How long does it take to run a 5k? Whether youre mapping out your plan to start training, or whether youre wondering if your 5k time matches up with other runners, weve got all the information you need right here.
In this post were going run through . . .
By the way, 5 kilometers is 3.11 miles its often the case that 5k and 3 miles are used interchangably since the distance between them is so close!
Lets jump in!
How Long Does it Take to Run a 5k?
Just like no thumb print in the world is alike, no runners are exactly alike either. Your 5k run time depends on a few factors:
Some other factors include:
Now that you know about all the little things that can affect your running speed during a 5k, well answer all your questions about running a 5k.
Related: Heres our complete Couch To 5k guide and training plan
How long is a 5k in miles?
5k is short for 5 kilometers. One mile is the same as 1.6 kilometers. So a 5k run is 3.1 miles.
Thats good news for you as a beginner runner, since 3 seems much more achievable than 5!
How long does it take to run 3 miles?
Heres the answer to the big question of the day. First, Ill show you some different times that different levels of runners have finished their 5k.
Fastest 5k time: Joshua Cheptegei is the current world champion for the fastest 5000m run. He finished at 12:35:36 in Monaco, August 2020.
Keep in mind this is the fastest 5k speed. Lets take a look at the average runners pace for running just one mile.
Average Mile speed: The average runners mile speed is somewhere around 8.7 13 minutes per mile.
Average 5k time: Based on the average runners mile speed, we can calculate that the average 5k or 3 mile time is in the range of 26 36 minutes.
However, that average time is highly dependent on both age and sex: scroll down for our table of average 5k times broken down by age group and gender.
5k run times broken down: If 26 36 minutes is the average 5k speed for a person who has been training, lets break that down to see what it looks like on smaller levels.
For a runner who jogs steadily at a 10 minute mile pace, a 5k takes 30 minutes to finish.
If you are walking the 5k, it will take about 45 minutes.
If you run off and on during your 5k, it will take 35-40 minutes.
Average 5k Time By Age and Gender
Age plays a big part in your athletic abilities; the table here shows the average 5k times by age for both men and women:Age groupMenWomen0 to 1534:4337:5516 to 1929:3937:3920 to 2429:2736:2225 to 2931:0936:1630 to 3431:2738:4135 to 3933:4437:2140 to 4432:2638:2645 to 4933:1339:1950 to 5434:3041:2055 to 5937:3345:1860 to 6440:3345:4965 to 9942:5950:13
What is a good 5k time for a beginner?
If youve been training steadily on a couch to 5k plan, aim for a finishing time of 30 minutes.
If youre thinking, I just dont see how I could run without stopping for 30 minutes, I have good news: you dont have to!
The best way to get started is by following a Couch To 5k Training Plan.
The Couch To 5k method is specifically designed for non-runners, and uses a run/walk strategy to get you used to running very effective.
(weve developed 8-week and 4-week couch to 5k training plans, free to download!).
Many C25k runners end up completing the 5ks in very good times you can still finish at 30 minutes (or even less) by running and walking through the race.
Sometimes running straight through the race can exhaust your body.
When you walk, the purpose is to give your body a rest so it can recover. By following the training methods in the article just mentioned, you can optimize that recovery period to help you run even faster during your running periods.
Heres Our Guide: How To Run 5k In 30 Minutes
How To Run 5k In 25 Minutes
4 Benefits of Running a 5k
Running a 5K is a huge milestone in your running adventure. It represents the first of many runs to come.
Finishing a 5K means you conquered your obstacles to running a mile, then running 2 miles, then running in an actual group race.
Crossing that finish line means achieving a dream that you worked for. But thats the keyword: work.
Getting to a 5K requires dedication to your goal and the persistence to make it happen.
Here are some other benefits of running a 5k:
#1: Running is one of the most convenient forms of exercise.
Sure, as you advance to running longer and upping your speed, youll want to gather more gear and more tips and tricks.
But when youre just starting out, all you need is a good pair of shoes, a bottle of water, and youre good to go.
#2: Running is inexpensive.
There is no need for a gym membership or any fancy, expensive equipment.
Most runners like to have a good pair of earbuds that wont fall out of their ears while running.
Youll want some clothes that dont absorb too much sweat while you run (a cheap, $10 pair of shorts will do the job).
#3: Your training will inspire you to eat healthier.
When youre putting the work into training for a 5k, it will be much easier to say no to a quick candy bar or fast food burger.
Youve been working hard why throw it all away for a brief pleasure?
#4: Running has a multitude of health benefits as well:
How to Run Your First 5k Race
Follow these 5k run tips to make the most of your first 5k and have a great time during the training and the actual race day.
Develop a Warmup Routine
Pencil in 10 minutes of warmup time before every run. With the goal of getting your blood pumping faster, move as much as you can in that time.
Here is an example of an effective warmup workout.
A 5 Step Guide on How to Run a 5K
Here are the 5 essential steps that need to happen to make your 5K schedule a success.
Step 1: Sign Up for a Race
This is an absolute must. When you have a date, and a plan to run with other people, the idea becomes a reality. Once you sign up and pay for your spot, you know its time to start training.
A typical couch to 5k plan lasts for 9 weeks.If youre starting out at an intermediate level, you can plan for 4-8 weeks.
Just dont cut your training short. Its better to have an extra week of wiggle room to make sure youre ready. Your first 5K experience should be a positive one. Thats only possible if youre prepared and fit to finish the race.
Step 2: Download a Training Plan
Even if youre the type of person who goes with the flow and wings it, I dont recommend training for a race without a plan.
Here are 3 reasons why.
Step 3: Establish a run walk method
Most training plans will outline a strategy for segments of running and walking, but if not you need a strategy.
Make a set time for yourself to run and a cool down period to walk before you run again. To do that, jog at a comfortable pace for as long as you can. Set a timer while you do it. Then youll know a steady length of time to jog when youre first starting out.
Each week, increase that jogging time and decrease the walking time.
Step 4: Work on Your Diet
Eating right and running go hand in hand. Your regular food habits will directly affect the outcome of your 5K training.
While theres no diet regimen you must follow, take care to be conscious that youre focusing on vegetables and lean protein. Eat carbohydrates before your runs to keep you energized, and stay away from drinking too much alcohol (especially the night before a run).
Step 5: Plan a Weekly Strength Workout
While running is typically considered a cardio exercise, you activate plenty of muscles that propel your body forward. The main muscle groups are your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core.
If youre not a fan of the gym, there are plenty of bodyweight workouts you can do to build up the strength you need for running.
Uphill running is effective too. Designating an uphill run once a week is a great way to become a stronger runner.
Related: How To Run 5k in 18 Minutes
Make it Happen
Now that you have all the necessary knowledge, its time to put it into action. Start with this guide on how to run a 5k in 30 minutes and start today!
Mia Kercher is a hiker, cyclist, and runner. After finishing her first marathon in 2013, she continued the sport but found a new passion in trail running. She now explores the glorious mountains in Portland, Oregon where she works as co-founder of Evoke.
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