Running - Knowledge

How Many Miles is a 5k or 10k? Find Out and Prepare For It!

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When you are preparing for a 5K run, the road to success will be a slightly bumpy one (pun intended!). Get the basics right and brace yourself to handle the challenges. 5K runs are popular among new runners and veterans, both. When talking about this run, the first question that comes to our mind is how many miles is a 5K run? Let us take a look at this and also how you can train your body for a running career in the 5K distance category.

If you have the potential coupled with an undying passion for reaching the finish line first, congratulations, your job is half done! Of course, the road (or should we say the run!) ahead is rocky and you need to make sure you begin on the right foot. Regular practice and endurance is the key here. Going that ‘extra mile’ and training each day is important, not weeks but months in advance! Understand your body and arrive at how many miles you should run every week when you train as a 5K runner.

Know More Here:

How Many Miles is a 5K

5K denotes 5000 meters or 5 kilometers and it makes up a distance of 3.1 miles. On a standard field track used for athletic events, a 5K race will mean covering 12.5 laps. For the relatively shorter distance, 5K races are very popular in the athletic circuit because a few weeks of training is enough to get you on track for a competitive event.  Here is the conversion table for all the 4 types of marathons.

Marathon Miles No. of Laps Covered
5k 3.1 12.5
10k 6.2 25
Half (26 km) 13.04 52.5
Full (42 km) 26.2 105

Note: A standard track length of 400 meters is taken to calculate the laps covered for each race distance.

Below are some interesting facts about the various the marathon events

5k Marathon Facts

  • Of all the running events, the 5K distance is more famous among infrequent or newbie runners.
  • The 5K distance is particularly popular among women and a number of annual women-only races are organized over this distance. According to the Running USA's stats in 2012, it was seen that there was about 58% female participation in the 5k races.
  • The 5 k race for the men's category was incorporated in the Olympic Programme since 1912, and for the women's category, it was incorporated in the year 1996.
  • The world records in the 5000 meters are held by Kenenisa Bekele with 12:37 minutes in men's category on 31st May 2004 and Tirunesh Dibaba with 14:11 minutes in women's category on 6th June 2008.
  • The ideal time to complete a 5k marathon is 30 minutes

10k Marathon Facts

  • The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, United States is considered to be the largest 10k races of all, which had over 55,000 participants in 2011.
  • The 10K distance races have never been incorporated in the event programmes of the Athletics at the Summer Olympics or the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Thus, the highest level of 10K events takes place at individual races organized by race promoters, who attract elite international level runners through prize money and appearance fees.
  • At races such as the World's Best 10K, Peachtree Road Race, and World 10K Bangalore the annual prize money is over US$100,000.
  • The world records in the 10,000 meters (10k) are held by Leonard Patrick Komon with 26:44 minutes in men's category on 26th September 2007 and Joyciline Jepkosgei with 29:43 minutes in women's category on 9th September 2017.
  • The average time that is taken by normal runners to run a10k ranges between 50-70 minutes. But with consistent preparation and a goal-oriented approach, one can reduce this time.

Half Marathon Facts

  • A half marathon is a road running event of 21.0975 km (13 mi 192½ yd) – half the distance of a marathon.
  • A half marathon world record is officially recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
  • The oldest women ever to complete the 21k marathon was Harriette Thompson. She completed the run at the age of 94 at the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon, 2017.
  • The world records in the 21k (half marathon) are held by Zersenay Tadese with 58:23 minutes in men's category on 21st March 2010 and Joyciline Jepkosgei with 1:04:52 hour in women's category on 1st April 2017.
  • An average person can require nearly 2 hours to complete a half marathon (21k) race.

Full Marathon Facts

  • The full marathon or a long-distance running race means 42.195 kilometers (26.219 miles, or 26 miles 385 yards) long.
  • The idea of a marathon race was given by Michel Bréal, who wanted the event to feature in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens.
  • The winner of the first Olympic marathon which took place on 10th April 1896 was Spyridon Louis, a Greek water-carrier, who completed the entire distance in 2 hours 58 minutes and 50 seconds.
  • The world records in the 42k (full marathon) are held by Dennis Kimetto with 2:02:57 hours in men's category on 28th September 2014 at Berlin Marathon and Mary Keitany with 2:17:01 hours in women's only category at the London Marathon on 23rd April 2017.
  • It can take over 4 hours for an average person to complete a full marathon.
  • Required Pace to run a full marathon is 9:55/mile.

