A 5K race is an achievable goal for beginners who want to challenge themselves with a manageable distance. Though the time you will take to complete this race is dependent on factors such as sex, age, and fitness level. So, how long does it take to run 5km?
A beginner can run 5k in 30 to 40 minutes on average. Professional athletes can run 5k in 15 minutes, sometimes less. This is with a lot of training and consistent running. As a beginner, aiming for 35 minutes is a good running time for 5k. To decrease the running time, undertake interval training.
Let’s talk more about 5k running times.
What is the average time to run 5k?
An average 5k running time is between 30 to 40 minutes, but this changes depending on many factors. Your age, sex, and fitness levels all impact your running times. The terrain, weather, and mood of the runner can also influence the time it takes to run 5k.
Professional athletes can complete a 5K race in less than 15 minutes. But this is with lots of regular and consistent training over extended periods of time. It can take years to improve your running time and compete against the pros. You can follow specific workout training on speed, endurance, and consistency to improve your average time for a 5K run.
If you have good fitness levels, anywhere between 25 and 40 minutes is a good average run time for 5k. But don’t beat yourself up for not being able to achieve this run time straight away. An average running time is an average across runners with a range of abilities. If your fitness levels could be better, you might find your average 5k run time is lower for a start. The best thing to remember is that you can work on your 5k run time by training. You can start by walking 5k and running 3k. Work your way up to running 5k in the average time of 30 to 40 minutes. There is no pressure to achieve this time straight away.
The average 5km run time for men and women worsens with age. Our energy and strength start to deteriorate as we get older, which is what starts to slow our movements down. This is why it’s hard to specify an exact 5k run time that is considered good.
One thing we can say is that how you train can greatly influence your 5k run time. People who train on rougher terrains are likely to develop a better run time than others who train on flat ground. The other factors that can influence 5k run times include their diet, the weather, and hydration quotient.
What is a good 5k run time for a beginner?
On average, a beginner runner can run 5k in 40 minutes. Some may be able to complete a 5k run in 30 minutes if they have good fitness levels. These are good 5k running times to aim for as a beginner, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t achieve this time straight away.
As a beginner, your goal should be to run 1.5 kilometres every 10 minutes. This will give you a good 5k running time as a beginner, keeping it around the 30-minute mark.
The best way to achieve this 5k running time as a beginner is to complete interval training. This involves alternating jogging and walking. You can start by jogging for 30 seconds to a minute, then walking for 30 seconds to a minute. This helps to build your stamina and running endurance. As you build your fitness, the interval times can change so that you jog for longer than you walk. Eventually, you will be jogging the whole 5k without needing to walk. This builds your stamina and decreases your overall running time. You could end up running 5k in 25 minutes or less by following this kind of running training. It’s the best training method to learn to run continuously for longer distances.
What is a good 5k time for a woman?
A good 5K run time for an averagely fit woman is approximately 30 minutes. This run time is a very generalised answer because there are lots of things to consider. 30 minutes is a good 5k run time for women who are active regularly but not necessarily extremely fit. This doesn’t count for age or long-term injuries that can impact running times.
This table highlights the 5k run time averages for beginner and advanced female runners:
|Beginner 5k Run Time (Females)
|Advanced 5k Run Time (Females)
Women aged 20-29 tend to run 5k in the fastest amount of time. This is because it is when women are going through their peak fitness ages. The current women’s 5k run time world record is 14 minutes 06 seconds, held by Ethiopian runner Letesenbat Gidey.
With consistent training on a range of terrains, a good diet and hydration levels, women can train to run 5k in under 20 minutes.
What is a good 5k time for a man?
A good 5k run time for a man with average fitness is 26 minutes. The interesting thing about average 5k run times for males is that they don’t change drastically over multiple decades. The average 5k run time for a beginner is around 32 minutes. When men are 50, the average 5k run time is around 36 minutes. Throughout their lifetime, the 5k run times don’t steer far away from 32 minutes.
The table below highlights the 5k run time averages for beginner and advanced male runners:
|Beginner Time (minutes)
|Advanced Time (minutes)
After 35, the muscle mass and strength in men will start to decline. This is the same for women too, which is why it seems that the 5k run time should increase after 35. By maintaining a consistent running routine throughout their life, men can keep their 5k run time under 40 minutes even into their 50s.
How long can you run 5k when out of shape?
When you’re out of shape, it can be hard to complete a 5k run. If you haven’t worked on your fitness levels much in recent times, you will be likely to run 5k in 45+ minutes, with walking intervals. This is because 5k can be a long-distance to run without regular training.
The time it will take to complete a 5k run when out of shape will also depend on lots of factors. First of all, did you only recently become out of shape? If this is the case, it won’t take your body long to readjust to running and get back to a good fitness level. You could complete a 5k run in 35 minutes.
If you haven’t done much fitness training for a long time, it will take you longer to run 5k. This is when you would be looking at 45 minutes and more to run 5k. But if you run 1-3k every day, you will start to build up your running abilities. This will help decrease your 5k run time overall as you continue to train and get into good running shape.
How long does it take to go from out of shape to a 5k?
The time it takes to go from out of shape to running 5k is different for everyone. If you’re just starting to train for the first time, it can take you over two months to get in shape for a 5k run. If you’re relatively healthy and just a bit out of shape, it could take you 4 weeks of training to run 5k.
Professional athletes who have taken a few months off could take less than three weeks to be able to run 5k again. But if they have had a much longer time off and are greatly out of shape, it can take multiple months.
Our fitness levels can fluctuate very quickly if we aren’t consistent with our exercise. So, the time it will take to go from out of shape to running 5k will depend on your commitment to training. Be consistent and push yourself to exercise a bit every day. Then you could be running 5k before you know it!