s pretty easily. Once you get to the top winning a race by minute is a HUGE difference.