 Know all on how to Prepare For Your First Marathon- Ready, Steady, Run!

Stretch daily
Preparing for the first run

 

The 3-Steps Plan to Run a 5K in 30 minutes

STEP 1

Enroll yourself in a race today and let it be the goal that motivates you to perform to the best of your fitness and endurance levels. Find the calendar of marathons in your area and pick one which is 4-5 weeks away.

STEP 2 

Prepare for a 5K Run and The Weekly Average Miles a 5K Runner Should Run 

Do not push yourself to the limit initially as your body needs to respond well without straining the ligaments and tendons. If you have been an active participant in outdoor games like soccer or basketball for a long time, your endurance levels should be good. Nevertheless, start with running one to three miles per run initially.

Whether it’s a 5K, 10K or marathon run, the rules remain the same.  There is no magic formula for a definite number of miles per week when you are preparing for a 5K marathon. You need to be aware of the signs your body gives you and then take a call about what works optimally for you. Usually, the longer the race you are training for, the more is the mileage you will need. For a 5K runner, a mileage of 10-15 miles a week should be good enough. The first step is to start running and then take it week by week.

First Week Challenge:

  • Do two to four runs in the first week and covering one to three miles in about twenty to thirty minutes during each run. After you achieve this, only then you should work on taking your practice to the next level.

Second Week Challenge:

  • From the second week onwards, try to upgrade your mileage by increasing the distance you run and improving the time you take to cover it. Help your body adapt itself to the increased workload without feeling too fatigued or injuring the muscles. Runners assume running more miles a week will help in building a quicker and stronger aerobic system but ignore the risk of overtraining and injury.

Third week Onwards - Know your Limitations and Set a Goal:

  • To improve your power and endurance, try adding one extra run every week. Remember to increase your mileage every second week. However, straining your body is not a good idea, particularly because there is no correlation between performance and mileage. Stop where you think you are not able to take it anymore.When you are in a few weeks training, you can now set a time goal for your 5K run.

Identify Your Optimal Mileage:

By following this type of training schedule, we assure that the results shall start showing up much faster. A slow and methodical increase in mileage enhances performance and keeps injuries at bay. Let us take a hypothetical situation while preparing for a 5K run. You have been training injury free for six months now and think you can add a few miles every week. The catch here is to see how your body reacts to the extra miles you go. After increasing the miles at the start of a new week, do you notice a dip in energy levels, strain in the muscles, and a setback to your usual performance? Go back to where you were when you started the week.

On the other hand, if you feel happy and healthy running the extra mileage and it has a favorable impact on your race times, it’s time to raise a toast to your new milestone! The idea is to find what works best for you in terms of giving a boost to your confidence, strength, and stamina levels.

Make your first 5K run easily with 5 things to Keep in Mind before your First Marathon

STEP 3

Take on the race day with full confidence, now that you have a healthy diet, optimum hours of sleep, and a strict workout regimen in place. All the hours of running practice will pay off because you are well-equipped to handle any physical difficulties you may encounter along the way.

Remember to keep anxiety levels at bay with the help of deep breathing techniques, sipping water, and giving yourself pep talks as you aim for the finish line in the quickest possible time.

Boston Marathon
Run on the Race Day with full confidence


There is no shortcut to success! Staying fit and healthy is essential for optimum running performances. If you want to perform consistently on the track, there is no shortcut available. Now that you know, how many miles equal to 5k and how much preparation is required to run your first marathon run 5k, make sure you plan much ahead and increase the mileage methodically by distributing it well over a period of time. Working consistently towards your goal and following a balanced diet of proteins and carbs are vital to performing well on the running circuit.

So, what are you waiting for? On your mark, Get set, go! Check out Ultimate Marathon Running Guide- From Start to Finish

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