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What is a 5K?

What is 5K Time Male world record holder Joshua Cheptegei

5K Distance

The 5K is a running distance of five kilometers or 3.1 miles.

In the US, 5-kilometer races are the most popular road race distance. From 2000 to 2018, 5K statistics show more female than male runners. Today, close to 60% of participants are women.

Performance by Age

The fastest 5,000-meter runners are ages 20 – 29. Discover which age groups are the fastest and the man with the world record. Also, compare your race results (age and finish time) to EnduraRun performance levels: average, good, advanced, and competitive.

How Long?

How long does it take to run 5 kilometers? It depends on your age and sex. In general, younger runners finish 5,000 meters faster than older runners. Also, men typically run faster than women.

Younger men can run 3.1 miles faster. Conversely, runners who are older and female may take longer to finish.

How to Train

How to train for a 5,000-meter race depends on your running level and your race goals.

Running Levels

  • Beginner: has not run a long-distance race
  • Athlete: has finished one or two races
  • Champion: has finished three or more races

A beginner runner does not have any race experience. Many new runners will need to build an aerobic foundation. The recommended training is long easy runs.

Athletes have already finished a race or two. Most have built an aerobic foundation and maybe training to improve their performance. It’s recommended athletes train 80/20 (easy/hard). Most runs are easy, and some runs are hard.

Champions have run many races. The recommended training distribution is the same as athletes (80/20). However, the training volume increases. The easy runs are longer. The harder runs are more intense.

Race Goals

  • Easy: average time
  • Moderate: good time
  • Hard: advanced time
  • Very Hard: competitive time

I recommend beginners who are less fit, choose an easy race goal. Beginners who are fitter may want the challenge of a moderate race goal.

Next-level athletes may start with a moderate goal and progress to a hard goal.

Champions typically start with a hard goal. Then advance to a very hard goal.

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